Saturday, June 25, 2005

Second Set of Lessons from a Week-Long Bible Camp, Part 1

Here’s the second installment of my lessons from running a kitchen for a weeklong children's Bible camp. They're based operating a stand-alone kitchen where you plan the menu, purchase food and cook meals for the week only. Several points don't apply to a camp kitchen that operates all summer because you can hold excessive stock from one week to the next.

Don't Neglect the Spiritual Aspect of a Bible Camp

In Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, the preacher says that the whole duty of man is to "Fear God and keep his commandments." Jesus said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:3-4).

As Christians, we must always be ready to listen to God. Bible camp is the perfect opportunity for the chef and his cooks to focus on "every word" (see Romans 10:17). Camp is an intense week of spiritually food that we mustn't squander. Be ready to adapt the schedule so kitchen staff can attend Bible study and worship.

Bible camp! Posted by Hello

During the first of year camp, we toiled more than 12 hours each day. On Monday of the 2003 camp session, the cooks worked most of the day. Then Tuesday, the ladies (I was the only man in the kitchen that year) asked if they could attend the woman's Bible class.

I said yes and spent the next hour watching their class from a distance as I did paperwork. I decided that Bible class was more important -- even if only for an hour -- than work. I attended the men's Bible study on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

You're missing the whole point of attending a Bible camp if you don't attend to the spiritual along with as the temporal aspects of camp.

Don't Neglect Food Safety

Food safety is the law. Romans 13:1 says "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." This passage says that those who resist these authorities (including food safety authorities, one presumes) bring judgment upon themselves. Our motivation to obey laws, according to vs. 5, is because we have a good conscience to God, not just to avoid punishment (see 1 Pet. 2:13-17).

Next to the menu, the food production worksheet is one of the most important documents in the camp kitchen. Use it to record portions prepared, cooking start and stop times and all temperatures (cooking, holding and cooling) for each menu item. Posted by Hello

Secure a health permit where required by law and use a four-pronged approach to food safety:

  • Prevent time-temperature abuse
  • Avoid cross-contamination
  • Ensure proper personal hygiene
  • Clean and sanitize food contact surfaces regularly
Make sure that you have a safe method to transport potentially hazardous food. And don't save leftovers if you can't adequately cool them through temperature danger zone.

Cool leftover food through the danger zone (135 to 41 degrees) by placing the pan in an ice water bath. Under most state and local laws in the U.S., you have two hours to cool the leftovers from 135 to 70 degrees and an additional four hours to cool the down to 41 degrees or lower. This pan of leftover pan of sausage gravy is in the second phase of cooling. Posted by Hello

Index of lessons from a weeklong children's Bible camp

1 comment:

  1. Great topic Steve. Let's have more info on Food Safety. Dutch Oven Cook-off cooks need to stay on top of safe cooking. Thanks Chef Steve for your hard work