It's impossible to cook with Derrek these days. Not that he has become difficult to deal with (though that happens sometimes), but it's just physically impossible when we live in different countries.
Cooking is our ritual and tradition. Every anniversary, we usually pick challenging dishes to make so that we can spend all day in the kitchen together.
On our 6th year anniversary, we spent a day and a half putting together a French Laundry-inspired affair. Two people doing the work of 16. We made 15 items to compose a 4-course meal and bonded through the painstaking yet satisfying process.
It was M.F.K. Fisher, an American food writer, who once said 'sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.'
Cooking together is the perfect outlet to test our communication and collaboration skills as well as our ability to take turns leading and following.
We got back in the kitchen a few weeks ago to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary.
We wanted to pay homage to our heritage and decided on beef Pad Krapow and cornbread - a Thai twist on the classic Southern brisket and cornbread.
For the recipes, we consulted J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Serious Eat's culinary nerd-in-residence.
Derrek has been religiously cooking with his recipes from The Food Lab, a new cookbook he purchased because he now has to fend for himself since I moved to Amsterdam.
We ended the meal with a honey and lavender posset.
The result was fantastic. The meal proves that even after 11 years, we still got it.
We can keep the fire going literally and metaphorically.
Happy anniversary, Derrek.