Prepare for Men Make Dinner Day

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Sandi Sharkey Sandi Sharkey

The brain child of Canadian DJ and journalist Sandy Sharkey, Men Make Dinner Day began as a ruse to trick her husband, but has spawned into a movement which conquered North America and is now making its way across the Pond.

Complete with its own tongue in cheek website offering a set of rules, and also a helpful interactive list of recipes, Men Make Dinner Day is firmly established in many household’s calendar.

Sharkey, who lives in Ottawa, says: "My husband Rob is a great guy, and a wonderful husband, but at the time he just didn't cook.

"One day I called him and said today was 'Men Make Dinner Day'.  I had already written a rough draft of the rules and told him that I read about this somewhere.  He didn't know that I created it."

Rules include:

#4: Main meal must include minimum of four ingredients and require at least one cooking utensil other than a fork.

And the harsh:

#9: 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.

The day hasn’t been without its problems, though, firstly for Sharkey’s kitchen

She says: "The first attempt resulted in an oven fire.  He got his hands on a cookbook and chose one of the most complicated recipes in the book.  Some sort of poached stuffed salmon that poured out of the pan while baking, causing the element to smoke and eventually catch fire. 

"The next year wasn't much better, a 'Mexican Surprise'.  But the main surprise was we had to throw out the pots and pans because the bottoms were charred beyond repair."

Then there’s the reaction from men who do cook.

"No matter how much I try to make it as clear as possible on my website I understand that most men do cook  If you are a man who cooks regularly, great, fine, wonderful," she says "Soon, since MMDD is coming up, I will start getting the emails from men who call me every horrible name in the book, because they cook every night.  I always respond with the same comment.  'This day doesn't apply to you, because one. you cook regularly and two. this is a day for men with a sense of humour. "

For the full rules and helpful tips visit http://www.menmakedinnerday.com

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