I was approached last year by a friend asking if I would like to be part of a supper club (also called a dinner group). At the time I wasn't sure what a supper club was, but it sounded appealing. Fast Forward one year later…..it's the best thing that's happened to my motherhood. Supper Club has seriously changed my life.
I was involved in something similar to a supper club in college, but it involved trading off whose apartment was in charge of cooking, and we would all gather at that apartment for dinner. Although that was great for the college setting, this is way, way better.
Our supper club does not involve eating at each other's houses and it's a lot more flexible. Here's how ours works:
How to Start a Supper Club
- Everyone has one night that they are in charge of cooking
- Meals are dropped off at everyone's houses at a specified “dinner time”
- Our particular group only does Mon-Thurs since weekends are unpredictable (so 4 families in our group).
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How to Organize a Supper Club
- Our supper club was organized as a group of friends, with similar family size and cooking ability
- Before we started our supper club, we had a meeting where we discussed any food allergies, and food preferences. This was the time for anyone to say things such as “I'm not a huge fan of pasta. I will eat it, but I don't like to have it a lot.” We then created our first month dinner calendar. Each of us came with several meals in mind, and then we threw them on the calendar according to what everyone else is making that week (so that Chinese doesn't end up two nights in a row, etc.)
- If something comes up and one of us isn't going to be home, we just call and arrange to pick it up later. This has never been frequent enough to be an issue. And sometimes we will just tell each other to throw it on the kitchen table when we know we are just out on a quick errand.
Frequent Asked Questions About Supper Club
I have RAVED about supper club to all my family and friends because it has been such a wonderful experience. Here are some of the questions that I frequently get asked about supper club:
Does anyone in your supper club ever cook something that you don't like?
Yes, occasionally, but not any more frequently than what happens at home every once in a while anyway. Before dinner group (back to the horrible days when I had to make dinner every night) there were times when I tried a new recipe only to realize I didn't like it very much. Supper club has one of those nights every once in a while, but what I find happening far more frequently, is being introduced to new recipes that I LOVE that I have never tried before. New cuisines too. One night we had curry and fry bread (I've never made Indian food) and my whole family LOVED it.
What About Dishes? Are you constantly having to return everyone's dishes?
Nope. In the beginning, we all either donated some dishes to the group, or we each went out and bought a few things specifically for our group. We then wrote “supper club” on the bottom of each of them so that they can just keep floating around our dinner group. We specifically have several casserole dishes for our group, some bowls with lids (found these and these at the Dollar Tree that work really well, but these dishes are wonderful if you can spend just a tiny bit more).
How do you make sure everyone isn't cooking the same thing?
Like I said, we met our first month with meal ideas and put them on the calendar according to what everyone else was making. We usually plan several months at a time. So if someone was making chicken enchiladas one week, I put my baked chimichangas for a different week. After your first meeting, you can schedule meetings for the next set of months, or you can schedule everything via a Facebook group. We have a special Facebook group where we share our recipes.
Isn't it a pain to cook 4 meals in one Day? No, not really. Because the pure joy that comes from NOT having to cook on the other nights makes it worth it. Plus, it's cheaper to cook in bulk. And other than extra chopping and a little extra preparation, it really doesn't take that much more time to quadruple your recipe!
What do you do on the weekends? On the weekends, we either eat leftovers, go out to eat, or cook something easy.
If you have any Questions about how to start a Dinner group, Please ask them! I'm happy to help!