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by Yee-Fan Sun
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On the other hand, cooking/eating clubs
can also be a great way for neophyte cooks to learn some very useful
kitchen skills: if the cooking abilities of your pals range from total
novice to culinary genius, a great way to run your club is to have the
host be responsible solely for digging up some recipes that sound tasty,
buying/assigning the necessary ingredients, and then having everyone
pitch in to actually put the meal together.
International eats — There are two ways to do this: let the
host put together a feast consisting of foods from the foreign country
of their choice, or assign a country, and have each guest bring a dish
from that country’s cuisine
Hometown eats — The host cooks specialties from whatever area
of the country/world they might have grown up – great for getting a
taste of authentic regional specialties.
Experimental food night -- Warning: for adventurous eaters only
… assign each guest an ingredient type – e.g. vegetable, starch,
meat, fruit, etc. – and come up with a menu using whatever you happen
to end up with.
Club/Cocktails NightIf the thought of letting
your non-cook friends organize a monthly meal for you scares the
bejeezus out of your inner gourmand, try a wine or cocktails club
instead. Jumping into the fancy-schmancy world of wine and cocktails can
be a little daunting, for anyone whose sole experience with liquor has
consisted of cheap beer and rum & cokes, but honing your expertise
in the company of friends makes it a whole lot more fun. And despite all
the wine-tasting classes and bartending books out there, there’s
really only one sure way to become a true connoisseur: experiment
plenty, and learn first-hand what you like.
Wine club — It’s a good idea to a decide on a general theme
for each wine gathering. Do Cabernet Sauvignons one month, Shirazes the
next, Rieslings another; or do your wine tasting by region,
concentrating on California reds one month, New Zealand whites another,
Spanish wines the next. Hosts choose a given gathering’s theme,
provide glasses and light munchies, and guests each bring a bottle of
wine that fits the theme.
Cocktails night — can be organized by concentrating on a
specific liquor each month, or by exploring classic cocktails and their
variations. The host provides the base liquor(s), glassware, and
equipment, and each guest arrives with a cocktail recipe that they’re
interested in trying, along with any specialty ingredients required.
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