For me, cooking is an intimate expression of how I feel about the important people in my life. Naturally, the person in my life that is often on the receiving end of the magic that happens in my kitchen is Ryan Richmond, my boyfriend of three years. 

However, there is one thing that we don’t do often as a couple – cook together in my kitchen.  I will bite the bullet and take responsibility; I am super anal when it comes to cooking in my kitchen, and my patience is very short when I am cooking. I have instituted a “Three Question Policy” – after three questions about what or how I am cooking you are escorted out of my kitchen. We do cook together at his apartment, mainly because I can’t put him out of his own kitchen. Yes, I know it’s wrong, and I am trying to change. I decided to ask my friends, both married and dating, how they handle cooking duties with their significant other. Maybe something will rub off on me. 🙂

I was happy to find that I wasn’t the only one of my friends who has little patience in the kitchen. Leeann Sands says that her husband Everett wants to know how to cook, but “it’s too much hard work to do that, so I just do it, and he can do the dishes.”

Leeann and I are in a small minority. Most people I interviewed said that they cook with their significant other on a regular basis, and that they think it brings them closer as a couple. Alana Frazier says, “Cooking is teamwork at its best. He knows that I love everything food and I think he enjoys watching me move around the kitchen. He sees it as an opportunity to learn about things I like and to also learn. His goal is to be able to cook an entire meal by himself for me one day.” Shaunta Worsley says that she and her husband Dwain try new recipes from dishes they have had at a restaurant, and from her favorite cooking show, “Down Home with The Neelys”.  Dericka Oddoye says that her husband Rodney “has impressed me because he will now follow recipes to make things he never did before.”

 Cooking together isn’t just for married people – a good home-cooked meal is a perfect idea for a dating couple. It will give you both a chance to enjoy each other in a relaxed environment. Randall Myers offered this story to me:

 “I once made breakfast with a woman I was dating in college. It seemed to be the least that I should do under the circumstances, not because things didn’t go as they should have; in fact, it was quite the opposite. As we cracked our eggs, crisped our bacon, and buttered our toast, we got closer physically. To be honest, I’m not sure if we actually ate breakfast that morning, but I’m pretty certain that I was fed.”

One common thread I found amongst all of the people I interviewed is that everyone was interested in taking a couple’s cooking class, but for some, timing is an issue. Erin Williams says, ”I would take a cooking class with him, if we had the time. I want him to feel more comfortable in the kitchen.” I’ve had the opportunity to take a cooking class (thanks Ryan!) and believe me, the time spent is well worth it.  There were a lot of couples there, which makes for a great date night (a good meal and they serve wine – can’t beat that!). Also, it’s nice to have someone there to learn a new dish with you. Single people, don’t fret – you’ll have fun too. There are plenty of people who go alone, so you are guaranteed to meet someone new. So, for my friend Antoynica Ryan who asked me where they can go, here’s a quick list:

 Washington, D.C.

 Maryland

 Virginia

If you don’t have time to take a class, I won’t leave you high and dry.  Check out the special post following this one with a full date night menu – appetizer, entrée, and dessert. I’ll also give you a wine selection that will pair well with the meal. 

Thanks so much to all of my friends who answered my request for a peek into their lives (and kitchens!) I’ve learned a lot from you guys. Now to work on this patience thing…

Happy Eating!

The Fab Foodie

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