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Dates (not fruit related)


snowangel
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Paul (husband of some 28+ years) has the day off, as do the kids. We've farmed the two that live at home (Diana is in Tacoma at college). Paul is taking the day off; we'd planned to go to the cabin (with the two remaining kids), but the idea of four in a tiny cabin when it's cold and rainy and if you need to pee at 3:00 in the am, it will be in the mid-20's and you'll have to don a rain coat to make the trip to the outhhouse was less than pleasant.

So, we have a date tomorrow. We're off to a museum (our mutual choice). When the subject of a meal came up, we came up with all sorts of high-brow choices. Then, I said International Hmong Market.

It's a chance for me to show him just a bit of what a market means to me (I grew up in Thailand many moons ago).

Our best dates have not been at fancy places. They've been with homemade tuna salad sandwiches at spectacular state parks. On the dock at the cabin with smoked fish from Russ Kendall's in Knife River. They've been steaks on the grill, followed by dancing on the deck to tunes on my Nano with relatively inexpensive wine.

Food plays a part in our dates, and we've discovered that it has to be meaningful food. I'm sure we're going to have a wonderful time as I show him some dishes at a Hmong market that we can't get anywhere else, nor dishes that I make, that are important to me.

What part does food play in your dates?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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It doesn't. I gave up along time ago on holding out for someone to date who appreciates food in any meaningful way. Among my entire group of friends, (I'm not a spectacular cook), the fact that I cook on a regular basis and belong to a CSA makes me the foodie freind. I've dated boys whose dream was to be able to take a pill that would take the place of eating because they thought it was such a waste of time. I've dated guys who tried to "impress me" with grocery store sushi on those tacky ceramic plates, whose secret special recipe was chicken breasts marinated OVERNIGHT in lime juice/soy sauce, cooked on the George Foreman. I've dated guys who were happy eating McDonald's for breakfast, Burger King for lunch, and bar food for dinner every single day, and that is not an exageration. I've dated guys who told me that they don't like the taste of expensive food. I've dated guys who wouldn't go to dinner with me on my birthday at an expensive restaurant, so instead I paid for myself and my freind to go. DBF just told me on Monday, when I asked him if he could put dinner together since I had schoolwork due, that he would rather starve than learn how to cook something.

I long for the kind of relationship where food is important. For a guy to suggest a new recipe, or even a new restaurant, or even seem excited when I suggest one. For a guy who can really cook, and who appreciates that I view cooking as a way of showing that I care about someone. For a guy who would at least say thank you. For someone who will wake me up on Saturday morning and suggest we go to the Farmer's Market downtown and then make brunch from what we find, cooking it together in that playful intimacy that comes from two people enjyoing each other, and what they're doing. To sit out on the patio and linger over said brunch and drink coffee, and putter around the garden one of us is growing. To me, that would be such a perfect date that I can't even imagine it.

But men like that do not exist. I looked for them. Among my friends, and friends of friends. I took cooking classes and joined fine dining social clubs. I talked food up front in online dating profiles. Nothing. So I guess the short answer really is: it doesn't. But oh, how I wish it did.

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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My boyfriend grew up with a mother who was an avid cook, so he is used to having someone fussing in the kitchen. Years of bachelorhood got him used to eating out of a can, or at McDonald's. I know he still indulges when I'm at work, but don't we all?

He is a very good guinea pig as experiment with new recipes and wine pairings. He sincerely appreciates when I cook for him, and sometimes he even does the dishes. I'm sure I drive him crazy, though, babbling on and on about food and what I'll do differently next time.

He doesn't cook often, but is happy to help if I as him to chop something or pick something up at the store. He does make some of the best scrambled eggs I've ever had. He's also good at making sure my wine glass is never empty.

Yep, he's a keeper.

Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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We have been married just this side of 50 years and for most of those years we have had a "date" every Friday night. When the kids were young it was usually an hour or two at the local pizza parlour, sometimes a bit more upscale, but for most of those years it has been dinner at home with wine and candle light and a 3-course dinner cooked by me. Once, when times were really tough, we sat down to scrambled eggs by candle light and we still talk about how amazing that meal seemed at the time. He's not a foodie by any stretch of the imagination but he listens to my ramblings and has always supported my cooking habit. It's not a matter of finding a foodie, it's a matter of finding someone who cares about you enough to support whatever interests you even if it's not his favourite subject. And you have to reciprocate.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Before children, I enjoyed many food-related dates. The Friday after work picnic in Stanley Park was the ritual in Vancouver. My wife-to-be picked up great edibles from the Granville Island Market and always a 2L pop bottle of Okanagan cider. Fast forward to 2009 and our preschool twins, the dates are a once or twice a year dinner out.

Snowangel, I've been to MN twice but never to that amazing International Hmong Market. Have you seen Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino? Hmong food and culture figures prominently.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Hate me now - it took till my late-40's but I ended up with an ex-chef, ex-restaurant owner, ex-restaurant critic. He makes me dinner almost every night. We go out to eat often - not extravagantly, but frequently. We talk about food, travel as a way to eat new food, he shops the Farmer's Market, the ethnic food stores, and is always happy to have me cook if I feel like it. He cleans up too (in his own way.) He's also taken me out for the fanciest dinners I've experienced. He grows tomatoes and cooks with whatever I bring him - some specialty I find in the shops, or weird vegetables I grow. His eyes light up when he eats something good, or if he thinks I am really enjoying my food. Remarkably, we have other things to talk about as well and he has stayed close by me through some very difficult times.

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For me food / restaurant choices have become a barometer of how I think a relationship may turn out. For my most recent date, the guy and I went to a tapas restaurant that I suggested. He was enthusiastic about the idea, but it was obvious he didn't know what it was about because he was awfully disappointed about the size of the portions. I knew we were in big trouble (actually, I knew long before this moment, this was just the kicker) when he was talking about how hungry he was but that he didn't want to order more dishes because of the expense. I paid for dessert at a local ice cream shop.

For the record, the food was excellent and we both enjoyed it, but if you can't go out on a first date with someone and either relax and spend a little more than you had planned or be bothered to plan the date yourself if the money aspect is that important to you, then we probably have a problem.

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My husband and I (together for 16 years) go on a date every other friday or so (not set in stone but we try to make this happen). We take turns in surprising the other with something - a movie, concert, sauna, but mostly, it's a restaurant. The other person doesn't know where we're going until we actually get there. The dinner can be really casual or very fancy (because of budget contraints, it's usually on the casual side of the spectrum) and the person who picked it, pays. The bike or car rides are always a lot of fun, when one of us is tryng to figure out where the hell we're going! We each end up at places we would not have picked ourselves.

This works great for us.. I love the element of surprise, and it takes away the so very un-romantic discussions we used to have:

"let's go out to dinner tomorrow"

"great idea. where?"

"Let's try that new Korean place."

"I don't feel like Korean."

"What do you feel like?"

"I don't know.. but it has to be cheap.."

etc.......

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My husband and I (together for 16 years) go on a date every other friday or so (not set in stone but we try to make this happen). We take turns in surprising the other with something - a movie, concert, sauna, but mostly, it's a restaurant. The other person doesn't know where we're going until we actually get there. The dinner can be really casual or very fancy (because of budget contraints, it's usually on the casual side of the spectrum) and the person who picked it, pays. The bike or car rides are always a lot of fun, when one of us is tryng to figure out where the hell we're going! We each end up at places we would not have picked ourselves.

....

I think this is such a great idea! Not practical for us at the moment but I certainly wish it were. Thanks for sharing this.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Food is a pretty big factor with me. I mean, I cook for a living, watch mostly food shows, ready virtually nothing but food-related..... yes, passionate is probably a bit of an understatement. It's not *all* that I talk about, but I guess I do lose a bit of respect for someone who's idea of a great meal is microwave pizza or wendys.

The last relationship that I had, the first "date" we had was cooking blanquette de veau and wine for the two of us and watching movies curled up on my couch. That idea kinda went south, as we just opted to watch 'Decoding Ferran Adria' and various no reservations episodes. It was possibly the best evening with someone I had in a long time, because they shared the same respect and love for food as I did, she was a crazy foodie.

In times past, i've had dates where ever place I had tried to take someone just ended in failure, because she would rather just have mac and cheese at home. I almost wanted to cry.

So yes, food plays a big role in my dates. Obviously it's not everything, but IMO what people eat can tell alot about a person.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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My wife has been exceptionally accommodating of my 'food borne illness'. When we met, she had some inclinations to be sure, but mostly of the prefers-cooking-for-herself to eating-bad-food-out sort. Our first date was to a wonderful French bistro (she studied French history in school, how could I miss?) which continues to be a favorite spot to this day. We had a tradition for a long time of me cooking elaborate meals for her on special days (Valentine's, anniversaries), but that has been somewhat curtailed, as I was often spending two or three times what it would have cost to just go out to a nice dinner. Instead, we've taken to cooking together more often. Restaurant selection remains a very important part of our dates. For a long time we had a particular restaurant we would always go to whenever one of us was leaving town for more than a day or two. I couldn't say why, but it always seemed appropriate.

Food has evolved into an even more integral part of our travel. Many of our trips start out with me wanting to visit a particular restaurant or taste a particular regional dish, and she takes over from there. This works in reverse as well, where she's planed a trip and I can't help but squeeze in the most important culinary landmarks along the route. This has resulted in some wonderful journeys, such as driving the la route des vins d'Alsace to the spectacular L'Arnsbourg in the Vosges Mountains or when she planned a whirlwind tour of Southeast Asia after my offhand comment that I would really love to try Phở in Vietnam.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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"What do you feel like?"

"I don't know.. but it has to be cheap.."

etc.......

Our first date was at the Great Minnesota State Fair. Think corn dogs.

Our best dates have been very inexpensive. Memories in the making.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 2 weeks later...

I love the idea of a standing date between long-term couples. Especially if they take turns surprising one another. Every time I go on a first date and my date defers to me in choice of restaurant - even when we are in an area that he knows better than I do, I just wish that he'd take a risk and say "I really like this place and I want to show it to you".

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I have been quite happily single (and mostly dateless) for 8 years. I do miss having someone to cook for--if you are anywhere near Missouri, come on by, and I will fire up the stove.

While I haven't been single for quite that long, I do miss the cooking part of dates/relationships (especially if the guy always volunteered to do the dishes!) Maybe I've become a cynical old fart, but gone are the days where I'd invite someone to my place (or go to his place) for home cooking unless I've met him a few times (there was a time when I'd cook on the 1st date). Case in point: there was once a guy who was insistent about cooking dinner for me at my place (knowing that I lived alone). When trying to sell the idea, he came up with the slimiest comments(e.g. "...salmon so good, it will make your clothes melt off!")....blech, it made my skin crawl just to recall the punk. That meeting over coffee was our last. Cook for the sake of good food, not to get me in bed.

The process of choosing a restaurant for a date can give me a "gut feeling" about someone as well. I find it good to have a brief discussion about choices....If a guy suggests a restaurant that's one of my favorites or that I've been wanting to try, definite bonus points!

Cooking dates offer fantastic insight- communication, cooperation, timing, patience....a lot can be discerned from the setting. In friendships and in romances!

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