The character Patricia in my novel, The Last Consort is an avid cook. She loves her kitchen and absolutely loves the process of creation and sharing with others.
I personally had the experience recently of sharing my kitchen with a loved family member who has a wealth of experience cooking for one and cooking for a significantly sized family. It was a welcoming and enjoyable experience standing side by side chopping onions and stirring sauces with the soft purr of jazz playing in the kitchen, my children laughing in a room nearby. Scents of fresh herbs rising from the heat of the stove are ethereal and healing especially when combined with company.
Cooking with a Partner: The Benefits
A Chore Becomes an Experience
For those who do not enjoy cooking, I understand and I hear you. Cooking is not for everyone, especially if you are prone to burn toast, burn water or absolutely need to purchase a meal and plate it as if you cooked it. If you make the chore of making spaghetti a social experience with another, it gives you time to talk, share, and work together to create something for enjoyment. Those are three bonuses right? I just made date night much cheaper too. Now if you both burn toast….
You Have a Helping Hand
Do you need to stir something continuously, but still need to grab an ingredient from the cabinet? Those onions will not stir themselves. There is nothing wrong with having that cooking partner nearby. You could take advantage of this and choose a dish that requires special care such as fudge, rich sauces or baked goods. One of my favorite culprits is homemade jellies and jams. Try one of those projects on a quiet weekend afternoon.
Secrets Can Be Unleashed
This is one of my favorites. There are many families who have recipes that are considered top secret or they passed down from Great Grandma. Use cooking as a time to share those histories. Cooking is a perfect family history lesson. I learned how to make a dish with a family member who had learned the dish from their mother. Of course, this lesson was well equipped with anecdotes and stories of the person who had originated the dish. Cooking with such valuable lessons are welcoming experiences where we honor those we loved and cherished.
Next time you turn on the stove to make a recipe you’ve seen on Instagram, grab a partner, give them an apron and by all means, have fun!