All In a Month’s Work

We’ve been pretty busy as of late. Busy with & Company related things and busy with normal, adult life things. Of course we wish we could be chopping veggies and eating with pals 24/7, but until that is our reality, we’ll go to school and work like everyone else. When we are fortunate enough to be working on & Company biz, it’s quite the whirlwind of planning, emailing, note taking, and tasting (which is undeniably our favorite part). We thought it might be fun to give you all a look inside of a typical & Company month. Our creative process, if you will.

We do one dinner each month. Even more important than the food that will be served is the person we will be serving food to. This is Phase One. Finding a dinner guest. What we typically look for in a dinner guest is someone who is currently a Joplin resident or who got their start in Joplin. We look for someone who is pursuing a dream, who is full of passion and is making a difference. We look for someone with personality, be it a driven personality or a fly-by-seat-of-pants-but-somehow-it-works personality. It’s (maybe?) a lot like searching for a match on an online dating service. We brainstorm until we feel like we’ve landed on Mr./Mrs./Ms. Right, and we send them an email explaining what our ultimate goal is and how they fit into the plan. After we have a confirmation from the guest and settle on a date, we move to Phase Two: The Menu.

Planning a menu has yet to be a difficult or un-enjoyable task. There’s a lot of “ooh”, and “ahhh”, and “YUM”, and “ooh, ooh what about this…” So that’s pretty much how that goes. We plan an appetizer, a main course and a dessert using as many seasonal ingredients as we can. After the menu is planned, we begin Phase Three, or Phase Ultimate as we like to call it: Recipe testing.

So during Phase Ultimate we meet once a week and test as many recipes as we can in a few hours. Once again, there’s a lot of “ooh”, and “ahhh”, and “YUM”, and “ooh, ooh what about this…” Sometimes we forget to write down our recipes because we get so excited about making them exist in our kitchens, and not just in our minds. We are by no means experienced chefs. But somehow, miraculously, we’re always able to recall ingredients and amounts and jot them down in our dream notebook before it’s too late. This Phase is repeated until our recipes are as delicious as we dreamed them up to be.

From here on out, it’s another whirlwind of planning location, emailing our photographer and designer, and buying ingredients all while simultaneously restarting Phases One and Two. It really is a blur when you throw in homework, tests, jobs and (attempted) social lives. When the day of the dinner arrives, though, and we sit at a table with our vision realized, every single whirlwind was worth it.

Cheers to your crazy lives, friends. We feel your pain, and it hurts so good.

& Co eats-170


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