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    Start A Neighborhood Cooking Club

    By Charlotte Gerber     

    A fun new way socialize with neighborhood friends is the creation of neighborhood cooking clubs. The purpose of the clubs is to bring people together for a day of cooking and camaraderie. The plan is simple: prepare dishes that can be made or frozen for the participantís families. The trick is to make sure that you have enough crock-pots and stove burners to accommodate your group.

    If you have decided to kick off a cooking club it will be best to enlist one or two friends to help you with the endeavor. First things first- decide on the dishes that you will want to make. Many cooking clubs either choose to do several casserole dishes or several simple meals that can be easily assembled.

    After you have chosen the recipes, you will need to purchase and assemble the ingredients. You have two choices here- either one person purchases all of the ingredients and then divides the bill up among the participants or assign ingredients to the participants and try to divide it up by approximate cost.

    Before the day of the cooking club meeting remind participants to bring an apron, a kitchen timer, favorite cooking utensils and containers to bring their food home in. Many people choose to use disposable plastic containers or zippered plastic bags to transport their food. It may also be a good idea to remind people before the day of the cooking party of their grocery list if youíve assigned them one to make sure they have purchased all of the necessary ingredients.

    The big day of your first cooking club meeting may seem a little hectic but if you divide the cooking assignments among the participants you will find things will run smoothly. Start by cooking the things that need the longest to cook first then plan accordingly with the dishes that take the least time. Be sure to designate an area for cleaning fruits and vegetables and a separate area for chopping and cutting meats to prevent the spread of food bacteria. It is also important to provide your guests with plenty of paper towels and antibacterial kitchen wipes to help clean up the messes that are bound to occur.

    Timing the cooking food is crucial for the success of each recipe; each person should be in charge of the cooking time of his or her recipe. Then, as each food item is completed it should be removed to a counter or table on which to cool. Once all of the food has cooled everyone will need to gather his or her containers for the food distribution. It usually works best to divide one dish at a time so that the food can be distributed evenly.

    Many cooking clubs take off in neighborhoods and they can quickly multiply. Offshoots of the cooking clubs may decide to focus only on one-dish meals or crock-pot dishes while others may decide to experiment with exotic epicurean delights or cultural specialties. No matter which avenue your cooking club decides on it is sure to be a hit with the participants. Not only will your friends have fun cooking and socializing but they will have plenty of food to take home for their families to enjoy as well.

    Written by Charlotte GerberRate this article:

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