A few years ago, I “borrowed” the idea for a Cookbook Club from a friend. The concept is really simple, as you’ll see below. The beauty is that by the end of the year, you will have had a chance to try almost all of the recipes in the cookbook. You will also have notes, reviews and suggestions to go along with them. Doesn’t it sound like a dream?! (It is.)
How To Start Your Very Own Cookbook Club
Select The Cookbook
Obviously this is the first step to starting a Cookbook Club. It’s important to be realistic with your skill level, as well as the time commitment of the recipes. Unless you’re a seasoned chef, you probably wouldn’t want to start with Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
This is our FIFTH year for our club, and we are currently cooking from Welcome, Love, Serve. After visiting Amy’s adorable shop in Springdale, Arkansas called Euna Mae’s, we chose this book for its approachable recipes. Soon, I will be sharing a series of my thoughts on all of the cookbooks we’ve tried in the past and my favorite recipes from each one.
Invite Your Friends
This step is the easiest! Select a wide variety of friends — especially ones who love food! Your club can be as small or as large as you please. It’s also important to note that not everyone needs to cook. You will likely have too much food if everyone brings a dish, so also invite people who might only be interested in bringing beverages.
Host A Get Together
After the first couple of years, life got busy (hello kids!), so we started meeting every other month. This schedule works great for my group right now since almost everyone has little kids and activities they don’t want to miss out on. I usually keep a running list of the recipes we’ve tried so that we don’t duplicate.
At our meeting, we set up a delicious buffet of all of the amazing dishes and then eat and chat and catch up. We will go around the table and share any thoughts we had about the dish we brought. It can be anything from, “This dish took 35 minutes to bake, instead of the 20 the book says,” to, “I didn’t have any oregano, so I omitted it.”
Pro tip: you can jot the notes directly into your cookbook so when you’re browsing you have your notes right in the book. I also like to add whether I liked the dish or not. I use very technical terms like “REALLY good” and “so EASY.” Make it your own!
A friend of mine from Chase Your Happy brilliantly gifted the cookbooks with the notes from cookbook club to her family members at the holidays. I think that is such a great, personalized gift. I just might be stealing her idea this Christmas!
Hopefully this helps you if you’re interested in starting your own Cookbook Club! Feel free to message me with any questions you may have — I love chatting about cookbooks. 🙂
[Cover photo by Emily Steward]