• meeting your neighbours,

    one dish at a time

  • the sound of silence

    My name is Rachel. I'm a professional storyteller and I also fill my life with activities that nurture and explore the nature of community - festivals, rituals, circles, homes, shows.

    When I moved into a new London street in early 2016, the lack of interaction between neighbours was a bit depressing. I'm not saying we should be best friends forever, but it is kind of abnormal for humans to live so very close, yet be so very distant.
    Social isolation is harmful to our health: loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%. Really.

    I learned that the elderly people here know each other: they've lived on this street since the 1950s.
    But somehow, since then, busy-ness, headlines and who-knows-what have stolen that sense of 'us' from - well - from us. Maybe it's time to claim our streets back.


  • Why a Cook Book?

    Because food is tasty

    Because this is one thing we have in common

    Because recipes are quick, easy and free to share

    Because neighbours have the freedom to connect or not simply by sending or not sending you a recipe

    Because even if you get only a single recipe back, you've not failed. You're closer to community by one!


    A couple of notes:

    • What with all the meeting new people, this project needs to be led by a responsible grown up - if you are under 16 and you think this is a great idea, let your first step be to collaborate with a parent or legal guardian.
    • This project isn't perfectly inclusive, but I bet you can help to make it so, if you wish to.
    • I'm not the first person to make a community cook book. I think we even created one in primary school. Of course you don't need me. But some people have asked for some support and a gentle nudge, so, my friends. in 5 easy steps. Here it is, just for you, my ever-growing Cook Book Crew:


  • I want to make a cook book with my neighbours

    A few details and away you go!

  • 2) Print it, Post it, Be Patient

  • 3) When the recipes are in, invite the contributors over for a Cook Book Crew hangout at your home or a local café.

    I'd make you a form for this as in step 1, but hand-written invitations make a big difference to the response rate...

  • 4) Make & then Share the book

    Basically you want it cheap and easy enough to make that it doesn't drive you crazy, and attractive enough that people want to keep it!

    More resources on book-binding this soon. Consider inviting crafty members of the cook book crew to help out.
    In the meantime, check out youtube for a host of home bookbinding tips

    Make at least enough books for each contributor to receive one.

    If you can't afford the card, glue and paper, you could ask for donations at your cook book crew social, but be sensitive of the varied incomes in your neighbourhood.


    The of course you'll need to have another party or gathering in order to celebrate this special publication! Why not ask one of the contributors to host it?

  • 5) Share your recipes and photos!

    If this becomes popular, I would love to make a gallery of delicious dishes and fun photos. I will edit and post these to prevent someone accidentally publishing their name and street address for the whole World to see!
    To submit words, pictures, or links to videos related to your Cook Book creation, click the button below!