I feel so strongly about teaching people to cook and this follows closely on this, but in a slightly different way. This is less about an experienced cook passing down skills to the newbie. That is just as valuable, but this stop on the how do you connect over food is about two avid cooks, or more, coming together to tackle a tough challenge in the kitchen.
In number 14 I talked about my friend, Perin, and how we used to cook together. She is one of my favorite people to cook with, though I have gained a few more over the years. My newest is Rachael. We talked a new project last summer by encrusting a fish in salt. It seemed daunting and I would have never tried it on my own, but bringing in another daring soul was just the boost of confidence I needed to make it happen. It was super simple, tasted delicious and no, no one ate the eye.
I have seen the benefit of cooking with a partner by watching my parents cook together. When they got married, 50 years ago this June, my mom did the cooking and my dad manned the grill during nice weather. And aside from a clam bake, my mom handle the majority of the daily cooking tasks. Dad jumped in for pancakes and holiday cookies so he was a fan favorite in the kitchen. Which was a lot like going to the grocery store with him, we always came away with a sweet treat! Sorry for the detour back to cooking together.
As the years went on and my mom started working my dad had to get in the kitchen a little more. Somewhere along the line, he realized he enjoyed it. The first recipe I remember them working on together was chicken enchiladas. Still a favorite recipe of mine. Then he started making a fancy chili, also a favorite recipe, which got followed by them making pasta and homemade ravioli. They really enjoy sharing this hobby. They get to share shopping, picking out recipes, but the best part is probably how much each of them has grown in their cooking skills and confidence.
How do you challenge yourself in the kitchen? Do you have a cooking bestie?