One intention I sat this year is to do things I’m truly interested in. You know how we always share an event on Facebook, but never go. Or how we will see a fun party concept and never acting on it? No, just me? This year instead of putting things off for a better time or waiting until I lose twenty pounds, whatever the excuse is. I want to be someone who does. So, at the start of the month I saw an article on hosting a cookbook club. I love to cook, I love eat, but I really like to eat while hanging out with my friends.
So, I did a thing. I hosted a small Cookbook Club. Here is what worked well, and here’s what will adjust for the future!
1) Choose a cookbook and get it from the library. So, everyone had the option to buy the cookbook, and I did end up buying mine. I love it, The Southerner’s Cookbook from Garden & Gun is just a gorgeous cookbook and I love the stories they’ve included inside as well. I had to have it. It also went on sale for 40% one day and I had a gift card from Swagbucks!
2) Choose people you see all the time. Since we needed to share the cookbook, it was important we saw each other regularly so I only invited people from preschool that we see four mornings a week.
3) Keep it 10 people and under. I am glad I did a test run this month so get a feel for logistics, because ten people was the exact right number of people to invite. We all sat at one table, there was a great amount of food and it didn’t get so loud we couldn’t even speak to one another.
4) Everyone needs to post their recipe selection beforehand. We made just a simple Facebook event invite and everyone posted their recipe there. Luckily, we didn’t have anyone pick the same recipe as anyone else but by sharing our recipes in advance we were able to avoid that.
5) Do a variety of recipes. You want to encourage participants to do a few appetizers, a couple entrees, some side dishes, and then one/two dessert for everyone to share.
6) Get throw away food containers or tell guests to bring their Pyrex. (Yeah, just like your grandma did with her friends!) There was a ton of food leftover so have a way for people to easily divvy it up. I packed mine and my husband’s lunch for the next day before everyone left. Winning.. We also used leftovers as a base for the next night’s dinner.
Try to choose your cookbook well in advance like we picked out the books through May so people could place holds on them.
Ask about allergies. We didn’t do this but it worked out fine for us since no one had allergies, but please ask beforehand.
Consider some themes like Crockpot, Instant pot, or healthy eating. We talked at our meeting how nice it would have been for everyone to do their favorite crock pot meal to share since that is a little more relevant to our lives right now with young kids.
Invite a baker. So, that beautiful cake you see below my girl Tina Brown Creative whipped up. I just want ya’ll to know she was like “it is ugly, don’t take a photo.” WHAT. I was so upset when people cut into that masterpiece, but then I ate it and I am so glad I did. It was as delicious as it was beautiful.
Set your date before everyone leaves. This is so much easier to do IRL than it is over text or social media back and forth.