It has long been a dream of mine to gather my rag-tag bunch of food-appreciating friends into a regularly-meeting dinner party club.
The difficultiy: We're a bunch of late 20-30 somethings who are on the "ahem" bottom end of the economic ladder. We all like to enjoy ourselves, but more often than not, burrito and domestic beer specials at the local bar trump meeting at the new sushi joint or convening at the hip bistro down town.
We're all food lovers, many of us are or have been cooks, but we all have crummy little apartments with crummy little apartment kitchens and limited space for entertaining.
Last year, I put together a manifesto I jokingly called "dine club" with 8 rules roughly based on Fight Club. The rules, fomulated one inebriated evening with a friendly couple, are basically as follows:
$15 a person/$30 a couple (or the equiquivilant)-
If we eat in, each couple is responsible for contributing $15- either towards cost of groceries/alcohol/service pieces
Each person must host or arrange for space to entertain the group on a rotation basis.
No double booking on the night of the party.
Host must choose the "theme"
An example: (mine)
Each person is responsible for bringing a bottle of wine and research something to pair it with- total cost not to exceed $15 We had roughly 8 couples (6 couples and various singles) so we each had a sip of 8 bottles of moderately priced wines and nifty nibble ranging from homemade jambalaya (with a zesty California Zin) to Frozen meatballs ( a moderatly priced Chianti) to shrimp cocktail (with an excellent Aussie Un-Oaked Chardonnay). The party was a hit, and more to the point it was a cinch- disposable cups, paper plates & napkins, everyone was standing aroung a central table so I didn't have to borrow any furniture.
And that was it.
Nobody else picked up the ball, even though everone started so enthusiastically! This year, I'm in a smaller apartment and cannot host more than 12 people (standing room only). We all would love to find an excuse to hang out more often and eat well at the same time, but it just seems so *COMPLICATED* to throw something together...
Do any of you out there in TV Land have a good "method" for hosting regular dinner parties?