Like a surprisingly large number of my peers, I’ve signed up for internet dating. It bares terrifying similarities to internet shopping. As I would enter the criteria I expect from a mattress, mac book or weekly food shopping I now get to select height, hair type, income and proximity even before the first nervous cup of coffee is ordered. In the way that online shopping cuts out the need for the bus journey to the shops the basic initial first introduction is skipped and you get to go straight to the interesting part of getting to know someone completely new.
Met a fascinating chap last month, he turned out to be a writer and was extremely taken with my cooking. I whipped up a pigeon & cherry main course followed by chocolate & hazelnut tarts to which he responded with a sensational ragu with linguine and a collaborative blog post.
I poached the pigeons in red wine and stock, removed it from the bone and served it with local sausages, fried red onion rings, some of the poaching liquor and a sort of compote of red cherries stewed slowly then added a little red wine vinegar and brown sugar. I dished up new potatoes and a watercress salad on the side. Game is such a winner for me (although i’m still not sure about rabbit, tastes a bit like mud)
Obviously I mention my cookery in my online profile and that seems to be something people like to quiz me on. They ask me if I cook professionally, if I just make cakes and recently someone simply said “I can make risotto”. He seemed to be waiting for some sort of digital applause.
My friend Helen once said to a date of mine "has she cooked for you yet?”
It seems that being able to cook is desirable and it’s even a criteria you can search for. Guys are keen to demonstrate that they can cook, I agree it is an attractive skill as it means that they are independent, but I think I am a little mixed on my view. Clearly I really enjoy cooking but to settle down with another foodie would undoubtedly mean we’d be constantly trying to out-cook each other, culminating in souffléd breakfasts and outrageous pastry creations; probably end up with praline furniture! On the other hand in my mind there is something deeply unattractive about someone who eats takeaways and ready meals every night of the week, not trying to be a food snob about this, my view is predominantly about financial sense. A homemade jacket potato, omelette, simple salad or anything on toast (-a la Nigel Slater) is much more delicious, faster but invariably cheaper, not to mention better for you. What you cook and eat can say a lot about you, your outlook on life and how you feel about yourself. If you eat unhealthily; perhaps you don’t like yourself very much?
Dating tip 1 - learn how to cook