Saturday, July 30, 2005

We're Home!

I'm so glad to be HOME! We had a great time at camp, but now we're back and getting things back to normal again. I managed to get several loads of laundry done and all the suitcases unpacked last night. The laundry is almost finished now.

While I was working in the kitchen, I made mental notes of a few things that would apply to FLYing. One thing I noticed is that cleaning as you go really pays off when you're cooking for nearly 100 people. Even small things help, like sweeping the middle of the floor or running a mop over the worst areas of the floor when there's a lull in activity. After supper each night, one of the men would mop the entire floor, but it really helped to sweep or mop here and there throughout the day. Keeping the counters as clear as possible is helpful to whoever is doing the chopping, mixing, grating, or serving, so we'd throw away paper towels, empty bags and containers, and peelings and such as we worked. And there was always someone at the sink washing dishes as we cooked - always. It was never the same person for every meal, just whoever noticed that something needed washing. If we'd waited till after the meal, we'd have never gotten them all washed!

Another thing we did was start on the next meal as soon as one was cleaned up. That meant doing things like shredding cheese and lettuce right after lunch, instead of waiting until time to put the taco salad together. We cooked the beef for the salad early in the afternoon, then refrigerated it till time to use it. We put the chicken in the oven at 2:30, when supper was at 5:30, so we'd have some leeway with it. We were finished that night at 5:10 - twenty minutes to spare, which kept things from getting hectic at serving time. Cake for supper was baked in the morning after breakfast. Meat was thawed out the night before and refrigerated. Buns were buttered early in the afternoon for dinner.

All of these are baby steps. One little step when we had plenty of time, to save time when we were under pressure to get a meal served. These are things that I can use in my home. I heard once that we should be a little bitter - do a little bit of work in a little bit of time to save time later. So I was a little bitter this week, and I'm looking at my meal preparation differently now to see what I can get done in little steps ahead of time to make my meals not only easier to prepare, but better for my family too.

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