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He wears the apron

(article, Liz Crain)

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The married couple Kendle and Jennifer Bryan, of the blog My husband cooks, never fight over who cooks or who does the dishes, because husband Kendle does it all. It wasn’t always that way, though.

p(blue). Blog: My husband cooks
Average posts per month: 12
Bloggers: Kendle and Jennifer Bryan
Ages: 30 and 29 
Blog place of origin: Washington, D.C.

[%image bryans float=right caption="The Bryans, with baby boy Jack." credit="Photo courtesy My husband cooks"]

When these two first got together, Jennifer wore the apron around the kitchen. But after a few years of kitchen apprenticing, lawyer-by-day Kendle took family meals into his own hands. 

If the Bryans' kitchen blog consisted solely of its skillfully seductive photographs, it would be worth visiting regularly. But both Bryans take turns crafting well-written postings about the extraordinary food they eat. 

This spring the couple had a baby boy, so their posts have gotten smaller and less frequent. But Jennifer says that the blog will soon get back up to speed. “Not to worry," she writes. "I’m not one of those mothers who thinks their newborn baby is so cute she feels the need to devour him.” 

When did your role reversal take place in the kitchen?
Kendle: I think the kitchen became exclusively mine about a year ago. When we moved into this house, its new space and better appliances made cooking infinitely more enjoyable. My range burns so hot and loud that we refer to its burners as jet engines. 

Outside of making the occasional grilled cheese for lunch, I'm pretty sure that my wife has cooked fewer than five meals in our kitchen. I really just enjoy it and want to be in there as often as I can.

[%image promo-image float=left width=350 caption="Pancakes from the cooking husband." credit="Photo courtesy My husband cooks"]

Who usually comes up with the ideas for recipes?
Jennifer: The germ of the idea almost always comes from the husband. But, if I may launch into a weird plant metaphor, our collaboration is usually what sparks the idea to grow. So, if Kendle plants the seed, I throw on some fertilizer, he might add water and sunshine, and finally, I eat the plant. Or the blog eats it. (Hmmm . . . the metaphor has derailed here.) 

In other words, we talk a great deal about the food that appears on the blog, but while I may contribute ideas, Kendle is the, um, gardener.

How has your cooking improved since starting the blog?
Kendle: The blog has spurred me to be an infinitely better technician. A number of my skills have improved, from the speed at which I do things, to the precision of my knife skills, to my understanding of how long things should take. 

I've also been inspired by people I've met through the blog; the blogging community is a great resource to share ideas with about photos, recipes, and general ideas about food. 

The blog has also made me more adventurous about what I eat. When my wife and I met years ago, I was a very timid eater. Today, I'd say that aside from peanuts — which I'm allergic to — and a few culinary oddities like sea cucumber or giant cave bugs, I'm pretty much game for anything you put in front of me. As a result, I'm much more willing to grab items from the store and see what happens.

What do your friends and family think of your blog?
Jennifer: Friends and family seem unduly impressed by our blog. We strive to maintain this perception by keeping secret exactly how easy it is to create and maintain a blog. Also, it's not hard to take pretty good photos if you read the manual that comes with your middle-of-the-line digital camera. (Oops. Perhaps I'm blowing our cover here.) 

The thing that most impresses friends and family by far, however, is Kendle's cooking. They've gratified us by not only praising the blog, but actually preparing his food — and loving it.

Do you think you'll be blogging less now that you have a baby?
Kendle: We are blogging less now, but we hope that we'll learn to better navigate the roles of parent and blogger. I actually am cooking just as often for the blog, but my stamina gives out when it comes to actually generating a post. In fact, right now I've got a number of recipes ready for the blog, but I'm just too unfocused when it comes time to put the post together. Wait: Is that the baby crying again?  


h1. Liz's favorite posts


1. Temptation of the pineapple doughnut
2. Spicy shrimp and grits
3. The wife cooks (gasp!) Beef Noodle Casserole
4. MHC Goes Molecular: Olive Oil Bonbons


Do you think you may start posting about homemade baby food?
Kendle: Absolutely. I've been thinking about this since Jen was about three months pregnant. I've been doing some research about the topic and I’m trying to figure out how to test the recipes on someone in addition to Jack. I feel like I need to join a group of stay-at-home moms (or dads) and infiltrate their ranks with food.

Please finish this sentence: I would be much happier if my kitchen . . .
Kendle: Was bigger and had more stuff. We have a good-sized kitchen, but I want more stuff. I mean, you can do some serious cooking in there. 

Things currently on my list for a dream kitchen (excluding outdoor items such as a smoker or a caja china): Another oven, or even better, one of those TurboChefs; a wood-fired oven; and an immersion circulator. 

There are a number of much smaller items I'm coveting, but I'll keep mum about them so they can just "show up" before Jen can nix them. 

Jennifer: Were self-cleaning. Who wouldn't wish that?  

p(bio). Liz Crain is a writer in Portland, Oregon.

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