I have a very annoying habit. It’s something that bugs Emily so much that it’s caused some big fights through the years. I’m aware of it and I’m working on it, but it’s a hard habit to break. Let me know if I’m alone on this one: I will take the advice of a specific friend over someone else’s advice, even when that bit of advice is THE EXACT SAME BIT OF ADVICE! I don’t know why I do it, I don’t know what goes into my decision making, but for some reason I will blow off someone’s recommendation (let’s say Emily’s for instance) but heed the exact same recommendation from a different source.
Wait before we go on here is a video of what you can expect from this post:
Examples: She said I’d like Paul Auster, I told her no. Our friend Paul said I’d like Paul Auster, I told him yes. She told me to watch Veronica Mara, I said “uh a teenage girl detective show?”, but then my buddy Dirks said “it’s actually really smart,” so I gave it a whirl. She told me I’d like Armchair Expert, but it wasn’t ’til Vulture told me I should listen that I put on my headphones and was like “shhh, I’m trying to listen to my new friends Dax and Monica.” There are tons of these examples.
Why?? Is it a trust thing? Is an ownership thing? A spite thing? Whatever it is, it’s annoying, I’ve been told. And it’s happened again. Emily told me I’d like cooking, but it wasn’t until this beautiful man (below), my new best imaginary friend, Matty Matheson, told me, that I actually started doing it.
I’ve tried “cooking” before in my life, but it was more like the college version of cooking where you pat yourself on the back for getting creative with .99 cent ingredients that you can make last a week. “You should try my marinara! It’s Prego, sure. But I then, and get this, I added meat! And you’ll never guess what else! I added some garlic powder! And this is what really sets it apart- I added, ready? I added… onions!” And that’s what I thought cooking was. Is this a guy thing? Are we getting placated into thinking we’re good at something we’re not? Are you all tricking us into thinking that our creations are good and unique even though every other dude makes this exact thing and wants to be thanked for reinventing spaghetti sauce? I have a feeling that’s the case. Oh, what sad creatures we are.
But there’s hope. At least I found some hope, and it took a crazy dude with head-to-toe tattoos and a rat tail to convince me. I’ve watched cooking shows before and followed recipes before, but it always felt like I was just visiting. Or like I was doing homework. Or like I was indulging in some la-di-dah version of a romantic night with Emily. I never was interested in actually cooking. That is, until I met my new friend Matty, and I took his advice over everyone else’s and started to f’ing COOK.
I was introduced to Matty through Instagram when a guy I follow, who sells vintage Grateful Dead shirts, posted a video of Matty cooking in a shirt that he had sold him. I was in love at first sight. Here’s a larger than life dude, tatted up to the neck, wearing a too-tight Bertha shirt, screaming a high-pitched song at the camera about chopping onions. WTF? I went to his YouTube channel and proceeded to watch almost all of the episodes of his newest Youtube show “Just A Dash” in one sitting. It was better than I had imagined.
Matty has a way of hitting the perfect balance of being hilarious while also teaching you how to cook a legit delicious meal. His show is kind of the anti-cooking show. It leaves in mistakes, curse words, messes, and in general pulls back the curtain on what goes into that kind of show. When Matty loses his mind while waiting for his chorizo lasagna to bake, you feel like you’re just hanging with your funniest friend in his kitchen.
I can’t put my finger on why he’s so strangely captivating and comforting. He yells a lot, he drops a ton of f-bombs, he goes on tangents, he picks his ear while he’s cooking. He’s a mess. But he’s an honest mess. I trust him, he’s not putting on an act, he’s just being himself, burps and all. And he makes us feel that we too could be good cooks, even though we don’t have French accents or perfect kitchen skills. I could watch him for hours. He’s like a lunatic teddy bear you just want to hug. And the icing on the cake is, his recipes are amazing.
When we started the lockdown here, we knew we would need to cook more than we normally do, and I was actually excited about that. I finally had a friend (Matty) that I trusted, who told me I should check out this “cooking” thing. So I dove in.
We started with his Shepards Pie, which seemed like a good one for our family. We set up the laptop on the counter and got to it. This was the first exposure my kids had to Matty and they were instantly hooked like Emily and I were. “He’s funny!” they yelled as we dove for the mousepad trying to skip the parts where he cursed up a storm. Too late. Oops.
The whole family got involved in the cooking, and there was a huge pride that came when we finally ate our creation. It turned out super yummy.
Next, I made some burgers following Matty’s advice that you should treat a burger like a steak. That basically means that you don’t overdo it with additions to the meat, just some salt and then some pepper when it’s cooked. I’m usually a bit squeamish about handling raw meat, but Matty helped me face my fear of rolling those patties into perfect little pucks.
We’ve been getting some frozen meats delivered to us, so we can avoid the grocery store as much as possible, and in one of the deliveries came some nice NY strip steaks, so I wanted to give those a go. Like every other dude out there, I used to consider my steak skills pretty good. I could grill them with a bunch of spices and usually get them to come out medium rare-ish. And I would get compliments, but given my previous Ragu recipe above, I’m now rethinking all compliments. Matty cooks his steaks on the stove by searing them in a ton of oil, then butter-basting, which makes them perfect. I then found a recipe he did for a kale based chimmichurri, which was the perfect topping. Yummmmmmm.
Lastly, I tried his “Fluffiest Pancakes” and I kinda blew it. I read the recipe rather than watch the whole video for the first time, and I missed the tip about not over-mixing the final batter, so when I tried to pour mine it was way too thin. I added some extra flour and it helped. They were by far the best pancakes I’ve made. And it was the first time I made them without a mix, from scratch.
Please note my “Bo Knows Jerry” shirt in this pic, it’s one of my most prized possessions. And to keep it clean, I’m ordering my first apron. Hell, I’m even looking at a new chef’s knife, and definitely am going to buy myself some Matty oven mitts when my birthday comes. ‘Cause I’m a cook now.
I wish that there were online teachers like Matty in other intimidating fields. Like what if there was a mathematician with tats and a rat tail, who screamed, “That’s a f’ed up quadrilateral, but if you try this thing, you’ll be doing some sweet f’ng math!!” or if there was like a YouTube course on art history with a dude shouting, “That’s the thing with the f’ing Byzantine works man! They’re heavily influenced by those crazy ass Greeks!”. I’d be a really smart guy if those types of shows existed. But for now, I’m just an amateur cook. And I’m really enjoying it. I just needed the right friend to convince me to try it.
And I promise, I will listen to Emily the next time she suggests something. Except for Love Is Blind. I refuse to watch that one.
Unless someone else says it’s good.
“I wish that there were online teachers like Matty in other intimidating fields.”
There are. In almost every field imaginable. And you’ll find many of them online either on YouTube or affiliated with specific professional or teaching sites. It just takes some determined sleuthing and recommendations from others … you know, the ones you’ll heed.
I was going to say that too. But you just did, so yeah, what you said. And Brian? STOP, just stop not listening to Emily. For the love of f bombs, just stop.
I dont wanna be rude but I know what you mean… I am quite similar to Emily. She is too much and you are a bit fed up with her advice… the same here so i am talking about myself as well :)) I try to be less pushy with my husband and everyone else and that helps.
We’re “pushy” because we’re usually right. 😉
How true! 😀
My husband has the same “very annoying habit”
In our house we just call it a “wedge salad” after the Modern Family episode about this very thing. If you haven’t seen it yet, now is as good a time as any!
This is a great suggestion! I feel like a lot of relationships will appreciate this episode. And Phil’s speech at the end always gets me.
I was just going to comment that you must watch this Modern Family episode if you haven’t already! Season 2, Episode 16. Hilarious.
He – that first picture is The. Greatest!!! 😀 And what a wonderful post yet again – cooking with the kids and curse-prone chef sounds hilarious! Accesible teaching is so wonderful and important – I too would love that art course please! A little bit less sweary as its mostly geared towards students and teachers but I really enjoy the YT channels CrashCourse and SciShow by Hank and John Green for accesible, fun, well researched things to learn in the company of just really excited and wonderful nerds if you want to learn something about specific topic in literature, philosphy, history, chemistry and physics… but yeah something like that art course must be out there, I know a few art historians and that’s preeetty much what they’re like in the wild 😀 one of them must have a channel somewhere! Enjoy your cooking and exploring! 🙂
Love this! Also, last week when you guys posted the fun and funny video of Emily cooking, that was the first time in my LIFE that I saw/read anything about cooking and immediately skipped to my kitchen, excited to make something.
Emily’s breezy laid back demeanour made all the difference for me. I guess it’s the same with this Matty dude!
I suspect Emily’s breezy, laid back demeanor is anxiety in sheep’s clothing.?
The headline reads:
Principal Henderson Retrains as Chef, but won’t quit his day job…because, Pandemic!
Another grrreat post Brian! Reminded me of making Shepherd’s Pie in high school. And those pancakes look pretty darned fluffy to me!
My brain felt like it short-wired for a second when I saw the screenshot of Matty on my favorite design blog – like two universes colliding. As a professional cook, I’ve been a fan of Matty’s for awhile – dude, you gotta go back to his old show where he’s cooking in his 1 bedroom apartment – it makes it feel like you can cook anything if he can do it in this tiny a** apartment. Bravo on tackling cooking! The old saying really is true – if you can read a recipe, you can cook.
Emily, I mentioned before how your new webpage now has local ads that do occasionally interest me. Only now, I fell for a table lamp that is sooo goood, but very pricey … and it’s STALKING ME!!! It follows me each time I come to your site. Don’t worry though, I’ll be baaaack!
Main thing is the point gets communicated, usually too much info coming in during today’s life to try everything unless it is said empathically or hearing something 2 times, and from different sources usually increases desire to try, or an expert in that area.
Interesting if Emily would consider why it annoys her, she is taking it personally
Have you seen “Fuck that’s delicious”? Action Bronson is so smooth and hilarious.
It was a show on vice but I think it’s on the tube.
You’re so right about it being all about delivery and relating to the audience – I learn and remember so much more from fun and funny podcasts than I ever did reading a textbook, especially about things like government, history, etc. If you want some great history lessons with this same level of over the top humor, I’d highly recommend The Dollop – I’m guessing you’ve already heard of it if you are into podcasts, but you know, in case you need an outside recommendation to sway you ? My husband is the exact same way – if I like something and tell him he’ll really like it, he thinks its weird and stupid. Then 6 months later he’ll try to show me “this awesome new song he found!” or “this great idea he had!” And it takes every fiber of my being to just smile and say “you’re right, that is great!” Instead of “funny, you hated it when I showed it to you 6 months ago!” Emily, not to advise manipulating your husband (but I totally am – Bryan, cover your eyeballs) but some people you just can’t come straight at – you have to be sneaky it… Read more »
Brian, your posts are really good. I HATE cooking and as a mom, feel very guilty about it. Maybe I’ll check this guy out. Btw, my husband is the SAME way about advice, must be a man thing. ??
Did you know Matty has a cookbook? It’s excellent!
It’s hard to be a good man in America. I mean that with love. Our construct of masculinity (at least the WASP one that I grew up with) is so much a part of us it’s almost impossible to escape. If your wife, or sister, or mother, tells you what to do, and she’s right, then you can either rebel unproductively, or do what a woman says. One feels good at first, but not so great over the long run. The other feels terrible, but leads to better outcomes. Here’s to those men who persist, both in learning to cook, and in evolving their attitudes about the impact of women’s authority on their identities.
Came here to say a variant of this. Unfortunately this behavior is a product of the patriarchy. If you’re a guy who does this, you’ll probably notice that most of the sources you do take advice from are men. Good thing is, now you know and can actively fight it!
Oof Kara, I think you’re on to something there about men eventually taking the advice of other men. Let’s hope that the awareness of this in our generation will help the next generation of males appreciate good advice regardless of who gives it to them!
Beautifully said, Lisa!
THIS THIS THIS THIS
I love this post! Love Brian’s voice. Love Matty!
More effing Brian!!!
Keep writing, Brian – you’re hilarious!!
This is a great post, but DAMN, can’t you at least run it through Grammarly? I know people always tell you guys this, but “Veronica Mara” and “shepard’s pie” KILL me. (Matty even spells “shepherd’s pie” correctly in the video link. It was right there.)
My husband often does the same thing, and honestly I think it is subconscious misogyny. I say this because my husband is incredibly supportive of myself and all women, but I think somewhere deep down inside, there is a resistance to thinking that women have information that men do not, and that if they do, it must be wrong. Notice in all of your examples, you only took the suggestions once it was offered by another man. Notice in all the comments, it’s women saying that their spouses do it too, and not that they do it to them. This is not meant as an insult, but as a possible thought to explore. When I pointed it out to my husband, we both really started talking about what we unconsciously pick up and absorb from society, and how we can change it. Good luck with the cooking!
That’s typical in marriages. If one’s spouse gives a suggestion or word of advice, it’s taken as “You’re trying to control me.” If someone else says it, it’s objective.
So cool that you found your way into cooking. My Dad was an amazing cook and his knife skills, grilling, and seafood understanding were on point. (My mom did the baking and recipe following meals)
Dad rocked dinner, but my favorite meal memories are over omelettes, when I’d visit as an adult and he’d talk me into brunch. He’d whip up a perfect omelette with shrimp or steak or crab. He said his Dad taught him when he was young, and he always loved that you could customize it to suit each persons tastes.
My husband has a few basics down, but to be honest, I compliment all his meals so he keeps trying! I love cooking and make everything scratch, so it’s a high bar. (He is from a pizza or steak family)
I’m going to forward him your buddy’s YouTube, because he’s already on them learning how to fix cars etc) I hope we pass on an interest in fresh cooking to our son.
ok I need to check out Matty and you need to check out Love Is Blind
Thank you for the suggestion. Made the pancakes this morning and my fam loved them.
Awesome. I love cooking videos- have learned so much from them over the years. My favorite right this moment is a cooking live session 5 days a week with Rick Bayless, a Chicago restaurant owner who specializes in food from Mexico. Check it out every day (Tue-Sat?) at rickbayless.com. I think he’s doing it as a service to humanity during the pandemic. You can watch past sessions there, too. Not goofy like Matty, but very down-to-earth and relatable. Very good live demonstrations and explanations. Why is it that men don’t ever believe women? This is not just you and Emily, trust me. Happy Easter!
Err… Brian, I have always really liked when you post on the blog and I appreciate your honesty about not listening to Emily, but it really pisses me off (and yes, this might be because the same thing happens to me). I hope your articulating it for all the world to see can open your eyes/mind/heart as to why you would listen to a friend over your own wife.
I agree, Julie. Women are fucking tired of constantly being dismissed! It feels like shit! Even if it is in a seemingly small, insignificant way, those all add up. Brian, I appreciate that you’re honest and at least can recognize it’s happening. That’s a great start.
I just loved this post. That’s all. Thanks, Brian!
OMG my husband and I love Matty! He has a show on Viceland that intersperses him cooking in a kitchen with visiting various shops and restaurants around Toronto to learn about different kinds of food. He brings that same charm in the show as in the separate videos. Sometimes we just yell MIDDLE RACK at each other since he yelled that phrase in one of the episodes.
Funny enough, in our relationship, my husband is the better and more knowledgeable cook. He took cooking classes in high school, and pretty comprehensive ones at that. He went to school on Cape Cod, so the classes were partly aimed at teaching kids how to work in restaurants or hotels. My high school didn’t have such classes, so I missed out and I’m jealous! I am pretty good at cooking myself but my knife skills are trash and I’m always hesitant to cook things in oil because I hate when it spatters on my arms 🙁
Now I might need to go seek out some more Matty content…
Loved Matty’s Vice shows! Still refer to meals as big, little or medium dogs from “It’s Suppertime!” . Planning a trip to Toronto (when we can travel again) purely based around all the restaurants Matty visits there 🙂
Highly recommend his cookbook for you’re looking for Matty content!
if you haven’t – watch the episode of “It’s Alive” on the Bon Appetit youtube channel where Matty and Brad go noodling for catfish. Hilarious and informative and will make you fall even more in love.
I got through the first paragraph of this and then proceeded to reread it again to my partner who laughed the entire time. I do exactly what Brian does with recommendations from my him. I’m a women who ignores the recommendations of her male husband, so while sexism causes some men to ignore the recommendations of women, it doesn’t account for this dynamic in our relationship. My partner and I have a few ideas why I do this: 1. Because he gives a ton of recommendations. I don’t have time to watch all the shows/listen to all the music/do all the things he recommends. So I’m naturally going to choose to do some and not others. But that doesn’t mean the ones that I didn’t pick would have been bad options. I just have limited time and can’t check out everything my partner recommends. 2. Because I don’t really hear him the first time or have time to check it out before forgetting about it/the timing is wrong. If advice or a recommendation comes in sandwiched between discussing our weekly schedule and what we’re having for dinner, even though I’m a pretty good listener, I might not be able to… Read more »
what is the IG Account of the dude who sells the vintage GD T shirts?
Love this post!! You should check out Binging with Babish on youtube. He has a basics series that is really good, along with fun recreations from movies and TV shows.
Love this, and Mr. Henderson is adorable. I do think it’s latent misogyny and I have the same experience with my husband and have had that experience with my male bosses, who will ignore my advice (even though they pay me to be good at the thing that I’m giving them advice about) and take that same advice from literally a random guy on a plane. Literally – that happened. Between the discounted opinions/advice and the assumption of exaggeration or misunderstanding that women get on a daily basis from men, it really wears you down. I really appreciate Brian’s honesty about this and encourage him and any other men reading this to really think about the cumulative effect of this on the women they love. It gets really discouraging and exhausting feeling unheard and dismissed, and it can and does build up into frustration, resentment, and eventually just plain caring less about that man who doesn’t know why his wife “suddenly out of nowhere” wants a divorce.
My Husband does the same thing. However, I DO THE SAME THING RIGHT BACK, but I don’t notice it because I’m doing it and it’s not being done to me. Exhibit A: “Hey, you should come up and do some more downhill skiing, I think you would enjoy it.” No thank you! However, when I finally did… I was so happy! In my experience and that of my friendship circle it seems to be more of a relationship thing, and not necessarily a man thing.
OK, now I have to check out this Matty guy. My husband and I both LOVE to cook. Our favorite thing while cooking? Listening to Grateful Dead 🙂
Quarantine has actually been great for this, as they are streaming vintage Grateful Dead shows on Friday nights! Here is our Jam Band streaming schedule (just search for these on YouTube!):
Tuesday: Phish “Dinner and a Movie”
Wednesday: Bob Weir & Wolf Bros “Weir Wednesdays”
Friday: Grateful Dead “Shakedown Stream”
Saturday: Dead & Company “One More Saturday Night”
Sunday: Widespread Panic “Never Miss a Sunday Show”
What is the IG of the guy selling vintage GD shirts?
Brian, please do not watch any Bon Appetit YouTube videos featuring Brad. Also, avoid Chef John and Sam the Cooking Guy. Or Maangchi, known as the Julia Child of Korean cuisine, probably not interesting at all. None of them are entertaining or informative. Only one of them curses a lot, and one cooks wearing a fascinator, so avoid. A few of Chef John’s recipes have been some of the best meals I have ever made (ahem chicken with mushrooms), but you probably would not like any of them.
And for the love of all that is holy, never ever stoop to viewing an episode of America’s Test Kitchen. That show teaches you how to cook things. Yuck.