5 Tips on Cooking That First Meal for a New Partner
After an unbroken series of dating disasters, you’ve finally met someone and have been seeing this person for a few weeks now. So far, so good. You think this one has real potential to actually be the one and you’re considering taking things to the next level. Hints have been dropped about an invitation to dinner, so you’ve bitten the bullet and asked your date over. Now you are having major stress/panic attacks about what to cook. As cancelling is absolutely not an option here, read on for some top tips from someone who’s been there and done that.
1 Any allergies?
As you really don’t want to kill your dinner date with a flaked almond topping on the grilled sea bass, because s/he has a nut allergy, ask if there are any major dietary facts you should know about. But don’t divulge what dish you’re going to cook – everyone likes a surprise when they’re a dinner guest.
2 Don’t try too hard to impress
Yes of course you want to impress your date but hey, don’t try too hard. After all, we’re not talking Michelin stars here. At all costs, avoid showing off with an exotic dish you’ve never cooked before – therein lie super stress levels. You’ll be a nervous wreck by the time the doorbell rings. And just in case you’re thinking of cheating by buying something ready made from the deli and passing it off as your own cooking, I have one word of warning. Don’t. How embarrassing would it be to get found out!
3 No tippling
Do not, under any circumstances whatsoever try to alleviate your pre dinner stress levels with alcohol. Leave the cork in the wine bottle until dinner is served. Tippling while you’re cooking is high risk – you’ll burn the rice or put salt instead of sugar into the dessert. And reeking like a bottle of Rioja when your date gives you the arrival kiss is not to be recommended.
4 Raw cabbage is out
You might be a neurotic, calorie counting health freak but trust me, serving raw cabbage, organic beansprouts and gluten free tofu are out. They are neither the food of the gods nor a romantic meal. To some people, such food fads signal loudly and clearly…high maintenance, the kind of person who embarrasses you by interrogating waiters in restaurants about each and every ingredient in the meal. So, serve your guest something to fill her/his boots – a simple, balanced meal made from good quality ingredients that you’re confident about cooking, works best. Two courses are plenty – you want to leave time for some post dinner action. Don’t you?
5 Go easy on the whole romantic thing
Remember, it’s early days in the relationship. You’re still figuring each other out, filling in the likes and dislikes spreadsheet, so don’t spoil things by rushing into the high drama of a big romance. In other words, go easy on the red roses, candlelight and smoochy music. Could be too much too soon and might send your date running for cover like a frightened rabbit caught in the headlights. Play it by ear. Start off low key but if things are going well, no harm in lighting a candle and playing some slow music. Pay attention is all I’m saying.