More than a few of my friends have husbands who cook. These gals think they're pretty lucky.

I consider myself lucky that my husband doesn't cook.

Or, worse, bake.

I told him that recently, and he got all indignant and brought up The Pot Pie.

Oh, trust me, this story deserves caps.

See, once - ONCE - he made a chicken pot pie with a bacon crust. This happened 15 years ago - FIFTEEN - and he still brings it up like he whipped it together last night.

To be fair, it was a pretty impressive dish - and not just because his only previous "from scratch" meal attempts involved a jar of Ragu and a box of spaghetti. This entree required baking an actual crust, not an easy thing. The pastry turned out buttery and flaky and studded with crisp, crumbled bacon, while the pie itself was chock-full of perfectly cooked, tender chicken, fresh herbs, sweet peas, carrots and cubed potatoes all blanketed in a creamy, sherry-kissed sauce.

"I was just looking for that recipe the other day," he claimed.

Yeah, riiiiiiiight.

As soon as he said that, I immediately pulled the page out and set it on the recipe stand, where it still waits, ahem, three weeks later.

On those rare occasions when he "handles" dinner, he grabs a pizza, which is fine because another one of his dinners - and this time I use the term very, very loosely - involved a tub of barbecue beef. Yes, tub.

Now, I'm by no means a food snob. I think food trucks rock, and I'll chow down hot dogs served streetside. But to me, prepared meat in a tub says one thing and one thing only: past its expiration date.

Really and truly, I don't mind cooking. I actually look forward to it. All the chopping and prep work is kind of therapeutic. It's one of those rare times when I'm left alone - not as alone as when I look for someone to set the table, however - while the kids watch their daily TV ration.

Of course, the pleasure I get from preparing something new rapidly disappears when the pickiest of the mouths I feed begins to complain about unfamiliar-looking vittles. That can be a buzz kill.

Still, I'd much rather fix a quasi-deplored meal than get stuck with the cleanup. Come to think of it, maybe I am pretty lucky because usually, but not always, my husband does do dishes.

Contact Kristen Cook at or 573-4194. Let the record show that most nights, Cook washes a good half to three-quarters of the dishes before dinner's even been served.