Offers to help the camp cook

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Trapper, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    That's exactly correct. You're spot on with this comment.

    Now, see, you did that all wrong. You should've said it's the camp cook's job to help put the bagbalm on. :)

    But just to reitterate what has been said. I get it all the time too about helping out. I have a way I do things, and it works. Hard to teach that. I've dealt with so many armchair quarterbacks over the years because they were camp cooks (most having done camps of 4-8 max for only a couple days). I've done camps for a week or two with over 20-40 people. And still fished and hunted at the same time (talk about A LOT of preprep). But I have a way I do things. People just don't understand and you can't explain it to them either. But that's the difference between someone who does it all the time, and someone who does it occasionally. I'm not a "chef", but even in a kitchen a chef does a lot of the cooking and his sous chef's (those helping prep and serve) are trained by him/her and know his/her style. Hard to bring someone in off the street and just "help". Especially if they have their own style of cooking.
     
  2. Trapper

    Trapper Author, Writer, Photographer

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    A funny from the vast domain of the WWW, pertinent to this discussion:

    A man sees his wife is busy in the kitchen and says,
    "Can I help?"
    She replies, "Sure, take that bag of potatoes, peel half of them and put them in a pot to boil."

    [​IMG]


    A man sees his wife is busy in the kitchen and says: "Can I help?" She says, "Sure, take this bag of potatoes, peel half of them and put them in a pot to boil."
     
  3. Ray

    Ray Active Member

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    You are not alone on this one. I guide multi-day wilderness rafting trips, and I can tell you from experience that help in the kitchen is not welcome, unless you want to do dishes. For the most part, the guides are entertaining the guests from sunup to well past sundown, and kitchen time is a welcome break. We even set the appetizer table up well away from the kitchen so as to keep the hovering to a minimum.
     
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  4. David Loy

    David Loy Senior Moment

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    I've cooked in camps and on fishing boats for smaller groups than you guys are talking about. But I understand exactly what you're saying. Many folks just want to help but I too prefer to work the kitchen alone. I learned a long time ago that a good cook makes it look easy. And it is, sort of. Logical smooth steps, prep work first, and it's all ready at the same time. Almost a zen thing.
    If we ever camp together, I'll probably hang out in the 'hood and watch. After all, the kitchen is where the heart is and there's usually a cocktail near by. Need help, just ask. I can fetch water (or drinks). Meantime I'll be in that chair, out of the way, taking notes and enjoying the repartee.
     
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  5. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    David's got the right idea; fix the cook a drink, or fetch a beer, and get the hell out of the way.

    I'm still split between paper plates & plastic utensils that I don't have to wash, which leaves only the Dutch oven, pots & pans and the necessary knives and such, and decent plates which I then need to get done. I'm usually cooking for 4 or 5 guys in elk or deer camp, so it's not that big a deal, but still, washing up's a chore after i've been chasing the prey of choice all day. What do you think, Trapper? Tin plates seem to cool off too quick, and aren't insulated from your lap. We don't usually have a sit-down table in camp. This year, maybe that'll change, but we'll have to see how that goes. The nice part is, we can drive right up to the camp, rather than ride in.
     
  6. Trapper

    Trapper Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Paper plates don't work for me for a few reasons.

    -- You load them up with food, a guy holds it by the edge, the food ends up in the dirt.
    -- I always have pots, pans, silverware, etc to wash, so plates aren't any big deal.
    -- Burning paper plates often launches them up the chimney where they exit still on fire.

    I bought a couple dozen corelware plates at a Goodwill type thrift store. They were ~ 1.50/ea. I put the stack on the woodstove to warm up so I'm not throwing hot food on ice cold plates. But we eat at a table.

    Trapper