Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Food Co-op...

Are you in a rut with your cooking...can't think of new recipes?  Do you get tired of making the same things, week after week?  Do you simply just want a break sometimes?  I was...I did...and I do!

Last fall I got an email from a friend, asking if I wanted to be part of a food co-op with her and another friend.  I have been part of this group for the past four months, and it has been wonderful!  Did I mention that I love it?

Here's how it works for us:

Three of us take turns cooking the main dish for all three of our families, once a week.  I take Tuesdays, the other two take Wednesdays and Thursdays.

We get together and plan ahead several months at a time.  We bring a list of recipes and fill in our calendars, alternating with a "chicken", "other" and "beef" recipe each week.  Here's a sample...

We prepare the main dish and deliver it on our assigned day, either hot and ready to eat at mealtime, or more often, we put it in the fridge with basic baking instructions.  Sometimes we send along a side...for example if we make soup, we might send along some crusty bread.  We have keys to each other's houses, and if no one is home, we can drop it off at our convenience.

Today was my day to cook...

I made spaghetti pie, tripled the recipe and had an assembly line on my kitchen table.  Then I covered it with foil, added the critical info, and viola, I was done!

There are some things to consider when forming a group like this...

*It's convenient if you live close to each other
*If you have picky eaters, or food allergies, it might be tough to make it work
*It's helpful if your families are similar in size, or at least eat similar amounts of food  :)
*You've got to be honest with each other.  If there was a recipe your family really didn't like, just say so.

So...if you want something new to try that just might make your life simpler and mealtime more exciting, I encourage you to give it a try!  My kids ask frequently..."Who's cooking today?"  or "What are we getting for supper tonight?"  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy cooking, but this has been so much fun!

It's 11:00 am, I'm off to deliver my meals and I'm finished cooking until Friday.  Then it's back home to break ice on water buckets.



  1. Alica...looks great! We'll be over at noon!

  2. That's a great idea! I bet you get a lot of good food and a bit extra time on those days. Hope you manage to keep warm.

  3. Alica, I love the idea as it sure does simplify life and you're lucky to have Coop friends to share with. Unfortunately, it would not work for me. I can't have any food that has soybean or soybean by-products in it and it's in almost everything food that we buy like all kind of bread, some brand of sausages, soy sauce, prepared meat, all kind of crackers, french fries, soup mix, canned soup, beans, some ice cream, cones, cookies, chocolate, chocolate chips, salad dressings, some pasta , sauces etc,etc, etc... the list is very long and I have to read every label before I buy my grocery and it's time consuming to find the brand that don't have soy or soy by-products in it. Most prepared food has some form of soy in it. This is so difficult for me as I love just about any food. I LOVE food.

    I'm happy that it's working for you. What a blessing in your busy day.

    Enjoy your Coop meal and thanks for sharing. It looks delicious.

  4. This is such a great idea!


  5. I love this idea! The menu sounds delicious too.

  6. What a great idea! I'm glad it's working, and your spaghetti pie dinners look AWESOME!

  7. Wow what a nice idea. I think it is awesome you have 3 friends that cook. :) My girls both cook like that but none of my friends ever cook. Isn't that sad. They always make these comments about how long it is they haven't cooked. I am always shocked. I know my mouth drops open every time.
    I always tell my husband, is that what happens when you have an empty nest? I think it seems sad.
    But then I have always liked to cook.
    It is a very good idea though.

  8. That is a really neat idea! How fun that ya'll can help each other out! :)

  9. I've heard of that and it sounds really neat. Definitely a way to get more hot meals each week. Hope it continues to work out!

  10. how clever! One of my friends wanted to start that one time, but she's not a very good cook so I declined. ahem. But I do love the idea of an evening "off" and yet with homemade food. . .

  11. This is a great idea! So much work on some days but so LITTLE work on others! I'll keep it in mind for when we live closer to friends, I think, as it would be a huge blessing with multiple children.

  12. Yum, yum. Can I join and eat but not cook?

  13. When my children were in grade school I did this with several neighbors. Some of the meals we loved but others, well no one ate. We were simple eaters and some dishes were just to fancy for 8 year olds and I was not as honest as I should of been. When it worked it was great. Loved to be able to pull a dish out on my work days ;)


I enjoy hearing what you have to say! Thanks for your comments!