Breadwinner plus housewife equals UNBEATABLE TEAM!

13 Dec


Every year, Mr. JB and I have hosted a Christmas party for his colleagues and senior managers at our home, which is not huge by any stretch of the imagination.  About 800 square feet in the main floor. We have an open concept kitchen/dining room and a living room connected to this space by a huge pillared archway.  The house was built in 1901, and around here is known as a “character home”. We have glowing oak floors, mullioned piano windows and lots of thick wood trim and pillars.  The opposite of a modern, stainless steel and glass McMansion.  If I had to choose one word to describe my house it would be “warm”.  It feels like a home.  And I work hard to make it a welcoming place for everyone who crosses the threshold.


The organization Mr. JB works for has about 4000 employees and around 10 000 clients.  His unit has grown steadily from about 20 managers to around 30 now. Seating 20 in an 800 square foot space was challenging enough (I moved all the furniture out of the living room and set up tables), but seating 30 is pretty much going to be impossible.  The President of the organization, who has attended all our Christmas events, cornered Mr. JB and told him how much he was looking forward to this year’s gathering.

Mr. JB had to tell him that the event was off for this year, owing to the limitations of space.  Of course, Mr. President had his wife call me within the hour, and together we decided that I would do all the cooking and she would host the party at her house, which is HUGE.

Hey, great! I have always been pretty adventurous with my menus, serving up food that is both comforting, nourishing and perhaps a bit unusual.  And I make EVERYTHING.  One year, I gathered my friend GloryGirl,and her mother and sister, and another friend BigMike, and we hand made 400 perogies using potatoes grown on a local farm and cheese made at a local dairy.  I served them with elkburgers and yes, we shot the elk ourselves.


As an aside, we had another friend DuckMan, do the butchering for us.  He lives down the street and in the fall, he turns his garage into an informal abattoir, and butchers game for his friends.  The year I served elk burgers was the same year a local mill had closed and DuckMan had 20 deer to butcher for friends and acquaintances who would otherwise have gone without meat for the winter if it were not for the local deer population.  Which is several million strong.  So suck it, PETA.  The gutter outside our curb was flowing with blood! Not something that freaks anyone out here, but damn, that was a lot of blood.

Last year I did a proper sit down turkey dinner for 28 with mashed potatoes and gravy and dilled carrots and apple walnut stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce, and for my husband’s foreign colleagues, it was the first traditional Christmas dinner they had ever had.  I finished it with pumpkin pie made from pumpkins the kids picked at the local corn farm (All you country folks already know that you plant sugar pumpkins between the corn rows and after the harvest, the pumpkins mature under the shelter of corn husks – you city folks just go buy a can of pumpkin and carry on).


This year, my principal consideration was to make something that could be made in advance, would be easy to serve, easy to clean up after and was still spectacularly delicious.  The solution:

bread bowl

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon served in a selection of hand-made bread bowls!  Crusty Italian, whole wheat or pumpernickel. And we’ll finish with a New York style cheesecake baked on a gingersnap crust (yep, I made the gingersnaps).


Oh, hello Smug Bitch ™.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  But I have a point!  Really.

I don’t host these parties and go all out just to please my husband’s colleagues and senior management (although that is nice).  I do it to signal to the senior management team that Mr. JB has the kind of support at home that would make it possible for him to take on a more demanding job with increasing responsibilities.  Friction at home is one of the main reasons senior managers struggle to meet the demands of their positions.  The last Vice-President of Operations, who was married to a lady doctor, lasted all of a year before bowing out due to the inability of his wife to pick up the slack at home.  Once you hit the senior levels of administration at Mr. JB’s work, you are on call pretty much 24-7, and there is a great deal of socializing involved – afternoons on the golf course and late meetings and drinks and dinners.


What I am telling the senior management team is that I WILL HOST A TON OF THOSE EVENTS and I will do an amazing job.  Men with working wives can’t even dream of doing that.  There’s just no way. There are NO married women with children in senior administration at Mr. JB’s workplace because they just can’t do it.  Not a chance.

But I can.  And I will.  And I would like nothing more than to play Martha Stewart to their Jack Welch. Oh hell, yeah.  I want them to imagine sitting around my table, being served an amazing meal, dealing with whatever issues they would have taken to a restaurant.  It’s pleasant and warm and friendly at my house, and every one of the senior management team would rather be in my home than sitting in a hotel conference room.


Mr. JB is up for a promotion, and by the time this Christmas party is over, I believe he will have it.  I will be charming and cheerful and fun and attentive, and I won’t be faking one second of any of that.  See how that works?  I make the bread so he can win it.

We’re an unbeatable team.  The guys with working wives can’t compete, and the women don’t want to.  I think I have this thing in the bag.


Now, I have to go and make another 30 bread bowls.  I’m in this to WIN!

Lots of love,


21 Responses to “Breadwinner plus housewife equals UNBEATABLE TEAM!”

  1. pardonmyrage December 13, 2012 at 17:47 #


    And i was reading your posts and that’s all i really wanted to log on to say. Not the least bit surprised you are married, as you should be because awesome people deserve to be happy. And even more so, earned the right no be. Ok back to lurking. 🙂


  2. Erudite Knight December 13, 2012 at 18:21 #

    I am glad you dont mind cooking. It is a very sad state of affairs that feminism has destroyed what it means to be a girl. Especially when it comes to cooking. I can not believe it is ‘beneath’ girls to cook these days. Tragic.


  3. judgybitch December 13, 2012 at 18:28 #

    Not only do I not mind it, it is my princpal outlet for creativity and accomplishment. Marx was fond of noting that when people are alienated from their labor, they become very unhappy. The connection between my work and the happiness of the people I love and care for could not be more clear. Nothing says “I care about you” more than a great meal, prepared with love. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine.


  4. Liz December 13, 2012 at 23:53 #

    Hurray! Excellent. You are outstanding. 🙂

    Bread bowls are always a great, elegant idea for large gatherings. Don’t forget to punch down the bread at the bottom after you scoop out the middle, makes em more resistant to leaks….but you probably knew that.


  5. judgybitch December 13, 2012 at 23:57 #

    Did not know that! Awesome! Thank you, love!


  6. Heather December 14, 2012 at 07:20 #

    You are definitely my role model. I hope one day I can be as amazing at you.
    Good luck with dinner! I have no doubt it’ll be a success.


  7. gregariouswolf December 14, 2012 at 16:45 #

    Damn, I want an elkburger.


  8. William December 15, 2012 at 04:51 #

    More women should rethink their role in marriage like you. While I’ve always known that behind every successful man, more than likely, there’s a happy wife and family, you have articulated this premise better than any I have ever read / heard! You have a great blog. Please keep up the good work!!!


  9. Chuck December 15, 2012 at 14:40 #

    Good for you.

    I was on the fast track at a Fortune 5 company when my wife, who saw my career shooting ahead of hers, announced “I am NOT going to be a corporate wife.”

    Since then we have both paid dearly for her vanity.


  10. judgybitch December 15, 2012 at 15:12 #

    That’s a damn shame, Chuck. But not at all uncommon, and that is why the whole dinner party will work for us. Because knowing a man has a wife behind him, supporting him and helping him and trusting him is absolutely key to succeeding at the highest levels of administration. The President’s wife happily gave up her career as a lawyer and that is WHY he’s the President.


  11. Luke December 16, 2012 at 16:07 #

    Hello, JB. I am a 51-YO 3-year-married (with twin infant children) upper middle class man. I have not encountered your blog before, but am impressed with it to the point I am passing this page on to multiple people. Please keep posting (around your primary responsibility as a wife and mother, of course).

    With great respect, L.S.


  12. judgybitch December 17, 2012 at 15:39 #

    Welcome, Luke, and thanks!

    Twins! Yikes! What fun, and what work!


  13. Bring It December 21, 2012 at 22:40 #

    You just converted me. WHAT WAS I THINKING???? As of tonight I am back to being a supportive wife. I LOVED that role. I am so over this stupid career. DH is in for a great year!


  14. judgybitch December 22, 2012 at 14:12 #

    Welcome to the real sisterhood!


  15. Bee January 15, 2013 at 23:29 #

    You understand! Good luck with the promotion.


  16. Bee January 16, 2013 at 12:46 #


    Here is a nugget for you.

    The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands. King Solomon (Proverbs 14:1)


  17. judgybitch January 16, 2013 at 12:53 #

    John 2:11

    Jesus goes to a wedding, and they run out of wine!

    Well, that’s bullshit.

    So he fills up six urns with water and turns them into wine.

    Proving of course, that weddings are the perfect setting for a miracle and that Jesus WANTS you to drink wine.

    As far as imaginary friends go, he’s an okay dude.


  18. Bee January 17, 2013 at 12:53 #

    I like wine, I enjoy a glass now and then.

    I homebrew my own ginger ale and kombucha. Since both are true ferments they are alcoholic. Very good.


  19. judgybitch January 17, 2013 at 12:55 #

    Homebrewed gingerale. Mmmm. Is there anything better?


  20. k8 November 26, 2013 at 18:51 #

    You’re my hero. I want to be just like you when I’m a bit older.


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