Sharing a hot meal together
Over the last few weeks I’ve felt slightly daunted by the prospect of high energy bills. So, as the nights draw in, I found myself preparing an evening meal for one (again); a cheese sandwich – the leftovers having run out.
My kids joke that this is all I eat. Not true, I love to cook. If there was someone else there I would bother to cook, but with the cost of energy and most importantly the lack of anyone to share a meal with, I chose the easier and cheaper option. I am not sure of the nutritional implications of this, but I certainly didn’t enjoy the meal as much as if I had been with someone else. I gave up something to save some money because I was on my own.
I have read in the paper that people are increasingly choosing ready meals over ingredients to cook meals, so as to avoid the costs of cooking. Some of these ready meals are very good I can confirm, and they are both quicker and less expensive to cook, requiring only 4-5 minutes in the microwave.
These days I do not live alone and I am reminded that sharing a meal with others once or twice a week is a truly valuable thing. Yes, it takes a little more effort to cook, but if it’s shared and we are sharing the cost of the energy and the ingredients, then it makes more sense to cook.
Spaces to share a meal
The other thing I saw this week that made me think about the importance of sharing meals together, was the announcement that Hazelmead, a 50+ unit sustainable, eco-friendly co-housing scheme in Bridport, will feature a common house.
The common house is where members of the co-housing community can cook and share meals together and host larger social events. It also contains the shared laundry room, which makes absolute sense as a way to save money and save building space. The community features 1-bed, 2-bed and 3-bed homes, all with their own private living space, but also this valuable communal space and a shared garden.
What a great idea! People will no doubt be invited there to attend larger social events, organised by the community, but they’ll also have a space to share other meals, saving money and benefiting from social contact when they prefer or need this. Share a hot meal – It’s better living together.
Nick Henley is a Co-Founder of Cohabitas and has a personal interest in co-housing and cooking. He visited Seattedamen, the world’s first co-housing scheme in Denmark, several years ago.
Hazelmead Co-housing in Bridport (Illustration above)
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