How to or­gan­ise a cook­book club

The Simple Things - - GATHERING -

YOU WILL NEED:

A group of will­ing cook­book en­thu­si­asts A home in which to hold your cook­book club Time to each pre­pare a dish in ad­vance Tup­per­ware to take home left­overs (to­mor­row’s lunch)

1 Iden­tify fel­low food­ies and put the mes­sage out. So­cial me­dia is great for this. Start small, but once your cook­book club is up and run­ning, In­sta­gram your event and new re­cruits are bound to come out of the wood­work, an­gling for an in­vi­ta­tion to the next one.

2 Six is a good num­ber, guar­an­tee­ing you enough dif­fer­ent dishes with­out over­whelm­ing clashes of flavour or con­ver­sa­tion. But more could work, if your ta­ble (and ap­petite) is large enough.

3 Agree the rules – will next month’s host pick the book? Or is it a com­mu­nal de­ci­sion? Will you foray into new re­leases or opt for an old clas­sic that ev­ery­one has on their shelf? How many starters, main cour­ses and desserts do you want to cook? How many can you re­al­is­ti­cally eat? Any di­etary re­quire­ments to take into ac­count? What drinks will go with the dishes?

4 Con­verse by email to agree recipes in ad­vance – this en­sures a meal that will hang to­gether well and avoids an all-pud­ding event (un­less that’s what you’re af­ter!).

5 On the evening it­self, ev­ery­one ar­rives at the des­ig­nated hour. Some dishes may need warm­ing up or fin­ish­ing touches ap­plied, so al­low some time at the start for this. Then, set dishes down on the ta­ble for ev­ery­one to help them­selves. Talk about why you chose your recipe, how easy (or not) you found it to cook or pre­pare, what you think of the flavours, whether you like the way the au­thor writes about food.

A few ground rules will pave the way for great get-to­geth­ers cel­e­brat­ing muchloved cook­books

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