Monday, 27 May 2013

Still Alive and Cooking

Sometimes I feel bad about you poor Regis readers...I neglect you so often. But this time I honestly -honestly- have had no time to write an update.

Sunday marked 4 weeks since Karissa and I arrived in Prince George, BC, to begin the adventure of cooking for a treeplanting camp!

Karissa and I have been friends for about 18 years (and we enjoy the look on the treeplanters faces when we tell them this. Most of them are only a couple years older than 18) and she was hired as my "assistant cook" about 2 weeks before the contract start date, when the originally-hired assistant backed out. It turned out to be a beautiful coincidence that I needed a new assistant, and Karissa needed a new job at the same time! The timing worked out perfectly, and as we laughingly agreed that since its been a month of being together practically 24/7, and we haven't killed each other yet, I guess it will work out all right!

The sleep deprivation is almost as bad as I expected. Especially during the first couple of shifts, when things were chaotic and there was no time for naps, we were both running on adrenaline and not much else.
Now that we have found our groove, we each take 2 hours naps in the morning or afternoon to supplement the minimal hours we get at night. "Days off" (like today) are never really days off as there is either at least breakfast/lunch to be served, or the week's grocery shopping to be done, a 4 hour round trip to PG and back, as well as doing kitchen and personal laundry, running errands, and taking additional naps :)

The Prince George area has been enjoying some splendid weather this month- the first couple of weeks were hot and summery, and the last couple have been a bit cooler with some rainy periods, but overall sunny and pleasant. Not exactly the frigid winter conditions I was expecting!

The camp is fantastic! We are cooking for about 60 people, and we have a little trailer with 2 ovens, a flat top grill, 4 burners, a big kitchen sink, and lots of counterspace and shelving!. Out back is a walk-in cooler (its wonderful), and 2 deep freezes. There is a small blue "serving tent" where we set up the meals, and a large "weatherhaven" mess tent. Our guinea pigs (aka the planters) LOVE the food we have been making. It is seriously the most rewarding thing to cook for these people because they are always so hungry and they get excited like small children at a zoo, when they see or smell food. I am not even joking when i say that every night someone will ask, "Is this ---?" and I will tell them yes, and they will say, "No way! I LOVE ---!" . On the drive back from the block, they will discuss what they think is for dinner, and no matter what it is, they are excited about it. I get a dozen "Thanks for dinner!"s every night...they are a really awesome, grateful, and positive group, and I am so thankful for their enthusiasm and encouragement.

Time has really flown by, and I can hardly believe we are already 1/3 of the way through the season. So far I have been having a really good time, even though I am exhausted (and had the flu the other day), I am enjoying this job far more than I ever expected to, and if I still feel the same at then end of July it is likely I would re-apply next year.

Now I will sign off and have a nap. Karissa and I are planning on FINALLY getting out to see The Great Gatsby tonight, which starts at 7 and runs for nearly 3 hours...we might fall asleep, which would be tragic.

Hope to update again soon, and tell you all about "The Mind of the Planter"...

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