Seeing Clearly

I've been rearranging things in my kitchen lately. New space opened up and I realized that I have a small collection of clear bottles. I lined them up together and with the sunlight streaming in and sparkling them, it created a fresh breezy feel. Maybe it just feels like Spring.

This picture is from a couple of weeks ago and I was wondering what to do with it. Nothing particular came to mind, so I decided to post it today to enjoy even if it isn't "doing" anything.

Today is my brother's birthday and I'm getting ready to bake a cake in a little while. It's a joint effort with my mom, who is going to frost it.

While thinking about this joint birthday cake effort, I read this post on Bitten, about cooking together. The writer, Mark Bittman, was talking more about whether collective or communal cooking on a regular basis works. The post generated a great deal of discussion and made me think of pot luck dinners and how I really enjoy them.

He linked to an article, which discussed the concept in more depth. Below is an excerpt.
"The concept is that if four families split the workload of four nights of cooking, so that only one family cooks each night, then each family will benefit. The family whose turn it is to cook may expend extra effort on their co-op cooking night than they would when cooking for themselves, but each family will gain three days of luxury time and the benefit of homemade meals delivered to their doorstep."

I think this would be a bit much for most people, but it might work for some. Especially if it were maybe just once or twice a month. Do any of you cook with your neighbors or a set of friends on a regular basis?

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Josephine said…
i've heard of things like this working in communities when one family is going though something really traumatic or stressful, so the whole block gets on a schedule so that each neighbor takes turns delivering a home-cooked meal to the family each night. i guess it does work depending on how close-knit the community is.

i myself would love to participate. there's a real joy in cooking for people who appreciate it.
adele said…
I cook with friends on a semi-regular basis - but only in their kitchens. I live in a studio apartment, and there's only room in my kitchen for one person at a time!
Anonymous said…
I did this with my friends at University - in the Caribbean there aren't meal plans, but kitchens on the halls of residence. It was great, I cooked once a week and got a great meal every night. Really convenient when you need your time for studying! Plus it was like sitting down to a family meal every night. Oh and in West Indian parlance the group is called a "boat" :)
Suldog said…
It sounds like a fun concept, providing none of those involved were truly lousy cooks :-)
Nance said…
It sounds overwhelming to me. Many nights I can't even come up with what to cook for my son currently at home and my husband and me--having the pressure of a multiple-family meal on my shoulders sounds exhausting. What if my turn fell on a night that I didn't feel like cooking? Or had a rotten day at work? Yikes.
T. said…
That is a BEAUTIFUL photo, Anali! Love it.

Our family does the cooking thing very ad hoc - the other night I knew I'd have a ton of chicken pot pie and invited eveyrone over. Another night it might be my mother-in-law or brother-in-law doing the same. It's definitely a spirit-nourishing as well as body-nourishing thing!
Isn't is wonderful how a little rearranging can change the mood of a room? Wish your brother a happy b-day from Food Blogga!
Lisa Johnson said…
josephine - Oh yes, I have heard of that too and think it's so nice. When someone's not well, to have homemade meals is some of the best medicine.

adele - Welcome! Kitchen size definitely has its limitations, but it's good that you've found a way to work around it. ; )

francine - A "boat" is such a great term for that! Sort of like we're all in the same boat. ; )

suldog - LOL! That would be really messed up if one person made awful food! Especially if they were really nice and people still wanted them around. How to find a nice way to tell them...
Lisa Johnson said…
nance - I agree that it would be a lot of pressure. If I don't feel like cooking, I have no problem eating cereal or having a fruit smoothie for dinner.

t - Thank you! Oh and I remember seeing you write about a chicken pot pie! That's definitely a nice comfort food that you want to share with other people.

susan - It really does have a big impact. I swear I'm actually thinking more clearly. And I'll give my brother your birthday wish! ; )

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