Re: common house meal preparation?
From: Robyn Williams (
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 17:32:01 -0700 (MST)

Compared to the sort of menus that I read about on this list, our common
meals often seem quite ordinary and so times and teams may differ.  However:

>  It sounds like it takes a whole day of preparation ....
2 cooks for 20-30 sounds right.  Some teams of two can prepare a dinner in
under two hours; results are borderline (hippy-slop, as my daughter says)
through to acceptable.  There are some meals, like tacos, that can be
whipped up quickly and are highly satisfactory.  I'm one of the longer time
consumers.  2-4 hours, including shopping is probably an average.

>How do people with full-time, 9-5 jobs work this out?
We have people who prefer to cook (that's me) and others who prefer cleaning
(not me).
*This brings up the lack of equity in time/effort spent - cleaning is about
30-40 mins - but it's not something that's bothered us all enough to do
anything about.

Anyway, that sorts it out a bit.   The majority of our community are
home-based workers of different types. Full-time workers try and 'bags'
(Ozzie expression for 'choose first') the Sunday slot.

Be flexible and creative.  For example, during the summer school break, many
people go away.  Formal community dinners lapse, and we tend to gather more
regularly on the lawn for picnic dinners.  We either each bring our own
dinner, pot-luck it or a couple of people spontaneously announce that
they'll cook.  Also, we often have WWOOFers who can help prepare meals.

Our roster system is voluntary and self-regulating.  Sometimes dinner
doesn't happen because no-one took that day - c'est la vie.  Sometimes I'm
happy to spend the day preparing by myself, cooking up a gourmet feast.

As with all major arrangements, the community needs to explore the ways of
doing dinners that works well for everyone.  Don't get too hung up on
pinning down 'A' method especially if it's at odds with the lives of the
people it's meant to benefit.

Oh! on the first Friday of every month, we have an Open House Community
Dinner, where anyone - friends, family, strangers - can come.  Each person
brings food to share.

Warm regards
Robyn Williams
Pinakarri Community
Fremantle, Western Australia
pov [at]

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