Overpopulation this fall broke another Radcliffe housing tradition.
Even with the newly built Holmes Hall, freshmen are being placed in emergency triples and, for the first time, in the only off-campus co-operative house. Peach House which is four blocks from the Cliffe Quad at 33 Healey Street, has two freshmen and nine sophomores, none of whom have lived in a co-op before.
Dates are imported to help with meals and battle with the ancient gass stove. Although Peach House boasts only two experienced cooks, disasters are rare. The most dramatic mistake so far occurred when a pot of socks and soapy water fell on elaborate cherry salad.
"The Joy of Cooking is our Bible," commented one girl, pointing to a detailed receipt on "How To Boil An Egg."
Food is important here. The most sternly enforced Peach House rule is illustrative: two shelves in the refrigerator are kept inviolate for "private food," with social probation the penalty for disturbing it.
Rules are adjusted to Peach House conditions with the consent of John L. Bower, Teaching Fellow in Philosophy and his wife who share the house and act as house-parents.
Actually, the house committee, which includes eight of the eleven girls, makes most of the decisions. They consider privileges such as smoking in the rooms, denied to quad residents, worth the cramped space and extra work.
Other Radcliffe rules are adjusted to fit Peach House needs. There are no common rooms, so that dates sometimes study in the ktichen and dining room. Informality is the necessary keynote: Annex dormitory rules prohibiting blue jeans in living room after five, for instance, do not apply.
Wine cookery is the co-op's answer to the problem of cooking its own meals. Liquor in Radcliffe dormitories is outlawed, but wine has saved almost every unsuccessful Peach House dish. A Hallowe'en party, lasting to an untraditional 2 a.m. this fall, showed off some unusual cookery that included wine-sauced spaghetti. Guests keep coming, though, two or three for every meal.
The co-op is trying to become a better known part of the College, but its prohibitive distance scares many away.