The economy, dictating that both partners in a marriage spend their days out of the house in the business world, has probably pushed more men into the kitchen than all other factors combined.
Take Sean Tannler, for example, who professes no great interest in the culinary arts and says he depended on his mother's cooking as a child and restaurants as a bachelor.
Now, however, as a young Huntington Beach husband and father with a working wife, he has developed more than a working knowledge of the kitchen. And the supermarket checkout line, too, where--like the rest of us--he has learned to choke back the tears while emptying his wallet.
"It's simply a matter of necessity" he says, "of survival, really," although he confesses that as time goes on he does extract a measure of satisfaction and even enjoyment out of cooking.
Tannler works only a few blocks from home as an account representative for the Carl Ferraro State Farm Insurance Agency, so he's generally the first one in the door in the evening. Son Matthew, 15 months old, is brought home a few minutes later, while wife Vicky's return depends on what the freeways have been like.
"While we try to plan meals ahead, often that just isn't possible, so dinner is the responsibility of the first one in the door," he says.
"Vicky tends to do more elaborate things, while I try to keep it simple, although I like to prepare things that look complicated, particularly if we have guests."
One of his favorites is the clam linguine he shared with Guys & Galleys. Be warned, however, that if you aren't into olive oil and garlic, you might want to make some alterations in Tannler's basic recipe.
SEAN TANNLER'SCLAM LINGUINE Ingredients
12 ounces olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 ounces clam juice
2 small cans (4 ounce) baby clams
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 pound linguine Preparation
Heat olive oil, add garlic, lower heat and stir-fry until garlic is translucent. Remove from heat and slowly stir in clam juice. Return to heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Add clams with juice in which it is packed, parsley, pepper and cheese. Cover, simmer over moderate heat about 10 minutes. Cook linguine per instructions on package and serve bathed in the sauce. Serve with salad and Italian bread. Serves 4.