Dear Fox Foxerson,
I have a problem with my granddaughter, who has become vegan. She has recently given birth to my great-grandbaby, who is adorable and who I would like to see every day. I live in a house about 15 minutes by car from her. I am a meat eater and have only made meals with meat (meat and potatoes). Should I be forced to cook vegan dishes for my granddaughter so she will visit with her baby?
Dear Granny Omnivore,
Here is your mission if you choose to accept it: Cook vegan. It sounds easy, but I understand the difficulty. You have not told me your age, but having a great-granddaughter, I’m going to go out on a limb and say your culinary talents have included animal protein for more than a few years now. It’s hard to learn new tricks. But, not only is it important to see your great-granddaughter, I bet it would mean the world to your granddaughter that you made the effort.
Remember, she is not asking you to become vegan—just fix up some tasty meals. You can’t use eggs or cream or cheese (or pork, beef, or chicken) but this vegan thing has gotten pretty popular from what I understand. That means there are more shows, books, and even videos on the world wide web that can help guide you. There are also more ingredients available at the supermarket.
Like anything, start simple, like a lunch. Do not start with Thanksgiving dinner! I can feel the holiday resentment already. I suggest you visit your local independent bookstore and ask a kind employee who would be happy to help you find the perfect cookbook. And then, give your new, baby great-granddaughter a big cheek pinch from me.
Dear Fox Foxerson,
What is the best way to tell my partner that I do not always want to make dinner for us without hurting his feelings? He can be very sensitive. Would love your input!
Dear Dinner Dilemma,
How beautiful a sensitive man is. Hold on to that one!
Asking your partner to cook for you is like asking them to do any other favor. You should start with foreplay. It’s always—well, almost always—worked for me. I would start the conversation with compliments and kisses. Ask if they could make something easy like grilled cheese. Build from there. Continue with compliments. This is not a trick! It is a communication style between partners. It’s not like you’re not passing the baton, or dumping it all on his plate (sorry).
Relationships are give-and-take. If your role is Head Chef, you could make him the Sous Chef. It’s a super important position. Maybe you could get little outfits to wear in the kitchen. It could get hot! After the initial disruption in your routine, cooking together may enhance your relationship. Have fun!
But, I would say that if both of you are not feeling it, there is always take-out.