As an adult, I have struggled to find meaningful social events that take place on a regular basis and include spouses. There are only so many restaurants, bars, and Starbucks you can visit before it seems monotonous. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good wine bar, but in your 30s how do you use the limited free time you have to connect with other couples in a fun and meaningful way?
Growing up in the South I remember my parents participating in supper clubs and progressive dinners. These were regular events that continued on a monthly basis for years. Maybe there was a similar idea with a modern twist? BAM. Cookbook Club was born.
What exactly is the Cookbook Club? It is a group of couples who gather together once per month at a rotating member’s home to enjoy dinner. The hosting couple chooses the cookbook and every couple must bring two recipes from the chosen book. If cooking isn’t your strong suit, this activity doesn’t exclude you — these dishes can be anywhere from charred octopus with olive tapenade to a champagne cocktail. Once everyone has arrived each couple tells the group what they’ve prepared (or poured), how they enjoyed the recipe, how they changed the recipe, and any other “fun facts” they’d like to throw in – like you accidentally scrambled eggs into the lemon curd (me) or used expired baking soda and inadvertently made the most delicious cookie mush ever (yes this happened). Once everyone has shared, you grab a plate and dig in.
What if you are awkward in social situations where you don’t know everyone who will be attending? Hi, me. Do not fear. Great conversations happen over meals, and over time, large life events happen, people get married, children are born, and great friendships are formed.
Added bonus — the hosts ask that everyone sign the cookbook, specifically on the page of the dishes they prepared. The book then becomes something you can keep and remember for years to come.
How do we pick our members? You can start with close friends, maybe three couples and then each couple purposely chooses another couple they know, who does not know the rest of the group. It is a way to mix worlds and connect different groups of people – a couple from your child’s class, another from work… you get the picture. Between 6-8 couples is ideal, because while not everyone can make every meeting, people rarely miss! We meet every other month on Sundays which makes it easy for people’s schedules.
In the age of social media where everyone is only a “click” away yet, we seem so isolated from meaningful togetherness, having a regular activity where couples gather and connect is rare and so much FUN.
If you are looking for something old but ne
w, I highly suggest you try a Cookbook Club with your friends and acquaintances — who are sure to become closer with every meeting.