Head of the kitchen is fun and enjoyable but also a stressful title to hold.
The pressure of making sure that meals turn out right, along with the challenge of coordinating the right number of helpers in both the kitchen and dining room, requires balancing each person’s strengths and availability during the event. I choose meals, snacks, and desserts based on which and how many helpers are available. Allergies and group personality are another layer. Some and some are just not into them at all! But after being on the road so much I get it; you just want hot food (and salad) more than sweets and snacks. And, the old kitchen coffee machine has broken down on us many times this year. Thankfully, we have multiple machines in the building and have always figured something out. But it does add some stress and extra time to the mix.
This year, the kitchen has been used more as people are having more meetings in person, not just online. 2023 is the first year for a while that we have hosted the Pastor’s Forum. It hadn’t been done for so long and the planning needed a lot of work. It was a huge success, and will happen again in 2024. I will probably help a little with organizing the menu and shopping list as it will happen early February, about the time we hope to leave for Brazil. Hannah will hopefully be moved into her apartment in Florida by then. It will be her first event as head of the kitchen and it is a very fancy meal. If she can get through this, I know she will do great for any other event.
James has been a huge help to me as he often goes shopping with me. He unloads the car, which includes swiping the key card and getting the food cart over the bump on the entry way. And, of course, he helps eat up the leftovers 😊.
I love talking with the ladies and guys who help in the kitchen. There is something really special in this kind of ministry. We work side by side cutting, chopping, and putting out coffee stations. We get to share memories from previous events, here and around the world. I get to meet people throughout the organization who attend these events. And of course, there are plenty of laughs at all the silly things that happen when you have passionate people gathered together.
I love working in the kitchen. Yes, it is hard both emotionally and physically, but it is so rewarding. I get to help people focus on the task they have before them, instead of having to go out and find a place for lunch, get there, eat, pay for it, and get back in time for the next session. Instead, they can eat a healthy meal, take a little walk outside, and get back to the meetings without a worry.