Is cooking romantic?
|June 6, 2011||Posted by doyouwoo under Chef's Hat?|
What makes a romantic meal?
Candles – check. Oysters – check. Champagne – check. Saxophoney-type music playing in the backgroud – check.
Job done then – let the romance commence!
Or is it that simple? Will you automatically feel closer to your partner, comfortable in their company, enjoy the food & drink, and want to be affectionate if you just check all those boxes? Because that’s the feelings I would use to define what makes the best romantic meal.
We need to put thought into a romantic meal, and what suits our own relationships and partners, just as I talked about when buying a romantic gift. We can’t all just follow the TV/movie ‘Romantic Meal Template’ and copy it verbatim, because what is romantic for some is a real mood-killer for others. We’ve discussed my feelings on
lemony phlegm oysters here, and the candles and ‘Best Smoothing Hits 2003′ CD set-up just screams of a lack of imagination for me. Now if we’re talking about enjoying take-out sushi together on the sofa with some wine, when it’s cold and rainy outside and cosy and warm inside, then that certainly floats my boat a lot more!
But what about actually cooking a romantic meal?
We’ll get into meals for culinary dunces and geniuses later, but what’s involved in cooking the best romantic meals? Well if you cook often for your partner, or live together, then you can’t make each and every meal romantic (candles on the table while eating your Coco Pops would be odd…). But from time to time, you maybe want to do something special for your partner, and make a romantic meal. Just the same as when you buy your partner a great gift that they know you have put a lot of thought into, when you lay on a dinner that shows them you know and understand them and want to be close to them, well that’s romantic.
Sensible, logical, unromantic but necessary action plan time
In your head you may think you can just waltz into the kitchen, rustle something up, get the place looking good at the last minute, and things will go just fine. Life would be great if everything we did on the fly worked out wouldn’t it? But let’s get our game-heads on here – a bit of prior planning will help you both enjoy the moment and relax, rather than you serving up a mishmash of whatever was in the fridge, sharing the last of that bottle of wine that’s been hanging around the kitchen for a while, and having to apologize for the messiness of your dining room. Five things to make sure you getyour romantic meal right to avoid mood-killing disaster:
1. Food – What food do you both like? Well, make that, but maybe with a bit of creativity. And get good quality ingredients for whatever your making, don’t be a cheap-ass. Making steak? Buy great steak from your best local butcher. On the same note though, don’t blow your cash on something neither of you will appreciate – if neither of you are wine buffs it’s pointless blowing $200 on a bottle.
2. Menu – Doing multiple courses? You need a plan my friend – what needs to be in the oven when, etc. Multiple courses = more potential stress, but more props if it comes off.
3. Music – ‘Romantic Music’ shouldn’t be what the CD cover says, it should be how the music makes you both feel – if you’re planning on playing music in the background, why not put together a playlist of songs by artists you both like, or songs that remind you both of happy times together. Volume-wise though, the meal is about the both of you and nice food, not struggling to hear yourselves talk.
4. Chat – Even if you have been together for a bajillion years, if you’re making the effort to cook a romantic meal, you should make the effort during the meal to not talk about the humdrum stuff we have in our lives – work, kids, family, money – it’s so easy to fall into your normal routine of what’s-going-on-with-you chat that we always have over dinner, but this meal is for you both to feel like a couple again, not parents, colleagues, bosses, etc.
5. Setting – Fellas – tidy up the rooms you’ll be in beforehand. Ladies tend to have this consideration hard-wired into their brains, but guys can get caught up being in the ‘I’m cooking an awesome meal, screw everything else!’ zone. Where you are eating shouldn’t be a mess because it’ll be a distraction and not comfortable otherwise. The rooms you may move onto after the meal should be the same.
Ok, plan in place,now what?
Let’s get thinking about the cooking. If you’re a novice in the kitchen then check out Meals for Useless, and if you’ve rustled up a few good meals before and know that a colander isn’t something that reminds you of upcoming birthdays, then Meals for Skilled Chefs is worth a read too!
As ever, leave your ideas and experiences about romantic meals below so we can all learn how its done in your house!