Check out these instructions on how to host a Recipe Club at your home.
- 6 to 8 friends
- Snacks and drinks
- 6 to 8 folders (1 for each person)
- 1 story per person
- 6 to 8 copies of a recipe (1 for each person)
Total time: 2 hours
1. Make a list of friends to invite. When considering the group, bring a diverse mix to the table. Fold in a variety of people, some old friends, some new ones, so that you have an interesting combination.
2. Send an invitation that lays out what a Recipe Club is and how it works. (See sample invite below.) Be sure each member comes prepared to tell a food-related story–and emphasize that food is often a metaphor for something that has transpired in our lives. (Example: one Recipe Club member told a story that, on the surface, was about making Baked Alaska, but was really about unrequited love; another member told a story about cooking for one that was about accepting being single.) Explain that recipe clubs are about honoring memories, speaking out with honesty, being heard without judgment, and creating or renewing friendships.
3. Ask everybody to bring a written recipe that relates to the story–and be sure they bring enough copies of the recipe for everyone in the Recipe Club. Recipes can be original or can be inspired by a published recipe. (When shared, any published recipes should reveal the original source, such as a magazine or cookbook.)
4. Prepare some snacks and drinks. Keep them as simple as you like. Remember: as much as food is a focus of the stories, it doesn’t have to be the focus of this gathering. Recipe Clubs are more about what you say than what you eat.
5. If possible, create a circle or semi-circle of chairs around your couch. This creates a welcoming atmosphere.
6. Place folders for the recipes on each person’s seat. This is for collecting recipes at the end of the Recipe Club meeting.
7. Once you’re all seated, offer to go first. Set the tone: be as honest, friendly, forthcoming, and intimate as you’re comfortable being.
8. After a story is told, take a moment for everyone to appreciate the meaning. Then open up to comments or questions. If the group is shy at first, it’s often good to begin with a direct question, such as, “Has anybody else ever had a similar experience?”
9. When everyone has had a turn to share, it’s time to exchange recipes.