In addition to following good meat handling procedures, meat must be kept separate from vegetarian dishes. Treat dishes, utensils and surfaces that have been used with cooked meat as though they had been used with raw meat when you are going to use them on a vegetarian dish.
Communal cooking is an integral part of Brooks culture. We have five weekday dinners, Sunday through Thursday, each cooked by a pair of people. The labor coordinator schedules people to cook dinner. Should you be unable to cook when scheduled, feel free to swap with any housemate.
Creativity and experimentation are encouraged and appreciated in house meals. However, if you are new to cooking or are just not finding inspiration, you can find lots of recipes that have been successful in the past.
While you are busy working to impress your housemates with a gourmet meal, don't forget to include these things:
- Four dishes
- Vegetarian (vegan) protein
- Bulk protein (e.g. beans, lentils)
- Starch (e.g. rice, other grains, bread, pasta)
- Vegetables (rinse fruits and veggies before using!)
To challenge yourself further, you can really help your housemates by incorporating things like:
- Use food that is likely to go bad soon
- Make enough food so that there are leftovers for lunch
- Bulk up the meal with (dry) bulk foods, to save cash while filling everyone up
- If you are cooking something spicy, make sure there are mild alternatives for those with a lower hotness threshold
Before you startEdit
Some things to think about before you start cooking:
- Check the fridge and bulk buckets early for available ingredients
- If there are particular ingredients you want to cook with, request them from the shoppers in advance. If you need to buy them yourself, you can spend up to $10 per meal on extra ingredients and get reimbursed from house funds via the finance coordinator
- Check to see if the dishwasher is nearly full – it can be frustrating after dinner to face 14+ new dirty dishes with a full dishwasher!
Cleaning after MealsEdit
Cleanup after the meals is handled by the dinner cooks and includes:
- washing dishes (by hand and/or loading and running the dishwasher)
- putting things away (appliances, utensils, dishes, condiments, etc)
- taking out compost and trash
- wiping down the stove, counters, tables, and any other surfaces
- sweeping the kitchen and dining room floors
- returning to put away the clean, dry dishes from the dishwasher and drying rack (and only the clean ones - if you or the dishwasher missed a spot, wash it again!)
Following these practices should reduce the chances of plague decimating our house.
We do encourage use of the dishwasher, which is less work and is often more effective than hand-washing! Dishes, cups, and silverware should go in the dishwasher, which should be run as often as needed. Pots, pans, knives, wine glasses and anything containing wood should be hand-washed instead, promptly after use. Cutting boards should be thoroughly dried before being put away. Pointy things, like knives, should be stored pointy end-down to avoid blindness. If you have a few minutes to spare, putting away clean dishes is always appreciated!