Sunday, April 29, 2012

food of the week

chocolate macaroons

Lemon meringue pie

29 April

29 April
Sunday – a day to join with other believers to worship the risen Lord and Savior. Noni and I stayed the night in the condo so that we could go to church before heading back to camp to cook lunch for the 30 people arriving today. In theory it was a good idea – but in practice forget it. My mind was not in worship mode – concerned about Dalhouise in the car – concern about the lap top in the car – concern about the groceries wilting in the car – concern about what I must do once I get back to camp, salad bar prep, soup making and supper running in my head. I made lasagna. Meat and vegi lasagna and a gluten free choice. So just before the sermon we left. Oh the gas gauge is low so I decided to get some gas but first I had to stop for a red light. Just as my turning light turned green three cars in the opposite direction turned into the gas station that was free just seconds before. I hope this is not a sign of up coming events for this week. So as I arrive at camp am met at the gate by Jordan – everyone is looking for me – first thoughts was about meal time – but I am not late so ...
I drive next to the kitchen to unload the car when Steve comes up to me. Staff smelled gas – over kill – they turned off the main propane gas value for the kitchen – YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
I am aware that I have a pilate light that keeps blowing out, so there will be a little odor of gas. Head ache – it is a pain in the butt to light all the stoves and ovens again. But I guess it is better to be safe than sorry because they did not know.
The group arrives and I have a very serious wheat allergy – extreme allergy. More stress because I do not want to kill any one – that would be hard to deal with.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

27 – 28 April:
Yesterday our guest left after lunch – easy day. Fed the many mouths pancakes and waffles for breakfast. On time and not so rushed of a service. The griddle was cooperating for once. These things tend to be so temperamental, one time everything will stick to it and another time it burns all that is placed on it. But not yesterday it was so good, even temperatures and well greased so that the pancakes became golden brown and flipped off so smoothly. I am still getting the thing ordering down – so I had to change a lunch menu. So I made spaghetti and meat sauce for lunch. This included a special sauce extra with no carrots because there was a carrot allergy - I made the vegetarian sauce. I found out by this person who has the allergy – I use carrots in much of my cooking as a flavor builder. I know I use onions and garlic in almost everything I cook, must not for get celery. These are the 4 main that enables me to provide flavor to the menus I cook. Lunch soup was a turkey, chicken rice.
Afternoon was interesting – Noni was making a cake for Geoff. I was called from the office and asked if we could make a cake because it is his birthday today but they wanted to celebrate it yesterday before all the staff dispersed for the weekend. So I left the kitchen – watched Star Trek came back over to the kitchen – realized Noni's one cake was not going to be large enough so I had to quickly make another.
So at four o'clock staff met together and ate cake – got paid and poof dispersed for the weekend. But it is not a full weekend for all. We have guest arriving Sunday. So all staff get one day off and 1/2 must come back to work earlier. When the guest arrive they will be hungry so it is my responsibility to take away the hunger. But that is not today's problem.
So here it is a Saturday and I am off and as I write this it is NOT Raining...
But it is so cold.
After leaving the camp to go into the town of Squamish I took Mom and Noni out for lunch and then this evening Noni and I ate Sushi at the little place across the street from our condo. Because it is cold and I am so tired – there was no walking or kayaking. Just after we finish eating our lunch while enjoying the last drops of our coffee and tea a friend from church walks into the restaurant. We enjoyed a good conversation concerning matters of sin and judgement and our own perception of what is sin or not.

April 25 - 26
I was sent in an email this question: " What if you were to wake up one morning having left to you only the things you were thankful for the day before...?!"
At times when I pray - I will rattle off thanks to God for this and that and there is no meaning - no heart behind the words. Just a habit that I have gotten into.  But is this a bad habit - we are always to be polite and say please and thank you's to people - is our relationship to God to be any different? - and a habit does not mean at times our heart and soul are not behind the words. But back to the question - how much of life do we take for granted - how much kindness - goodness we just take and don't appreciate -  not really thankful for: We grow a accustomed too -and will not miss until it is taken from us - then - then what?
     Last night interesting thoughts filling my head. Yesterday was another very long day. First group in of the camp year.  My listing says 94 people -- but we ended up with 13 tables so some ones math is not correct. We set tables of 8 people. I was prepared for 12 tables expecting 11 full tables and one table of 4 or 6 guests. Very wet all day - Rain.
Guest arrive 10:30ish all boys, I forgot how much boys eat..  I think they they haven't eaten in days - everything was devoured. Lunch Fajita's with chicken noodle soup and carrot ginger soup. 32 items on Salad bar and a large insert of mac and cheese and cold cuts from the other day - gone. It takes a lot of time to prepare the salads for our salad bar - I am glad they like it and eat - but it makes one heart drop too all that work of beauty devoured - and now so much time again to rebuild.  I know - it is my job. And I do love it! I am thankful that they enjoyed it and ate it.  One of the good things - we have spare held back in the kitchen so it is not do it all over again today.  It was another day of 12 hours on my feet with only one 1/2 break day.  Supper Chicken pot pie  with T biscuit topping - Fried rice with peas and corn mixed in - Carrot sticks as a vegi - Noni made chocolate cup cakes from scratch  32 x3 times.and we still ran out.
So as I was saying last night going to bed I had thoughts in my head about meeting Jesus. I had an appointment to go meet him. One part of it was in a formal meeting that was to  happen - and then it was us walking together alone near the forests.  The formal part brought some fear - not bad fear - the kind you get when you know you are meeting some one very important. Even though there was some anxiety at first - bad fear - but it disappeared when I mentality said I was going to meet a friend. As the second part took place -  I pictured Jesus like he is in one of my favorite paintings of him - He was happy - smiling and we enjoyed being with each other.  Then I fell to sleep in a deep sleep.
Maybe this is the Holy Spirit telling me - I need to make time to read my bible and pray again - because this week my routine is all out of wack and I am missing  time with Jesus. 
The second part was joyful.
Go to the kitchen 7:05 am ---  not so happy - messy looking - my kitchen helper seems to have just got tired and left everything.
Noni  and I have to clean the front dinning area - we set up breakfast yogurt / fruit salad area - which makes me late in preparing the main course. Not a good day to start the day.
Breakfast: Egg Mc muffins. 
Lunch Pizza and I even tried making my own crust. Haven't done that since I worked at Iawah way back in the 1980's.  I did a half bought and half home made.  Salad bar now has 34 items to choose from .
Supper: Sheppard Pie, Carrot/Celery sticks, Gravy  Banana pudding.
Another 12 hour  shift. I did sit down for a 10 minute staff meeting at 11am with the program director - This is to happen every day. Then at 4:30 sat down again for a coffee break- my legs and feet are so sore. I am too old for this!!!
7:30 limp to the cabin and plop down on the couch... Is it October yet?

24 April
Poke - poke - Noni is poking me. Says something about the time- I look at the alarm clock -  it is 7:05 am.  I was so tired last night that after my shower I immediately crawled into bed and fell asleep. However it was not an all night sleep through.  Dalhouise woke me up two times to be let out. I opened the door and let him go and then would go back to bed - he would wake me up when he came back to the door by scratching and woofing.  I do not sleep soundly when he goes out at night - I am like a worried parent waiting for the child to come home from a date. But this is much better than having to get dressed - go down the stairs - walk Dalhouise at the condo in the middle of the night.  But I worry about predators that might be lurking in the woods when he does this.  I brought to the cabin some chicken to eat - put the bones in the garbage - I think he went into the garbage and ate these. I often do not eat till I am finish work - do not feel like eating right after service so I bring my supper to the cabin to eat after I have a chance to relax.
Health Inspector came and went. Very happy - all is well. Nothing to really fix or change.  Dish room floor needs to be resealed with a water repellent ( it is a wooden floor).  We need to sanitize door nobs and paper towel handles daily.
My body is still a little wore out from yesterday - but at 2 pm I am taking my break.  I have a roast beef in the oven right now - at 3 will go take it internal temperature and take out of the oven if it is at 120 f.  At 4 pm will return again to kitchen to finished cooking supper.   Bread is all done - made this morning. Having spiced potatoes - these are cut and spiced  tossed in oil waiting to be placed in the oven - fresh carrots sliced . Apple crisp is prepared - will cook this at 4:30.
Lunch - Mac and cheese.  I counted the salad bar items  -- 30 different choices. 
So the day is done. Supper is served and cleaned up. Our guest have eaten and have left the camp. Staff has set up tables - this is the official beginning. Our first school group arrives tomorrow for lunch. 94 mouths are the listed number I am to prepare for.

23 April
A long, long day has just occurred.  I began work at 7am and stopped at 7:30 pm with no sit down breaks.  I stood and ate my breakfast - a bowl of porridge. 9 am the electricians  arrived and disrupted my morning, but a good disruption - they have installed the 20 amp plug. I also found why we are running out of hot water - we have two hot water tanks in the kitchen trailer and one is not working.
It was very difficult trying to work with them in our tiny kitchen so I sent Noni to the cabin to have a break - I stayed and finished cooking potatoes  for salad and  other things.
Sysco is very late today - we are to have a morning delivery - but today the truck shows up at 1:30 just as I was finishing the clean up from lunch. My not so favorite driver was driving today - as he was backing in I could tell right away he just missed taking out the two satellite dishes that provide  TV and internet here at camp. It is not a tight spot and other drivers don't seem to have a problem - but this driver... last year I was so angry with him, but it is now a new year - new beginnings. 
As the truck is unloaded we hear a crying dog. Under the deck a dog is stuck, crying, whimpering. One of the staff comes by (Richard) and I tell him - I can not crawl under the deck or even get down to look under it. It is raining - it is muddy - it is cold. Richard crawls under the but he can not reach the dog (Ralphy) Alex and Sarah come to the kitchen and I draft them into the dog rescue process.  Alex crawls under the deck - the three are now involved in the process and it is determined that the pup Ralphy is caught on a plastic strap. Lots going on, both on the top of the deck and under the deck all in the rain.  All is well - the pup manages to get free and dog and human are able to get out from under the wooden deck, delivery is unloaded, and I now have the task of putting every thing away. All 4 freezers are now plug in - I had more freezer items than I first thought so I had to plug in the last freezer. 
So you are thinking - what did I make with the mixer that was so long anticipated in coming and being connected?  Cookies  ---  4 lb of margarine 3 qt flour, 3qt oats, 2kg brown sugar, 16 eggs we have about 120 giant cookies (red handle ice cream scoop).
Breakfast  -- Fried eggs, bacon, toasted English muffins
Lunch -- Hard shell taco only - soft tortilla flour shells and sour cream on truck that is not here.
Soup - turkey noodle.    I did not eat lunch.
Supper -- BBQ chicken -home made BBQ sauce , Fried Rice, Mixed vegetables and we made fresh hot buttermilk T biscuits that were served right from the oven.   And  ----
--- surprise surprise we seem to have an additional half dozen people here for supper. If that is not enough of a surprise I have another. One new guess comes to the serving window and asks me what can she eat - she is gluten free and a vegetarian.  My vegetarian choice is a flour tortilla wrap with humus and cheese.  Well I have left over vegetarian chili so she gets that. Put it in a bowl and go to the microwave and find out the power breakers are blown - too many things plug into the power bar. Milk fridge, Hot water, Microwave. Owner asked why did not happen last year - I inform him that we have moved around things since last year and that last year we were plug in direct to the wall plug. So after supper he brings an extension cord and plugs the microwave directly to the wall plug.
---- And --Noni made two lemon meringue pies all from scratch. Guest and staff are wowed - fresh warm cookies - oven warm T biscuits - and Pie right from the oven. 
Like I said it was a long, long day - time to have a shower and lay down because my legs hurt - my knees hurt

22 April
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday -- days fly by and it is so difficult to remember which is which.  I go by Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four - Day Nine and repeat. Must some how remember Thursday and Sundays as I must do my Sysco food order. I must know the up coming days menu - must know how many guest will be arriving and going - what products need to be replaced to produce the menu within the next 5 days. I have to keep an on going inventory, so that I do not run out of anything.  Space - always need more space, dry storage is bulging at it seems and the walk in fridge over crowded, and the 4 chest freezers  utilized to maximum capacity.  Well not the freezers yet  - only two of the four are in use. I did plug one more in today to get it ready for tomorrows delivery.
Health inspector is coming Tuesday.  We have been getting ready for this - must say the kitchen area is looking pretty good.  Today bleached 5 of the kitchen serving tables in the dinning room - they look newish after removing the gunge.  Noni was removing dirt and mold from the serving window.
Dry storage  was still in a mess - so I spent an hour  in there organizing, and unpacking containers from last year.  We had things packed and moved to a heated cabin all winter and then last week spring staff loaded the pick up truck and dropped it all over here and then we got a Sysco delivery that was just thrown into the space.  So - can you picture the mess?  Well it is looking much better now. Still a little more to do  but it is ready for tomorrow's delivery.
Hockey night in Camp.  Satellite cable is brought into the dinning tent - 5 pm game starts - owner wants me to serve warm Nacho's as an appetizer at 5 and move supper to 6 pm.  Vancouver is in a do or die situation 3 games to 1.  So I have a red, green peppers chopped, green onions, black olives and cheese on a tray of nacho chips waiting to be heated in the oven. It is 4 pm right now - I am on a break.  It is cold - damp, not very pleasant out side.  Had some rain earlier this morning - a little sun and now just dark and damp. The breeze is cool - cold.
Supper - I am making a Jambalaya  type of pasta -  farmer sausage sliced - chicken diced in a tomato sauce with chopped carrot, celery, onion, garlic. -- Vegetarians same as but with tofu instead of meat.  Garlic bread  and a Caesar Salad.  Noni has made a delicious strawberry square.
Lunch - Pizza and cream of broccoli soup - salad bar
Breakfast - Egg Mac muffin  -- English muffin slice ham, slice cheese, fried egg, shredded cheese on top.
Last night before bed - I found a cable I brought from home - connected the satellite receiver to the TV and there it is.  I now have TV.   Tomorrow is the anticipated day - is the electrician going to show up or not.  The mixer is set in the kitchen just waiting --- calling me - use me, use me.  
7:13 just finished for the day.  I finished organizing the dry storage area - cooked and served supper and the nacho appetizer along with left over cold pizza.  Vancouver at the time I left the kitchen was up 1 to 0.  We have some very excited staff and guest right now.
One of the staff has fixed Noni's bike - pumped up tires - lube - adjusted seat height - so Noni is ready to begin cycling.

21 April
----ah beep beep beep beep - goes the alarm at 6:30 AM. I was in dream state when this beeping brings me back to reality.  Interesting these last two morning I wake up remembering some of my dreams - dreaming I was at Camp IAWAH.  Can not remember details but it was definitely IAWAH.  Wonder what that means??  I personally do not believe in dream interpretation.
Another marvelous day - sun shinning - Noni and I went for a walk at Anderson Beach. Not sure why they call it a beach - trees , river bed rocks , sand, growing things and creepy crawly things. You really get to see the river move. Even though it is the first time this year going here - I remember last year the river was very near to the road. Today we walked along where it use to flow, and will flow again as the snow melts high up on the mountains.  Seen bones of fish - interesting skeletons were scattered here and there in the sand. The tail gives it away so I know the bones are fish - just think in a few million years these bones will be fossilize and I can say I was there at the beginning.  I hypothesize that eagles had caught salmon and these are the remains.   Dalhouise was enjoying him self immensely running here and there, rolling and rolling and rolling in the sand. Wading into the river but would not go swimming.  I think I have tired him out because he is off in the bedroom by himself sleeping.   Of course we took pictures - lots, but because of the connection at camp - will not share at this time.
I had an email from the camp owner - electrician is to come first thing Monday morning.  And  I still have no TV connection yet either. No radio - only birds for music.
So what did I cook today?
Breakfast - Pancakes.
Lunch - Baked Ham and Scalloped Potatoes. Salad bar -- one more item was added. Soup -- Navy Bean for vegetarians  and the Beef Vegi as a second choice.   Today at lunch all the staff were tied together at their wrists . So as a whole the all went to the salad bar - soup bar - coffee / tea station and had to eat tied together. They had fun.
Supper - Baked spiced Chicken, Baked plain white Rice and Steamed Broccoli. Toss salad and the two soups on the side.  Vegetarians were fed a stuffed green pepper.  The filling was chic pea, cottage cheese, couscous with garlic and onion, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds on top.  I heard they really liked it.    Noni made two carrot cakes with cream cheese as a topping.
Camp - we have a guest here from a camp that I had applied to work at before Camp Summit. He began the conversation with asking if I had a twin who could come work at his camp. They are looking for another cook - one with passion and skill. As we talked I found out that they had their opportunity and had rejected me. Their loss and Camp Summits gain. He is impressed with the meals and the salad bar.
Well I guess this wraps up today.  As I finish - the birds are chirping so clearly and loudly in the tree just out side the cabin - it is so much better then the zoom of cars and trucks and sirens I hear at the condo.

20 April
At 5 am, I am woken up by birds in full vocal chirping. It is light and bright and the birds are rejoicing. It was a marvelous sunny hot day. This afternoon I even set up two out door chairs and sat down in one with Dalhouise in the other to soak up some sun.  Noni joined me for a little while - but she sat on the cabin steps.
But before I could enjoy the sun I had to earn my living.  Breakfast was Continental style -- boiled eggs, CB, toast, blueberry bagel, Hawaiian muffins,fresh purple grapes and thawed frozen blueberries, fruit salad, grapefruit.
    Lunch I made a vegetarian chili and a meat chili.  Served more potato soup and increased the salad bar once more.
Supper was so easy - staff all went to Whistler for the afternoon, leaving Noni and I to feed 6 guests.  So I fed them spaghetti and meat sauce and I used the vegetarian chili as the sauce and warmed up the samosa for the one vegetarian that was here - figures always has to be one.  Noni made cake both for desert and another flavor for snack later. I also served a Caesar salad with fresh bacon bits thus I had to have a separate one for the vegetarian,
I minced up some fresh garlic and smashed in butter and lavishly covered 3 home made loaves of bread and then grilled this  That was supper and also I heated the soup one last time.
Well the electrician did not show up so still no mixer.  Tv is still not working.  I do have a phone now 

19 April
Breakfast - French toast and bacon
Lunch - Quiche - Beef Vegetable soup and a larger salad bar. Owner came in to eat today and made the comment that the salad bar every day is getting bigger.  We are not yet at full out put - but we are getting there.
Supper - Roast turkey, gravy, cranberries, creamy mashed potatoes, frozen peas, home made bread, dressing also..
Noni made samosas and a chocolate cup cake with cream cheese topping.
The spring staff are arriving – some came late for supper - some are still at the airport.
Still no TV and of course phone should come tomorrow.
Tomorrow I hear the electrician is sending one of his workers to install the plug so I can use the new mixer - so excited about that.
Dalhouise has forgiven me - now back at my side on the couch. Rain now - this morning sunshine - cloud in the afternoon. Feeling cool and damp.

18 April
Began the day early - making a pot of coffee - hot oatmeal - banana pancakes. Had a little tour around the kitchen with Jordan showing him where the cold cuts were - the bread and salad bar fixings. Noni made a toss salad and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Pulled the soup out of the fridge and placed into a clean pot. Also gave him instructions for supper and reheating info. Sheppard pie and gravy and toss salad - bread.
9:15 I was in the car driving south and then east to Langley. Following the directions from Sarah - we arrived at the Langley Event Center at 11:05. No traffic issues at all to deal with - both ways clear sailing. Sailing it was too, very heavy - heavy rain.
Food show - I am so stuffed so many samples - so many vendors wanting me to buy their product -- so much process food. They call them selves chefs???? Restaurants buy from Sysco or any other food company - bring it to their own establishment - have their chefs open a package and heat – serve. Give me a break. I am so happy that here at Camp Summit - the owner appreciates the fact we do so much from scratch. I do open cans of tomatoes as my starting point - I do not grow my own tomatoes and process - that is a little too much. But I do assemble - cut - dice- chop- season- mix – cook most of my menu right here on site every day. No package soups - canned soups - frozen soups - fresh on site. Turkey tomorrow and it is a whole bird not a processed lump of turkey meat that gets cooked in a bag. Why go to a food show - always good to know what is up to date in my trade. Noni has a new menu idea that she can make - I now know about some new gluten free products that I might use. My tummy is a little unhappy - all this process food - or too much sampling ...
After we left the Food show - next door is a nursery - Gibbs Nursery - I really like this place - it is warm and inviting and homey. I went last year too and thought the same. Bought Noni a flower - beautiful purple flowers, and I bought two other leafy types - and some cilantro and parsley to plant next to the kitchen door in the planter I have placed there. I will take a picture maybe tomorrow if it is not pouring rain.
Dalhouise was left at home - had asked one of the staff here to let him out at some point during the day. - all is well. Still no TV - even changed the batteries in the remote - does not work. I have talked to the phone company - should have the phoned connected Friday.
Arrived at camp around 4:30 - Jordan has reorganized the kitchen some what - will have to deal with that later...
Supper is all taken care of - staff wanted to eat early 5:15 because they are going into town to watch the hockey game at the local pub - Noni is making samosa for tomorrow supper now - been at it for 2 hours so far. This is the veterinarian option.
I think Dalhouise is angry with me.... right now he is in the bedroom all by himself. He normally sits beside me on the couch. Giving me the cold shoulder he is.
Well that is it for today - will go check on Noni - come back have a shower - go to bed - I really am not feeling so well.

17 April
First night sleeping in the cabin since last October – I woke up once: it is a smaller bed and the mattress is not quite the same as the one in the condo, but nevertheless a good night sleep. First time I open my eyes it was still dark - next time it was very bright - quickly grabbing my watch to see the time ( can't find the alarm clock - must been left in the condo ) but no worries it is only 7am. We get up - I have a refreshing shower and listen to Noni read me the bible.
By 7:45 I am in the kitchen and making a pot of coffee. Breakfast is Fried eggs and Bacon, cereal and yogurt.
Between 8 and 8:20 Sysco delivery truck is backing up to the loading dock. Noni takes over cooking the bacon and she makes all the eggs. How many pieces -- cooler 55 ---- dry goods 64 ---- frozen 12 - cost -- not going to tell you. Will say I am kind of tired.
Lunch I made a corn chowder 8quarts - vegi corn soup 3 cups - special corn/ bacon soup 2 cups and for the main we had Chicken burgers. Salad bar was toss, potato salads - and pickles. Lunch we had 15 people eating my food.
Supper - 5oz pork chops grilled (12chops) corn chowder soup - home made  bread - cream style corn and red rice toss salad. I guess this is corn day.
I have made a Sheppard pie for tomorrow's supper. Noni and I will be going to a Sysco food in Langley - no idea how far away this is I am thinking about 2.5 hours from here. So Jordan is going to have to serve lunch and supper. Lunch will be cold cuts on home made bread that is made today and salads - Potato soup which I am finishing up today. And supper will be the Sheppard pie and beef gravy that is now made and only needs to be heated up tomorrow.
No TV - we haven't been able to get it to work yet. No Phone - still waiting for it to be "turned on" from the phone company.
Did I mention my body is sore and tired - right now it is 3:15 in the afternoon, first break since this morning. My legs feel it the most - is it from the accident or because of a 6 month vacation - or is it just the plain fact I am old.
I need a nap - then I will finished off supper and cut the cold cuts for tomorrow on the slicer -- we do not buy pre cut meat we do it ourselves.
Dalhouise is now curled up beside me on the couch - he has been out all day too. Mostly sitting by the kitchen enjoying some sun. He really does not care to mingle with these other dogs - today there is 5 dogs running about

16 April 012
So it begins - at 8 am I begin loading the car with boxes - bags - totes. Bike rack is mounted and bikes placed on car. How many times up and down the stairs loading. At 9 am boss phones - talks to Noni - when are we coming to camp - I had said 10 am, Noni says soon. Owner asks Noni where am I - down loading car - wants me to phone back when I come up - I did - all is well.
Meet my new kitchen crew at 10 am - Jordan - get him started cleaning the dish pit - washing all the dishes - and by the end of the day he was setting up tables and cleaning these.
Noni was cleaning the cabin - the male occupant that lived in it over the winter - well he left his mark - in the afternoon Noni made bread and potato salad.
I prepared lunch - 18 grilled cheese sandwiches - toss salad - tomato soup with a side dish of sliced dill pickles and hot banana peppers. Supper I cooked ground beef and made a meat sauce and cooked Spaghetti
Sales rep came in and I spent about 2 hours with him going over the first delivery that happens tomorrow. It is going to be a d oozy - large one. Rest of my time was filled in with cleaning - washing some pots - un loading the car and you know this and that.
Colder today and rain

-- side note kayaks are here at camp already - brought them here on Saturday with a couple more totes and bags