A Tribute to the Chef de Cuisine

In every relationship, one of the couples does a little more than the other in a certain area, whether it’s one who does the finances or the cooking.

Saying thanks is an expression of gratitude. Gratitude can create greater connection and spur healing in both plutonic and romantic relationships.[1]

A few years ago, I made a recipe book for my wife. I took all the 3×5 cards in the tin can and wrote out a book. I printed it in a spiral notebook with thick paper. At the end of book I wrote the following:

A Tribute to the Chef de Cuisine

This recipe book could not be possible except for the master manager and executive cook of these great recipes, my amazing wife and terrific mother to our great children—my mon chéri.

Maître is French for masterMaître d’hôtel is the manager of the “front” of the formal restaurant. They supervise, welcome guests, and take reservations. Americans and Brits shorted the title to simply maître d. My wife is the maître of the Denning household.

My wife is simply fantastic in everything she does. She has cooked for years and kept us all alive. Not that only, but she has entertained guests, made us delicious meals and desserts, and help feed our kids when I was out of town or away in war zones. 

One time she sent me a package for Valentine’s Day while I was away for several weeks in the U.S. Army’s Officer Candidate School. The company commander had me open the box in front of him to ensure there was no contraband in it. When I pulled out red-colored, heart-shaped Rice Krispie treats wrapped in clear plastic, he responded something like, “Wow! Did you marry Martha Stewart?” That was back when the celebrity was respected and before her cooking show was cancelled because she went to the slammer. Suffice it to say, everyone was impressed at my wife’s skills … and a little jealous.

She is a genius in the kitchen and amazing to look at. She’s both fun and funny. She’s the cream in my cake and both the sugar and the spice in my life. She is my favorite snack.

She is exceptionally talented and can make anything, including literally fixing and making a house. If Yoda from Star Wars were to say what my kids and I feel about her, he’d say, “Fix anything, mom can.” Indeed, she has fixed and fixes everything. She has made our house into a home. She continues to impress me, day and night.

She is as sweet as sugar, and like fine wine, as the years pass by, she only gets better and better in my eyes. 

[1] Barlett, M. Y., Condon, P., Cruz, J. Baumann, J., & Desteno, D. (2012). Gratitude: Prompting behaviours that build relationships. Cognition & Emotion, 26(1), 2-13.

Jeffrey Denning

Jeffrey has written award-winning articles for the Washington Times, Guns.com, and other publications. He is the author of seven books, including Warrior SOS: Military Veterans’ Stories of Faith, Emotional Survival and Living with PTSD. He teaches courses on peer support, suicide prevention, and other mental wellness and resilience to public safety professionals. If you would like Jeff to speak at your event or training please contact him HERE.

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