Recently Daniel & I decided we’d start cooking more at home: saves money, avoids crowded restaurants (which I can’t stand), and should give us more variety-  even in a town as restaurant-rich as portland, we can get bored.  Plus, our standards for restaurants have been set too high.

Since for the most part the only things I really remember that I know how to prepare when I’m already hungry are fried rice and hummous, and that’s hardly variety, I wanted to approach the project from the stocking-the-pantry perspective.  Part of the problem with cooking at home is that it starts when we’re already really hungry, not in the mood to shop, and not sure that the fridge/ cupboards are stocked.   So, with a 1950s mom/ apocalypse planning perspective, I wanted to research how we’d stock the pantry and make a list of things we like to eat that I usually forget about.

It started with regions, and the list includes regional and/or country dishes that we’re familiar with and like.  I then researched the primary spice/ herb assortment of the region and added that to the lists on the right, as well as the primary starch/ protein/ veg.  Since I’m vegetarian and he’s not, and I was the one obsessed with making the list, it is mostly vegetarian, but it’s easy to adapt for non-vegetarians.

Because it’s really a shopping list to stock the pantry with regional spice/ herb/ starches and then weekly, buy some vegetables and cold stuff.

I hope my tone of irony is coming through here:  I get it, this is probably the most classic way to approach cooking at home, but really, as we tell friends about this list, they find it both amazing and hysterical.  I’m not exactly sure why it’s so funny.

And guess what?  It’s totally improved our meals this week!  Monday we had a moroccan rice pilaf with flat bread, which is probably the most delicious home meal I’ve ever made.  Tuesday was abura-soba, (made with rice noodles because we haven’t been shopping yet) –  excellent and easy –  wednesday was a multi-leveled spicy -sweet soup with soba that Daniel created.

ok, so now the title of this post is actually about WORKING TOGETHER on DESIGN PROJECTS.  Because, as you’ll see, my working document list above is color-coded, has tons of information, and ugly as hell.

I’ve actually added a whole new blog category to address this new topic:  collaboration.  My life has not had tons of collaboration in it prior to this situation, and now has lots, and it’s awesome!

rules of collaboration:

work with people who have a similar work ethic

work with people who have different, discrete skills from yours

notice where the boundaries are


Daniel and I have been pretty successfully working together and in close proximity for a year now, and he’s responsible for the much-improved graphic look of everything I put out.  (we do this together:  SEAWALL  )

Except that above pantry list.  Check back next week to see the much improved version after he’s made it look good.  Should be more legible and have more stuff on it as well.





Posted by:Brook DeLorme

One thought on “working together….

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