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Lunch Bunch

These coworkers became more like family by cooking for each other once a week.

Colleagues enjoy a communal lunch.

Five coworkers and I sat on the office-roof deck last fall, eating brown-bag lunches. “Soon it’ll be too cold to bring lunch up here,” one lamented, tugging her sweater around her. “That doesn’t mean we can’t still eat together,” another said. “In fact, I’ll cook!”

The following Monday the six of us crowded around the microwave to warm up David’s southwestern-style chili. The aroma of cumin and jalapeños wafted from the bowl. With snow already threatening, we holed up in a conference room.

“I’ll cook next week,” I offered, when everyone had licked their spoons clean. My boyfriend’s Sicilian grandmother’s recipe for meatballs would be perfect!

Through the long winter months we took turns cooking every Monday. A colleague from India prepared slow-cooked lentils and fragrant basmati rice; another woman made simple, tasty tacos.

The native New Yorker among us picked up cannoli from his favorite bakery to follow homemade chicken and mozzarella heroes.

Spring arrived. Our lunch bunch happily flocked back to the roof. But on Mondays you won’t see any brown bags. We’ve gotten used to sharing our recipes with one another, the stories that go with them and the fun we have in feeding our friends. Talk about bonding! Try it at your office.

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