Page 32

up for breakfast on someone else’s camp to find only tomatoes for example - I don’t like them very much! If a full selection isn’t available then you very quickly get an empty plate - and getting a decent breakfast is the fundamental starting point to a day. The kitchen is my domain: I think that’s pretty clear - I’ll be the one doing the cooking, you stay out! I’ve found the two worst groups for violating this are the people washing up the brew kit and old hands Canal Camps Cook: yet another view particularly those who know you and seem to think that means the rules don’t apply (I’ll confess to being I’ve been reading the various cooks’ approaches with guilty of that myself though!). interest - but as nobody has yet described how I do it, I If I’m cooking at Christmas, I’ll generally have a thought I would share my experiences. I reiterate that this volunteer helper in the morning to help with lunch (I get is my approach only! Firstly, a few golden rules: volunteers to make their own, but at Christmas it’s always good to take soup or baked potatoes to get 1. I’m there to cook people warm again). At Cavalcade this year, I had a 2. Volunteers have paid for the food permanent assistant - mainly because the work means 3. The kitchen is my domain that often they need to leave the washing up and there is 4. Pay attention just more to do - but otherwise, the kitchen is mine. Pay attention: Much as you try to ask them for To expand on those: I’m there to cook: By this, I their likes / dislikes etc, many volunteers won’t say mean several things - most importantly, I don’t do anything. So I think it is very important to pay attention cleaning. I’ll keep the kitchen clean and tidy, but I (and not just when you are the cook) to what other expect the camp leader to organise a rota or similar people eat / don’t eat. Some vegetarians don’t like for accommodation cleaning. mushrooms, other people pick out the carrots. I had a Secondly, I don’t go on site (maybe an occasional vegetarian for whom I cooked a squash and mushroom visit). Because I’m there to cook, I like to cook - so I pie, only to find they didn’t like squash! They didn’t tell tend to make a lot of things from scratch and the meals I me before, and didn’t tell me after, but I’ll remember for make aren’t always the most simple. That’s not to say the future. Clearly, you have to cater for everyone - but I’m serving gourmet food - but I like to make all the the occasional ‘special’ meal can make that volunteer sauces, do all the veg prep etc. Making proper cheesefeel really valued. It’s particularly relevant with curry / cake is one of my personal favourites. This means I chilli - just because you’re going to offer a ‘mild’ option, generally don’t get much spare time to go to site. don’t assume that’ll please everyone, so perhaps a Volunteers have paid for the food: WRG set a saucepan of baked beans to accompany the baked camp budget of £5-6 per person, per day. When I potato is worthwhile (and don’t forget the tabasco for first started cooking, I used to really focus on every those who you just can’t make it hot enough for) meal - how much was everything? Nowadays, I find Paying attention extends to sandwich fillings, that if I stick within what I know, I’ll generally be breakfast preferences etc. I had a summer camp with about right - although my tendency to buy lots of quite a high contingent of foreign volunteers - and it ‘ingredients’ rather than ‘products’ means I definitely was only later in the week that I realised that the high err towards the upper end of the budget. uptake of fruit was down to them eating a lot of it My other point here is that I believe volunteers for breakfast (and equally, that’s why I could always expect to get what they’ve paid for - so if the £6 per have about 4 sausages for breakfast...) person, per day budget means that you can afford decent The day: Having cooked on summer camps, meat and don’t need to bulk out with lots of vegetables Christmas camps & Cavalcade, I can safely say that I then I, personally, think that you have a duty to do that. can’t have a common plan for the day. I’ll cook There are some things I won’t skimp on - meat, crisps, breakfast, then on the summer camp or Cavalcade I’ll tea bags, coffee, free range eggs, bread, cereal etc. I’ve try to get off shopping as soon as possible. At Christnever understood some people’s aversions to cheap mas, I’ll be making the lunch so I’ll generally go shopping baked beans though - by the time I’ve cooked them and from the site - but in that circumstance I try to shop forgotten to stir them, you’re really not going to notice. ahead so that the meal I’m cooking in the evening is I also like to make sure that at breakfast, not the one I’m shopping for in the afternoon (and there’s plenty for everyone. That means beans, therefore I can start prep work whilst an assistant is tomatoes and mushrooms - black pudding is availworking on lunch). Then I’ll get back and cook the able if there’s a demand and things like hash browns evening meal. Then I’ll sleep, and do it all again!! are not limited to vegetarians. I get frustrated if I go George Rogers

Feedback

Even more on cooking...

page 32

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

Navvies 271  

Navvies 271. Read Waterway Recovery Group's magazine for volunteers restoring the waterways.

Navvies 271  

Navvies 271. Read Waterway Recovery Group's magazine for volunteers restoring the waterways.