|Re: Common meals - mandatory participation?||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Kay Wilson Fisk (kwilsonfiskcomcast.net)|
|Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 16:10:11 -0700 (PDT)|
At Meadow Wood we have a totally voluntary "Meals Club" that probably wouldn't work if you didn't have a "Barb." Barb discovered that she loves to cook for large groups--she didn't know that until she tried it. We started out in 2007 with two meals/week--one weekday dinner and breakfasts on Saturdays-- with a rotating cook/cleanup system plus one "shopper." After a year or so the breakfasts were phased out as too many people had conflicts on Saturdays. After trying a few different week days we settled on Tuesday dinners, and that's where it stands today. The biggest problem we had with the rotating cooks plan was getting enough people to sign up to help cook; most people (like me) were intimidated at the idea of preparing 30-plus servings. However one person - Barb - discovered that she loved cooking for a crowd, and she is still doing it, by herself! Once in a while when she is out of town there are a couple of other people who fill in for her. She doesn't use recipes, so it is more of an art form for her! (She does go online looking for ideas, and then adapts.) For example, dessert last week was two kinds of homemade ice cream: peach and lemon lavender (using culinary lavender). Yum! Dinners are $3.50/adult, $1.50 (I think) for children ages 3-12 (I think), and free under age 3 (I think). The prices have been raised only once (I think) since 2007. Barb says she "shops the sales," which helps keep prices down. She budgets so that we can offer free lunches (prepared by Chef Dawn--a real chef) for those who participate in our monthly spring-to-fall work parties. Once a month a scheduler (Christine) sends out a schedule of who is scheduled for after-dinner and next-day cleanup. It is up to anyone who can't work on their assigned day to send out an email asking to trade with someone, and this seems to work fine. Attendance is not mandatory. (Who would want to be required to eat together? I would think that would breed resentments where none were intended.) Out of some 50 people, we probably average about 30/week. Some people have dietary issues (some of whom bring their own dinner so as to be sociable), some have work schedule problems, and some just want to stay home for whatever reason. We tried a signup system, but people kept forgetting to sign up but showing up anyway, so Barb decided to drop the sign-up system. (I would find that scary if I were cooking, but there is almost always enough food.) People are asked to let her know by Thursday if they will be bringing guests so she can buy enough groceries. We have one person (Nancy) who tracks finances. She puts out a monthly Excel spreadsheet, and people fill in how many meals they eat each week. (Barb checks it over each week and adds anyone who forgets to sign up.) Once a month Nancy emails out a spreadsheet that shows how much each person owes and how much they have paid, and people put checks made out to Nancy (no cash) into a small lock-box bolted to the a kitchen counter. This system appears to be working seamlessly, but should Barb drop out, we would need to rethink the cook system based on who was left and what they were willing to do. (The scheduling and finance jobs would probably be a bit easier to fill should Nancy or Christine resign.) Kay www.mwcondo.com >>>My question is whether other communities have a satisfactory "voluntary" common meals program. More broadly, I would be very interested in receiving descriptions or written agreements regarding other communities' common meals program and descriptions of how your program is actually working, whether in accordance with a community agreement or not....
- Re: Common meals - mandatory participation?, (continued)
- Re: Common meals - mandatory participation? Kay Wilson Fisk, August 1 2014
- Re: Common meals - mandatory participation? Margaret Porter, August 2 2014
- Re: Common meals - mandatory participation? Mariana Almeida, August 5 2014
Re: Common meals - mandatory participation? Sharon Villines, August 15 2014
- Re: Common meals - mandatory participation? Jenny Guy, August 19 2014
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