Not because she's bad, but just because. Look, I cook every night. Sometimes, I'd like to not have my weekend day interrupted by having to cook for us, and also not have to order a pizza or get takeout. I'd love for my wife to cook me a meal for a change. Just because.
I guess it is a bit unfair, because I'm an incredible cook and she's intimidated. But I also know that she's using that as an excuse because when she's home she's hugely, incredibly lazy. But the reality is that cooking meals that taste above and beyond the norm isn't really about work or even skill, it is about having mastered a few techniques, understanding what flavors work together, and especially about using interesting ingredients. It doesn't have to be too fancy, or require a whole lot of real effort... sharp knives help, of course.
And really, you can rub a pork roast with salt and pepper, follow the cooking directions on the package, and chop and serve it on a bun with some store-bought coleslaw and a bit of BBQ sauce, you're doing pretty good already. If you can do fresh coleslaw and a quick homemade sauce, you're in the money... bonus points for fresh-baked bread. Instant mashed potatoes are kind of blah, so why not roast some cut up potatoes with a little olive oil and whatever your favorite seasoning is? Instead of boiling or steaming a vegetable, why not grill it and then sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on it?
None of this is rocket science. Although it is something that I've talked about before in several different contexts, come to think about it. It is about learning techniques, and then learning the why behind them. Once you understand the why, you can apply the techniques all over the place. When you understand about roasting and rendering fat, you know that you need to roast your chicken breast-down so that the fat from the thighs renders and runs down into the breast meat. Plus, when you've rendered all of that fat but before the meat completely dries out, you can pull apart the entire bird in a matter of minutes. You boil the bones, wing tips, connective tissue, skin, leftover fat, and pan drippings into stock. You serve some of the meat immediately, and you divvy up the rest for chicken soup and chicken salad. You can even keep some of the fat you skim off of the stock to sauté vegetables, fish, or shellfish and add an extra bit of flavor.
How do I know this stuff? I took a class once, when I was like six or seven years old... literally, and it is one of the very few memories I have of my entire childhood. Long story. I watched some TV shows, I've done some Internet research. Mostly, I've paid attention... so that I didn't just learn a recipe but I figured out the underlying stuff. And I'm still learning. I didn't finally make a good meatloaf until 2-3 years ago. I didn't know how to make a proper biscuit until last week, and I didn't "get" quiche until a couple of days ago. Always learning, always growing, always stretching out my world by a few more inches every time I get a chance.
I'd still like my wife to do the cooking once in a while... and see if she can't teach me a couple of tricks!