Sir Paul McCartney has opened up about his experiences in the kitchen with late wife Linda.
He said: “I would always volunteer [to help], because we were very close and I was often in the kitchen by her side. I would say, ‘Anything you’d like me to do?’ And one thing I didn’t mind doing was chopping the onions – even though it made me very emotional … I’d even cry sometimes!
“I quite liked chopping the onions, I liked the idea of sparing Linda the tears.”
This comes as part of a new cookbook Sir Paul has written with his daughters Mary and Stella, called Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen. Linda – who died of breast cancer in 1998, aged 56 – was a photographer and passionate supporter of vegetarianism. The new cookbook will feature updated versions of Linda’s plant-based recipes, as well as dishes the McCartney family eat at home today.
Sir Paul – who first tried vegetarianism with Linda in 1975 – said: “Generally speaking, I wasn’t a bad cook. But she was so much better that I only did the occasional meal. I did a good breakfast – I would use a lot of fruit, peel the mango and cut it all up, slice the melon and deseed it, and make it all nice on the plate. But she was definitely the main cook.”
His touching memories show how special time in the kitchen can be for a couple. If you don’t cook much with your partner – perhaps you’ve never found the time, or don’t think you’re very good at it – there are plenty of reasons to try whipping up a feast together …
You can learn new things about each other
Even if you’ve been together for years, cooking is a chance to discover new things about each other. Maybe you didn’t know your partner loathed anchovies, or they chopped veg in an unusual way – whatever it is, it’s a chance to get to know each other better. Who knows? Food might even spark deeper conversations and bring you closer together.
It encourages you to work as a team
In the kitchen, you both have the same goal: to cook a delicious meal. This means you have to work together to get the job done, supporting each other through the various jobs. It’s also an opportunity to show you care – maybe you, like Sir Paul, opt to chop the onions to spare your partner’s tears.
You get to spend quality time with each other
With our busy lives, it can be hard to actually spend proper time with your partner. Cooking is brilliant because it takes you away from screens – all you have to do is focus on the food and each other.
It improves communication
Working together in the kitchen requires you and your partner to communicate to make sure that the steps of the recipe are completed properly.
This is great practice for communicating in other areas of your relationship, too. Strong communication is the foundation of a healthy, happy relationship.
It keeps you healthy
Restaurant and takeout meals tend to be high in calories thanks to the rich sauces, butter and oils. It’s also easy to overeat as you don’t have control over the portion size you’re served.
Cooking at home gives you much greater control over the portions and ingredients, which can help keep you healthy and in shape.
It can be fun
Things are so serious right now, but cooking doesn’t have to be. Even if you think you’re rubbish at it, it’s all about doing something together and having a laugh. Hopefully you’ll surprise yourself and come up with something amazing to eat – if not, you can always order takeout and giggle about your mishaps over some pizza.
Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen by Linda, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney is published by Seven Dials, available now.
Do you cook with your partner? Why not share your favourite thing to cook together in the comments section below?
– With PA
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