In my last post about keeping up your social health during the quarantine, I mentioned I would be expanding on the suggestion to organize online group events. I discussed book clubs, cooking groups, workout buddies, games night, movie night and pub crawls/pub nights as just some ideas.
I’m going to focus on cooking groups, and pub crawls/pub nights because quite frankly they are the most interesting to me right now! Also, the others are easy to find online. I put links to some resources for the other options at the bottom of this post.
Who needs professional chefs? Well, personally I do, but this isn’t the time for it! Host virtual dinner parties. Get together with three or four of like-minded eaters for a dinner party. Or if you’re in my boat, people who will tolerate cooking around your limitations! Go for it and dress up. I’ve been in pajamas and yoga pants for the last few weeks in isolation, so I’ll make any excuse to put on something fabulous!
Take turns being the chef. Pick your top easy recipe to teach your friends or family how to make. I mention easy because you want to make sure the ingredients are readily available. It may help if you all agree to some main staples you have at home, so people don’t need to needlessly shop for the group events.
Make sure to send ingredients needed ahead of time. You can also send out your full recipe and directions so they can follow along. Or let everyone wing it as you walk through it at the time.
Set up a group video chat on an agreed-upon day via your preferred method. I use Google Hangouts, What’s App or Skype. Let me know if you have a recommendation that works better! Bigger screens work best so you can connect to a tv, laptop or iPad. If you have none of the above, or they aren’t accessible from your kitchen, your phone still works!
Pretend you’re hosting your own cooking show and walk your guests through prepping and cooking the meal. When the meal is finished, you all can eat together at the same time and enjoy great conversation and wine (or whatever you fancy!).
If potential criticism doesn’t faze you, ask for feedback and suggestions for your meal to see if you can improve on it.
That’s just a quick cheat sheet for hosting a cooking group to get the ideas flowing.
Pub crawl/Pub night
Ok, a crawl isn’t as easy to do, especially if your space is like mine, so a pub night is just as good!
Set the date(s)
Agree to a day, time and method for connecting with video (e.g. Google Hangouts, What’s App, Skype, etc.). Send out the invites and get started. There’s nothing like being able to see people and cheers each other. It makes it feel more authentic than just audio. Make it weekly until the quarantine is over, so you have something fun scheduled!
Set the mood
Put on your favorite playlist!
If you have the space for a crawl: After a set time (for example every half an hour or after one drink), do the steps below in different parts of your home or apartment. You can start in the kitchen, move to the living room, bedroom, hallway or office and then back again (depending on how many rooms you have and how many drinks you can handle!)
If you don’t have enough space: Create the ambience of a pub with whatever you have at home. Pre-set your table with glasses, condiments, napkins (or a variation of them), etc.
Try your favorites
Where I live, it’s easy to get delivery for alcohol, beer and wine as of this date. So, this is a chance to indulge in something you may not get a chance to try all the time. Choose something different each time, so it changes it up a bit. It’s also a time you can try some of those gifts people gave you that are still hanging around.
Eat food. Drinking without food is never a good idea, so make some of your favorite pub dishes to eat. I posted a pub menu (well it was for the Super Bowl, but it works here too)
Add some pub fun to it!
Dress up! I mentioned above that I will use any excuse to dress up. I may not for a regular pub night, but I’m all for a fancy pub night at home right now just to put on a dress! Add a trivia game to your night. Sporkle.com has a massive collection of free trivia games.
That’s just a quick cheat sheet for hosting a pub crawl/pub night to get the ideas flowing.