Would you cook with me? Open invitation!

How often do you cook for your friends and family? How often they call you over to cook for you? I believe that when you open the doors of your house for somebody and you cook a meal for them is a proof of pure love and friendship. Providing meals for your friends and family is a gracious gift. Any meal cooked with love and served to people we love is capable to fill their heart and soul with happiness. So, do not hesitate to share happiness. It’s the only thing that multiplies when you share it.

Nowadays thanks to the social media we are able to keep in touch with our friends and family members virtually. But, have you ever wondered if the social media is actually driving the people away from real interaction? So many times I have participated at social gatherings where most of the people had their heads down, completely focused on their mobile devices. It makes me wonder if we are more concerned about the virtual than the real world we are facing. How does social media bring us close but at the same time is driving us away from each other? Why most of us have less personal interactions with our friends than we had before when we were younger?


When I was a kid I had a privilege to grow up in a neighborhood where everybody knew each other. I grew up in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In my neighborhood we were throwing the formal dinner parties and gatherings very often. We also used to to share the food from our table with our  neighbors. For example if my mom made a nice chocolate cake one third was for us and the rest was divided onto equal pieces and sent to our neighbors. They did the same thing for us too. An unwritten rule was that the plate with the food that you received from your neighbor never goes back to them empty.


If for some reason you were not able to sent something nice back to your neighbors and their plates stayed for a long time at your house, then in this case you were allowed to give a plate back with some salt on it. You probably wonder why salt? Because in our culture it is not polite to give an empty plate back to your neighbor. It also has to do with the Slavic culture and tradition where you are honoring and welcoming your guests with bread and salt. This authentic Slavic tradition is still present nowadays. When my mother taught me how to set up the dinning table the rule number one was: first you put the bread and salt on the table before any other food. Slavic people still welcome their guests with bread and salt at celebrations. Regarding the Slavic hospitality, bread is the most respected food, and salt is associated with long friendship.


I remember with love and longing those dinner parties of my childhood. Traditionally everyone brings something, then we put all on the table and we eat together. Those gatherings were accompanied with good music, singing, laughing, game playing, sharing the food, happiness but also sharing our concerns and problems of our every day lives. But we did not have mobile devices, internet and wireless at the time. At those gatherings children were encouraged to help with serving the table and cleaning up later together with parents. We were encouraged to sing in front of others, tell our little jokes, and play our sketches and imitations. I believe that the privilege to grow up this way contributed a lot to who I am today. In this way our parents taught us a life lesson about the beauty of friendship and sharing. But it also helped us to grow into self-confident and proud people.


When I grew up I was striving to continue this tradition. I love and really enjoy nice home-cooked meals and desserts, not only to eat them but also to cook them and to share them with the people from my surrounding. It is amazing how eating a good meal and every bite you put in your mouth can take you away from all the problems and issues you faced during the day. My boyfriend and I are doing our best to keep on our dinners together tradition. It is very important part of the day for us.


I would love if I could share this kind of meals with my friends too sometimes. But people are kind of suspicious nowadays. If you call them in to your house for dinner or you share your food with your colleagues at the workplace, most of them are searching for some hidden purpose in your act. So, even if you share just because you enjoy sharing and because it is kind of part of your tradition, you might easily end up misunderstood.


So I came up with an idea to start a project where I am going to ask all of my FaceBook friends if they are willing to open their doors and cook their favorite meal with me. If they want to participate I will visit them in their home, I will take photos of the meal preparing process, step by step and share some of the atmosphere from the dinning table. First of all I want to check how many of my friends and family members are going to support my project. Through this project a lot of nice and traditional recipes from all over the world is going to be shared with my blog readers. A few days ago I was having a conversation about this with my friend Sara and I was amazed that I am not the only one with the same concerns. Sara comes from Italy and she kind of grew up with similar habits. When I shared my idea with her she was so excited, she said she will be glad to be the first one to invite me for dinner and cook a nice homemade Italian dish for me.


I hope the rest of my followers, friends and family members are going to have same reaction as Sara. Since I have friends and family members all around the globe, this project might take a lot of years to be completed. So, wish me luck on my journey. Let’s prove that pure friendship and hospitality still exist nowadays and that social media is actually able to bring us really close.


It doesn’t have to be dinner party, it could be any meal: a breakfast, or lunch, or brunch, or barbecue, or any kind of gathering that involves homemade food and friends. I will be waiting for invitations. Of course as true Slavic girl I will never visit you with empty hands. This is also a part of Slavic tradition, to bring the gift to your hosts.


I have no food allergies, I am eating all kinds of food. You can cook whatever you like or whatever you want to share. If you are interested to participate in my project, please send me an e -mail at cooking.therapy.with.tania@gmail.com. Or DM me on FaceBook at  eat healthy @cooking.therapy.with.tania. The famous Greek Chef Ettore Botrini, the owner of the MICHELIN Star, once said: ”The most important secret of any dish is to share it with those you love.” Let’s see who loves me and who loves me not.


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