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Mr. Mom Follows a Recipe

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cooking____1.jpgMy wife had a bit of sore throat today and needed some rest.  Normally, I’d watch the kids (destroy the house) and order food for lunch and dinner, but today my wife had a different request.

“So what are you preparing for lunch today?”

She wanted a homecooked meal, and the last I checked, peanutbutter sandwiches and pouring milk into bowls of cereal may have qualified in the linguistic sense of things, but technically speaking, it was probably an insult to wives everywhere to say as such.

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“Are you paying attention to me?  Are you going to cook something for me?”
“I’m thinking about it,” I replied.

I was actually surfing the web, reading the news, and thinking I’ll probably try to make the lemon-garlic chicken in one of my workout guides.

“You’re thinking about if you’ll be cooking for me?”
“No, I’m thinking about what I’m going to cook.”

The kids were running around wreaking havoc around the house, and as usual, I was oblivious to it and my wife eventually sought refuge in the bedroom, locking the door behind her.

While I surfed the web, Hurricane ibn Siraaj took it upon himself to place the kitchen in his path of destruction and before you could say BAM!, all the pots and pans were strewn about kitchen floor.  Still unperturbed, I continued with other work online.

Around 11:30am, I thought it might be a good idea to start cooking.  I pulled out the recipe, having not cooked anything from a recipe since my senior year of college (about 6 years ago), but what the hey, if Obama can, maybe I can to.  I navigated the maze cooking utensils at my feet and went to work.

The Recipe

  • 1/4th cup fresh lemon juice (couldn’t find any in the fridge, but found lime juice, so tried that instead)
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses (I did two teaspoons and then couldn’t find the tablespoons, so just poured more)
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestshire sauce (just kinda dumped some in there)
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped (didn’t have any, but had lots of garlic powder, so just poured that in, guessing 4 cloves)
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (used chicken breasts instead, and accidentally dumped a pound of ground chicken in there, unfortunately)
  • 1/4th teaspoon salt
  • 1/4th teaspoon black pepper
  • lemon wedges
  • parsley sprigs

Directions

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a nonreactive dish (no idea what that is, I just put it in a pot) and add chicken.  Cover and marinate in refrigerator for one hour, turning occasionally (I made sure instead to cut up the chicken and mix the marinade and chicken together a lot).
  2. Preheat over to 425 degrees.
  3. Remove chicken from dish, reserving marinade, and arrange in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray (found some baking spray and thought of using that, til I realized it was only for cookies and muffins and such, so I woke up my wife, asked for some advice, and ended up using a thin layer of canola oil instead, placing it all in corelle ware).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper (I kind of just poured the salt into my hand without measuring and sprinkled it everywhere, sprinkled the pepper directly from a shaker til I was satisfied.  Then I mixed it all up again).
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, basting occasionally with marinade.  Bake without basting for 20 minutes more or until chicken is done.  Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with parley, if desired (it was not desired, so I left the lemon wedges and parsley out.  I also just poured the marinade in all at once before putting the chicken in the oven and let it go for 45 minutes).

I looked at what I was putting in the oven, and it didn’t look pretty.  I made du’aa to Allah subhaana wa ta’aala, saying, I did my best with this thing, it looks like a mess with ground chicken all over not so ground chicken and marinade and what not, so please just make it taste good.

45 minutes later, I take it out, and it looks pretty darn good.  I cut off a piece, take a bite, and it’s absolutely amazing – tender, white juicy meat with an amazing flavor!  I mean, this thing tasted really good!

My wife ate it, and absolutely loved it as well.  Mission Accomplished!  The lesson?

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you’re going to make a mess of things – when that happens, ask Allah subhaana wa ta’aala to help make it work in the end :D

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Siraaj is the Operations Director of MuslimMatters as well as its new lead web developer. He's spent nearly two decades working in dawah organizations, starting with his chapter MSA in Purdue University, and leading efforts with AlMaghrib Institute, MuslimMatters, and AlJumuah magazine. Somewhere in there, he finds time for his full-time profession as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. He holds a bachelor's in Computer Science from Purdue University and a Master's certificate from UC Berkeley. He's very married and has 5 wonderful children

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. MR

    November 11, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Yes we can!

  2. ilmsummitee

    November 11, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    good one,

    now that it seems you cook well, there might be more sick days to come :D WAllahu A’laam.

  3. Dawud Israel

    November 11, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    YES!

    I just commented on Sunday that MM should have cooking recipes to lighten up the mood and Siraaj the Big-Bearded saves the day!!!
    You should make a video of “Siraaj in the Kitchen” so that non-Muslims see the human element of interest among practicing Muslims that they can relate to. If they see a big-bearded brother cooking- then hey, maybe we won’t look so villainous will we? :)

    Keep it spicy.

    • Jamal

      July 27, 2009 at 4:31 AM

      S

  4. SH

    November 11, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    This is funny it reminds me of how my dad would cook whenever my mom was sick….it was funny he’d change the recipe and put in all kinds of different things in there and still it would come out tasting delicious & my mom would say to him that he’s the best cook ever. now that we are grown I do the cooking but dad still likes to help out by adding in things that I would not think of adding. Mashallah May allah swt reward all the men for helping out in household duites especially when a loved one is sick.

  5. Umm Reem

    November 11, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    JazakAllah khair br. siraaj for cooking for ur wife.
    and…i hope you cleaned the kitchen afterwards! :)

  6. Amad

    November 11, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    If you had ordered pizza and sprinkled some pre-cooked halal hot-dog slices on it (for the home-cooking part), you could have written a “real” post for MM instead ;)

    Look what you have done now… given wives around the world hope that their husbands may do the same for them. What a dangerous precedent… I am sure I can find a fatwa against you somewhere. Must be a sa’la’~fe’e’ thing (hope this transliteration worked out… learned something from saqib’s post). Who do you think you are? Going against our traditions??

  7. ibnabeeomar

    November 11, 2008 at 3:22 PM

    i cant prove it, but im pretty sure this indicates you have a corrupt aqeedah as well as walaa and baraa issues.

  8. Amad

    November 11, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    I am with Omar… I really believe Siraaj’s a RAND-Muslim, of the feminazi type.

    Today MM is putting a post for men cooking optionally, once a while, tomorrow it is going to become some sort of mandatory action… followed by a men-doing-laundry article. Astaghfirullah, how can a wife even imagine her husband engaging in such domicile activities??

    I think we need to emphasize the importance of discussing such stuff with your future wife for unmarried brothers and sisters, esp. the inter-racial ones who have more problems than the cultural Muslims.

    Talking about unmarried brothers and sisters, have we seen the gender interaction on MM, how disgusting it is? I mean brothers and sisters commenting in response to each other… when did we lose chivalry among brothers? Where are the true men? The men who are on the haqq, not those who vote in elections and especially vote for someone who has hired a zionist and a VHP woman for his staff. What are the voters feeling now??

    Anyway, I hope I didn’t go off on any tangents there. MM does that. And while you are at it, please DIGG and stumble this article too.

    Wa’ alaa’iy’kum sa’laaa’m

  9. Amatullah

    November 11, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    Right…I think you all need a vacation.

  10. Hassan

    November 11, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    What the.. there is a woman inside every bearded bald men?

  11. Hassan

    November 11, 2008 at 4:01 PM

    By the way, I can cook few dishes better than my wife, but if I say that it would hurt her feeling, so I am going to let her cook everything. I am going to do difficult part of eating and then lazily sitting on chair surfing internet.

  12. Amad

    November 11, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    Hassan, I know I should keep personal information off the internet, but it will be in your wife’s best interest to get you off that chair. You need the exercise ;)

  13. Atif

    November 11, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    I taught my wife everything she knows :) (Credit for this line goes to my father-in-law)

    See, I’m the opposite of Siraaj, I’m the know-it-all type (wa laa fakhr; this is from dozens of hours of watching FoodTv)
    So my advice for you is that if you do know a thing or two, these are the times NOT to criticize your wife (for choice of ingredients, or preparation):
    -Before the cooking
    -During the cooking
    -After the cooking, before you eat
    -During the meal
    -At the end of the meal
    If you must say something, better wait like 45 min. after the completion of the meal.

    It is the sunnah of the Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) not to complain about your meal, but at times, you must also enjoin the good and forbid the evil, ya3ni…
    “You mixed Chinese with Italian food?! This is a new bid’ah!!”

  14. Hassan

    November 11, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Amad (Author) said:

    Hassan, I know I should keep personal information off the internet, but it will be in your wife’s best interest to get you off that chair. You need the exercise ;)

    Who would then decode the election polls and post on your blog..

  15. Hassan

    November 11, 2008 at 4:10 PM

    Amad (Author) said:

    Hassan, I know I should keep personal information off the internet, but it will be in your wife’s best interest to get you off that chair. You need the exercise ;)

    By the way it seems I am fulfilling the pre-requisite of desi molvis, I need to be physically unfit to command respect :D

  16. ibnabeeomar

    November 11, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    i might write a post about my own personal cooking adventures. ive had quite a few like siraaj’s, but ive also had some utter failures. i remember thinking itd be a good idea to make steaks – with habanero peppers in the marinade. well, i went a little crazy with it, and it was quite possibly the worst steak i have ever eaten in my life. i was complaining the whole time while eating it (and i could barely eat it because of the excess of fresh habanero), and i think my wife actually finished her plate out of pity towards me telling me “it wasn’t that bad”

  17. My H-town

    November 11, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    This it too hilarious! Mashallah Br. Siraaj for a job well done! Im sure Olivia was ecstatic, and the kids confused at the same time. Way to teach your son how to be a man =)

    Btw, my husband is an excellent cook. He made some awesome nihari over the weekend (he volunteered to cook =)). He let it calmy simmer over the stove for like 5 hours or something. He also makes some kick butt chicken tikka. The mess in the kitchen, however, sometimes makes me wonder if it was worth it though…

    I think this deserves a comment from the Marriage Revolution founder, Sh. Yaser Birjas. He would be oh so very proud =)

  18. SaqibSaab

    November 11, 2008 at 5:55 PM

    If I were given the platform to blog about food, MuslimMatters.org, man… don’t get me started! See here: http://www.saqibsaab.com/category/food/

  19. ibnabeeomar

    November 11, 2008 at 6:46 PM

    i think blogging about food is an essential step towards muslim unity. think about it.. there is so much in our religion about food (aside from halal meat debates), food is the one thing we can all come together on (like at iftaar time). food is also the primary element of entertaining guests – we even see this in the quran when ibrahim brought out special food for his guests.

    :)

  20. Atif

    November 11, 2008 at 7:10 PM

    I disagree, ibnabeeomar, Food can be another factor that divides the community.
    I think there was one masjid, where the Arabs were so fed up with the spiciness of the desi food in the iftaar, that they wanted to break off and do their own iftaar.
    (It is somewhat understandable, since even our fruit has masala in it…)

  21. ibnabeeomar

    November 11, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    atif brother, why are we so exclusive with food. we should serve BOTH kinds at the same time – more food AND more unity

  22. Dawud Israel

    November 11, 2008 at 8:08 PM

    If you had ordered pizza and sprinkled some pre-cooked halal hot-dog slices on it (for the home-cooking part), you could have written a “real” post for MM instead ;)

    HAHAHA You too eh? We do this a lot at my place and actually sometimes just order a cheese and put some sliced up veggies on there too.

    Only real men can cook.

  23. iMuslim

    November 11, 2008 at 8:16 PM

    Loved this post! Gives me hope for my own cooking… ahem. {shuffles away quietly}

  24. Olivia (the wife)

    November 11, 2008 at 8:18 PM

    Masha’Allah, the chicken was EXCELLENT and alhamdulillah I enjoyed sleeping all afternoon (i think I’ve been wracking up missed hours of sleep for a long time and needed to cash in). Only thing was SIraaj came and woke me up to taste the chicken! Like, I’m taking this long awaited nap, a family-phenomena, when all of sudden i see a plate and a fork and a bearded man standing over me saying “Liv, are you ready for lunch? Want to come have some?” man, do i look ready for lunch?! =) i think siraaj mistook my open hanging open in my sleep as a declaration of severe hunger =)

    that chicken was good though. but of course, as a typical woman, i used it against him too…

    “so, honey, when are you going to try cooking for the family again?” *innocent blink*

  25. Faisal

    November 11, 2008 at 9:08 PM

    Great.. now I’m hungry

  26. Anisa

    November 11, 2008 at 11:40 PM

    Haha, masha’Allah, great post!
    Cooking is a great skill, both genders should learn it,
    Ma’Salaama

  27. iMuslim

    November 12, 2008 at 1:36 AM

    if you find the right guy, no matter how bad your cooking is, he’ll lie to you and you’ll never be sure, so don’t sweat it.

    Why does everything come back to my marital status (past, present or future)? I should never have written that post.. {laughs}

  28. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    November 12, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    bismillah. now the next time the ameer of wasat hosts travelers seeking knowledge, will we have to wonder who cooked the food? at least we know it passed your wife’s inspection… hey, was she (more) well by the time she ate? often taste buds can be confused during a time of illness… :P

  29. darthvaider

    November 12, 2008 at 9:43 PM

    wow, siraaj i’m impressed :) Insha’Allah we’re having a bake-off at our upcoming almaghrib class, maybe I’ll take your recipe and run with it, lol.

  30. AsimG

    November 12, 2008 at 10:26 PM

    It’s really hard to mess up chicken unless you overcook it.

    Alhamdillah I’m glad to hear you are cooking. I think you should do more of it :)

  31. dessert!

    November 12, 2008 at 11:10 PM

    don’t forget dessert!
    5 min cake-in-a-mug

    http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Make_Cake_in_a_Mug

  32. mulsimah

    November 13, 2008 at 10:05 PM

    whats a ‘waraa’?

  33. Umm Adam

    November 16, 2008 at 5:30 AM

    Excuse me Akhi but did you consult with the Ulema to see if it is even permissable for a Muslim man to cook? Keep in mind that you can not just except a general Fatwa, each persons case is different. How long was your wife sick? How sick was she? If you were not there who would have prepared the meal? These are all things you must present to the Shaykh when seeking the fatwa. In the mean time I don’t think sisters should get overly excited over something that a brother did on a whim or other brothers should be running out doing womens work until we have heard what the Scholars have said concerning this matter. Or did you just try to use your own aql to decipher the hadeeth of The Prophet (salla Allahu Alayhi wa Salaam) coming home and serving his family – as proof that you can cook for your family? This is why we have people of knowledge – do not think of this as a trival matter!

  34. Siraaj

    November 18, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Excuse me Akhi but did you consult with the Ulema to see if it is even permissable for a Muslim man to cook? Keep in mind that you can not just except a general Fatwa, each persons case is different. How long was your wife sick? How sick was she? If you were not there who would have prepared the meal? These are all things you must present to the Shaykh when seeking the fatwa. In the mean time I don’t think sisters should get overly excited over something that a brother did on a whim or other brothers should be running out doing womens work until we have heard what the Scholars have said concerning this matter. Or did you just try to use your own aql to decipher the hadeeth of The Prophet (salla Allahu Alayhi wa Salaam) coming home and serving his family – as proof that you can cook for your family? This is why we have people of knowledge – do not think of this as a trival matter!

    The ulamaa I follow say that in issues of mu’ammalaat, all things are permissible unless proven otherwise. So if there is some evidence to not cook and help my wife out at home, I’ll be sure to share it with her, insha’Allah =)

    Siraaj

  35. Mana

    November 19, 2008 at 12:30 AM

    Umm Adam, are you joking or your for real. I hope your joking.

  36. AnonyMouse

    November 19, 2008 at 3:17 PM

    LOL @ UmmAdam

  37. ilmsummitee

    November 21, 2008 at 8:43 PM

    I thought I’d share this, since i made it tonight, and I thought of those who may like to make it:

    an easy recipe for all (single and married) is SHRIMP ALFREDO PASTA: (less than half hour to prepare & make)

    throw in a box of Rotinni Pasta in pot of boiling water (10mins)
    Cook bag of frozen shrimp with olive oil, a bit of salt & pepper (optional: garlic powder or minced garlic/ paprika / lemon juice)

    After straining pasta, throw in with shrimp and pour a jar of Alfredo sauce, with 2 tps of olive oil…..allow to warm up for few mins and viola—a homecooked, warm, and delightfully easy meal ! :)

  38. SP

    November 24, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    HA there is hope for the race of man yet

  39. khawla

    December 9, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    Ha ha ha that was funny. Umm Adam’s comments reminded me of ME. Tried to be funny but people always took it of being serious all the time.
    Well done brother Siraaj. Too bad most men in my town don’t know how to cook. Whenever their wives were sick they beg the sisters from the community to take turn cooking for their family of 5 or 6 boys or more.
    It is NOT funny and,
    I was the one who always REFUSED to cook for any of them. I said: “When I am sick and ill, I want my husband to care and feed me”
    Alhamdulillah, Allah made us love eggs and I don’t care if he made me scrambles every day.

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