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This is perhaps the simplest idea in the world, and is at the same time sheer genius: a cooperative of cooks in the same building, or close neighbors, who reach agreements to cook for one another, according to a communal plan. This is what the movement Neighborhood cooking co-op is doing. For example, each person cooks one dish a week, making enough for themselves and everyone else in the group, who meet to hand over containers of food to one another, meaning that each person will have a meal waiting for them when they get home each day of the week.
The result: time spent in the kitchen is reduced, the quality and variety of meals improves, and money is saved (as you spend less on eating out or ordering take-out) along with energy (as less gas is used going grocery shopping for just one person). Just as with any other group, however, there are rules which must be followed, as laid out in the book Dinner at Your Door (Gibbs Smith, 2008).
In addition to the plans that must be followed for the dinner exchange group to work, the book contains some of the best recipes to use, which will satisfy everyone from vegetarians to the neighbor’s children – those fussy kids who even hate soup.