This idea combines friends, a fun social gathering, help with food preparation, and low-cost, healthy food. You will meet with a small group of friends in someone’s kitchen for a couple of hours to make batches of delicious food. Bring some non-disabled friends or paid personal assistants to do the preparation requiring hands or eyes, as you need. You will make enough to distribute into several meal-sized servings to freeze in containers, which you can then thaw and microwave when you want.
Home prepared food is generally about one-quarter the cost of take-out or restaurant food, and it is much healthier because you are buying fresh ingredients. Here are some steps involved in a pot luck cooking club:
- To start, brainstorm with a couple of friends, in-person or via email, what dishes you are craving or want to experiment with.
- Start simple in order to begin to learn how much time, cost, and planning it takes to make this process work well for your group.
- Gather recipes. Find ideas on the web, including YouTube, or from the library, which will also offer lots of photos and cooking tips. Be sure to click on our “recipes” tab from the drop down menu or go straight to the “recipes” page by clicking here.
- Pick a time and place that’s accessible and roomy enough for your group.
- Make your shopping list. Check to see if you already have spices and other staples at your homes and plan to bring those if necessary. Estimate your costs and your budget and check with the group’s members to approve both.
- Line-up the assistance you need. If you are paying your assistant(s), pool your money to cover this cost, which will ultimately be much less because you are sharing the hourly wage.
- Begin the event with a trip to the grocery story or shop the day before.
- Get together and cook!
- Let hot food cool before pouring it into plastic containers. You don’t want to eat the plastic, which could melt into hot liquids. Then, take these containers home to freeze.
- Share feedback on how the meals turn out, how long to defrost, how tasty, etc. and use that feedback to plan for your next pot luck cooking day.