Monday, July 27, 2009

Ninjas in training...

This is what Cassie Jo prefers to do in the evenings. Many times she coaxes my kitchies into doing it too. I usually refuse, preferring a simple walk or a nice book. Nonetheless, she has fun being whipped into shape by the work-out instructors yelling from her computer screen. "Hey f-f-f fellas, hey l-l-l ladies, it's time to PARTY!" Not quite the party I prefer, but I did enjoy secretly filming their ninja training workout from tonight so you all can see what goes on in the kitchen after hours. I love this place! :)

oh yeah...i got caught!

Watermelon Days...

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Microwave and Chai Lattes

This is our newest addition to the camp kitchen. A much needed one as we have been without for five days. It's a Panasonic NE-1054 and the highlight of my day by far. Delvin rolled her off the truck around 11:30 AM and Lucas unpacked her and plugged her in. She's already been christened Penny due to her full name being displayed on her front, Panasonic. We have a Hobart dishwasher named Hobie so they're already becoming fast friends. This microwave will soon come in handy dearly as Caroline and I frequently use the microwave to make Chai Lattes after an afternoon nap or late in the evening when everyone's in bed and we just want to sit and watch YouTube videos in the dark of the kichen. Although we've gotten accustomed to making them on the stove during our five torturous days without the microwave and they do actually taste better that way. I know the microwave will be back in action soon. I'm so thankful today for new kitchen appliances and time spent with friends over Chai! Have a good one. Pirates VS Ninja's TONIGHT!!!!


Thursday, July 23, 2009


A few kitchen numbers for you:

0- degree temperature in the walk in freezer
1- hours I spent cleaning out said freezer this morning
3- sweatshirts I wore
4- towels wrapped around hands and head strategically duct-taped by loving kitchies

8- 18"x24" trays of biscuits served at breakfast
15- 18"x24" trays of sausage served at breakfast
20- gallons of milk

40- gallons of juice going on trip today
176- sandwiches trip packer made for trips today
384- chocolate chip cookies going on trip today

160- campers at camp
180- pounds of turkey eaten by campers at the masquerade ball last night
400- apple turnovers eaten by campers at the same party

900- plates kitchies will wash today
900- cups "
900- forks "

4- loads of laundry a day (28 towels and rags, 42 aprons)
1,960- floor tiles swept and mopped by the kitchies twice daily
5,000- sq. feet of saran wrap that came in our Tuesday shipment

25- minutes spent calculating all this
86- minutes til we're back in the kitchen for lunch!
14- happy kitchies and cooks who all this would not be possible without!

6,790,062,216- people in the world...thanks

Monday, July 20, 2009

90's Party!!

Mmmbop, Michael Jackson, Space Jam, Free Willy, DC Talk, the list goes on and on and on. That's the music we are currently listening to during the 90's party dance which takes place in none other than the KCO dining hall! Everyone has on their fanny packs, overalls, doc martens, wind suits, and side ponytails. I've even seen a few beanie babies and Furby dolls around. After a heavy serving of cheeseburgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, orange slices, m&m's, kool-aid and rice crispy treats, the kids dance for an hour and a half non-stop! They love it though! There is an appearance from the "98 backsync boys" as well and let me tell you, they're better than all the 90's boy bands put together! We've got fog, strobe lights, colored lights that change to the beat and the best music from an awesome decade! Although most of these campers were born around 1995 so they really don't have a clue what really went on in the 90's :) We staff members are all reminiscing over our favorite shows like Saved by the Bell, All That, Legend of the Hidden Temple, Guts, Alex Mac and of course: Double Dare. The kids play Double Dare game show up in the gym complete with physical challenges, a pie in the face and the infamous green SLIME machine. The kitchen makes the slime and it just as fun to make as see people get slimed: 1 part water to 1 part corn starch, a few drops of green food coloring and its time to start sliming! It's a great night to be at camp!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Long time, no write...

Well, even if our mothers are the only ones who read our blog, it's still been too long since we've posted. After some awesome, much needed time off with my visiting parents, I am back in full swing, kitchen action. Today was our changeover day which means we sent 160 kids out the gates at 9 AM, swapped all the staff into different positions (11 new kitchies, 3 new cooks) had lunch, and brought 160 more kids in the gates at 2 PM! Mass craziness, but we made it just like always. Lunch today was for the staff only so we always do a little extra specialness in the kitchen. We had chicken and steak fajitas with all the fixings including homemade salsa and guacamole! If anyone knows me well enough, you'll know I could live off of chips and guac. We also had cookie dough brownies (heavenly) made again by Sharley. And just for a little extra morale, energy boost add in 100+ cans of sugar filled soda, and six ginormous bowls of every candy you can imagine. Name it, and we probably had it...even those weird and slightly disgusting "nerd ropes". Then sno-cones and cotton candy. We get the staff on a sugar high every changeover so the kids are welcomed into camp by 80 screaming, jumping, excited, crazy people! It was always overwhelming to see all the energetic people dressed as sharks, cheerleaders, Hawaiian dancers, referees, and etc. banging on the bus windows as I came into camp as a camper. It is really fun and makes for a great start to the term. Dinner tonight was chicken fingers, Caesar salad, potato wedges, fruit and some amazing chocolate brownie/cake things made by Ruthie that legitimately tasted like cake batter in a bar! I loved it. I'm sitting in the kitchen now feeding the latecomers Pb&j because our microwave is broken and shooting sparks so I can't heat up any leftovers for them :( Good to be back in the kitchen for sure!

A little kitchen picture for you: After a hilarious attempt at getting all the lost aprons from behind the washer. I wouldn't post the actual picture of that attempt on here because it is such a funny (not so appropriate for all the web to see) picture I'm having a hard time not laughing long enough to save and post it. Or maybe I'm just actually saving it to blackmail Kym (who was the actual person who saved the lost aprons).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's Time to PARTY!

Masquerade...paper faces on parade...masquerade (sing along if you've ever seen phantom of the opera.) That's our party tonight; a masquerade ball. We've got lots of masked people running around including princes, princesses, dukes, a phantom and a court jester. The kids make masks, eat a humongous feast, watch skits put on by all the characters, then dance out in a field under white tents lined with white lights. It's so fun and so pretty. For the kitchen it means, lots of carrots, potatoes, whole wheat rolls, apple turnovers and 16 ginormous "medieval times" style TURKEYS! And guess what? None of it is going in the strata. However a great way we've found to reuse the leftover turkey is to put it in our King Ranch Casserole tomorrow night!

1 doz corn tortillas
Chicken stock
1 large chicken or TURKEY stewed, boned and cut in bites
1 large green pepper, chopped 1 large onion, chopped
2-4 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 lb. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. chili powder
Garlic powder to taste
Salt to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel tomatoes

Soak tortillas in boiling chicken stock; place in bottom of 3 quart casserole. Top with chicken pieces. Saute green pepper and onion in oil until tender and layer over chicken. Add grated cheese to casserole, sprinkle chili powder, garlic powder and salt; spoon on undiluted soups and top with Rotel sauce. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or freeze, thaw and bake.

And yes we make this also in a much bigger quantity. 8-10 18"x25" pans!
On a side note, my parents are in town visiting so I'll be out of the kitchen for the next two days! Hopefully Cassie Jo will be back in blogging action soon and you can hear from her. -Les

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lemon Lake and Poppyseed Chicken

Today was a good day! After a long morning of cooking, cleaning and trip packing, the kitchies took the afternoon and went to Lemon Lake. One of my favorite spots around, it's a beautiful, mostly boat free, reservoir made for sunbathing and relaxing in an inter-tube. We may or may not have taken a bag full of cookies along for the ride. We're back in action now, serving out some incredible Poppy seed Chicken made by the lovely Sharley. The cooks even got called out for high-fives twice in one meal for the chicken and the dessert!!! Sounds like you should be here too! If you're not in the area however, you can make it yourself:

8 oz. Ritz crackers crushed
2 T. poppy seeds
1 c. butter melted
6 chicken breasts cooked and cubed
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans of cream of chicken
1 (8 oz.) sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix crushed crackers, poppy seeds, and melted butter. Spray bottom of a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Reserving 3/4 cup of cracker mixture, cover bottom of pan with remaining cracker mixture. In a large bowl, combine cooked chicken, soup, sour cream, salt and pepper. Spread over cracker layer. Top with reserved cracker mixture. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour!! Enjoy.

One a side note, your dish will be much smaller than our own. Tonight alone we've served out eight 25"x18" pans to over 200 people! We used 28 rolls of Ritz, 2 cups of poppy seeds, 14 cups of butter, 80 pounds of diced chicken, 500 ounces of cream of chicken, 10 pounds of sour cream!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pirates vs. Ninjas

Pirates vs. Ninjas: who do you think would win? I'm all about being a pirate (arggghh) tonight, mostly because that's the costume I found at Goodwill. This party is about to begin and it is by far the most complicated for the kitchen. The pirates eat in one place and the ninjas in another. This means two of EVERYTHING for the kitchies to split up, put in a truck and deliver to the proper battle station. For the cooks this means over 300 egg rolls, a 50 gallon vat of chicken fried rice, tons of broccoli and a dessert sushi more famously known as rice crispy treats! The kids go nuts for the rice, but then again who doesn't love it? After they eat there is a camp wide game of capture the flag, pirates against ninjas of course. Then after that, a ginormous gym filled with bubbles and foam and paint and water and black lights: lots of playing, dancing to techno music, and lots of FUN! More soon!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hi, my name is Lesley...

Well, we've decided that we should probably introduce ourselves to the blogging world, as it will most likely be turned upside down by our incredibly intelligent, mind-blowing posts. Since it was a little bit of my idea to drag ourselves into this, I'll go first!

I'm Lesley. 24 yrs old in 5 days! College graduate. Native Texan! Avid reader. Creativity thriver. I've been calling this place in Colorado home for the past 6 or so summers. My job here in this kitchen is specifically titled "Dining Hall Discipleship Leader and Trip Packer Director." This means that I am basically in charge of an entire kitchen and everything that goes along with that. I have 11 incredible college age girls who I call my "kitchies." Everyday we serve 230 kids and staff 3-5 meals a day. We serve food, get refills, make fantastic juices, wash dishes, we sweep, mop, do laundry, clean, clean, clean, etc. We also get to pack lunches for all of our day trips that leave camp to go rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, rafting, etc. All in all we spend about 9-10 hours a day serving an awesome God by serving this camp...and we LOVE IT! Mostly because we get to spend those 9-10 hours with our best friends belting out show tunes and praise songs and having lots of fun telling stories and playing jokes on each other! We also do bible study and every other day or so, we do what we like to call kitchie-bonding. We ride bikes, go to the lake, tube the river, make milkshakes; mostly fun things to take a break from the kitchen and hang out together...yes more fellowship! Just sharing in life!

So that's my job in a nutshell. Sometime we'll actually let you know how many Pb&j we make each week, or how many cups and plates get washed each day. Many many more stories and posts to come on the life of a camp kitchie!

Now debuting: Put it in the STRATA!!

After being in the Colorado camp kitchen for 60+ days, and being slightly inspired by Julie Powell's book Julie and Julia, we've decided to start blogging about the ever exciting life in a summer camp kitchen.

As two twenty-somethings running a kitchen that serves over 230 people a day, we've definitely got our hands full of kitchen tasks as well as a numerous amount of witty banter and fun inside jokes. Hence the title of our newly created blog...Put it in the Strata** was created after having many various leftovers from different meals and looking for creative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Whenever the question has been asked in the kitchen, "what do i do with this leftover?", we simply say, "PUT IT IN THE STRATA!!"

So, keep an eye out for many more exciting kitchen facts and recaps of daily activities! It's an exciting life out here and the best job in the world!!

-Lesley and Cassie Jo

**Strata= breakfast casserole filled with anything and everything...we use eggs, cheese, hamburger and hot-dog buns, bagels, waffles, leftover sausage, french fries, squash, broccoli, bacon, etc, etc. Not always all at once though...use your imagination!