A Neighborhood Improvement Journal - Summer 2021


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Dinner Co-ops: Recipe for Success

by Karin Chenoweth



Day after day, dinner time arrives and you are left with the problem of planning, shopping, preparing and serving food, whether you live alone or in a large household. Why not start a dinner co-op? It not only takes the day-after-day drudgery out of dinner, but it builds a real neighborly bond. Nothing could be more luxurious and wonderful than sitting on the front porch at 6 in the evening wondering what dinner will be, and then having it show up at the door.

Our system is that one evening a week a family brings over a complete dinner to each of the other two families. We don't bring appetizers or desserts, but we provide a complete dinner with some kind of protein, a starch and a vegetable. We don't consult beforehand about menus, and we don't do any kind of financial planning. We each pay for what we serve. Financially, it seems to work out fairly well.

The easiest are meals that do not require cooking right before delivering. Casseroles, stews, beans and rice, lasagna, soups, and pasta salads can all be made as much as three days in advance, which makes this system on that can be used by those who have relatively long workdays. If you can cook one evening a week or on one weekend day, you can make one big dinner, pack it up in casserole dishes, and you've taken care of dinner for as many dinners as you've got set up in your co-op.



Reprinted from Do It Green! Minnesota www.doitgreen.org 



Additional resources:



How to Crowdsource your supper, Good - Design



How to Create a Dinner Co-op, Laurie Woolever, New York Times



Organizing a dinner coop: Do you have advice?, Urban Mamas



Dinner At Your Door: Tips and Recipes for Starting a Neighborhood Cooking Co-op by Alex Davis








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