I've heard that, in many cultures, the process of making food is just as important as eating it, when it comes to building community and spending time with friends.
I usually don't think much of the food preparation side of a meal. I like to cook and all, but it just doesn't seem like that big of a deal. In short, I prefer the eating part. And honestly, when we get together with friends it is often out a restaurant, and we're not even thinking about the cooking. And we really enjoy it.
But a couple of weeks ago we had some friends in town (some from Michigan, some from Kentucky) and the six of us adults actually made a meal together. And you know, I think there is something to this cooking-as-a-group thing.
We hadn't really planned on it working out that way. We had all met earlier in the day at a market in downtown Columbus where we had lunch, Beligian waffles, and smoothies. The food was great, and North Market is a fun place to walk around, but in light of the fact that there were three little ones to consider, we thought it might be easier to eat at our place for dinner. And, having made that plan, we picked up fancy ravioli, the ingredients for pasta sauce, and some vegetables before we left.
Chris and DeeDee made a pie.
Paulina made a salad.
Bill, the only true Italian of the group, made pasta sauce.
I was of no help but just concentrated on holding the babies as much as possible.
(Side note: I do not like my current haircut. It never behaves.)
And we had a really nice time together. There was something laid back and enjoyable about simply preparing a meal together.
The kids got fed, took naps, and generally made themselves at home.
Aren't they adorable?
The adults chatted while we cut up vegetables, washed dishes, and set the table.
And you know, we probably wouldn't have gotten in as much solid time together had we tried to "go out and do something" or just headed to a restaurant to eat. This way, too, the kids could crawl around, watch a movie, and or nap in a different room. And we adults not only enjoyed the simple task of making food, but also got to spend quality catching up while we were doing it.
And when you just have one day to spend with your buddies from college, a few hours of solid fellowship is all you want.
And we got to actually use our dining room.