My husband and I have pretty standard roles in the kitchen: I love to cook, he loves to eat what I cook. This works well enough for us, and aside from the occasional request for him to help prepare the garlic bread or dress the salad, I don’t ask much of the man who feels pretty out of place near the stove. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t love to share the kitchen more often, especially when it comes to a special meal.
Our first wedding anniversary is approaching in a few months, and I think it presents the perfect opportunity to bridge that gap and make a meal together. If it’s a disaster (unlikely), we’ll have a great story to tell our kids someday. If it’s flawless, we’ll have a wonderful memory of the dinner we shared.
I turned to The Newlywed Kitchen for menu ideas. This cookbook serves up inspiration in two forms: with the recipes themselves as well as through the stories from celebrated food personalities and their spouses. I can find the recipe for Anniversary Pea Soup with Seared Sea Scallops and then smile about Sally and Carl Mohr’s annual tradition of eating beef burritos and champagne to celebrate their special day.
When I suggested the plan to my husband, he was cautiously on board.
“But what if I burn something? Or miss an ingredient?” he asked.
“I’ll be right there with you though, that’s what’s so great!” I replied with enthusiasm.
And it’s true. Whatever happens in the kitchen that day, we’ll be side by side, relishing the other’s companionship. Isn’t that what marriage is all about?
The fun part was selecting the menu. There are so many excellent recipes, it was hard to narrow them down into one attainable, complimentary meal. Should we start with Henry’s Famous Spicy Wings (my husband’s choice) or the Zucchini Fritters with Tangy Yogurt Sauce (mine)? Should we have the Creamy Kale Gratin or the Warm Roasted Potatoes with Basil Pesto on the side? And for the main dish, would we go for the Chicken Piccata with Mushrooms and Leeks or perhaps the Pancetta-Wrapped Pork with Gorgonzola Sauce?