I have a wonderful group of female friends who get together for a Cookbook Club, which is part book club and part potluck. It’s a genius idea dreamed up by our friend Maggi. We all cook a few dishes from a chosen cookbook and gather to talk about what was successful and what might not have been so great. It’s been a good way to get a thorough review of cookbooks and a reason to try recipes I might not otherwise make at home. Mostly, though, it’s a way to get to eat a lot of food while surrounded by friends.
My favorite gathering is our January meetup where we choose a book on snacks and a book on cocktails, put on our sparkliest clothing and gather for an evening cocktail party. It’s a remedy to the post-holiday blues and a way to catch up with those who we might not have gotten to see during the holiday madness. It’s also a fantastic reason to get out that sequined dress you might otherwise only have the chance to wear once or twice. Or a reason to buy the one you find on deep discount during the post-New Year sales. (I don’t know about you but I’m only successful at thrift shopping when I don’t have an imminent, very important event.)
The dressing up component came about after we had been comparing notes on not having enough reasons to wear our favorite dresses. Seattle is a great city but we tend to be very relaxed about our dress codes even at the fancier restaurants. So by contrast it is amazingly fun to gather with your friends and dress all the way up. You can be as glittery as you’d like without fear of overdressing, nothing is too poofy and there is no such thing as too many sequins. Dressing up for specific occasions often stresses me out but dressing up just because we all want to? This I get excited over.
Our group’s January meeting has become one of my favorite annual celebrations. I insist you go do this with your friends. And plan it soon; this boring dark stretch of winter is the perfect time to gather your community around you and celebrate being together, or maybe just huddling close for warmth.