Wednesday, June 22, 2011

cooking club.

 {photo by Teri Lyn Fisher for Rue magazine}

I want to start a cooking club.

Before you remind me that I consider slice-and-bake cookies “homemade,” hear me out.

Part of my dreaming at the beach was inspired by the books I was reading: this, this, and this, respectively (full recaps to follow later this month). And a theme, at least in those last two, was food.

How it brings us together.

How it brings us closer to the Father.

How it brings us into truer and richer community with those we love. (See here.)

I am an okay cook. I can follow a recipe, and I’ve gotten to a point where I’m pretty good about trying new things.

But I don’t always enjoy cooking. I get home at 6:00 in the evening, which is about the time I grew up eating. By the time we have walked the dog and checked the mail and generally unwound from our days, it is 6:30 or 7:00, and I am running around like a madwoman trying to get everything ready before Alex Trebek graces our screen at 7:30. (I refuse to eat past 8:00. It doesn’t feel healthy to me.)

This year has gotten better. Jordan and I are on the same schedule, and we have begun to cook together, which I find far more enjoyable than cooking alone.

Which brings me to the idea of a cooking club.

Tallahassee is a transient town.

People come in and out and back again.

We’re not sure what life will hold in the coming months, but because we signed a two-year lease and both have jobs we enjoy, we’re guessing we’ll be staying put for at least the next year.

And even though we’re sad when friends leave and say good-bye, I don’t want to be sad all the time.

I want to pursue community, even when my feelings get hurt or things don’t work out quite the way I’d imagined.

I want to always be growing and stretching and trying new things.

Over two years ago, I helped to start a book club. It’s a new year’s resolution that stuck, and despite some goings and comings, we’re still 10 members strong. Each month we gather and eat and discuss and share, and it has not ceased to be a blessing.

I want more of that.

Not so much that my calendar is full and my commitments are too many to count, but enough that I am too busy to focus on the things I simply cannot control.

Shauna Niequist wrote in Bittersweet the value of being a part of something, of joining a club, of putting yourself out there and risking rejection.

So I think I’m going to give it a try.

Maybe it will flop. But maybe it won’t. Maybe, like I did with book club, I’ll find some likeminded people who want to go a little deeper.

Maybe, just maybe, it will work.


Are you a part of a cooking club? What has worked/hasn’t worked for you? I’m thinking of using the guidelines Niequist set for her own cooking club, but I’m really open to any and all suggestions. At this point, I’d like to stretch outside of my comfort zone and maybe invite some people outside of my little bubble; I’d also like to focus on couples, since book club is an all-girls affair, and I'd like to share this venture with Jordan.

So, any ideas to share? I’d love to hear.


Velva said...

Hi Annie, I think it is a wonderful idea. We have been part of a cooking club for 15 years-it allows us to share a grace of a meal with others, explore and discover new foods, and new friends too.
I have a few posts on my blog of the Tallahassee Cooking Club, if you are interested.

I will send a separate email with a few things that I have learned along the way about starting and being a member of a cooking club.

Sugar Mama said...

My husband and I were a part of a cooking club when we lived in Iowa. There were 12 couples involved and we rotated a house each month. It was the host's job to pick the theme. From experience I will tell you that 12 couples was too much. Some months only 3-4 couples showed up... perfect. But when it was our month all 12 (meaning a total of 24 people) were crammed in our small house. We made it work, but conversation is difficult with that many.

Sabrina said... sounds like a truly wonderful idea:)

Leslie said...

so many goodies on your blog. It's been a while since I stopped by. I would join your club in a heartbeat.

and ditto to "I want to pursue community, even when my feelings get hurt or things don’t work out quite the way I’d imagined." husband and I have organized friday night bonfires in our backyard. Sometimes no neighbors come. And sometimes there is a lot. I try not to get disappointed about the friday's when no one shows up. And enjoy spending time with my hubs under the string lights while roasting marshmallows.