For some, cooking together in a larger group and then sitting down to enjoy the fruits of their collective labor is the best reason to cook with friends. The other night, eight friends came together in one very nice-sized kitchen to prepare, kibbitz, cook and eat a Mexican feast together. For these woman, for whom dinner parties used to be a regular happening on their social calendars, finding a time in their overscheduled lives when everyone can get together just doesn’t seem to happen as often. That’s why the idea of gathering on a weekday evening was so appealing. While washing cilantro at the beginning of the night, Diane suggested that if the evening was a success she’d have the next one in her newly renovated kitchen, which became the talk of the evening. As Jill chopped tomatoes for the Pico de Gallo, I heard her remark how at home and at ease she was with her hands busy with food in the company of friends. Wendy, exhausted from planning her son’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah, preferred to supervise from the comfort of the kitchen table. Her job, she proclaimed, would have to be done sitting down. She later remarked that the evening was one of the most fun she’s had in a while. We’ll see if the fiesta ranked high in everyone’s book, but I have a feeling that an evening such as this may become a regular part of their social lives.