Originally posted on January 22, 2013...
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.
A few things have changed over the years...we no longer plan our menus ahead of time, but we decide each week what we're making, and send around some emails. Our families have "shrunk" with kids off to college, so meal portions have adjusted too, but one thing has remained the same...
I thoroughly enjoy the days that I'm not planning supper! :)