Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Lessons From a Week-Long Children's Bible Camp, Part 7

This is the last of my original 13 (or camper's dozen!) lessons learned. I write these lessons in the weeks after finishing our first camp session in July 2002. I start posting my next set of lessons learned this weekend. These lessons are from our 2003 session.

In General, It's Best To Under Purchase Food For The Week

Not knowing how the campers will react to the menu is one of the great mysteries of camp cooking. Resist the urge to purchase full portions of each menu item for the week. This especially holds true for salads, vegetables and fresh fruit.

Where possible, be prepared to make shopping runs to Costco, Smart and Final or the local market for last-minute items and things that you've run out of. If you can't go, send your camp quartermaster. But be ready to explain your shopping list in detail. On one such list I had heavy cream (you know it as whipping cream). The twenty-something shopper returned with a half-gallon non-dairy coffee creamer, which we never used.

Herbs Are The Spice Of Life

But they're a big waste of the camper's fee if you purchase new bottles of a dozen herbs and spices for the week. Why purchase two ounces of nutmeg when you only need two teaspoons all week? So I invaded my co-director's kitchen--primarily because I forgot in raid my own kitchen, which was 150 miles from camp--and got a hold of about 90 percent of the herbs and spices for the week. We purchased small quantities of the rest.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all your good ideas about feeding a crowd. I have cooked for a few retreats - 3 meals a day for about 45 - in a regular kitchen. It was hectic but fun. I too learned that a daily trip to the store was alomost inevitable, in spite of my best plans. If nothing else we needed ice and had no ice maker. I found that I could delegate breakfast to another adult or college students, which gave me one meal off. My craziest experience was when someone turned off the oven on a roast left cooking for the next meal - and it happened twice! I suspected our absent-minded head minister, who just thought someone left the oven on.

    I especially enjoy reading your spiritual meditations. It's great to share the faith with people all over our country.