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How does this end?

Written By Jon Budington

May 15, 2020

This question came up at our dinner table last week. Home-cooked meal number 67, to be exact. We’ve been skirting the subject, as discussing the realities of the coming months only adds to our stressful living situation. But it now seems that my family is coming to terms with our COVID future. February-like normalcy isn’t a likely outcome for some time.

Another home cooked meal.

Another home-cooked meal.

Instead of dwelling on the abyss in front of us, I took the opportunity to answer a different question. How will we begin to live socially again? I don’t have the urge to push past a crowd at my favorite restaurant, nor will I be buying tickets for a concert this summer. Instead, I believe our new normalcy will begin with a small group of trusted friends, good food and conversation.

Not going to another ABBA show anytime soon...

Not going to another ABBA show anytime soon…

Yes, I’m dreaming of a dinner party, but I foresee a couple of problems. First, everything I know how to cook has been served multiple times over the past month; I’m sick of eating it. Second, most dinner party conversations begin with the question: “What have you been up to?” Those would be some brief and boring answers. What we all need are some new recipes and fresh stories. This led me to envision a better cookbook.

While most cookbooks are based on the knowledge of a single chef or specific genre of cuisine, ours will be different. It will begin with the favorite fare of More Vang employees. This cohort will provide instructions for dishes from 5 continents and 15 countries. We believe you have good ideas as well, so we’re hoping you will join us. Simply click here, and you will be guided through a survey to share ingredients and instructions for your favorite dishes. Recipes alone, however, aren’t enough. We all need something new to talk about.

As you may have noticed, I’m obsessed with storytelling. A few years ago, we built a software product called Mythos to help foundations and universities collect impact stories related to philanthropic gifts. Over this period of COVID-forced reflection, I began to realize Mythos could help us collect other types of narratives as well—like recipes and their mythos. We will be using this software platform to collect and organize all the submissions.

Like a good bottle of wine, knowing something about what we’re tasting helps us understand it. Give us your ingredients, instructions, a photo and also tell us how the recipe came about. For your trouble, we’ll send you a copy of the final cookbook on us. It will provide something new for your palette plus plenty to talk about around the dinner table.

Yours in health, optimism and community,