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Does cooking together spice up a relationship?

Depends. Do you want to curry favour with your partner or have a chillier relationship? Does it bring out the saltiness in your language? I find when my husband cooks, it provokes peppery comments from me.

Most activities a couple share are good for the relationship, and cooking is one of them. Who doesn't like to chat with a glass of wine while stirring the risotto?

But there are pitfalls, so I heartily recommend trying it out early, before the relationship goes too far.

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Cooking together lays it all out on the table. You immediately see how the other behaves in the kitchen, a precursor to what kind of partnership you might have. It's also a form of communication, which can make or break a relationship.

If one of the partners is messy and the other is a neat freak, it could be a lifelong problem. What about creativity? If an ingredient is not there, do you substitute or run out to buy it? If the cake falls, do you weep or turn it into a trifle? Organization is another key area. Do you have all your ingredients prepped while your partner just throws things together? I can see the tension rising. My daughter worked it out: She cooks and my son-in-law cleans up. This is an excellent use of different personalities.

So if you want to cook together, here are some rules to help ensure a spicier future:

Have common goals.

Discuss the recipe and who does what.

Each choose to do what you do best.

Share the shopping, knowing that you will have all the ingredients.

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Use a baking sheet to lay out all your ingredients, and prep them.

Cooking and washing dishes are different activities. Some are better at one than the other.

Need some advice about kitchen life and entertaining quandries? Send your questions to lwaverman@globeandmail.com.

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About the Author
Food columnist

I come from a long line of people for whom food is a passion. My grandmother owned a superb restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland. My mother had a cooking school and then a successful kitchen shop in Toronto.When we first came to Toronto from Scotland we were astounded by the lack of good food. Scottish home cooking was always outstanding. More

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