Chadd got a cookbook for Christmas. And proceeded to cook with it. The very next day. It was lovely. He made gnocchi (he made the dough! then rolled the gnocchi one by one!), with a tomato sauce made from scratch. Do I need to mention that my husband is a very good cook?

I love it when Chadd cooks, which he does when trying out new recipes, and when we have company. He cooks the entire meal, including dessert. His specialty is creme brulee. When the kids were little and we didn’t want to hire a babysitter, he would buy wine and cook the meal and we would dress up and light candles and it would be lovely.

I’m saying all this, because I cook. Everyday. The basics, he leaves for me. The soups and the stews and the brown beans and the cookies and the roasts and the coleslaw and the apple loaf and the roasted potatoes. I am a much better winter cook than a summer cook, because I like the “leave it in the oven for 3 hours” kind of cooking. There is a reason roast chicken was so popular on Sunday: wash chicken, cut up two onion, put in chicken, sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and thyme and smoked paprika, put in oven. Done.

When we were first married, my mother-in-law was practically on my speed dial. Everything that I cooked was “OK”, but it wasn’t as good as his mom made it. Would I mind getting her recipe and making it like she does? Oh, my mother-in-law loved me! Who wouldn’t? Cooking for her little boy, and only his mommy’s recipes would do. And I was willing? Yup, but there was once or twice when I hollered, “If you want this the way your mom made it, then she has to make it for you!” And she would. She would come and take over my kitchen, make dinner and then do the dishes afterwards. Really. She still makes bundles of bouquet garni for me to put into my chicken noodle soup.

I’ve learned how to make the favourite Danish recipes, too. I’ve got the red cabbage, frickadeller, kransekage, aebleskiver, lemon cream, cucumber salad and boiled cod all under my belt. The one thing that has completely defeated me, however, is the Danish layer cake. I cannot for the life of me make a cake that will cut into three layers. It’s a bit pathetic. And it’s what Chadd wanted for his birthday cake.

But don’t feel sorry for him! He’s getting a made from scratch New York style cheesecake.

Although, if anyone wants to send me their no-fail, perfect-every-time recipe for Danish layer cake, I just might be able to work up the courage to give it one more try!

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