|meal administration||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 16:05:12 -0700 (MST)|
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA Common meals here usually have about 30 in attendance. Thursdays are pure potluck. This is also the meal where visitors are most often invited. Mondays are cooked by a team (often three, sometimes 1-4) with a simple sign up sheet on the bulletin board: Date-Cooks-Menu-Alternatives if any- Sign up by One handy thing is that we have a preprinted sign up sheet with all the usual names, plus room for write ins. Circle if you're coming, cross out if you're not. That way, if a cook wants to, they can ask or phone people who have indicated neither, often finding that they really would like to come, but didn't get to the sheet. This cuts down on last minute arrivals that the cooks haven't prepared for. Price is $4 per adult/teen, $1 per young child. Fifty cents of that automatically goes into a kitty for purchase of staples and additions to kitchen equipment. Cooks are reimbursed in cash or credit for what they spend, up to the remaining $3.50 per diner. Excess goes into the kitty. We're getting more supplies these days, as cooks get better about coming in under budget. We now have flour, organic frozen corn, organic canned tomatoes, butter, etc. in our pantry for Monday cooks to use. We just turned on our freezer: I made chili for 35 two weeks ahead, froze and thawed it for when I "cooked" on a Monday. Occasionally someone comes to a meal with their own food or snack, for the social interaction, but with their own special-needs/diet food. Cooking is not always a social occasion: often parts of the meal are made separately - whether at home or at the common house the night before, morning before- such as salads, desserts, breads. Spices: We are so glad we took a member's advice and got new spices from Penzey's. (They have a web site.) One whiff of their China Ginger powder and you'll be ready to ditch any dusty miscellany in your spice drawer and start fresh. We got ninety dollars worth of spices and they are a joy and an inspiration. A kitchen/meal subcommittee looks after the pantry supplies and such. An allergy and food preference notebook has a survey form each person has filled out, but more importantly has a summary at the front by ingredient. Thus, NUTS: Susan allergic to walnuts, George peanuts, Branka almonds. DAIRY/VEGS/FRUITS/etc. That makes it really easy for a cook who wants to make nut cookies, for instance, to see that they need to label them if they contain X, or substitute. We also label things pretty well even at potlucks (spicy, mild, ingredient lists). Sometimes ingredients are served separately: a dish of cilantro, bottles of hot sauce, and such. We encourage every cook to double check the allergy list. Another member made up a computer form for meal money that keeps a running total of how much credit each member has. Some pay cash each time. Most of us put in money ahead or take grocery shopping reimbursement in credit. Then the record keeper just notes who comes in at dinner and how many of them there are, and what, if anything, they paid in that day. After the meal it's apparently no big deal to enter those numbers on the computer and get an updated sheet showing how much credit each person then has, if any. When the record keeper can't be at a meal, he finds a substitute. A jar in the kitchen is a place for someone to leave a note/receipt that they bought coffee or such for the common house, and eventually want to be reimbursed for it. Third Sundays are breakfast potluck. Other eat-togethers happen as people decide to do something: Thanksgiving, salmon, an upcoming Vietnamese "Pho" meal. Via sign up sheet. Clean up is ultimately the responsibility of the cook team - in terms of a final sweep of the tasks- but almost everyone pitches in on clean up and it goes quickly. The cooking dishes/pans are usually mostly washed up before the meal. Someone who finishes supper early may start the (counter-top) dish washer and run an early tray or two through (just a couple minutes each) so they can be air drying till the next tray is ready. I often do that, then go eat my dessert and let others take turns at filling and emptying dish racks. We have equal or more participation of men in meal clean up- maybe the big steel dish washer that whooshes and steams attracts them? I like it too! We have a small clothes washer and drying rack: towards the end of clean up, we often run a small load with napkins, dish towels, sponges, etc. Others take out the compost to the worm bin, wipe counters and tables, see to leftover distribution, sweep, clean up the beverage-bar area of coffee makings, cups etc. Layout: A rolling cart holds our Corelle plates (2 stacks), soup bowls (3 stacks), small plates, and small bowls on the top shelf. On the shelf under that we have three "bread loaf" size plastic tubs, with spoons, forks, table knives. Stored there. Set on counter at meal time. A drawer under the serving counter has clean cloth napkins as well as paper ones. Another drawer has napkin rings (each different) so those who wish can keep a napkin through several meals. A large oval crock-pot (slow cooker) has proved handy for serving soups, especially "seconds" that need to be kept hot without scorching on the bottom. There is an electric outlet right on the serving counter. Mary Kraus's advice on having a Clean Side/ Dirty Dish Side to our kitchen and serving area has worked really well. Actually, we usually set desserts on the (later-to-be) "dirty" side at the outset of the meal, then once main dishes have been emptied or consolidated, we move the desserts to center stage, and start collecting used dishes in that area near the dishwasher. Our convection oven is right next to the tiled serving counter, so hot baked things can go right out. We have a drawer in the dining room, under the serving counter, with take-home containers (plastic yogurt tubs, etc) for leftovers. Sounds complicated, but it works pretty smoothly, and keeps evolving. Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature) http://www.rosewind.org http://www.ptguide.com _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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