My friend Kelly and I usually see each other a couple times a week. Our kids are friends and play nicely (most of the time) together. Kelly had an idea a couple weeks ago that has been a blessing to both of us. Since we would normally hang out together visiting while our kids play, we decided to make our time together more efficient. We have been cooking on Tuesdays.
I need to clarify, we are not just cooking for an hour or so, I mean really cooking, all day cooking. One of us tries to shop on Monday, we take turns hosting and then spend the day on Tuesday cooking 3 meals for the week. We cook 3 meals for each of us. That means we only have to cook a couple other nights and we get to spend time visiting while we cook. We both have nursing and needy babies as well, so it really does take us all day with all the interruptions. I would imagine you could get it done in a couple hours if you had older children.
We also have expanded the meals to cook for a friend of ours that really needs the meals. She just had a baby and doesn't have the time to cook. If our friend decides she doesn't need the meals any longer we are still going to cook for a 3rd person and just find people to bless. Even if the 3rd person just helped cover the cost of the food it would be a blessing for them to not have to cook.
You can't imagine how nice it is to be able to spend the day with a friend, visit with her, have your children happily (mostly) playing and not have to cook for a couple other days during the week. It is also nice to try new recipes. Kelly is also a better cook then I, so I am learning a lot as well. It is a long day but worth it in the end. I actually look forward to Tuesdays and cooking. Normally I see cooking as just another homemaking chore, but I am starting to like it.
Items to think about as you start this venture:
1. Choose a friend you don't mind spending a lot of time with.
2. Choose a friend that has children your child(ren) likes spending time with.
3. Shop the day before, not on cooking day.
4. You with both need to sensitive to each others likes and dislikes when it comes to food.
5. Adding a 3rd friend is fun, but cooking for more then 3 people could be difficult unless you are very organized.
6. Be sure to clean up both dishes and toys for the host friend before you leave so they don't have to worry about cleaning after all day of cooking.
Tomorrow we are even adding cookies. :) Yum.