I finally attended my first cookbook club!
I don’t remember where or how I first learned about the growing popularity of cookbook clubs, only the breathless ferocity with which I talked about the concept with my partner and a friend over dinner a while back. And I remember the inner conviction, the knowing that settled in, that I would find one to join.
I don’t know if it’s a luxury or a curse, but as an adult, I often have a say in when or how I meet new people. Not entirely, of course, but making friends as an adult is very different when there’s no college dorm or hours of practice to bring people together, to form relationships.
And suddenly, I find that I have room in my life for more. Well, maybe not so suddenly – the settling process has been slow and careful. But there’s wiggle room! Bandwidth! Space! Is it hockey to say that I’d like to fill it with new friends?
If I get to choose the context within which I begin that process, then I think there’s no better place than over a shared communal meal, with people who value food as much as I do.
Admittedly, it does feel like I’m one of the last to join a cookbook club. Or, at least, it took time and a bit of serendipity to find the right group to join.
Just as I was seriously considering the cookbook club at Archestratus, a gem of a store in Greenpoint (and not conveniently located for me at all), my partner forwarded the most recent newsletter from our local, independent bookstore. As luck would have it, they were advertising the next meeting of their newly founded cookbook club! I knew on the spot that it was just what I had been looking for.
The cookbook we cooked from was Dishing Up the Dirt, by Andrea Bemis. One that had been on my radar for a while, as I had already cooked from her blog. It’s certainly worth a review of it’s own, but that will have to come later.
Around 15 people showed up, most from the neighborhood. We all sat around one long table set up in the back of the book store. I had no idea what to expect as set up was concerned. I sort of imagined it would be buffet style, which would also mean it’d be incumbent on me to initiate conversations with my neighbors.
But, I have to say, Erin (the organizer) did a stellar job of facilitating. We passed two dishes at a time around the table. Each person briefly spoke about the recipe that they made and shared any thoughts they had. Everyone else asked questions or simply commented on how it came out.
And oh, how we feasted! I think we ate our way through most of Winter and some of Fall (Andrea organized her cookbook by season, of course).
And when all was said and done, we packed away our Tupperware, folded up our chairs and tucked away the tables. In a blink, there was to trace of what had transpired.
I don’t know that I made any official “Friends,” with a capital “F,” but it was a wonderful way to spend the evening. And I’m already looking forward to the next time.