Ask Mica: Cooking Conundrum
My boyfriend of 3 years is a great cook – he can whip up a meal in 20 minutes that would put a number of local chefs to shame. He’s made pretty much every meal throughout our relationship…and I’m starting to feel bad. My mother never raised me to learn how to cook, she didn’t think it was necessary for men to know how (but my sister seemingly has the same ability as my bf). I lack creativity when it comes to food prep, so I need some easy tips. His birthday is this weekend and I want to impress him with my skills. What do I do?!
What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’
Good for you for wanting to impress your man after 3 years of enjoying his food. Better late than never.
First things first: do you want to make a 5 course meal or would you rather do something more “Mediterranean” style? The first method is going to be a lot more difficult if you don’t prepare yourself for running to and from the kitchen. The second method may not be conducive to your lifestyle (or to the size of your dining table!). Once you make this decision, always remember that the internet is your friend:
1. Check out Pinterest. Search the terms food, recipe, etc. Not only do you get to learn how to make the food, but you get to drool over the meal you’re going to enjoy!
2. Another good source is epicurious.
3. Food blogs! Google search that goodness – not only is that a tight knit community, but that fact also means a number of posts will likely have comments and feedback on the tips.
You can also go old school and go to the Cookbook Shoppe or Indigo to pick up a book on a specific type of cuisine, a baking book to make him a cake. etc.
**SIDE NOTE: The classic tome “Joy of Cooking” might be a great resource for you to pick up whether or not you stick to using the internerd or choose to buy a book. This 1152 pager is not one to be missed if you think that trying to start cooking is something you want to do.
Personally, I try to eat local whenever possible. Why not go and pick up supplies for your meal at a farmer’s market? Depending on where you live, there are tons of options. If you’re in Toronto the different spots are practically endless! You could go traditional and hit up St. Lawrence Market. Live in the west end? Check out the Trinity Bellwoods market, or the one in Dufferin Park. Uptowner? Hit up Artscape Whychwood Barns or Evergreen Brickworks. For a full list click here to see the City of Toronto’s version, or even better, click here to see the Greenbelt list which allows you to search by postal code!
If you’re low on the dollas, check out Lucky Moose at Dundas and Beverly. The produce is insanely cheap and always fresh. And worse come to worse, if you still feel like cooking is just gonna be too much for you, you can always get take-out before he comes over, pop it in the oven to keep it warm and plate it when he sits down.
I don’t really recommend you use any of the Epic Meal Time ideas (not on the romantic/healthy list), but they’re good for a laugh!
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn my take on the issues.