Domestication – think about this word, and the first activity that comes to mind will be cooking. Somehow, you and your partner are finally comfortable with each other or have been dating for quite some time now, that doing a domesticated act together already feels right. It does take a certain degree of compatibility, chemistry and definitely a lot of comfort to be able to participate in team activities, and cooking is definitely one of these.
How to make cooking together more fun
If you are both doing it together for the first time, it might involve a wee bit more planning than usual. Here are some suggestions to make your cooking experience with your partner a magical domestication activity to remember.
#1 Pretend to be restaurateurs. And plan a menu together. We all have our individual taste buds, and it will be a great planned breakfast, lunch or dinner if you guys can both contribute what you want to prepare and eat. He might like a salad or soup to be included while you would also like to make a refrigerator dessert. Be creative, and make sure that both of your taste buds have been considered or you have both at least agreed and compromised on the items in your menu.
If you would like to make this extra special, you can even design your own menu, especially if it’s a dinner party and you’re planning to invite your closest friends, or if it’s a celebration. It will make the meal activity feel more formal and polished. [Read: 13 very romantic dinner date ideas for two]
#2 It is all about the money, money, money. Because it will always be about the money to begin with. Unless one of you is an inheritor of a trust fund, then it will be wise to set a budget. After the menu has been planned, researching about the ingredients and any substitute ingredients for those expensive ones will be the next thing to do. Also set a budget, if you have an idea of how much you guys want to spend, then this will also affect the menu that you have planned.
It will also be great if the two of you can contribute monetarily, except of course, if one of you is still in school and the other one has a job. Then we both know who should ideally contribute more than the other. [Read: 17 brilliant ways to save money as a couple]
#3 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Set the date or dates, if you are eager to go on a cooking marathon with your partner. To make sure that everything will be out of the way, like work meetings, exams, deadlines and other commitments, set a date that is going to work for the both of you.
Make sure that on this day you have ample time to prepare your meal, which will usually take at least 2 hours plus eating time, which will take at least an hour, and any after meal activities. You would need at least 4 hours free for this activity. This does not even include setting up your dinner venue, so allocate another hour for that.
#4 A candlelit dinner on the roof, or a picnic under the stars, or a backyard barbeque. The setting or the venue is as important as the menu. Selecting a venue will help you calculate how much time is really needed, and if there are other things that you would need. For example, if you would like to prepare a romantic dinner on the roof, you would need candles, romantic background music and possibly a makeshift tent, if it might rain.
Doing an important activity like this for the first time and being able to execute it nicely and smoothly will be a hallmark in your relationship, and something to look back on as your relationship strengthens. [Read: How to plan the perfect date]
#5 You scheduled a picnic under the stars, but it rained that day. Once you have your menu and venue chosen and planned, you need to visit your venue to check if there are things that you need. You also need to research about those places especially when we are talking about the weather and how it can be so unpredictable these days.
If you want a rooftop dinner, check if you have a nice and clean rooftop to begin with, or if you need permits or anything of that sort. If you both don’t have this in any of your apartments, don’t fret. You can always ask friends or family if they have this venue for you. Or if you want a barbeque, make sure that the grill is working or you have ample seating space in the backyard.
Do not be afraid to go out on a limb for something as important as this. It will be all worth it! [Read: 25 romantic ideas to make your lover melt]
#6 Shopping! Grocery shopping, that is. Write it down and choose a date for your shopping trip. When you have planned out your menu and have chosen the venue, it is fitting that you make a list of these items. Don’t forget any other items that you think you might need for the venue, like candles, a picnic mat, charcoal, table napkins, and any other essentials.
The grocery shopping date does not also need to be on the same day as the cooking activity. It can be done a couple of days before. Unless there are some ingredients that need to be bought on the same day that it will be cooked, choose a separate grocery shopping date so you won’t be exhausted by the time it’s time to cook.
#7 Let the cooking begin! After all the pre-cooking preparations comes the big moment where the two of you cook together. This can be an exciting day for the both of you, whether you two have been cooking separately or have no cooking experience at all. Working together for something that you have both prepared for is always a bonding experience for you and your partner. It’s like the two of you are near the finish line and can already taste victory.
There are several ways to approach the cooking day. You can either allocate chopping and preparing the ingredients to one person, and the actual cooking and mixing the ingredients to the other. Or you can both be actively doing the same things. Be mindful that if this will be the first time that you are witnessing your other half cook, you might not have the same ways in chopping or mixing, and this can make you rub each other the wrong way. Just accept these things, and do not impose any right way, unless your partner really looks like he or she does not have any idea what to do.
#8 Do you have a place to eat? In the midst of your cooking preparations, don’t forget your venue preparations as well. If you need to travel to this place from your cooking headquarters, you can delegate the set-up to the other half of the team so it won’t take up too much time. If you want to set up the venue together, then allocate a specific time before cooking or after cooking.
#9 Eat your heart out. After cooking and pre-cooking preparations, you are now ready to dine! Take time to appreciate your partner’s hard work and give compliments to each other. Surely, you are both famished by this time.
#10 After meal plans, anyone? After the meal, you may want to do something after. It might be a little stroll to get the food digesting, or some dessert at a café, or bath tub time with wine and chill out music, to name a few. Whatever it is, make sure that it does not include any preparations or intense physical activity, as you both have done pretty well on the planning and you both deserve a break. You can also head directly to the bedroom to celebrate your first cook off in an intimate manner. Just avoid anything too acrobatic after the tiresome but satisfying experience!
[Read: 13 unique ways to build intimacy with your partner]
The domestic feel of preparing your own meal can help build intimacy between you and your partner. So the next time you want to strengthen your bond, ditch your fine dining reservations and cook something romantic at home!
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