The final meal was just as great as the opening meal, and I liked the potluck concept. Som had a test at a hospital and unfortunately wasn’t able to join. Luckily my brother Tim, who also shared a few meals with me during the project, agreed to come along.
Based on the high cooking expertise in the Partake group, I figured my best option is to make dessert (because, what can you mess up with dessert?). I made a layer of mousse o’ chocolate topped with vanilla pudding and added a few strawberries and chocolates.
Everyone made delicious food items and we had a nice selection of main dishes, sides, and dessert. I honestly enjoyed every single dish that I tried! I was so excited about the food, that I forgot to take photos until my plate was already half empty.
I have to say, when Jeni first told me about the project and whether I would be interested in participating, I had two main thoughts: (1) What a cool and fun project! and (2) there is no way I would be able to share a meal with someone else on a daily basis.
While I did have a few days (maybe two?) where I didn’t share food with someone else all day, I surprised myself how easy it can be to share a meal even if it’s a busy day at work.
In addition to gaining inspiration and cooking ideas from reading the blog, I have three key learnings from participating in the project:
1. Inviting others to share a meal without a “reason”
The project gave the participants a reason to ask each other or others to share a meal together, which likely wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I had such a great time gettiNg to know Ellice and Micah, and enjoyed getting together with Jeni again. Windyn and I plan to meet over dinner even though the project is over now, and I hope to continue to meet new people and make friends.
2. Locally grown food availability
I am a huge fan of farmer’s markets and appreciate it if food is grown locally, but unfortunately I don’t make it a priority very often. When we met for the opening meal, I was surprised by how much locally grown food is available – even in the winter! It was also nice to eat a variety of vegetables that I typically never eat, such as purple potatoes and white carrots.
3. Treasuring food by myself
It might sound counterintuitive, but the meal share project showed the importance of appreciating food at all times. I sometimes used the bowls by myself and thought about the purpose of the meal share. I have always eaten food way too fast and have therefore been trying to savor the food more in the past few weeks. I often eat while I’m on the computer or another device and finish my plate without really noticing. My goal is to make the concept of mindful eating a priority and fit it into my lifestyle.
Thanks to Jeni for executing this project and to the other participants for making it interesting and fun!