Neal Schindler '01

On cooking in a co-op: "I credit my co-op experience with teaching me how to be creative in a pinch, and to make the most of limited resources, not only in the kitchen but in life as a whole."


As a member of Fairchild Co-op from '98 to '01, I got used to eating whatever was in season, and sometimes simply whatever was left in the walk-in fridge. As a head cook during the first semester of my junior year (fall of '99), I planned stews, pasta dishes, and casseroles to feed the dozens of hungry Fairkids who came to Monday lunch. But at the end of the semester, when everyone was working on papers and studying for tests and our food budget had been stretched thin, I found myself one week with nothing but turnips. I consulted a variety of cookbooks and the Internet to figure out what could be done.

Eventually, with the help of my assistant cooks, I came up with a meal to remember: sweet-and-sour turnips accompanied by turnip fries. While I won't pretend it was the most delicious lunch I've ever had, I credit my co-op experience with teaching me how to be creative in a pinch, and to make the most of limited resources, not only in the kitchen but in life as a whole. Still, I haven't eaten a turnip since that day, nor do I particularly wish to.


Submitted by Neal Schindler '01



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