Cooking with groups (friends, family, or whole community) is one of my favourite things to do. I also love the peaceful act of putting music on and cooking alone sometimes, but I wouldn’t want to cook alone all the time. Cooking alone all the time feels like a chore. When I cook too much by myself, I think more often of going out or I get in a rut of cooking the same thing, day after day.

The last couple months, we’ve been eating out way more than usual and I got into a rut of cooking the same things over and over again. I was very uninspired in the kitchen and started thinking of ways to get re-inspired.

I knew that in order to get re-inspired to cook creatively and break my habits, I needed to do it with friends, so I arranged three things:

Themed Cooking Community Get Together

  1. I asked my friend and colleague, Celes Davar at Earth Rhythm’s, if we could have an Indian cooking day where he could teach myself and some friends some of his favourite recipes. Celes agreed and we had a fantastic day and dinner with friends. This was just the kick of inspiration I needed. Plus now I know how to make an Indian chutney and pakoras 🙂

Food Swaps

2. To make creative cooking a more regular thing. Dagny Punzenberger, Wolf_fish on Instagram, and I decided to have a food swap. To keep it simple, we swap two full meals a week and sometimes provide snacks for each other. I decided to do this with Dagny because we have similar food restrictions and I knew her high level of creative flavour balancing would push me to cook more creatively. I started by mostly cooking my go to meals, but now I’ve been experimenting more. I got the idea from my friend Keltie Butler who started Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia, she used to host larger, more official food swaps.

Sharing Family Food Culture: Sausage Making

3. Sausage making to learn my Italian families practice of making sausage and salami from my Nonna. It was epic and very empowering, knowing I can cut up a pig and make sausage.

Creativity and fun seems to be what keeps cooking fun. These three things and dreaming about cooking at the Front Street wood-fired Community Oven have got me fired up!

How are you mixing it up? How do you get re-inspired to cook exciting things?