It happened mid-morning. The kitchen was a disaster as we were in the middle of prepping 11 massive pizzas, cooling macaroons, making a Potato Leek Soup and preparing fresh Strawberry Sorbet.
We saw a vehicle pull in to camp that looked unfamiliar. A woman sauntered into our kitchen and BAM, surprise Health & Safety inspection. In three summers of “woods cooking” this had never happened to me before. Although I keep a very clean and up to code kitchen, I was inexplicably nervous, as if I had a freezer full of cocaine and some rotting meat stewing in the oven (See also: my behaviour at airport security). She took temperatures, looked at our logs, tested the drinking water, went all around camp, inspected our cleaning supplies and asked us a few questions. I bribed her with a fresh chocolate macaroon and kept chatting awkwardly. Chris shot me a few looks that read “stop acting so nervous and weird,” but my anxious tendencies would not be squelched.
In the end, we passed with flying colors, no demerits, and Ms.Inspector was on her way. But not before she left us a box of goody bags for our planters that held a cornucopia of literature on safe sex, and various types of male and female condoms, lubes, etc. Considering most of our planters are young, naive farm boys this year, I got a pretty big kick out of that. As did our supervisor. Not quite sure what will become of those…maybe we’ll use them as prizes for our next theme night. Just another day cooking in the forest. Some days you see a grizzly and her cubs, some days you get a box of tropical lube and “Abstinence & Oral Sex” brochures.
Things That Are Going Well:
– I Have less than 20 work days left in the season!!! I can’t believe how fast this summer has flown by.
– This job pays well, affords me the chance to focus on my writing, and spend a lot of time with my husband. On days when I’m getting stressed or frustrated, it helps me to remember that. This is such a strange, wonderful opportunity, and I really do appreciate it.
– I’ve gotten a lot of writing done in the last couple weeks which is fantastic.
– We’ve moved to our final camp of the summer, and we actually have internet access in camp! Praise be!
Things That Are Not Going Well
– The heat. We’ve been having a bit of a heat wave for the past couple weeks. This has resulted in a lot of exhausted/near dehydrated planters, $400 Gatorade bills, and some really miserable days over the stovetops.
– Stress. For some reason I’ve found our last few shifts quite stressful, between moves, budgeting, faulty equipment, and trouble with our fridge, oven and sink. The summer’s starting to get to me.
– 3:45 AM. This is the time I have to wake up each morning, 6 days a week. “That’s not morning, that’s bed time!” You may be thinking to yourself. Well Ma’am, I would have to agree with you. I’m tired.
one cup water
3/4 cups Cane sugar
two cups frozen strawberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1. Boil the sugar & water until they form a nice thick syrup, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine the strawberries and a bit of orange juice until smooth. They should fully blend, but not liquify. This is much easier with a powerful blender like a VitaMix or Ninja. The Ninja has multiple layers of blades so it gets at the fruit very quickly- we love ours!
3. Add the sugar water syrup to the blended strawberries and mix well. Put mixture into a freezer-safe bowl or pan, and freeze overnight.
4.The sorbet should be ready by the next morning. You can serve it as is, or for a fancier presentation, you can you an ice cream scoop to ball up portions in a glass bowl.
This is a delicious recipe and extremely versatile, just use whatever kind of frozen fruit you want. It’s also completely Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, very allergy friendly. A perfect remedy for these muggy summer nights.
Kristy (In The Kitchen In The Forest)
Kristy Lapointe has spent the fast few months chronicling her summer as a Treeplanting cook for SDTC, and catching up on all the latest shows like NewsRoom and The Sopranos and Seinfeld. She also acts, writes, sings, and has various other special skills according to her resume. You can follow her on twitter @kristylapointe, and enjoy the blog she shares custody of at adeleandkristy.tumblr.com