Monday, May 27, 2013

A time to relax

Monday, May 27, 2013

people are dressing strange even away from camp!

Do you ever wake up just plain irritable - grumpy? Well this last week I had one of those days. Snapping at my wife - sharp with my pouch Dalhouise - and very short with camp staff. I was fit to be tied and stressed and angry. Happy to say it only lasted a day - but still.. it was a long day.
The break is now over I am soon heading to the kitchen it is 6;30AM Monday morning. As you can see by the pictures I had a good day off yesterday - packed with relaxing moments.
I slept in till 7:15 - went to church and talked with friends and my mother - then went out for lunch with my wife taking a drive to Whistler for KFC. We have no KFC in Squamish - it closed about a year ago and my wife was craving KFC ( me too) so off to Whistler we went. Well if I am going some place outside of Squamish I grab my GPS. I was able to find three caches yesterday. That is a good happy feeling when I find them and sign that log book. We eat our KFC and then walk around Whistler with Dalhouise - I owe him too since I yelled at him this week also...
Met these people in costumes and was able to get a picture of my wife with them - well done.
I like flowers - the tulips are still in bloom so that made me happy
Stopped at Brandywine Falls Provincial Park - yes to seek out a cache - but also because I have never been there and I hear it is wonderful scenic spot - Yes it sure is. And I found two more caches here.
I love driving - traffic was good - the roads were clear - the scenery is awesome.
Arrived back at camp - one of the staff who went away for a week vacation to a wedding in Hawaii has returned - she has just began Geo caching - I think I got her motivated to do so - she bought a GPS just before her trip ( she found five in Hawaii) and so tonight I help her go find four of my caches that are nearby the camp, but first she went with a bike ride with my wife so my wife is also happy. The four of us head to the beach where we met two of my ex camp kitchen crew who are camping out with their boyfriends on the beach. Of course seeing them just made me happy in it self.
So that was my day off....

Friday, May 24, 2013

More Ranting

Friday, May 24, 2013

Well here it is Friday and I am still working and tomorrow is a work day also. We are having camp open house between 9 and 3. How many days now have I worked in a row? That will be 13 days. Sunday I am off and I hear there are NO more scheduled days after that for a very long time. Overall camp staff are getting tired - but they have been getting time off as program has more staff and are able to rotate to give people time off. However camp is short staffed overall but this week I do see we are up two staff since Monday - but NO replacement for my kitchen as of yet.
There is a good thing if you want to look for an encouraging thought in all this madness. I have always believed that program staff should spend some time doing dishes - they often take the kitchen workers for granted - leaving messes - not helping the kitchen - spending too much time lingering at the table after a meal before they clear it. (I keeping pushing the directors to get tables cleared - talk all you want once the tables are cleared - Kitchen staff including me can not get a break until food is put back into proper storage and for the dish girls they can finish up and get a break after the dishes are washed. If we have to wait for them to be sent to the dish pit that eats time and they are just finishing when it is time to reset for the next meal. -- Just get your tables cleared and talk once that is done... I am not telling you not to talk nor telling you to leave the dinning room - just clear the tables.

Thursday once again we had too meal times as one school left early and one remains until this afternoon. Feeding 65 first sitting and 80 second sitting . It takes time to make grilled cheese sandwiches and today I had to do all my self - taking up a large portion of my morning. Noni was busy baking - salad bar was about ten items less - but that is what happens when you are missing two members of your team -- in the past I would had been more driven to make it all work the same - just because that is my personality - but I notice some passion - some drive is missing this season so far lately....... Yes I am still putting heart and soul in the food I do make - but some something is missing..

Thankfully I have Noni.

Well it is time to go back to the kitchen - another day to earn my keep. Preparation for tomorrow must begin also as I am told to expect 250 to350 people to come for lunch during our camp open house .
The owner wants a full salad bar and his wife wants us to serve mac and cheese along with the Deli Bar of Cold cuts and Soup for the little kids. Well I know from experience the parents will eat both so I need to be prepared... I have been told I will get help - but usually the help form the other staff - well lets just say they created more work for me - I will use their help to clean up the mess I create - and washing pots and there will be lots of pots since we will be cooking many salad bar items like pasta - potato - barley salads.
I will blog more on that tomorrow,,,

Slam that door on the way out

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jealousy - anger -stress. The drama has not fully ended yet - there was a spark of hope that one if not two of my kitchen helpers would had a chance to being brought back. |That door was slammed shut last night. The owner had a staff meeting with the "program" people to discuss their thoughts and feelings - I hate that feelings part of camp life - I am not a feeling kind of guy. My life is in black and white - not democratic - owner - boss - manger decides what to do and does it regardless of "feelings" of others. Yes you can listen to others ---ah!!
Well I was not part of that meeting but I did hear enough - he is bringing back one of the program staff to give a second chance too ( he was involved in a minor way of breaking THEE camp rule) but as far as my kitchen girls - no way - I heard a couple of the girls become upset when they talked about a return.
My wife and I had talked about this before - we believe it is because my two kitchen girls ware so pretty - actually the prettiest on site - and tout of jealousy and had to keep them away. The person who was the most angry about their return and vocal is a girl who I know is very jealous and whom I have a major problem dealing with - she pushes all my buttons the wrong way - I have even told the owner to tell his director to keep her away from me as much as possible. Well hearing her talk has put me in a very angry mood now and after the meeting I had a conversation with the owner... Stressful. But a lot of this is flowing still from last years kitchen nightmares. If I have a repeat of last year with kitchen help and issues - I will walk away - it could not get worse and well it was living HELL. I will not go through that again... and that is one reason why I wanted my two girls back. I do not care about the program staff's feelings - we really do not have much involvement with them we work in our own bubble in a hot - walled - area with - dealing with all the dirty dishes and mess left behind after each meal - while they go play with the children in the great open spaces. Yes I know that can be hard too but it is different - kitchen people must get along and work well with each other as there is little room to have your own space. I am dealing with deadlines that must be met - my meals must be on time - but more importantly - I must be aware of FOOD Safe practices at all times - including what the girls are doing in the dish pit- dining tent - and restocking of condiments.
I have walked in and noticed that the dish machine soap is empty or even the wrong chemical was being used ( just because it was red ) we have two red chemicals and they didn't bother to read the label just looked at the color. We are nut free here at camp - I do not order foods with nuts - Sysco pickers either subsidize or just pick wrong items and sent us nut items. Example - we buy bulk cereal that we put into our own containers - and they mix a nut type of cereal in our orders and my girls just use it even though it was different looking - they do not question why - I must be aware of all these things ---
I was just getting the girls trained - now I must train people again - and once again if they are people like last years - useless bumps on a log - not to mention no rapour between me and them that was good.
And besides that they were so pretty - always easier to work with cuties - hey I am a guy............

Well here is another day - more stress

Monday, May 20, 2013

Afternoon Off

Monday, May 20, 2013

The long weekend is finally mine. Fed the group Scrambled eggs and sausage and toast - hot and cold cereals - yogurts and fruit salad for their breakfast. Prepared bag lunch ingredients - turkey, beef, salami, ham - humus - egg salad, cheese slices for their sandwich making. Cookies, fresh fruit and juice for their water bottles. The bus arrived and they boarded leaving the camp peaceful and quiet leaving the staff behind to clean and reset for tomorrows arrivals.
I cleaned the kitchen went to the cabin - laid down and fell asleep right away. A couple of hours later woke up from a deep sleep nap. Well that was not planned but Needed.
Ok - I still want to go find a geo cache so off to town we go..
What should had been a very peaceful relaxing time ended up in a little tiff - and not so joyful afternoon -- but all is good now - but !!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Just another day same old same old

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another day and another dollar - Well from feeding 120 people down to 42 feels like a holiday. I even managed to drive into town and did some banking - visit my mother and stop and buy coffees and go to the drug store. My left knee has been causing extreme pain and I was out of medicine.
Six years ago was the last time this group that is here now was at camp. It was the year before I was hired. I understand the kitchen did not run so smoothly and the food was not so good. The owner actually had to fire the kitchen people of that time. But that was then and today is now. I have talked with the leaders of this group - asking about the food of the camps they have been visiting - lots of process food and definitely not my salad bar option at lunch. They are so pleased and are giving lots of praise so far. So I have placed my self under this stress/ anxiety to make sure that the food is so good they will want to keep coming back to my camp.
I have fed them roast beef -scallop potatoes - cheese omelets - BLT - Lasagna so far not to mention potato soup - French Pea Soup - cookies - haystacks - red velvet cake and tonight nacho's for a snack

So on my way back to the kitchen to cook the evening snack -

Friday, May 17, 2013

Some closer

Went for a evening walk at Alice Lake to check on a new geo cache that I have adopted. While there I checked on another cache I had placed a couple of months ago next to the lake and I was greeted by this family. This is a great place to unwind a bit from the week of stress.
Today one of the girls came back to camp to collect her belongings that she had left behind. It was good to see her - got a hug and a chance to say goodbye - creating some closer to this grief that has befallen the kitchen.
This morning had a rough start to the day - had a little tiff with the camp director - we are all under a lot of stress and extra work loads because we are short staff all over camp and the remaining staff have to do the extra kitchen work. Anyways afterwards I was thinking that my two girls not only helped me get the work done but they also kept me calm. With my involvement in their lives seemed to keep me more hospitable and flexible with the other pressures of running the kitchen and dealing with the other staff. I really enjoyed having them around - no wonder I miss them so much. Interesting observation....
So it is the weekend - well not for Noni and I this group of 15 tables of 8 left and a group of 42 people arrived to take its place. They are here all this long weekend. then on Tuesday another school arrives. I do not know when I will get a full day off... I will take what ever time I can to relax when I can.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life in the Kitchen ges on

Life in the Kitchen goes on

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Well it is day two within the short staffed kitchen . The other camp staff are working double duty doing dishes and washing pots and helping somewhat with general set up of our dining tent. They are getting the job done kind of - I am biting my tongue and closing my eyes to the standards I train my regular help too do. I really miss my two team mates. When will they be replaced ?- will they bond with Noni and I? Will they be good workers? - Stress ...........
Breakfast today was only 11 tables of eight - lunch we had 9 tables of eight and then as soon as they left we had our second meal setting of 13 tables of eight. Yes another day with just under 200 mouths to feed.
I cooked 49 pizza's in total for lunch and a large pot of chicken soup and our amazing salad bar.
Supper we had beef and I chopped and cooked 60 pounds of potatoes.. and made carrot sticks to place on each table for their vegetables. If I cook vegetables they often don't eat them , so I find if I give them raw they eat more and I have less waste.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

All is not well

Alls is not well

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What a surprise this morning when the owner of the camp met me at the kitchen entrance when I arrived to work. I think I wrote awhile back about a conversation I had with another staff that all the drama would not end well.
Well all I can safely say is that this portion of the drama has ended and it did not end well.

I am not a happy camper - I really liked my two helpers - and they were doing a great job. But this is No more.
I feel the loss - grief - sadness -- and there is nothing I can do about it.

Good bye my Friends --

Monday, May 13, 2013

Another Monday

It's a Monday Again

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday - It was a good weekend. I accomplished all my plans on Saturday with my mother. Sunday I went to church came home to the cabin and just chilled for the rest of the weekend.
Fed 20 staff breakfast cheese omelets and toast. Lunch time the school group has arrived and I cooked 150 grill cheese sandwiches - tomato soup and approximately a 30 item salad bar. I think they ate 20L of soup.
Supper will be teriyaki chicken - rice - corn - jello... Vegetarians will eat cannelloni and the "high maintenance girl will eat fish.

My kitchen girls had a good weekend. I think it is official girl one is now dating boy one. Boy two is still around but she has made a decision - I actually caught her giving him a hug this morning...
I also was told that both boys ended up going to her home for the weekend. So I was making jokes about meeting the parents....
Girl two - not too much to report on -she went camping with her Irish lad on Friday night. Saturday night they stayed in her cabin since she had it it all to herself ... I understand they also made a quick drive home to her parents home on Sunday..

A Plan for the weekend

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's Friday and I am now finished work. OFF.
So I called my mother - we are going to go out tomorrow. I think as the plan stands right now will go to the Minter Gardens near Agassiz BC - have a look and possible soak at Harrison Hot Springs and may be a meal at Mandarin Gardens restaurant.
I am feeling a little tired - but I must spend some time with my mother - so tomorrow will be the day --I can rest on Sunday if need be. I hope to find at least one geo cache in all this out and about.

Mothers Day

Family Time / Happy Mother's Day

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Family Time
So Yes I picked up my mother just after 9 AM - went to McDonald for breakfast - then drove two or more hours to Rosedale to the Minter Gardens

Then we went to Harrison Hot Springs.
Noni and I soaked in the public pool - Mom would not join us. After which we walked along the beach - and of course I went geo caching.

Mom's first beach experience in many years

Mom has been wanting to go to the Mandarin Garden for over a year now s was her day.
So it was a long day - Mom was home about 10:30pm and I arrived home 11ish.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Scarey or what?

Friday, May 10, 2013

I look like some kind of evil warlock brewing something - and it has only been a couple of days in this crazy - crazy week - what will I look like in five months??

lunch preparation

hungry - hungry

These are the two kitchen girls that are having such a pull on the guys to hang around the kitchen -
-- the saga continues - the boys are making head way with their persistence - I understand each of of them and both of them will be hanging out with my young kitchen helper this weekend. I am not given all the details - not sure if both will have alone time with her- one will be for sure they are going to see a comedian and the other guy will be meeting them afterwards and then I do not know what.. Gone form wanting nothing to do with them to this in a very short time - we still have five months --hey we still have additional 20 staff to come yet before this gig is all done.. more choices of guys!!

- Yes I have had to use my fear factor and tell the guys to leave my girls alone during meal working times - and another time or two they were just hanging around talking while they were doing all the work in the dish pit - so I told them if they were going to talk they had to work also - which they did and the girls finished doing the dishes quite fast - making everyone happy. I like win win situations. Then the boys had to go to their program areas to do their own jobs- so maybe they got the short stick of the deal - well not really they had time with their young hearts crush...

My Love

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Thursday, May 02, 2013

Cookies - the kitchen girls were in for happy times until they realized just how much dough they were going to have to scoop.
12lb margarine
9qt brown sugar
48 eggs
9 qt AP flour
9 qt rolled oats
12 Table spoons baking powder
1qt chocolate chips
I hope I did not forget anything..

What makes our staff happy?