Re: common meals vs. pot lucks
From: Dahako (Dahakoaol.com)
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 06:18:01 -0700 (MST)
Hi all -

Here at Eno Commons,our regularly scheduled meals are prepared by cooking teams 
of 2, 3, or 4 people who are responsible for planning, cooking, and clean-up. 
The teams are assigned quarterly by a member who volunteered to handle 
scheduling.  He posts the team assignments on our electronic calendar.  
Swapping assignments is fine and often happens.  By contrast, I have been 
involved for several years now with a regular potluck Friday night dinner (FND) 
at my younger brother's house.  For the first 6 or seven years of the FNDs 
existence, it was organized by phone.  Now the dinner is coordinated by a 
web-site which includes a calendar and a bulletin board. Different people show 
up every week but they always know what to bring and my brother and his wife 
know roughly how many places to set (there are always a few extra neighborhood 
kids).  

There are pluses and minuses to both systems.  I love the cooking team set up 
because when I am not on the cooking team, I don't have to think about meal 
mechanics at all.  I can just accept the whole dining experience (meal with no 
work) as a gift from my neighbors and relax and enjoy it.  

I love the FND potluck because the meals are unpredictable - one pizza night is 
never the same as the next.  And the breakfast for dinner nights (when there is 
a 5th Friday in the month) are wildly various.  We eat things together that no 
same menu planner would serve in a single meal.  And the energy of everyone 
feeding everyone is always a good thing.

So, I guess I advocate trying both and seeing what works best for what. 
Flexible, clear organization is probably the key to making community meals 
carry into the future. 

Jessie Handforth Kome
Eno Commons
Durham, NC
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