When my husband and I first met, cooking was a shared task. But nowadays the responsibility falls mainly to me.
This arrangement made perfect sense when I was at home with babies, but now that I’m back at work it seems impractical.
My husband makes me laugh more than anyone else ever has
However, whereas my cookery skills have progressed during the intervening years, his have, shall we say, stagnated.
I have learnt to bake, use spices, source ingredients and try new things.
I am far from Heston Blumenthal, but I have evolved, whereas my husband is the kitchen equivalent of primordial swamp when compared to my high-functioning 21st century kitchen sapien self.
(I am laughing to myself as I type this, picturing his face when he reads it).
Luckily Mothering Sunday has now occurred and cards/presents have been gratefully received, so he can’t threaten to withhold them due to my teasing.
In a gallant effort to brush up on his skills, he has claimed Saturday nights as Cooking Night. For the record (and the sake of future birthdays, Mothers’ Days etc), he is usually triumphant in his culinary endeavours.
However, last Saturday was a different story.
After meticulously researching a recipe (creamed cannellini beans with spinach and lamb steaks), and after spending quite some time in the kitchen with the food processor, my husband presented me with what is best described as Lamb Steak Surprise.
The surprise was that there were any lamb steaks, as one had to dig beneath the layer of Green Salt Soup in order to find them.
Even now, days on, he is adamant that no salt was added and that the recipe called for a runny texture.
I had already seen the online photos though, and remain unconvinced.
The photos did not, for example, suggest that the meal would require a bowl and spoon.
The consumption of this meal (partial on my part, though my husband ploughed on eating his, merely to prove a point of stubborn pride, I feel) led to much merriment on our parts, and the kind of marital laughter that leaves you doubled over, sides aching, and eyes watering.
Good times – which led me to reflect that laughter, in any family, is underestimated. My husband makes me laugh more than anyone else ever has,
Only he will know what it means when I end with five little words: ‘Number seven on the list.’
Verity Lush is a 37-year-old mum-of-two who lives in Portsmouth.
She is a tutor in philosophy, English and maths and has written a book for newly-qualified teachers, plus textbooks and articles for teaching magazines and supplements.