What was missing from the evening was Deena and chocolate- but what was lovely was the relaxed pleasure of friends cooking together, accomplishing a complex recipe, expanding our oeuvre, being okay with it not being great. All of this has led to excellent discussion about what cooking club is or can be, and what makes it different than Communal Table salon suppers (but still part of Communal Table.)
CT salon suppers are carefully choreographed entertainments blending stories with a meal designed to enhance a theme that changes each time but reflects what Deena and I are thinking about. There is often a political bent. There is often hands-on practice. There is always invited 'speakers'. The meals are mostly all vegetarian, something Deena is adamant about and I am willing to accept most of the time. When we do these suppers we think ourselves producers. (In fact, we have some wonderful events coming up with FarmCity.US at Local 61, exploring the ways cooking creates community http://farmcity.us/chautauqua-events-61-local/ )
What we want from What's Cooking Club on the other hand is a chance to collaborate and stick our necks out and get our hands dirty trying new things. Rather than 'producing an event' we're looking for collective participation- including coming up with what to cook! At first, we modeled this on CT salons- where we post a theme, set a price, prep everything, do the shopping... but we realize we'd rather put out a call for fellow enthusiasts who'd like to spend a Sunday once a month tackling a complicated recipe or exploring foods in a new way. I'm hot to make pȃté. Deena wants to explore probiotics and raw foods. Together we're eager to play with Bento boxes and 'charaben'. What we'd love is feed-back from you, dear reader/eater. What would you like to make? Then we'll post it here or facebook and raise a crew and figure out where and who's bringing what and have a good ol' cooking time together.
And, please, come to our salon suppers too!