re: specific meal questions
From: Stephanie Fassnacht (
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 09:22:41 -0700 (MST)
This is how Village Cohousing in Madison, WI approached common meals.
But first, a few background notes:
  We moved in in August of last year.  Construction wasn't finished
 until several months later.  The common house wasn't finished until
 a months or two ago.  Our dishwashing set-up has just been
 installed and should be operable within the next week or two.
> 1. How often do you have meals?
       Right now 2-3 times a week.  From the start we had a potluck
 every Sunday.  At first this was in various people's units; now it is
 in the common house.  Until the CH was finished, we did a restaurant
 meal once a week, plus a
 bring-your-own-everything (meal, tableware, chair) once a week.
 The BYOs were held on the porches of various units until the CH was
 finished.  Restaurant meals also ended as soon as the CH was usable.
 Next week, we will change one of the BYO meals to a
 meal cooked in the CH by a cooking team.  So starting next week, we
 will have one potluck, one cooked meal and one BYO meal per week.

> 2. How do you determine who is going to eat?
        This is strictly voluntary.  So far, we've had the best turn
 outs at the potlucks, including the holiday potlucks.
> 3. How do you determine what is for dinner? Are menu's posted in advance?
        The plan is that the cooks will determine what's for dinner.
 No menu will be posted in advance; sort of like coming home from
 school to a homecooked meal that you never knew anything about in
> 4. How do you pay for meals?
        We are selling tickets in advance in whatever number a person
 wants to buy.  Tickets cost $2.50 per
 adult, half that for kids.  This is just our first approximation.  The
 amount will be adjusted to be in line with average costs.
> 5. How much do meals cost?
        We don't know this yet.  Cooks will be reimbursed from ticket
 sales.  We are also holding a "kitchen shower" to help stock the

> 6. How does your cook,help,clean up sign up system work?
        We have a sign up sheet posted on a bulletin board in the
  dining room.  The plan is to have 2 cooks plus two clean-up persons
  per meal.
> 7. When did you figure out your meal system, before you move in or after?
        We did quite a search of the Archives a while back, but the CH
 committee just developed the plan in the past couple of weeks.

 Good luck, and have fun!

Stephanie Fassnacht
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