The year in camp food

One last iPhone photo dump from 2013, showing you what my volunteers and I have been up to the last 12 months. Looking forward to what 2014 holds.

I caught most of my summer staff in a candid moment during chapel.

I caught most of my summer staff in a candid moment during chapel.

I left the kitchen for a few minutes at Sacandaga Sportsmen's Day, and this is what happens.

I left the kitchen for a few minutes at Sacandaga Sportsmen’s Day, and this is what happens.

Finding love in beans.

Finding love in beans.

We had a BJ's membership for about 15 seconds this year. Julie rode shotgun.

We had a BJ’s membership for about 15 seconds this year. Julie rode shotgun.

Seeing this box was like seeing an old friend from New Jersey. No large commercial grower in the state does a better job.

Seeing this box was like seeing an old friend from New Jersey. No large commercial grower in the state does a better job.

We found that kids loved this awful-for-you cotton candy this summer.

We found that kids loved this awful-for-you cotton candy this summer.

Restocking the gluten-free pantry and the milk shelf.

Restocking the gluten-free pantry and the milk shelf.

This looks like it was a very good day.

This looks like it was a very good day.

And another.

The view from the dining hall parking lot as I walked to work one July morning.

Not the kitchen, but one of the shots I took on my morning walk to the dining hall over the summer.

Another, about 100 steps away.

First staff meal of the summer: Grilled wings with grilled pizza. My staff was tied up in training so the fabulous Shanon McCune came to help.

First staff meal of the summer: Grilled wings with grilled pizza. My staff was tied up in training so the fabulous Shanon McCune came to help.

A three-ingredient dessert that yielded no leftovers.

A three-ingredient dessert that yielded no leftovers.

The elk in the dining hall occasionally comes down. It's actually been down for a while, now.

The elk in the dining hall occasionally comes down. It’s actually been down for a while, now.

Before summer, we ripped out the old pantry. My [then]-12-year-old slave proved to be a hard worker when empowered to break something.

Before summer, we ripped out the old pantry. My [then]-12-year-old slave proved to be a hard worker when empowered to break something.

One of two cakes purchased from our favorite cake lady from Northville, who likes to be anonymous. We have tried, including her recipe exactly, and we cannot get our frosting to taste like hers.

One of two cakes purchased from our favorite cake lady from Northville, who likes to be anonymous. We have tried, including her recipe exactly, and we cannot get our frosting to taste like hers.

Dinner for one of our auction winners, part of a four-course meal.

Dinner for one of our auction winners, part of a four-course meal.

New game: Wing toss.

New game: Wing toss.

Birthday cake for the boss. We were feeling playful.

Birthday cake for the boss. We were feeling playful.

The only time I made homemade pie from scratch this year. It was OK.

The only time I made homemade pie from scratch this year. It was OK.

Caramelized bacon. Just because.

Caramelized bacon. Just because.

At Asian Super Market in Colonie, where we buy a few products. Not these.

At Asian Super Market in Colonie, where we buy a few products. Not these.

I took a ServSafe class in the spring. The instructor emailed me later to say I passed by one point, but later emailed again to say he misread it, and I'd finished with the highest score in the class.

I took a ServSafe class in the spring. The instructor emailed me later to say I passed by one point, but later emailed again to say he misread it, and I’d finished with the highest score in the class.

Panorama of the meat case at Restaurant Depot in Colonie. What is it? Think a small foodservice company that won't deliver.

Panorama of the meat case at Restaurant Depot in Colonie. What is it? Think a small foodservice company that won’t deliver.

Roasting peppers the right way.

Roasting peppers the right way.

Food is love.

Food is love.

Upside-down banana cream pie? Not sure it worked.

Upside-down banana cream pie? Not sure it worked.

Whoopie pies, an occasional treat. Just an excuse to eat two cookies and icing instead of one cookie.

Whoopie pies, an occasional treat. Just an excuse to eat two cookies and icing instead of one cookie.

I filled the car with pumpkins. Literally.

At one Amish auction, I filled the car with pumpkins. Literally.

Even in fall, the produce auction is booming.

Even in fall, the produce auction is booming.

Trips to the Amish produce auction with the staff usually meant a stop afterward at Wemple & Edick's.

Trips to the Amish produce auction with the staff usually meant a stop afterward at Wemple & Edick’s.

Before the first banquet after summer, I told my corps of volunteers I'd open the snack shop for anybody who wanted to come help. Julianna and others took advantage.

Before the first banquet after summer, I told my corps of volunteers I’d open the snack shop for anybody who wanted to come help. Julianna and others took advantage.

One of my newest volunteers, Noah, who I think has a future at the French Laundry or Per Se with the precision he showed on his first duty.

One of my newest volunteers, Noah, who I think has a future at the French Laundry or Per Se with the precision he showed on his first duty.

After one of our banquets, the director and I went to, ahem, another camp for the day. And found that their $27 Sunday dinner was nearly identical to our $12 Saturday banquet.

After one of our banquets, the director and I went to, ahem, another camp for the day. And found that their $27 Sunday dinner was nearly identical to our $12 Saturday banquet.

Hypothesis confirmed: Teens like penne, not whole-grain spaghetti. So don't even try.

Hypothesis confirmed: Teens like penne, not whole-grain spaghetti. So don’t even try.

Final staff dinner of the summer -- pizza, wings and salad on the Pine Lodge deck, surrounded by alumni of previous staffs.

Final staff dinner of the summer — pizza, wings and salad on the Pine Lodge deck, surrounded by alumni of previous staffs.

Some of the carrots we purchased from another supplier, the Takcas Farm in Palatine. Unfortunately, it was a down year for his tomatoes.

Some of the carrots we purchased from another supplier, the Takcas Farm in Palatine. Unfortunately, it was a down year for his tomatoes.

We also gave them chocolate tortes, made with love.

We also gave them chocolate tortes, made with love.

... rainbow chard at 10 cents a bunch.

At the Amish auction, rainbow chard for 10 cents a bunch.

One of the hauls from the auction, which included ...

All this probably cost me $30.

At Green Hill Farm in Glen, one of our Amish produce suppliers.

At Green Hill Farm in Glen, one of our Amish produce suppliers.

The dining hall rush at lunchtime in the summer.

The dining hall rush at lunchtime in the summer.

It really is a zoo in the dining hall at summer. No single photo captures the chaos, but this gives you an idea.

It really is a zoo in the dining hall at summer. No single photo captures the chaos, but this gives you an idea.

The table centerpieces for our staff appreciation banquet.

The table centerpieces for our staff appreciation banquet.

I don't know why this happened, but it has something to do with a kitchen full of 15- and 16-year-olds making dessert.

I don’t know why this happened, but it has something to do with a kitchen full of 15- and 16-year-olds making dessert.

Pulling homemade mozzarella. Wish we did it more often.

Pulling homemade mozzarella. Wish we did it more often.

The best bread baskets start with Rauch's bread, from Gloversville.

The best bread baskets start with Rauch’s bread, from Gloversville.

At the Mohawk Valley Produce Auction in Minden, on the other side of Fort Plain. I would buy everything for camp from these farmers if I could.

At the Mohawk Valley Produce Auction in Minden, on the other side of Fort Plain. I would buy everything for camp from these farmers if I could.

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