Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cooking together

As I was doing the dishes today, I started to think about the ways in which GG and I have begun to mesh together in the kitchen and cooking. We have begun to make a menu for the week so that we know what we are making most nights of the week and also to help with grocery shopping so that we make sure we have what we need, but also so that neither of us goes too crazy in buying stuff we wouldn't use or that we don't need. She had made this next week's list and while we were cleaning out the fridge today (we did a lot of cleaning today, my mom is coming for a visit next weekend and GG wants to put her best foot forward) we found some salmon and other items that I didn't know we had or that we had forgotten that we had in the fridge and the freezer so I did the menu for the week after too, so now we have the next two weeks worth of food planning done. I noticed that we tend to have different styles and ways of finding recipes to make. I see myself doing simpler, more basic recipes, while GG does more complex recipes with more spices and flavorings. As an eater, I like both ways of cooking, but as a cook I find myself more comfortable with simpler recipes. I also have not yet really started to branch out into her cookbook collection which is vast and wanted to do some recipes out of a new vegetarian cookbook that I had just gotten before I moved here and hadn't gotten a chance to use much yet.

GG also tends to do more of the cooking which means I tend to do more of the cleaning up and washing dishes because of course whoever cooks, the other cleans up. But it is interesting that we both like to cook, but I tend to defer to her skills in the kitchen. I see her as being more skilled in the kitchen. I also see our kitchen as being too small for us to cook together which is something that for quite a while we had talked about online before I moved here. But alas the kitchen is too small to easily accommodate both of us in there together, we have on a few occasions had times where I have chopped up the vegetables and she has cooked them or something along those lines, but this happens rather rarely. There is the fact that she really likes to cook and does not seem to be comfortable not cooking or feeling like she is not helping, if I am cooking she will offer to see what she can do whereas I tend to offer to help, but if she does not need my help I just walk away. I am not as good at really getting in there and really helping her, which is something I should do more of, but it is also nice to allow her to do her thing in the kitchen. It is therapy for her and it also seems to be the time in which we take a break at the end of the day and unwind. She cooks, I read blogs or watch some TV.

The other main difference is where our strengths lie in the kitchen. I am better and more comfortable making breakfast. I make the eggs, or this morning I made waffles for breakfast, for the two of us on the weekends if we want breakfast. GG has said that this is not really her strength, but she can make toast really well, so I do the eggs and such and she makes toast. I also really like to bake and this is one thing she does not seem to do as much in the kitchen. I am sure she can bake, but in the relationship that is the one thing that I have found I really like to do. I really like to mix and knead the bread. I like to have a longer project in the kitchen as baking tends to take longer than cooking at least for bread if you include the rise time for the dough. My maternal grandparents had a similar relationship. I can remember my Papa baking a lot, challahs and rolls. My Nana did more of the cooking it seems and they both made jelly together. I guess we have begun to replicate that relationship in many ways except for my grandparents the garden was my papa's and for GG and I, the garden is more hers.

It is interesting to look at the relationships and how two people who like to cook both create a flow around cooking. It is so important to both of us and we are both so connected to food. We both love going to the farmers market and looking at and buying produce and breads. We both love getting vegetables from the garden and cooking and eating them. It is more her garden, I think, but the produce that comes from it seems more ours as we cook and eat with it. I guess at some point we may no longer go grocery shopping together, but it seems like that has become just our Saturday routine. We get up early, go to a farmers market (we are still trying to find one that we really like and we may end up liking more than one and so rotating) then going food shopping at a regular grocery store or fish store or ethnic grocery or bakery depending on what we need for the week and what kind of food exploration we want to do. I know this may change, we may lose these "dates" if we have kids or when we get far enough into the relationship where we really want some separation from each other, but I am not sure that food shopping will ever totally become the the domain of one of us over the other one. We may end of rotating whose week it is to food shop, but to think that one of us will always do this seems to be beyond me, at least right now.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

I too love cooking and have useful items in my kitchen!!