By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor
When I mentioned in an article a few months ago that I was a part of a Cooking Club, I was surprised of the interest and the questions that this generated. What exactly is a Cooking Club? I have to give all the credit to our friends, Charlotte and John, who have a love of great food and a passion for cooking. They got the idea from Bon Appetit magazine.
We choose to keep our club simple because we all have children under the age of ten. We have five couples in our Cooking Club – we call ourselves The Edibles – and we get together once every two months or so (depending on the time of year). We hire one babysitter for all of our children who are babysat at one home, while we prepare and have dinner at another nearby home. We start at about 4:30pm, so that it does not make it a late night for the little ones. The kids love seeing each other and we all share in the babysitting and food cost, which makes it a very cost effective evening.
The couple whose turn it is to host the Cooking Club is the one to plan the theme and menu. This month was, naturally, an Oktoberfest theme. We experimented with homemade sausage and a variety of international beers. All the recipes were scanned from a collection of cookbooks that Charlotte and John keep in their HUGE library of cookbooks.
Here is this month’s menu:
We are each assigned a part of the menu and do a bit of the prep work at home, but the majority of the cooking takes place in the host’s kitchen. We all have different kitchens, some small (ours) and some that a gourmet chef would dream for, but we make it work and that is part of the fun. Since Scott and I have a small galley kitchen, we hosted a Sushi Night which needs very little cooking.
We plan to host the next Cooking Club in January and will have a Cocktail Party with a wide variety of martinis and appetizers. Other couples have been more adventurous by hosting an Hawaiian Fusion evening using this cookbook while other’s have chosen a French Cuisine menu, Pizza Night or a simple Bar-B-Que.
The whole idea behind a Cooking Club is to try new foods, new ingredients and to tackle a menu that would be hard to do by yourself. Like the part about making your own sausage! Each time we get together we have the most amazing evening with great food, great friends and great times. So, get your friends together, even if it is just with another couple and try it for yourself.