When we first started living together, around five years ago, I taught Jonas a lot about cooking. To be fair, he already had all the basic skills, because when he decided to become a vegetarian at age 16, he needed to start cooking more of his own meals and finding interesting non-animal based recipes.
So while I didn't teach him how to cook, I certainly introduced him to a lot of ingredients and techniques he'd either never heard of or never considered.
A year later, he started working in a kitchen with an Egyptian chef and then afterwards a Lebanese chef, both of whom taught him a lot of cooking skills and recipes. He became more than accomplished in the kitchen.
From then on we used to fight over who was going to cook dinner, jostling for space in the kitchen to make our ideas come to life. Then we got over that phase and instead we debated over who wasn't going to cook, since we both wanted to relax.
At first Jonas worked mornings and afternoons as a barista, leaving the evenings free to develop tasty treats for me. It was great. I would come out of the elevator and smell the most divine food cooking. Squeezing my fists tight in anticipation, I'd walk slowly up the corridor whispering "please be my house, please be my house".
And it always was.
Now that Jonas works nights, I have suddenly become the cook again. At first it was a chore and I found it really hard to cook anything more than a quick pasta, but now I am revelling in cooking again and remembering the days when I enjoyed whipping up cakes and cookies and impromptu feasts.
But a few weekends ago, Jonas requested sole access to the kitchen and I obliged, allowing him to cook me an amazing soup.
He used the usual suspects to create a rich, homemade broth which was enhanced by the addition of a lemon, halved and boiled along with the other vegetables, leeching it's sour juices into the mix. The broth was then transformed with soy, mirin and ginger to give it a wonderful Asian flavour.
Next he chargrilled witlof, wok fried shitake mushrooms and softened wonderful buckwheat soba noodles. All these were piled into a bowl and covered with the steaming broth.
A wonderful, hearty and extremely healthy homemade meal – full of love.