Jon and I haven’t eaten dinner together for a couple of days now. Its one of the downfalls I think, of both of us working from home and for ourselves. When we are both deep in our projects we have a ‘fend for yourself’ type day, where we get up at different times, and eat at our own times throughout the day. Often we do this in separate rooms even; he works downstairs in the living room and I work upstairs in the loft.
Its funny to me, because I’ve always felt that its important for a family to at least eat dinner together. The dinner table for me is just as sacred as the kitchen. Its a communal gathering place for nourishment and for connecting back in. But being what I like to call a ‘single couple’ with no children, we have fallen into the habit of just doing our thing and not always marking a time in the day where we come together. This has especially been amplified by the fact that we no longer have similar diets, being that I can’t have anything with gluten and Jon is a huge wheat based carb guy.
As the new year began a couple of months ago, we both decided to renew our habit of cooking together more often and making it a point to have an actual dinner time. We spend a couple of days a week at Cafe Aroma where we eat together, but usually when we do that we are also working. Do you see a pattern here? So this year I’m intending on bringing back into our lives and our home, the cycle of coming together at dinner time. We don’t always cook together which is fine with me, because for me there is something creatively and soulfully therapeautic about being in that kitchen alone with some yummy music while chopping, stirring and conjuring. But I think its important to recognize that at this time in our lives when its just the two of us, we can actually have date night every night, simply by sitting down at the table together, face to face and eating.
Tonight we will be cooking together and serving up some deliciousness for ourselves and 3 Couch Surfers that we have staying here with us for a couple of days. Jon and I do this well I think, and its one of the things I love doing as a couple. Hosting and feeding people… what could be better then bringing a group of people, who don’t know each other, together and over a wonderfully cooked meal, bond, share stories and be nourished? Call me crazy, but doing this with him always leaves me feeling like he is the sexiest thing on earth. Not sure what thats about, and not sure that this has anything to do with food per se, but in a way it does. Cooking as a couple… the new sexy.
I would love to hear about your dinner culture, especially if you’re in a couple. Please share!
I’m not in a relationship, and I live alone. My family lives 5 minutes from me and just 3 weeks ago we realized that we only sit down to homemade meals together about twice a year (horrible!) so I now make a dinner on the weekend for Sunday usually, but sometimes both Saturday and Sunday. I have been absent in the kitchen for months and I really love getting back into the fun, creative environment. When I was a kid and lived with my family I made dinner almost every night, because I loved doing it so much.
Elena Rego says
Valen, I know what you mean. I lived alone for many years and after the first year I realized how little I made meals for myself and how much I ate out. It was a wonderful process of discovery, creating a cooking plan, schedule and towards the end, spending whole Sundays cooking so not only could I sit down for a home made meal at the end of the day, but as a single person, have huge amounts of left overs that I also would freeze for days when I had to work late, so I could still come home and eat something I had made.
When I’m in Santa Fe, my partner and I always have sit down meals. Three meals a day, we come together and sit at the table. We frequently have guests, including extended stay guests. They are always included in participating with meals. Usually, I take responsibility for every task associated with all meals. I plan, shop, store, prepare, serve, clean-up, and plan for the next day. The times that anyone is asked to be on their own to prepare meals is rare.
In addition to our regular meals, I prepare meals for gatherings of friends. We’ve had as many as fourteen people attend a sit down dinner. This is always fun for me, because I take pride with bringing elegant and exciting meals prepared from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market.
Our latest longer stay guest just recently asked if she could list our house as a Couch Surfing destination. After reading your post, I believe that I am going to like new and exciting people coming to our table.
Shall I invite Couch Surfing to prepare meals for all, using what is available? They can have at the kitchen, while I take a walk and a hot tub. After meals, the guest cooks can have a hot tub under the Santa Fe stars, while I clean and prepare the kitchen for the next day.
Elena Rego says
Kameshwari-Kate, Wow! I’m so inspired by your sharings! I think its beautiful that you and your partner come together for all three of your meals. I can’t imagine that this would work well for Jon and I, but it does inspire me to rally around the dinner table even more then before.
Like you, I do most of the food shopping and planning, although Jon does like to cook on occasion, and he is the official breakfast cook here, especially when we have guest staying with us. He’s great at it.
I love hosting meals and gatherings and have done whole meals myself as well as potlucks where everyone brings something amazing.
I can’t recommend Couchsurfing.com enough. Its been a great experience, and hosting is wonderful. And your space sounds heavenly! Perhaps we can couch surf with you some day and we can cook together!
Don & I were lucky to be among the beneficiaries of Jon and Elena’s efforts in the kitchen. Jon made beautifully light and fluffy regular and banana pancakes. Feasting on homemade pizza and an amazing salad while we talked story was another generous gift that they bestowed upon their visitors. When you find your way to Hawaii later this year, please let us know and we would love to return the favor and have you over for a nice home-cooked dinner.
@Kameshwari-kate – If we are ever in Santa Fe I would love to take you up on the offer to have at your kitchen!
Elena Rego says
Tuyet! It was such a delight having you, Don and Evelyn here. We will definitely send you a line when we arive in Hawaii!
Hansel and I cook together alot…but usually different meals. He’s a carnivore, while I’m not! But—we do enjoy the process of cooking together and I LOVE sitting down eating with him as well. Except…there are definitely those evenings where we’re just too exhausted to cook–and we’ll opt for take-out. Lately, we’ve been doing that less…and when we do–we notice such a difference in how we feel after eating take-out, instead of putting our own LOVE into our meals ourselves.
You know what’s interesting though. I find that sometimes, when I spend my day with my creativity wheel spinning on high…cooking can be challenging for me….I think I just get all creative-out and need a break.
Do you ever find this happens to you? Or is cooking always a relaxing, therapeutic act?
Big hugs Elena!
Elena Rego says
Connie! It totally know what you mean. Cooking for me is another creative outlet, so if I’ve been deep in the creating, its as if that part of me is satisfied and so cooking isn’t as prevalent of an urge. But in the attempt to engage my food preparation and my health more, I’m trying to find a way to shift that and make creativity something I take to everything I do, as oppose to compartmentalizing it to my ‘art’ time. I really didn’t know I was doing this until recently so I’m sitting with it and we will see where it leads. But I will also say that cooking is always relaxing for me, its a meditation really.
Amanda Deardorff says
Thank you for your delicious ideas! My husband and I live in Eastern Europe, Romania to be exact, and found you through the tastespotting blog/website…. I love you site and your witty and generous writing!
We are moving back to the U.S. (Seattle) next year and can hardly wait to have a little place to our own so that we can share it with others- in Europe as in a handful of places (it seems) in the U.S.- cooking from scratch is still valued and the cooking experience is taken seriously and light-heartedly at the same time!
I love picking out my tomatoes from the little old woman in her miniature bohemian store, washing my fruits and veggies, chopping them- it is even more pleasurable with my husband- you had it right when you said that cooking and hosting people together brings out the sexiness! I think it is doing something so life-giving together that truly makes it beautiful….
We will try your ideas/recipes etc. and let you know how we add a little European twist!
Elena Rego says
Amanda, please do share with me about your kitchen adventures with a European twist! I love taht you get the whole notion that cooking together really is the new sexy. 🙂
Crepes of Wrath says
My husband and I cook homemade meals together four or five times a week, and we almost always make one another eggs for breakfast every day (he taught me to make the best scrambled eggs ever). We sometimes bicker a little bit about the correct way in which to do some things in the kitchen, but for the most part it’s a smooth process, even though our new kitchen in our New York apartment is quite small! We always eat together and watch our TV shows together every night, no matter what’s going on. We’re newlyweds, though, so we’ll have to work hard to make sure we don’t grow out of this habit!
Elena Rego says
Crepes! Congratulations on being newlyweds! <3
Your comment inspires me to write another post about the dance of a couple in the kitchen. Jon and I are pretty smooth together in the kitchen, but it wasn't always so. It took us a while to develop our own rhythm and learn each others moves… much like a dance. I also think that how we got along in the kitchen then and now speaks volumes about our communication growth. Hmmm… great food for thought! Thanks!
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