Dating / Food / Working out

How to use food to show someone you care

It has been almost two months since N and I started dating, and things are still going quite well. We spend as much of our free time together as we can and usually we stay in for meals, choosing to cook for or with each other rather than go out. It’s not that we’re against going out to eat, but neither of us are made of money and we happen to both enjoy cooking. Cooking is a perfect way to show someone that you care. Food is a medium by which a cook can express his or her feelings, much like an artist can with paint. For example, if you care about someone you take note of the foods or flavors of which he or she is most fond as well as what he or she can’t stand. And I don’t know about you, but I find it especially exciting when you and your boyfriend/girlfriend discover that you share a love or dislike of the same food or flavor. N and I both strongly dislike olives but we love grilled pineapple. Having food tastes in common with your bf/gf is always a bonus, in my opinion.

It is equally important to note what your bf/gf likes/dislikes that differs from your tastes or, most especially, to what he/she is allergic. If he/she dislikes mushrooms (that’s me, by the way; they’re a gross, nasty fungus), but you keep forgetting and adding mushrooms to everything, then maybe you don’t care about that person as much as you thought you did because you haven’t taken the time to notice things like that. If you like lots of hot spices in some of your meals, but your bf/gf does not, then you might need to prepare two batches of the same meal, one to each of your likings.

So far there haven’t been any major food issues between N and I. We like a lot of the same foods and the ones we don’t agree on are easy to deal with. Since it’s summer, he’s done quite a bit of grilling when I’ve stayed at his place. I’ve also done my share of cooking. I’ve made a chicken and stuffing casserole, prosciutto wrapped pork chops with thyme, a baked veggie spiral with potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes, and a basic spaghetti dish with Italian sausage. The spaghetti was actually more of a pre-race meal for me because I was running a 10k the next morning. I also served it with a side salad of mixed greens, sliced avocado, tomatoes, and watermelon in a balsamic vinaigrette.

Some of the meals he’s made include marinated pork loin, steaks, fried rice, seasoned veggies, broccoli in a Greek inspired sauce, and curry shrimp. I am not a huge fan of cooked broccoli, but I really enjoyed the broccoli with the Greek sauce (maybe because I helped make it). And I love spicy foods so when he said “curry shrimp,” that was just fine with me.

Another way to use food to show you care about someone is by being open to trying new foods your significant other night recommend. I don’t understand the people who won’t even try certain foods they’ve never had before just because it looks weird or smells weird or they just don’t like trying new things. The idea of not trying new foods is completely foreign to me. If you’ve tried a dish before and did not enjoy it, then I understand why you don’t like it. But how do you know you won’t like it if you don’t try it first?

I recently was able to share a new flavor with N. Somehow we got on the topic of Nutella and he said he’d never had it. I was speechless. Nutella is probably one of the best tasting foods out there, in my opinion, and I couldn’t believe he’d never had it before. So we promptly bought some at the grocery store and I made him try it and he agreed with me that it is amazing. He also called me the devil or something like that for introducing him to such a horribly unhealthy yet wickedly delicious treat. But he managed to eat the whole jar of it in about a week, so…you’re welcome.

Not long ago I found a recipe for lemon supreme Rice Krispies treats on Pinterest and tried them out on my coworkers. They were very well liked and only crumbs were left the next day when I got to work. I mentioned that I made them to N and he pouted and asked why I didn’t make any for him. To which I replied that I used my coworkers as guinea pigs since I’d never made the treats before but now that I know they turned out well, I can make more for him. He said that he doesn’t mind being a guinea pig for my cooking, so I’ll keep it in mind the next time I want to try a new recipe. :-) And thanks to Pinterest and many other websites, I have almost an endless supply of new recipes to try.

In other news, I am slowly increasing my running mileage each week because I will be doing another half marathon in September.  Then in October I’m doing a 70-mile team relay and a four-mile trail run in November.  I haven’t come across any particularly interesting items along my recent runs.  But I did notice a dead rabbit in the road along part of my regular neighborhood route.  It’s been there for over a month now, slowly going through the stages of decomposition and enduring the rain and the heat.  I just try not to step on it when I’m running.

Since I’m technically “in training” for the half marathon, I’ll be taking my running gear with me when N and I take our vacation starting next week.  We’ll be driving to the east coast and then slowly working our way back to the Midwest stopping at interesting places we find along the way.  At this point we only have two places we definitely want to see on our trip, but the rest we’ll just improvise as we go along.  I’m most definitely looking forward to this vacation, although I have a tiny bit of trepidation about going on such a long road trip with N.  Being in a vehicle together for that long could be…interesting.  Both of us are a little bit nervous about the trip but we’ve admitted it to each other and I think that helps.  We’ve managed to keep up our pattern of communicating openly with each other and I hope we continue in that way.  It makes things comfortable between us.  This trip will be a good test to see how well we can get along after spending numerous days together.

So, a vacation with N, half marathon training, and new recipe possibilities are in my future.  Looks like it’s going to a happily busy summer.

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