I have always loved working in the kitchen. Even as a child, I had the most exquisite, make-believe kitchen with all the bells and whistles in my back yard. I made the best mud pies in the neighborhood!
My best childhood memories are those in my Grandmother's kitchen, standing by her as she cooked three square meals a day for our family. She cooked using a dash of this and a pinch of that, and I wanted so badly to imitate her skill and techniques! Finally, in my late 20's, I got my grandmother to cook with me in my kitchen, and instead of her putting the ingredients straight into the mixing bowl, she put each dash, pinch, scoop, and handful into a separate dish and I measured them exactly! Her recipes inspire me and they are a treasure to me.
In 2003, I had the privilege of working in the kitchen at Pennsylvania Christian Camp under the very talented guidance of a dear friend who knew how to cook for a crowd. She and her mother were known for their gentle, Christ-like dispositions, their hospitality to others and her delicious meals! Her calmness in the kitchen as she prepared meals for the campers, her ability to manage her time and to serve beautiful meals right on time to the large crowds of campers motivated me to want to learn more about serving others by cooking for a crowd! This was something I could do while raising my children. I could work in the camp kitchen during my children's camp sessions and still get to see them everyday when they came through the dining room during meal times!
We moved to Washington in 2005, and the following summer, I was blessed to be invited to work in the kitchen at Delano Bay Christian camp to feed campers attending the Senior Teen session. This camp session included 70 campers plus 40 or so staff members. Oh my goodness. Feeding that big of a crowd 3 meals a day for a full week is quite a chore, and I loved every minute of it! I helped in the kitchen for one other camp session that summer, and the next year, I worked at 3 different camp sessions. I was addicted! In 2007, the director for the 6th and 7th grade camp session asked me to be the head cook for his camp. I was terrified, but knowing that my dear friends who had helped train me at all those previous camp sessions would be right by my side to help me at this camp, I took the challenge and had a very successful week! Since then, I have been the head cook for at least one (and in recent years, two) camp sessions each summer. And, I often volunteer to help out in a third camp session most summers, but not as the person in charge! I have also cooked for weekend retreats and banquets for my church family throughout the year.
Unfortunately, volunteering to work in the camp kitchen during the summer months and cooking for the occasional banquet or retreat during the school year does not help pay the bills! So, in 2009, I went back to school and earned my teaching credentials. I am now in my 9th year of teaching Special Education. I currently teach pre-school aged students, ages 3 to5. However, my heart is in the kitchen. This is why I decided to start my catering business this year. My husband and I are now empty nesters, as our children are grown and no longer live in our home. Therefore, I need to keep my mind and my hands busy even after spending my day in the classroom. I also want to serve others by using my talent in the kitchen. I want to help people to entertain guests and show hospitality to others by taking care of the meal planning and preparing for them! Cooking and preparing meals for other people can be stressful. Let me take that stress from you. I love to do it!