- A favorite cookbook with a good diversity of recipes
- A group of adventurous friends you like to hang out with
- Time one evening a month
I’ve had the privilege to be a part of lots of groups in my life: book clubs, Bible studies, prayer groups, singing teams, etc. But none have given me quite as much joy as our dinner club.
Last year (yes, we’ve done this a full year) Betony and a friend asked a bunch of folks to do this: Buy a specific cookbook (we’ve used The Bon Appetit Cookbook edited Barbara Fairchild). Then every month each couple or person is in charge of making one recipe “full-on” from that cookbook. No substitutions or skimping out. If it calls for a crazy exotic ingredient, buy it! The rule is you have to follow the directions as close a possible.
Before divvying up the recipes a “theme” is chosen by the group.
We’ve done summer picnic as a theme (Asian ginger fried chicken, best-ever egg-salad sandwiches, an avocado salad, peanut butter chocolate brownies…) or back to school this last September
(meatloaf, gourmet mac & cheese, homemade applesauce, white chocolate moose oreo pie…) You get the idea. It’s seasonal but open for lots of creativity as menus are chosen.
Then everyone brings their salads, main entrees, sides, cocktails, and desserts together for an epic evening. We usually take turns hosting (and highly involved to easier recipes are rotated as well.)