♤ : Cooking headcanon SHAMELESSLY ASKS FOR ANOTHER STEVETASHA HEADCANON
Alright, so cooking. Having been orphaned at such a relatively young age, Steve never learned any family recipes, nor did he had the mind to save any of his mother’s notes or cookbooks. He ate what was given to him at the orphanage and never really wanted for much more than simple, homemade food - if maybe a little higher quality. Gradually, as he grew into his own and attended art school, he learned how to make basic things, using the communal kitchen in his dorm to cook breakfast foods (his favorite, followed closely by Italian) as well as basic meals like pasta with marinara sauce and hamburgers. Nothing he makes has more than a few steps, and he never really tries to switch things up.
Cooking with Natasha, however, is an adventure. She’s not an expert by any means, but she’s also not intimidated by trying new, complicated recipes. To her, cooking is just a series of steps and instructions - as long as they’re followed to a T, what could go wrong? It’s following this reasoning that once in a blue moon, when they find themselves with free time and the determination to be a little more domestic (read: normal), they hit the grocery store with a list and leave with a cart full of exotic ingredients and a fine wine, intent on producing something new, tasty, and entirely from scratch.
In true military fashion, they gather all of the ingredients and cookware and decide upon a strategy of attack, mapping out what needs to be done when and by whom. Steve lets her take the lead on whatever entree they’ve endeavored to create, sticking to mixing the sauces, cutting the vegetables, and tossing the salad. Along this line of non-interference, he physically tries to keep out of the way, working on the island across from her (this of course has nothing to do with his fondness for watching the expression she makes when in thought, brow creased and lips pursed). Before they start, Natasha will put on a record of something Steve grew up listening to while they cook and, later, under the clatter of pans the hiss of steam, she can pick up on slightly off-key humming from his side of the kitchen (unbeknownst to Steve, who wonders mid-observation what the causes of her spontaneous, small smiles are). They clean as they go, maintaining an unfailingly neat and organized kitchen while they exchange quick-witted banter and anecdotes.
Although neither of them normally has a flair or passion for cooking, their meals typically turn out great due to sheer attention to detail and precision. Steve will lay out the tableware and Natasha will present each course with a subdued, yet proud flourish. They share wine and conversation, and eventually dessert (which is the one thing they don’t bother to cook - they have enough to do as it is and there’s an excellent bakery down the street that has seasonal desserts). After they’re full, have put away the leftovers, and finished the last of the dishes, they plop down on the couch, spent from their efforts, and watch something mindless while they lean contentedly against each other and finish the wine.
Of course, there are the rare occasions where, for seemingly no reason, their soufflés deflate and their sauces burn, and on those occasions, Steve will uncork the wine while Natasha orders the Chinese.