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19 March 2013

share your meal... with number 42

how many times do you find yourself walking up the path to your front door, starving, only to be hit in the face with an aroma that immediately has your taste buds salivating? if your housing is anything like mine, with a russian family on one side, an indian couple upstairs and a carribean woman one floor over, then... almost daily. the thought of knocking on the door and asking for leftovers has crossed my mind on more than one occasion, let me tell you.

well let us discuss this concept some more, shall we; what if there was a way to eat your neighbours leftovers - without the shameful knock on the door with hungry eyes? without following the smell from the street right through the letter box? without the pity the elderly woman in number 42 takes on you when she sees you've had pizza delivered the fifth night in a row (not me, i swear..)? well friends, lucky for us, there is a way; and it lives in the form of share your meal

in what sounds to me like a bit of a 'come dine with me' script, the concept actually combines my two favourite things: cooking and eating. and laziness. ok, three favourite things. essentially, share your meal is an online platform that enables keen cookers and eaters alike to share home cooked meals, for a steal. you simply select your neighbours' dinners from a comprehensive menu online, and then pop over the road with the cash and pick it up! genius!

i had the pleasure of speaking to share your meal's uk director, nicole ton, and i asked her some really important things about the concept:

nicole, i can't help buty compare the share your meal concept to reality shows like come dine with me and dinner date... have you heard of any romances budding from a shared meal?
haha, i have not yet heard of a romance that sprung from a shared meal. however, other initiatives have sprung from the concept; instead of just picking up the food, there are several foodies who regularly gather to have a meal together.

so, when you pick up a meal it's not expected that you'll stay around for eastenders and a cuppa afterward? it's very much a take-away service?
it really is up to the foodies; it's not expected at all. but, as i said before, there are examples of people eating their meals together rather than just picking it up and eating at home.

are you involved in the sharing at all? if so, are you a cooker or a foodie?
absolutely! i am both, i love cooking and eating. so far though, i have mainly picked up meals. i hope to share more meals once there are more foodies in the area.
as a cooker, are you ever worried a foodie won't like your meal? what happens then?
i think especially new cooks might have this fear. to avoid disappointment with foodies picking up your meals i think it is important for the cook to clearly describe their meal on the website, and mention the ingredients used. in the end, it is the foodie who chooses the meal, so they clearly like the sound od it. most often you will find home cooks will make dishes they feel confident about and the website is not necessarily about gourmet meals; it is about making nice home cooked meals.

and doesn't everybody love a home cooked meal! what's been your favourite share your meal dinner so far?
my favourite meal was a quiche with salsify, cream cheese and courgette. it was absolutely gorgeous! salsify is not a widely used vegetable any more and i have always wanted to try it, but never really knew what to do with it. then i saw this meal on the website. funny enough, it was also the first meal i picked up, so a great first experience!
well, i've had a look on the site and none of my neighbours are registered, so looks like i will be living out my share your meal dreams through the letterbox...again. you guys know how much i love to cook, but i don't know if i want to be cooking on demand (one option offered) for the single lads upstairs. i think the idea works, and clearly it has overseas - over 30,000 registered in the netherlands and growing everyday. will i work in the uk? who knows... makes you think though; how well do you know your neighbours?

i'll register if you do.