In this relationship guide, Borden (Lucky Me, 2007, etc.) introduces “Cooking Therapy”—advice and recipes to help couples work through common marital issues.
The author is a licensed clinical social worker and amateur chef, and in this book, she combines her two passions. In the first chapter, she notes the potential benefits of her version of marriage therapy (in which participants also learn to cook), noting that “Learning to let our accomplishments fill us with insight and pride promotes mental health.” The remainder of the book is split into four sections, focusing on what Borden calls the toughest marital ailments: when partners are sexually “out of sync,” when a relationship has grown “stale” over time, when little quirks take a toll on a marriage, and when differing financial styles lead to conflict. For each of these, she first draws on her therapeutic knowledge to explain the issue in detail. She then walks readers through creatively named recipes with metaphorically significant ingredients and instructions, designed to help resolve that particular problem. For example, a recipe for “Tune-In and Talk to Me Tacos” asks readers to create and eat two tacos—one with all their favorite toppings and one with their partner’s favorites, which the author says teaches the importance of “both fulfillment and compromise” in sexual relationships. The end of the book offers an appendix of all the recipes mentioned, including main dishes, sides, and desserts. Borden’s approach to strengthening marriages with Cooking Therapy is unique and brilliant, setting this book apart with an innovative way to work through problems. Her light humor and wit are constantly entertaining, and her ability to extract metaphors from her recipes will give couples plenty to think about. The recipes are clearly formatted with understandable ingredients and straightforward instructions, so even novices will be able to successfully prepare them.
An advice book with just as much wisdom as wit.