Kitchen Experiments

Our first stop on the tour feels like the first step of a year-long experiment. And in many ways, it parallels a much earlier test that led Eat for Equity to host rotating dinners.

The first Eat for Equity dinners in Boston were all hosted at the cooperative house where I lived. And in Minneapolis, I hosted monthly dinners in my home for a year before we ventured to our first rotating host, my friend Jane. And it was definitely an experiment.

I thought I was prepared – I wrote out the recipes and got all the ingredients, and showed up at my friend Jane’s house to make six apple pies and fifty homemade buns. She had one baking sheet and no rolling pin.

We took a bottle of wine [we had to finish it first], and we [literally] rolled with it. We let the buns rise on plates scattered around the house on every surface we could find. The kitten got in the flour and scampered powdered paw prints across the floor.

 And the result of this experiment? People came to their first Eat for Equity at their friend Jane’s when they might not have come to a party at a stranger’s house. And once they came for the first time, they became part of Eat for Equity.  We just thought it would be fun. We didn’t realize it would be an organic way to build the Eat for Equity community.

In a strange and lovely coincidence, Jane was one of our co-hosts for our first tour stop in Madison. Now living and working in Japan, she negotiated a parking space for our trailer in her sister’s driveway in Madison. And our schedules aligned so that she was visiting when I showed up with a dog and 25 foot-long trailer.

I thought I was prepared – we spent a year and a half building the trailer and putting pieces in place for the tour. But like that first dinner in a new kitchen, there would be questions we forgot to ask and things we didn’t know to bring. What works well, and what needs to change at the next stop? What did we think of? What didn’t we think of?

Thanks to a good friend and her family, we were able to roll with it. We could solve surprise problems like, oh, fixing the trailer brakes. And we could get feedback on the necessary ingredients and steps for each stop. With good friends and flexibility, the kitchen and the road can be a safe place to try new ideas, make mistakes, and learn from them.

And the result of the grand exercise of the tour? Early results indicate that we will be learning a lot from our local organizers about how they’re bringing people together to connect, eat and give. We’ll be connecting with amazing people, organizations, and places. And not only might it be fun, it’ll also be a natural and unique way to build the Eat for Equity community.