Cooking is More Fun with Friends

  • By Jess Dang
  • July 1, 2013

I wrote the post below last April when I was giving cooking lessons in the Bay Area. I’ve since stopped giving lessons, but I still very much believe in the message of the original post. For our July #CookMoreIn2013 tip, I thought I’d repost it, hoping it’ll inspire you to find a buddy this summer to kickstart your cooking routine. Plus, making mistakes in the kitchen is much more fun when you have someone to laugh with you about it and enjoy a glass of wine with you afterwards.

Here’s the original post:

I have two mom clients who I meet with about every other week, and while I look forward to seeing all my clients, I get especially excited to see these two. I think the friend dynamic has a lot to do with it – it’s just more fun cooking with friends. If folks made cooking dates, just like they made work-out dates, people probably would end up cooking a lot more. If you knew your friend (and his / her family) was counting on your cooking company for their week’s worth of meals, you’d get yourself to the kitchen. No one likes to let their friends down after all.

The way it works is I send them our lesson plan a few days before we meet. They split the grocery list responsibilities – one goes to Trader Joe’s for produce and pantry staples; the other to Whole Foods for proteins. Then we all get together on Monday mornings to cook a few days worth of meals. They get to catch up on each other’s lives, learn something together, and split the work of cooking. In my mind these ladies are geniuses – they’ve made cooking into something social and fun.

I know that this is a model that can be replicated everywhere. We all have friends and / or family members that we wish we could spend more time with. Send them a couple of recipes that you’ve been meaning to try that you think they’ll love too. Pick a kitchen. Make a date. Invest in some new storage containers for all that food you’ll be bringing home. Cook together. Gossip. Share a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Invite your kids to share in the work. But most importantly, have fun and make something tasty.

Cooking is More Fun with Friends | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang
The ladies wanted to learn how to make a jambalaya so we based our whole lesson on one-pot meals

For those of you considering our meal plans but are worried that 4 servings are more than you need, consider finding a meal plan buddy. You can make all the meals together on a Sunday (like I do!) and then split them between the two of you. You both will have lunch and dinners for the week! You’ll have caught up with a friend and not worry about, “What’s for dinner?” the rest of the week.

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