Second Time Around's Boris Kodjoe & Nicole Parker
updated 12/03/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/03/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
Friends since they met on the set of Showtime's Soul Food in 2000, Kodjoe and Parker got serious two years later after attending a benefit in New York City. Now the couple are eager to establish some new customs in their L.A. home. "I'm really looking forward to cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner for Boris," says Parker, 34. "I'm going to be playing it by ear. Being in California, you don't get that fall season. I'm going to try to make our home feel like autumn in New York—go to the farmer's market and get the leaves, the pumpkins, things like that."
Kodjoe, who was raised in Germany, didn't celebrate Thanksgiving growing up. Last year the couple spent the holiday with Parker's family in Baltimore, where Kodjoe learned "that I'm a very good vegetable cutter." And though he tucked into turkey, stuffing and macaroni and cheese, "I don't think he's ever had a homemade sweet potato or pumpkin pie," says Parker. "I'm going to get a thrill out of teaching him about real American soul-food traditions."
She also intends to "make sure some of the German food he loves is there during the holidays," says Parker, who has been studying a German cookbook she received from her pal, actress Tisha Campbell-Martin. "He doesn't get back to see his family much, and I would love to make a linzer torte. That's his favorite."
When the baby arrives, "I'm going to bring my kid to Europe to meet the grandparents," says Kodjoe. "Our kids are going to be bilingual, so that's going to be a whole other tradition that I'm going to try to uphold." But first things first. "Just waking up and having a little face right there next to me!" says Kodjoe. "I cannot wait!" Knowing this is their last holiday as a twosome makes it all the more special. "'Our lives are about to change," says Kodjoe. "Next year it's going to be Thanksgiving with a little baby. It's going to be lovely."