Two years ago I went through a cooking metamorphosis. Growing up the child of a kitchen whiz mom, I had little need to learn how to whip something up, let alone get to know the pleasures of cooking. While my family enjoyed dinners together, I was hardly considering how these moments would shape my life. After four years at Michigan (Go Blue!) and then bachelor life in New York City, I moved even farther away from embracing meal-sharing experiences. I became deeply attached to my microwave and wouldn’t have dreamed of inviting people over for dinner, unless you count making ramen noodles for two after a night out, “inviting someone over for dinner.”
My kitchen destiny was dramatically altered after moving in with my now fiancé. She has helped teach me the art of hosting and it has been life changing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many wonderful meals and dining experiences at fabulously fancy restaurants and local divey joints (I typically prefer the latter) and there are certainly times when nothing beats meeting friends for a night out on the town. I've found, however, that the ceremony of inviting friends to my home for a meal cooked by me, imbibing of wine, curating of playlists, and the ensuing conversation, leads to such deeper connections. You simply can’t enjoy the familiarity of home at a restaurant.
These “home-cooked moments” present opportunities to share time with people I know, as well as new friends. I love bringing together like-minded guests from different parts of my life and letting the good times roll. Extra points if a friend brings someone I don’t know. I really believe that the inherent closeness we feel around a dinner table cannot be rivaled. You connect on a much deeper level and can even end the night feeling closer to a new found friend than you would after several months of meeting out. And, honestly, the prep work and tipsy cleaning is pretty fun.
With my company, What’s for Supp, I’m committed to using digital solutions to help people forge meaningful offline relationships. We’re doing this by making it ridiculously easy (and affordable) to create incredibly delicious dinners for friends and family. Simply pick a recipe from a top chef or food bloggers and we’ll deliver all the ingredients—and know-how—within an hour and a half, from great local markets. Go ahead, invite that friend you’ve been trying to make plans with over for a dinner that you’ll be so proud to say you created.
Connecting through a home-cooked meal has always been one of my favorite ways of catching up with friends and getting to know someone new. Sharing dinner makes families stronger, friends closer, and can even strengthen our communities.
This is why I’m so excited about GOOD’s upcoming Neighbor Day
. I hardly know any of my neighbors, a common theme in all of my iterations of “home” in New York. I see with my fellow city dwelling friends and loved ones that this unfortunately is all too common. I can’t wait to invite my neighbors over for some delicious treats and start to feel more connected to my neighborhood and community.
I hope that my fellow New Yorkers will be equally inspired by Neighbor Day and discover the incredible power of a home cooked meal to spread love from their neighbors to their block and beyond.
Click here to add cooking dinner for your friends or a neighbor to you "To Do" list.
Hang out with your neighbors on the last Saturday of April (a day we're calling "Neighborday"). Click here to say you'll Do It, and here to download GOOD's Neighborday Toolkit and a bunch of other fun stuff.
original image (cc) flickr user sporkist