Couple Cooking: That Wonderful, Dangerous, Adult Sport

chopping-food.jpgSharing things is always dicey, and dicing while cooking together is definitely no exception.   The kitchen can morph into a metallic boxing ring.  One of you is the wild, inventive cook and the other is the chop-a-holic, compulsive one.  But one thing I’ve realized after decades of co-cooking is that both co-chef-partners are actually doing the same things, just at different moments. 

Take me, for example.  I am not a compulsive dicer and slicer, but I do like my implements put back in their proper places.  My co-cooker partner likes to splatter garlic when throwing it with wild abandon into a pan, but follows recipes as if his children’s lives depended on it. 

The trick is to find a way to have our mutating cooking styles come together rather than clash.  In formal holiday moments, I have learned to stand back and let him plan away.  And on the spur of the moment moments, he has gotten used to me scanning the refrigerator contents as a challenge to see what I can do with them…and if cooking/combining opportunities don’t materialize, well then organizing opportunities seem endless---the milks can go together, the condiments, should the sweets hang together or should the sauces stay united…etc. in my relatively benign OCD meanderings.

carbonara.jpgBut sometimes, we cook together.  For instance, recently we saw a cool foreign movie at a small movie theater.  We came home late at night, like we used to do when we were first living together.  We decided to make Spaghetti Carbonara like we used to do way back in the day.  This time, I even had my own Italian parsley growing in the garden outside the kitchen.  I got out my trusty kitchen scissors and randomly, impulsively clipped the parsley and also some purple basil.  My husband methodically cooked the pasta, sautéed the prosciutto I had bought on an impulse, and chose a good wine.  I set the table with an eclectic array of plates, silverware, and napkins…old, new, inherited, bought, borrowed, and even blue.  I had chosen the parmesan; he did the grating. 

As midnight approached, we ate our makeshift pasta and clinked wine glasses at our rickety kitchen table on vintage tin plates my late mother had given me.  It was delicious, as it had been many times over many decades in our relationship.  This late-night couple-cooked meal for two was one of my favorite dinners ever.



Amy Spies has written movies, television shows, and new media drama/games.  She is currently working on her first novel.