Posted by: ohmypuddin | July 12, 2009

Dinner Club

UPDATE: Kate chimed in with some suggestions, listed at the bottom of this post.

dinner club (dĭn’ər klŭb): noun- A group of people who meet for dinner at each other’s houses on a regular schedule. Works best in groups under 10.

You may have asked yourself recently, is a dinner club right for you. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I like food?
2. Do I like eating with other people?
3. Do I have friends?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then yes, a dinner club is right for you.

There are many different kinds of dinner clubs. Maybe you’d like to be in one that meets at restaurants, or only orders in, or only meets at one’s person’s house. I can’t help you with those dinner clubs. I can only tell you about mine.

Dinner club was born from a mutual love of Top Chef between 6 friends (3 couples). John and I wanted to have a Top Chef-inspired cookoff with our friends, who also watch Top Chef. We invited them over and told them to bring the makings of one entree. When they arrived, each couple had to make nachos usings fixings we’d already bought. Sam and Kate won with the nachos on the lower right – nachos on bell peppers.

Then we all had to cook our entrees. It was a really long night, but a lot of good food.

Dinner club used to be every week at a different couple’s house. We switched to every other week because every week is just too much cooking. There’s usually an appetizer, entree and dessert. We ask other couples to bring wine or beer or bread or a side, something small.

Dinner club starts at 7:30 on Wednesdays, but we usually don’t eat until after 8.

Here are some things John and I have cooked for Dinner Club:
-Shrimp tacos and chocolate cake
-Chicken and dumplings
-Ribs
-Lasagna
-Breakfast for dinner (omelets)
-Sesame chicken

I’m sure there were other things, but I can’t remember them right now. They were delicious, I’m sure.

Dinner club is kind of a snooty sounding name, but it’s really just a group of us who like to cook and get together. It’s nice to know that you’ll be seeing your friends on a routine basis.

The next dinner club is scheduled for this week at Kate and Sam’s. Yay for dinner club!

Kate’s comments:
“First, take note of how many chairs, plates, forks, and spoons you have in your house. If you can only accommodate six people reasonably in your dining room, well then that should be the size of your dinner club. Also, remember at what size you must start doubling recipes. Trust me on this one, having enough chairs and food is harder than it sounds.

Two, come to a mutual agreement with all parties involved about the cost, style, and “vibe” or your dinner club, or risk being outdone or underdone constantly. Nobody wants to be THAT girl who only made grilled cheese and canned tomato soup on her night. Likewise, nobody wants to be THAT girl who spent 8 hours de-boning chickens and making a french demi-glace for a group that prefers takeout Chinese. In a dinner club, all parties should be contributing about equal time, effort, money, and quality on their efforts. Yeah… this sounds obvious, but just like chairs, it is easy to overlook in the initial enthusiasm of start up.

Three, Dinner Club should involve wine. Lots of wine. Even on a Wednesday. Our preference is at least one bottle per couple or more. And if Lauren is there, you might want to bring one extra, just in case! :)”

Ha! So true. I will always be the one suggesting we open that bottle too.

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