This is a note I wrote to my partner months ago, but never sent. I wonder how it applies to other couples where family backgrounds and cultural traditions are so different.
I know you’re not used to fanfare with meals, to the pride in preparing and serving delicious food. Perhaps this is not a part of your culture, or maybe because you are an only child? However, I am used to that, and it is something I really value about my culture. I love my memories of the intricate dishes–rolling the gnocchi, stuffing the enchiladas, mincing the jalapenos, divvying up the pasta sauce so as to put the whole garlic cloves on the plates of those who love them. I am proud to prepare meals for you, and I am proud to serve them. In return I expect that you will welcome the food, appreciate its appearance, smell, etc, savor the flavors, and critique the dishes. This shows energy and respect for the effort and the pride put into the preparation and serving.