What one pastime brings joy to all those it touches? Good Cooking! For those that enjoy creating delicious food, we delicious food lovers salute you.

It’s never been easier to get started in gourmet cooking. Cooking lessons are never farther away than your television with the popularity of FoodTV on cable and satellite television, and the cooking shows on Saturday morning Public Television. Just record your favorite cooking shows and play them back while you cook along in the kitchen!

If you’d like to learn more about cooking, consider taking some classes, subscribing to cooking magazines or reading cook books. The Internet, of course, is always a great way to gather information. And try some of these ideas:

Cooking Contests

Gourmet Clubs and Cooking Cliques:

Like any hobby, cooking can be carried on with friends who enjoy the activity as much as you do. So here are some ideas for social cooking:

Gourmet Clubs:

Gather up a few friends and meet at someone’s home each month for a gourmet dinner. The host cooks the main dish, and the other members bring a dish from home or cook at the host’s home. It’s a great way to have a dinner party while keeping your work to a minimum.

Mom’s Cooking Clubs:

Find 2 or 3 like-minded moms one afternoon and cook up a set of meals based on a certain ingredient that will take you through the next few days. For example, the club can cook ground beef that will be used for meatball sandwiches one day, lasagna the next day and a beef and barley stew the third day. This option takes a little agreement by the cooks and their families, but the camaraderie can make mundane cooking chores fun.

Progressive Dinner Parties:

poker_dogsGrab a few neighborhood families to form a progressive dinner party. Start with appetizers at the first home, then move the entire party to the next home for the first course (soup or salad), the third home (the main dish) and the last home: the desert. If the first one goes well, consider having a monthly party like this. Kids love progressive dinner parties because they get to play with a new set of toys at every house.