Cook­ing from cook­books

Shape (Malaysia) - - Contents - By MARNIE SO­MAN SCHWARTZ

Part book group, part diner party, these fun get-to­geth­ers will keep you mo­ti­vated. Here's how to launch your own and do it up right

ON TUES­DAY NIGHTS, a group gath­ers at Read It & Eat, a culi­nary book­store in Chicago. Each per­son brings a dish she has made from a specific cook­book, form­ing a com­plete din­ner party dur­ing which ev­ery­one feasts and dis­cusses the food. “These din­ners bring peo­ple to­gether and en­cour­age them to try recipes they might never have at­tempted,” says Es­ther Dairiam, the shop’s owner. Now, you may not live in Chicago, but you can be in­spired to start your own cook­book club. Round up friends and ac­quain­tances, fig­ure out lo­gis­tics (will you ro­tate hosts?), and pick your first book. These tips will make your club ex­tra dy­namic.

Make sure your group has chem­istry.

Six to 12 peo­ple is ideal, Dairiam says. Any fewer, and you’ll lack va­ri­ety; any more, and it will be dif­fi­cult to have a co­he­sive dis­cus­sion. In­vite peo­ple with sim­i­lar food pref­er­ences. This is one place where ve­gans and Pa­leos won’t mesh.

Con­sider your cook­book list.

Pick a theme—say, div­ing deep into In­dian or Thai food—or visit a new cui­sine at each meet­ing. In any case, go for books that are slightly out of your com­fort zone but not too com­pli­cated. Read on for cook­book ideas and recipes from

some of our favourites.

Bring the meal to life.

Cre­ate a shared sign-up sheet in Google Docs for dish con­tri­bu­tions. The right mix will evolve when peo­ple see what oth­ers are mak­ing. →

Grilled Salmon With Blue­berry Szechuan Chili Sauce Scar­let Turnip Galettes Mango-Ap­ple “Ce­viche” With Sun­flower Seeds

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