Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bulk cooking (to swap)

Sunday 5 friends and I gathered to exchange meals.  I know I talked a bit about exchanges last year (oddly around this same time of year), but nothing everevolved...the idea must have just gotten lost in the midst of life.

Thankfully a friend was on it this year and is making it happen.  What I like about the kind of swap we started is that any group of people can make it happen.  It doesn't have to be a group that is in close proximity to each other.  The only real commitment is once a month making the meals and gathering to exchange - so easy!

I meant to take pictures while my friend and I cooked, but of course forgot.  I really need to get better at remembering to take pictures.

For those who want to know the basic plan we followed...
  • We started with 6 families.  
  • 3 meals were chosen and we divided into groups of 2.  Reasons behind this...
    • Then you have a couple of people to brainstorm recipe ideas
    • You are technically only responsible to make 3 meals (since the pair is making the same meal for 6 total)
    • You get to make a new meal (depending on who's recipe you used)
    • You can choose to cook with your friend or not - whatever works best
  •  Each person keeps one of their own dishes and brings 2 others to swap
  • Put those meals in the freezer and then you have 3 meals to pull out whenever is most helpful to you!  
We talked about adding 2 more people at some point.  That way, you would have 4 meals to pull out (one a week, if that is how you distribute it).

Some things to think through...
  • Allergies and/or strong dislikes to let others know about
  • Figuring out a good time/day to swap
  • Dishes to use...using your own, using disposables, plastic vs. glass, etc.
Even though it does take some effort - my friend definitely had to plan it out and get the ball rolling - it is also simple in a lot of ways. 

I love that you could do this with one friend or a group of friends.  Just adding a bit of ease to the rest of your month by cooking a bit extra one day.  The ideas from this are endless. 

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