Sunday, June 18, 2006

Kitchen Girl

One fun thing this weekend was working in the kitchen, helping with washing dishes and learning about the Hobart dishwasher. The meals at camp were fabulous and served up by Second Breakfast... healthy and delicious foods, featuring as many products grown and raised locally in Maine as possible.
The call went out Friday evening for volunteers to help out in the kitchen whenever possible to ease the burden of providing meals to I don't even know how many people. I was compelled to go in and cut vegetables, or help in whatever way I could, but alas the workshops called and I did after all go to camp to fiddle... but still, there was the little voice talking in my ear saying "Can you help out for a few minutes?"
Saturday after dinner, I heeded the call and went to the kitchen to offer my services in washing dishes... I was received with a hearty "YES!" I informed Richard that I was going to help 'for a few minutes' and would meet him at the Fiddle-icious rehearsal in a few minutes.
Well, let me tell you, they were backed up with dishes from here to there! Piles of dishes, and still dessert to serve! So, I went to the back sink, and there was the giant overhead spray arm I remember from high school cafeteria days! Aha, this is going to be fun, I think to myself... so I start rinsing and loading racks for the Hobart. A nice woman came along and showed me the PROPER way to work... load the dirty dishes in the rack and then spray them en masse because doing them one at a time and loading them individually TAKES TOO MUCH TIME and there were A LOT OF DISHES. Well, I hadn't really scoped out the volume of work waiting to be processed but when I saw the frantic look in her eye, and heard her say "I learned this process when doing the dishes THIS MORNING" I thought I'd better pay better attention instead of just thinking I'd waltz into the kitchen and do a nice little good deed... Oh MY GOD, there was a mountain of dishes!
Okay, so this is the procedure... Load dishes into rack, spray all the food out as good and as fast as you can, and shove the loaded rack into the Hobart and pull the door down. Start on the next rack. We did this, rack after rack after rack after rack for I don't know how long... Thank GOD the Hobie works fast or it would never have worked.
Now, you can suggest paper plates and throwaway utensils, but part of what I love about Maine Fiddle Camp, and these caterers is the commitment to stewardship of the environment. So, if it means I give up part of my camp time to help this process work, HOORAY THAT I CAN AND WILL PARTICIPATE. It means the dishes all got washed, dried and stored for the next meal. It means that all the food scrapings got collected for the pigs. It means there was a very minimal amount of actual trash. And it means that almost everything we used gets reused for the next meal. And esthetically, I mean really, don't you think that it's nice eating off 'real' plates intstead of paper?
We did use paper plates today for the cookout... so out of 5 meals served and countless snacks, there was still not much in the way of throwaway garbage. I'd say that's a good deal.
SK turned me onto the name Hobart, so when I went into that kitchen on Saturday, I knew I was in for a real kitchen appliance experience.
There may be another post or two about this weekend's Maine Fiddle Camp. For now, I'm going to go unpack our gear, start the laundry, and maybe play a tune or two.
Kitchen Girl can be found in the Fiddler's Fakebook.

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