For the last few months I have been a part of a wonderful dinner co-op with a few of my neighbors. I encourage anyone who can, to start one of their own.
Here’s how we have it set up: Monday and Tuesday nights we get dinner (main dish and 2 sides) delivered hot and ready to our door, and on Thursday nights I take dinner to the two other families in the group. All three of the families live on the same block so taking food around takes 5 minutes round trip. Another key success factor is that we all have the same size families (1-2 little kids) so roughly the same amount of food is delivered to each house.
I was a little nervous about committing to do this since I’ve been known to be a notoriously picky eater with strange food issues. I have improved significantly over the last few years though, and decided that the dinner group would be another way to challenge myself to try new things. When they asked if there were any foods that we wouldn’t eat I bravely said, “nope, we eat about anything around here.” I did however admit to not being a ground beef eater but not to worry about it because, “it’s no big deal.” So far, no ground beef! I can not say enough good things about this experience. Honestly, the food has yet to disappoint, in fact it has been amazing. The only problem is trying to make something every week that can measure up to the great meals that have been brought to our house. The menus are diversified and planned out on a shared google calendar to avoid making the same thing as someone else that week.
A few other pros include: becoming better friends with the other families, learning to be a better cook, finding new foods that I like, getting their recipes for future use, having meals planned out weeks in advance, coming home from working in the evenings and having dinner already there two nights a week, and using the time I would be cooking on Monday and Tuesday to hangout with my family. Oh, and did I mention that there are a lot less dishes to do when you don’t cook?
Are you convinced that you should start a dinner co-op yet?
Ok, so there are a few cons to point out as well: the first is the stress of making something that will be a crowd pleaser and thinking of side dishes that go with the meal. Second, is that dinner sometimes conflicts with friends or neighbors inviting you over/out for food. Since it’s only 3 nights a week we can usually find another time to go out though.
So there you have it, an inside look at a dinner co-op. Also, one of the girls in my group posts several of her recipes on her blog. So, if you want some tried and true new recipes, go here.
P.S. Colin got his camo cast off, and after the x-rays the doctor decided that his arm wasn’t done cooking yet. We will find out on Monday if the 2 extra weeks did the trick.
P.P.S I’m still not done with my kitchen! Picking paint has taken a back seat to working in the garden, but done painting the cabinets and they make me happy.