100 meals in, and we’re still sizzling

Breakfast this morning is cinnamon-raisin French toast with sausage, cheese Danish, yogurt, and, since it’s the last meal for overnight campers, tater tots in lieu of home fries.

None of this is remarkable. But this is: It’ll be the 100th meal of the summer for me. Eighty-six remain.

From here, it’ll be like we are running downhill. Only day campers and some retreat guests remain for the next four weeks. My amazing staff of five has mastered their jobs. They know the food and can make salads in their sleep. With no overnight campers, the Snack Barn won’t be open weeknights anymore, which will allow us to get more done in the dining hall, like dessert-making.

And I’ll have time to blog more.

Some impressions from the summer’s first half.

Kids eat vegetables: Hummus, too. Salads are being devoured. At least twice a week, we’ll put out platters of fresh veggies and dips, and most kids load right up. We’ve gone entire weeks without serving French fries.

Fruit stinks: Between ruined apple crops that drove up prices, bananas that went from green to brown without passing yellow, peaches that didn’t want to soften and limp, moldy half-ripe oranges delivered for three straight weeks, I can see why some camps rely on canned fruit. Still not gonna do it.

Homemade snacks don’t sell: We tried to increase profitability in the Snack Barn by adding homemade treats, like chocolate chip cookies and homemade marshmallows. They simply don’t sell. But guess what does: Raw cookie dough (which we make with pasteurized eggs)

Some things don’t change: The most popular Snack Barn items is sour Airheads. The most popular ice cream flavors are Moose Tracks and Play Dough. The most popular lunch is Ultimate Nachos or whatever taco meal replaces it.

Some things do: Chocolate chip pancake day is the new favorite breakfast, displacing anything with bacon. I blame the three-slices-per-person rule, which we enforce by threatening to take away lifetime bacon privileges, whatever they are.

My favorite part of the week: 9 a.m. Saturdays, when my staff and I gather around a table for devotions. We’ve picked apart a few verses this summer, though we never got to this one from 1. Corinthians, which is written on our whiteboard in the kitchen and is what we strive for: “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

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