How My Boyfriend's Love Of Cooking Kicked My Takeout-Eating Butt

couple cooking
Love, Self

Turns out stepping out of your culinary comfort zone can make your love life more fulfilling.

But I got into the couple-cooking spirit eventually, chopping peppers and checking up on the pizza — and it turned out delicious, just like everything we ever make with his prodding.

It's not that I don't like cooking. Sometimes I love having a few free hours to tinker around in the kitchen. I'm a pretty good baker. You'd like my chocolate chip cookies. And once in awhile, I'll get the inspiration to make something weird and interesting (that also doesn't take a ton of skill), like home-made banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches). For the most part though, it's pasta, omelets, stir-fry: utilitarian staples. When I'm home alone — read: without boyfriend — I'm more than happy eating leftovers or just munching on fruit. Also, I'll eat something for lunch, then again for dinner, and then again for lunch, if it's there. My boyfriend, for the most part, will not. He needs variety!

And I should probably stop making fun of him for this, especially given that we've recently moved in together, and his approach to cooking is now our approach to cooking.

I owe him a lot, culinarily-speaking. In our year and a half together, my cooking abilities have been stretched in ways I've never imagined. "What are we making tonight?" he always asks, to which I usually respond something like "I dunno, something light?!" and he pesters me until I am forced to elaborate. "Chicken." "With...?" "Salad." "What type of salad?" "Arugula salad with pear and roasted pecans!" "A-HA! Very good." "You're annoying."

He's Italian — maybe it's in his blood or something. The creativity with cooking, not the pestering. Cooking is very important to his family, which I've witnessed first-hand when trying to perfect his family's trademark Christmas-time peanut butter balls under his grandmother's watch. That was intense: Thankfully, I passed.