25 January 2011

Community Supported Home Cooking: Potlucks for busy people

I have to give a talk tomorrow.  I should be working on it right now, but I have an idea rolling around in my head that is trying to get out into the ether as quickly as possible.  I've wanted to start a supper club for the past several months, but it's a big time and resource strain.  I cook several times a week and usually I make waaay too much food.  The first night it starts out as the most amazing thing I've ever eaten and by the end of the week, I never want to eat (fill in the blank) evAr again.  So why not share those extras with some friends?

Here's how this community supported home cooking works with four people:

1) I make my overly large dinner that would serve a family of four with leftovers.

2) I eat dinner from it.

3) Those extra three portions? I pack those up in community tupperware and bring them (in my case) to school the next day to give to the other three people doing this.

4) The other three people also bring their leftovers to pass out.  We hide them in the refrigerators in the offices because sometimes the maintenance people (we think) steal food from the community fridges.

5) I take home dinner for that night plus two more nights that I don't have to cook from scratch and so do three other people.

My thoughts are that this would happen every other week.  This averages to having a home cooked meal two times each week.  This should work, in principle, because everyone cooks and no one needs to host a potluck every two weeks.  The only "cost of entry" is purchasing some cheap tupperware that you don't mind sharing with the other people.

The other side of that is that it takes the social aspect out of cooking for others, but to remedy that every 6 weeks we'd all go to one person's house, bring our contribution and eat their contribution that night.  Everyone who attended would get to leave with two more dinners worth of food and the person who hosted now gets three more dinners.  This amounts to hosting a super low key dinner party every ~6 months.

Obviously the dinners would have to consist of meals that re-heat well, but a lot of food does.  Off the top of my head I'm thinking of really good casseroles, Indian curries, and yummy stews.  The potluck nights would allow everyone to make something that doesn't *have* to transport and reheat easily (like, say, pizza).  My thought is that four family units is the perfect size (so Colby and I are one unit) because then you don't have to eat super old leftovers, but you still have interesting food waiting for you.

So what do you think?  Has anyone tried this?  Does this sound interesting?  Would you like to join me?


Randi said...

I'd join up! The only thing I'm not sure about is being able to cook on the same night of the week every week. Sometimes I can't be that consistent. The other thing is that I know I make food the way I like it, which sometimes means it's too bland (not at all spicy) for other people. But this would definitely be fun to try!

- n - said...

i know someone who did something like this at their workplace, but with cookies. like every week or every other week, people in the cookie club would make a batch and trade with everyone else in the club. then they all get to have their cookies, but without having a ton of the same kind.

julie k h aka jkru said...

omg. cookies? That's brill.

traceface said...

Hey Julie! Saw your post on FB, and thought I'd comment. I think it's a great idea! I end up doing the same thing (cooking way too much food and getting sick of it by the end of the week), so if I were in Austin, I would probably join you!

My co-workers (about 5 of us) do a community dinner every other Wednesday, and it works well for us -- if I weren't quitting my job soon, I would suggest doing this during our off weeks!

julie k h aka jkru said...

Traci, I started with the idea of doing something like that, but then quickly realized that no one would have time to do that. I think we're going to try to do a potluck every month and a half, so as to not detract from science. ;)