Passions can create countless opportunities for community connecting…

26 February 2015

Passions can create countless opportunities for community connecting…

I have always been a foodie.  I love cooking, eating, watching cooking shows, looking at cookbooks, swapping recipes, browsing kitchen appliance stores and even getting kitchen gadgets at Christmas and my birthday!  Anything food is exciting for me.

Last spring, my husband Gerry and I attended a local fundraiser (yes it was a dinner gala).  A childhood friend was sitting at our table and we started talking about how we both liked cooking and baking.  Dominique said that she always thought that it would be fun to have a dinner club and I jumped at the idea!  Yeah!  A foodie buddy!

A few weeks ago, Gerry and I were the first to host a dinner party and I decided that our theme would be Thai food, my favourite.  I have to admit that I had the greatest time planning it:  searching for new recipes, shopping for food, exploring my town and the city next door for exotic ingredients (well exotic for January in Ontario). I even watched cooking videos on YouTube and dreamed about cooking and eating Thai food.  The dinner was a success.  The food was fabulous – we ate from 7:30 to 10:30 and had the greatest time talking and laughing late into the night

What strikes me the most in all of this is how many new people I connected with while searching for my ingredients and how my energy was different while talking about the dinner I was planning.  One day my mom pointed out how fast I was talking and how excited I seemed.  It had been a while since something had me that excited – and yes,  it was just food and friends but very different than simply having dinner guests.

When facilitating Community Connecting courses, participants often talk about how difficult it is to help people connect and build relationships.  One exploration and planning tool that we work with during the course is the Presence to Contribution tool (click on the image to see how my dinner club experience has impacted my life).   I think that this experience with the dinner club is an example of how uncomplicated we need to keep it.  Starting with common interests and building on these is the best place to start. I am excited about our next dinner club evening.  I hear that the theme is comfort foods.  Yummy!

 

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