The answer: marry Mark. But, since Mark is already taken – sorry ladies – try marrying someone who loves to cook, someone who cares about healthy food, someone who is as frugal as you and someone who is creative in the kitchen. Ideally, all these someones are one and the same! In appreciation, you can do the dishes and, to keep the scrumptious meals coming, take care of the shopping as well. 🙂
Ever since I met Mark in 2004, I have been spoiled with a good cook in the kitchen (or galley in marine circles), no matter the circumstances. Since food (read: eating) is so important to me and I don’t like cooking at all, this quality of his is one of the reasons why I could never divorce him. While I love to be on my own at times, I have to weigh the pros and cons of having to make my own dinners during those periods… Most of the time, it is not worth it.
Of course, especially when my husband is too busy with work, I sometimes take over and, if I say so myself, some of my specialty meals are unmatchable. Like my homemade pizza, and freshly baked bread. At all other attempts, I fail miserably or under-perform.
When I was in college, lived on my own or was in charge of dinners (which didn’t occur often), meals had to be quick and tasty, with enough vegetables, like my mom instilled in me. While backpacking in cheap countries, meals were eaten out, while camping, meals were simple and when meeting Mark in his flat in California, meals turned special and amazing with organic vegetables and lots of diversity. When we sailed on our Irie in the Caribbean and the Pacific after our overland travels, we bought local products and focused on the island cuisine. Mark always whipped up something that was pretty healthy and we made a lot of food ourselves, like bread, pizza, granola, desserts, snacks, sprouts and even alcohol. Mark was more adamant than me about buying products without high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Soon, I learned to pronounce these “poisons”, find them on labels and avoid buying products with them.
During Mark’s health issues in 2014, we learned more about healthy diets and after his treatment, we made some changes to our eating habits, which we still incorporate through this day. We avoid buying food items with sugar (not easy to find, although it would be easy – but expensive – to substitute with honey or maple syrup by manufacturers), “bad” oils (the good ones are olive, canola and peanut oil), the no nos from above and ingredients we can’t pronounce.
We rarely consume red and processed meats, avoid sodas and eat heaps of fruit and vegetables. Whether it makes a difference, we don’t really know, but… right now, it does make us feel pretty good. And, thanks to the internet and our favorite cookbook app (“How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman), we still come up with delicious dishes we thoroughly enjoy!