Re: Mandatory cooking cautionary note
From: Kristina Spencer (
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 11:13:02 -0600 (MDT)
On Mon, 16 Apr 2001, Elizabeth Stevenson wrote:

> seriously flawed. Two people is not enough to make a happy cook team. IT
> you're exhausted after the meal, and dread cooking instead of looking
> forward to it. Many communities seem to think that cooking is a necessary
> evil. It can be so much easier!

Just have to pipe in here. My family is the newest at Winslow Cohousing in
Bainbridge Island, WA (we moved in last October). We have 2 person cook
teams and cooking is *not* mandatory... yet we still manage to have meals
5 nights/week (Sun-Thurs) and a decent participation rate (ballpark
figures: a small meal is 20ish, a large meal 50 or so with most falling
into the 35-40 range out of a population of 80). I've lead cooked twice
now and have found both times to be fun and not very stressful at all (the
anticipation is worse than the actual doing). Granted, we have the benefit
of being one of the oldest cohousing communities in the states, so we've
had time to work through the bumps to find something that works well for

The way it works here is that you determine how many nights/week you plan
to eat a common meal in a 7 week cycle. Depending on how many people opt
in, and how often they plan to eat, a schedule is created. Each night
there is a lead and assistant cook, and 2 cleaner-uppers. We eat
twice/week which gives my husband and I each 4 work shifts in that 7 week
period (if a larger than normal number of people opt in, we would still
have 4 shifts, but the 7 week period would be extended). Lead cooking
counts for 2 shifts (as it entails responsibility for creating the menu,
shopping, cooking, and accounting). Some people always want to cook, some
people never do - that's okay, because they do cleanup.

Anyhow, just a differing opinion. There are a lot of ways to make this
work, including non-mandatory, and with 2-person teams. Mostly, it seems
to me, you have to have people who are committed to it. Mandating that
people participate doesn't seem the best way to motivate, imho.

Winslow Cohousing
Bainbridge Island, WA
Kristina Spencer                   We are an endless moving stream
kspencer [at]                  in an endless moving stream.
                                              -Jisho Warner

Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.