Role reversal

In a curious turn of events, hubby has been jobhunting during the past month and I’ve been the temporary breadwinner, busy full-time working on various freelance writing assignments. No complaints, though. I’ve been lucky enough to receive some pretty plum jobs that have allowed me to write about two of my favorite subjects — food and travel. The only real downsides to this situation are that 1) I haven’t had as much time as I’d like lately to spend with my little guy and 2) I’ve barely been cooking at all.

Have to say, hubby has really embraced the whole domestic scene and is doing a great job at keeping the house running like a well-oiled machine, including meal preparation. On one recent occasion, I happened to walk in to get a glass or something out of the cabinet while he was cooking and was promptly ordered to “get out of MY kitchen.” This may be taking things a LITTLE too far…

Hubby had a few solid dishes under his belt to begin with, but he’s really taken them to a new level over the past few weeks. He’s definitely got the homemade pizza thing nailed. A neighbor and I were enjoying a glass of wine on the back patio during a warm evening about two weeks ago when hubby decided to whip one up. You should have seen her face when he brought it out, hot, steaming and fragrant from the oven. She was so impressed, she called the next day to ask him for tips so she could make one at her house.

hubby's homemade pepperoni pizza

Hubby uses store-bought refrigerated crust, but I fully expect that it’s only a matter of time before he’s cranking out his own from scratch. I haven’t even witnessed what he does to make his ‘za so good, but I believe it involves simply tomato paste, cheese, pepperoni and the lightest drizzle of olive oil. A sprinkling of the herbes de Provence I purchased on our last visit to France in the fall seems to be the secret ingredient. I’m telling ya, that little packet I bought at a street market in Aix for a couple of euros has proven to possess damn near magical qualities — a little pinch utterly transforms everything from roasted meat and veggies to pasta sauce. I’m tempted to try it in muffins or scones. If you ever see an herbes de Provence blend in the supermarket, pick up a jar and try it for yourself in almost any savory dish. You won’t be sorry.

But I digress, back to bragging about my husband… the other dish he’s really been jazzed about perfecting lately is pot pie. This is sort of an unlikely fixation for him; he’s never requested or even mentioned an affinity for pot pie prior to eating a chicken version he proclaimed awesome at the Red Lion Grog House in Fountain Square a few weeks ago.

Again, using plain old store-bought pie crust, he’s been able to produce some interesting and delicious results. First, a lightly sauced chicken pot pie stuffed with shredded meat, chopped carrots and celery. Even better, though, is his beef version, made using his Guinness beef stew recipe, which I already love. Playing around with presentation, his latest attempt included some little ceramic ramekins he filled with the stew and covered with rounds of dough, and also some mini-pies that made using muffin tins. I liked the ramekins, I thought they would be adorable for a fancy dinner party, but hubby preferred the muffin versions, saying they reminded him more of the authentic pies he’s eaten in England. No matter, both were delicious.

adorable individual pot pies

muffin-tin pot pies

With several big assignments now turned in and off my plate, my freelance schedule looks to be lightening up a hair. Hopefully I’ll have enough breathing room to revisit my pots, pans and knives this week and make sure they haven’t forgotten me. If I can wrestle hubby out of “his” kitchen, that is…

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