Posted by: dinaguillen | May 19, 2009

Do Cooking Clubs Save Money?

A reporter from a local television station recently asked us if being in a cooking club saves money.  We have been doing some publicity for our recently released cookbook, Cooking Club, and the reporter for the local CBS station was promoting our book during a segment on the news called “Save with Dave,” (Dave being the reporter’s name).  Our immediate response was, “of course!”  When you cook at home – whether it’s yours or someone in your cooking club, it is always more cost effective than eating in a restaurant.  

Besides, in our cooking club made up of seven people, we each make a dish, so we get to enjoy a seven-course meal for the price of preparing one dish.  And there’s always the leftovers that can often be turned into another meal or two the next day.

And then we had our cooking club gathering last Saturday night.  The theme was sushi, and none of us really prepare sushi at home.  We go out for sushi, some of us more often than we should because there’s almost an addictive quality about this exquisite cuisine and we just need our “fix.”  But that’s a discussion for another time.  However, preparing it at home is not something any of us do on a consistent basis – if ever.  So the list of ingredients to prepare our dishes was long, expensive, extensive, and did I mention expensive?  Our pantries did not have anything remotely close to the ingredient list on our recipes.  And as we went around the table that night, enjoying one mouthwatering roll after another, we each talked about how much we spent to prepare our dishes.  Carolyn prepared a caterpillar roll stuffed with unagi that was visually stunning, incredibly delicious – and expensive.

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Lisa prepared a seared tuna salad that had 15 different exotic ingredients, and tasted like nothing I’ve ever had before – it was divine with it’s briny seaweeds and home made ponzu sauce, and, you know what’s coming…expensive. And then there was the rainbow roll prepared by Maria, filled with the softest buttery lump crab meat, and topped with three different sushi-grade fresh fish.  I think the ingredients for that roll topped the list at $60.  Nicole hosted the evening, and on top of preparing her dish of the most delicious tempura unagi, she also made sure we had bamboo mats for rolling our sushi, warm saki and cold beer, beautiful Japanese dishes, table decorations, and party favors.  I have no idea what she spent that evening, but I have a lump in my throat thinking about it.

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So, does being in a cooking club really save money?  We’d love to hear what you think.

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