People ask me what I’m doing these days. I usually say “Actually, I’m cooking at a fishing lodge in the boonies of Northern Manitoba this summer!”
And they say “Wow! How’d you end up there?” And then I send them off to THIS POST right here.
And that is that. Cooking can be pretty straightforward.
But then, sometimes, there are people who say…
“but, What do you do?”
This post is for you, my detail-seekers. Don’t apologize for questions – I don’t mind explaining. I am always pleasantly surprised when people ask for details; it shows you are interested. That makes me feel cared for. So thank you, for asking!
A Day in the Life: The Cook’s Edition.
The alarm goes off.
The paranoia alarm goes off.
I brush my teeth and slip into my scrub pants
(Best packing decision ever! Thank you to all my nursey – and non-nursey! – friends for the recommendation.)
and take 149 steps down the boardwalk to the kitchen.
“Good morning Becky.”
She’s often on the grill. I usually do breakfast baking. But we switch a lot.
I make muffins, scones, or bannock.
If I’m on the grill I arrive 15 minutes earlier to pan bacon, sausage, and make oatmeal,
along with the Special of the Day
(pancakes, hashbrowns, french toast or omlettes.)
The waitresses come and go, preparing the lodge for the day, making wake up calls and deliering various hot beverages to cabins, but they have a different and way complicated schedule so we just won’t talk about them.
All breakfasts are to-order, so we wait for individual orders to come in and then plate different kinds of eggs, sausage, ham, bacon, and toast accordingly.
Sometimes we have early guest breakfasts if there are early flights out.
Guests leave early to catch flights to Flin Flon, then Winnipeg, and then on home.
I also use this time to sneak in extra prep for the day, like chopping vegetables for supper or starting bread to rise.
And I eat breakfast too.
Clean the kitchen, counters and grill.
Sit down with Becky to plan the day and divide the to-do list.
We bake bread almost daily
Herbed white, French, rye, Dinner Rolls, Cinnamon buns, Foccaccia, flatbread, Red River, Biscuits, etc.
I also do a lot of desserts.
Brownies, Pie, Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Trifle, Lemon Posset, Chocolate Mousse, Cinnamon Torte, Apple Crisp, to name a few.
We have a daily soup or salad, a hot and a cold appetizer,
along with a separate dinner for staff – feeding everyone ribs and prime ribs gets expensive –
and we make lunch for the 10 “permanent island staff” as well.
(The guides cook shore lunch for guests or take sandwiches. Shore lunch is deep-fried walleye or pike with potatoes and onions and sometimes bannock.
Apples, Oranges, and cookies also accompany the boats out.)
I Stir stuff. Count stuff. Scoop, peel, slice, stir more.
Make messes. Clean messes up.
Wash hands, x1000.
Drink water, x12 water bottles or more.
Sweat. Drink more water.
Stir more stuff.
1-4:30 or 5:00
I love naps.
I need naps.
Thank God for naps.
I could also read, suntan, or do laundry.
Or work out, check facebook, go exploring, or shower.
Raise self from the depths of slumber, put on the blacks
(not required, I just like it. It looks better than teal scrubs and my Canada tshirts. If I’m going to be a fake cook let’s be professional about it!)
and head to the kitchen.
Prep sauces, appies, heat things that need to be heated, and generally get ready for dinner.
Appetizers go out.
Sloppy Joes, Chicken and Rice, Stir fry, Meat laof, Tureky/Potatoes/Gravy, Pizza, Stew, Pasta Alfredo, Lasagna, Burgers, Etc.
We feed 14-25 people at supper, but guides and pilots come and go, changing numbers frequently.
Serve Soup or salad, then plate individual meals
prime rib, pasta, steak, caprese chicken, ribs, pork tenderloin, basil-something chicken; depending on the day
and then plate/garnish/decorate dessert.
Clean up, pull frozen bread for the next days toast,
and be done.
And maybe Eat a Posset.
Chuck the apron in the basket.
Walk 149 steps to the bunkhouse.
8:30 – 9:30 – 10:00
Chill on the porch with other staff members.
or Read. or blog. or Send a Postcard.
Count the hours left before 4:30.
Go to bed.