I've decided that for Christmas I am going to give my wife something I feel is pretty cool and unique ... especially given that she is the one who predominantly cooks in our household.
Along with various and sundry other kitchen goodies, I am going to give her 5 coupons. I know what you're thinking: "Coupons? Did he say COUPONS? How lame!" But just hear (well, read) me out.
She loves food ... I love food. We love food ... and when I mean love, I mean L-O-V-E LOVE! From the hole-in-the-wall to the 3 Michelin star; if it tastes good, we are there!
She also really enjoys cooking; and I'll be the first to admit that I am considerably lucky because she does it both often and really well. And, she loves it to boot.
But I know that, deep down, she would really enjoy it if I cooked more often -- even if I am a bit of a kitchen terrorist ... and a technical disaster ... and an OCD, exacting, rigid SOB who preps everything before hand (which is good) but uses just about every single possible dish and cooking implement in the kitchen (nay, the known universe) during the entire prep and cooking (which, let's face it, is not so good come time to clean the dishes).
Anyway ... I'm rambling. The coupons I want to give her are for cooking nights, where I take care of everything ...
From the planning of the meal, to the purveying of the necessary cooking items and ingredients (and utensils/cookware should there be something my beautiful bride has yet to stumble upon and "just HAVE to have"). The prep ... the cooking ... the "expo" (plating/timing) ... the wine. Even dishes and final kitchen cleandown.
I want to give her, in essence, her own private Restaurant-esque "Chef's Table" Tasting/Prix Fixe experience, and I want each coupon to be a "theme"/cuisine. For example:
Classic French Bistro, Northern Italian, New American, Down-home Southern (we are from the Deep South), Avant Garde/Molecular, Classic Spanish Tapas, Shandong Chinese, etc etc.
The only limitations/prohibitions/caveats I want to throw out are the following:
- I am hardly the paragon of kitchen experience, but am willing to try anything (I'm assuming these will, when used, require me to take an entire day off of work)
- We do NOT have a massive kitchen
- We do NOT have a yard of any note (read: no whole, suckling pigs cooked for 14 hours in a pit please!)
- See the first item.
Other than these, I am open to any and all suggestions. We live in Los Angeles, thus we have access to lots of farmer's markets and fresh ingredients.
So, with all that being said, please feel free to throw out any suggestions, and as detailed as you like! You can simply suggest a theme, or throw out specific dish recs for someone else's idea for a theme, or even just suggest a wine/beer/cocktail to pair with a particular dish. I'll take whatever you've got!