The title of this blog entry pretty much sums up life for the past few weeks. The kids and I have been at it for a few shifts now and although we are sometimes running on empty, we are loving being here. From roast beef dinners, pizza nights and Mexican themed dinners, we have had wonderful feedback..no pun intended!...The planters we cook for are an awesome bunch of people and a pleasure to serve! We started out with 17 hour days, working from dawn til after dusk, preparing for 80+ planters who ate enough food for 100. Grabbing a 1/2 hour nap mid afternoon was a treat! We are now down to a camp of 45-50 and life is easier. The kitchen is not set up to serve much more than this number, and it was a real struggle to get food ready for 100 on 3 home-style stoves and ovens. Our big industrial sized pots don't fit well on a normal stove tops. But we made it work, and will have to again in a few weeks when the 2nd part of the crew is back with us from their time away in Smithers, while we are out in the bush camp outside Houston, BC.
The weather has been a bit of a trial, with lots of rain and cold. Poor planters...they come back to camp sopping wet, cold and hungry. There is a 'dry tent' in camp for just such occasions. It is a canvas wall tent rigged with a propane heater where they can hang wet clothes, boots and hang out to warm up and dry out. The camp also provides hot showers on trailers to help wash away the days aches, pains and chills. It has begun to be spring now though, which means the bugs are coming out. Our kitchen is a semi trailer which has been converted into a long skinny kitchen with a built in walk in cooler at one end. We've decided we could design a much better one as far as ease of use and storage, but it is far better than the tent kitchen some camps use.
Today is Day Off. We lose track of what day it is or what date. We go by our own calendar consisting of Day 1, 2, 3 and 4, followed by Day Off. The kids and I are doing Camp Stay today, which is essentially watching over the camp while everyone is in town. It pays well, so it is worth doing. Someone has to run the kitchen generator for several hours twice during Day Off to keep the cooler and freezer at the right temperatures. So that is what we are doing. It is also time that we can relax, sleep and catch up with the outside world via the internet. We are not totally cut off...we do have a satelite phone and internet in camp, but only when the generator is running. Which reminds me...I need to go and shut it down til this evening, so this is me signing off til I am able to find a few minutes to make another entry!