MONTREAL — Are you a man? Are you terrible at cooking? Do you want a chance to get your hands dirty in the kitchen? Then today is for you!
National Men Make Dinner Day is celebrated on the first Thursday of November, and it’s organizer, Sandy Sharkey, hopes it gets more men into aprons and in front of the stove.
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Essentially, it’s an evening once a year where men officially take on the challenge of preparing a meal for their family or loved ones.
Based in Ottawa, Sharkey told Global News that she invented the day 14 years ago in order to try and get her husband Rob Bennett to try his hand at cooking.
“To those men who cook every night, this day is not for you!” she said.
“This is for men who never set foot in the kitchen. Ever.”
The first dinner her husband made was horrible, but “God love him, because he did it,” she said with a laugh.
And laughter is just what the day was meant to be about.
“My tongue is firmly in my cheek,” Sharkey said. “Every year I have laughs with it.”
“I’ve had an incredible response, it’s around the world now.”
Sharkey said most people understand the idea was meant to be lighthearted.
But she has had some men write to her, upset because their wives are now expecting them to make a meal and they’re working 50 hours a week.
“So I write them back and tell them that it’s all for fun.”
For the most part, the response has been very positive.
“I get great emails about grabbing the fire extinguisher, or men who’ve signed up for cooking classes because they really enjoyed it, or men who say how much their wives appreciated it.”
As for supper tonight?
“I’ve got my Tums ready.”
Will you be taking part or do you think its ridiculous? Let us know in the comments below.
What can’t be called cooking
Official organizers suggest that the following food items should never be part of National Men Make Dinner Day:
- chewing gum
- cotton candy
- take-out pizza
- left-overs from last night
- sandwiches from office vending machine
- neighbours’ leftovers from last night
- anything bar-b-qued
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Take a look at the 12 rules of National Men Make Dinner Day, taken directly from the official website:
- National men make dinner day is always celebrated on the first Thursday of each November.
- Man agrees to participate in national men make dinner day. Bonus points if he does so without seeking promise of night out with boys in return.
- Man, completely un-aided, chooses a ‘published’ recipe from any source, or Internet. Getting the recipe from ‘her’ cookbooks is allowed, but man gets bonus points if the recipe isn’t already somewhere in the house.
- Main meal must include minimum of 4 ingredients and require at least one cooking utensil other than a fork
- Man goes shopping for ‘all’ necessary ingredients. Bonus points if he takes inventory of cupboards and fridge first, before shopping trip. So you don’t end up with two 64 ounce jars of pickled pimentos.
- Man organizes all necessary ingredients in order of importance on kitchen counter. At this point, he may need to make a phone call or shout out the word ‘honey’! Followed by a question. This is not allowed.
- Man may, if desired, turn on radio or his favourite CD. Man agrees not to be within 30 feet of TV remote during cooking process. At this point, spouse and any other family members should not be anywhere near kitchen. (unless smoke detector goes off!)
- Following recipe carefully, man starts to cook dinner! Apron is optional, (bonus points if recipe includes one of the following : capers, saffron, or the word ‘scallopini’).
- Man must use the ‘clean as he goes along’ rule! Following each completed use of utensils, cookware, half-used jars of anything, spice bottles, etc., everything is rinsed, cleaned and put away
- Man sets table, candles are lit, beverages are poured, no ketchup bottles, sour cream containers, or big boxes of salt on table.
- Spouse and/or family members are served! This is an opportune time for a photo. Man is ‘allowed’ to gloat no more than three times during the meal. Family is encouraged to congratulate man on job well done. Family dog is not allowed to be secretly fed man’s cooking.
- After meal, table is cleared by man, dishwasher is loaded. Man returns to table for stimulating after-dinner conversation. At this point, man is told how much his meal was appreciated. He, in turn, describes the joys and challenges of the experience. He is given a hug, and his TV remote is returned to him.