I grew up in a big family (Mom, Dad, and 5 kids, all with hearty appetites) and have difficulty cooking for a small group. We almost always end up with leftovers after every dinner, often enough for an entire additional meal. While this, in theory, could save time the following evening, the truth is that we like a little more variety than that. There’s a trend taking off in Vancouver, British Columbia that might be the answer to my problem: food swaps.
Cooks of all persuasions are getting together and sharing meals in order to save time and to spice up their menus. Andrea Potter, who works as the head chef of Radha Yoga & Eatery in Vancouver, started swapping meals a couple of years ago and now attends monthly gatherings to trade food. “It occurred to me,” she told the Globe and Mail, “just for practical matters and because I love having homemade food, why don’t I just get really good at making one thing and [my friend] gets really good at making one thing, and we swap?”
Meanwhile, Tracy Schenkers Cross noted that “it’s just nice to have dinner made for you one night a week.” She trades meals with another family and cautions that it’s important to find partners who share similar a philosophy towards food. “My friend always says, ‘I don’t care what you put together, as long as I don’t have to do it.’ She doesn’t care that it’s not fine dining or anything.” I have to say that this sounds like an excellent idea. I may have to give this a bash — assuming I can find anyone who will eat my cooking.