I fit food into pots and turned it into s..t. Yep! Hilarious hey? I enjoyed my short time in the army but having a little boy to raise I couldn’t really spare the time.
Today I was thinking about the first cooking camp I went on. I think it was towards my corporal stripes and we stayed in the building where I once spent two weeks as a recruit at my initial training.
I’m not really a fan of cooking and will try to avoid it at all costs but I can cook up a storm if and when I need to.
At the camp we had a huge kitchen where everyone had their own stainless steel bench to work on and our cupboards had all the utensils we needed to work with. It was the equivalent of ‘Master Chef.’ The Sargeants and Corporal would come in and tell us we had exactly 45 minutes to cook a 3 course meal or they would tell us to cook something in particular and off we would go. At night time all the other members of our team would head to the kitchen and do all their stocks and sauces in readiness for the next day but my girlfriend and I would head to the pub to get away from it all. We weren’t into butt kissing at all and needed to get away from those who were. It was fun.
Each day, one of us would be given the job of looking after the stockpot. A huge pot with a lid bubbling away on the hot stove at the back of the room, filled with vegetable scraps, onion peelings, bones, egg shells and whatever we had leftover after we peeled and scraped the food we had to prepare. This pot which was big enough for a small child to hide in, would just sit and bubble away all day and the ‘chosen one’ would be in charge of keeping up the water level and ensuring it didn’t burn dry. Ha!
The day came when I was awarded this prestigious position. The message came over loud and clear.. ‘Colman you have the job of stockpot watcher today’ Yeah yeah yeah thought I. Then they hit us with the race against the clock to cook a specific dish which took us a third of the day. After that came another race and another meal, then another. My stock pot watching order went in one ear and out the other, and I’m sure it disappeared completely after that. I do remember some people running to the back of the room with pots full of things but I took not notice of what they were doing. I just kept on cooking and my scraps were going into my bin which was at the end of my bench. I had been cooking for large numbers of family since I was a little kid and this was boring me to death. The only thing I enjoyed was the challenge to get it done on time.
Near the end of the day, I heard someone say (and quite loudly) ‘who is in charge of the stock pot?’ Bells rang and the lights went on. Uh oh! It was my job. Darn it I totally forgot. I rushed to the pot and removed the lid. When I looked inside, all I saw were brown food scraps stuck to the bottom of the pot and completely dried out. Holy Moly, it was a mess. Then I thought I needed to do something because all the other soldiers were standing around looking at the mess. I said ‘It’s ok, I’ll fix it.’ I filled the pot with water… about 25 litres and gave it a good stir and left it for the rest of the day.
I forgot it again and carried on with whatever else I was instructed to cook.
At the end of the day, one of the sargeants came up to the front of the room where the Colonel and another Sargeant were standing and asked ‘who was in charge of the stock pot today?’
I put my hand up sheepishly. As far as I could see, I was in for a visit to the Colonel’s office and possibly the stockade for ruining the stock. My name would be brandished about the camp as ‘the one who ruined the stock.’
They were in complete amazement and said how wonderful the stock was. So lovely and brown and full of flavour.
OMG If they only knew! But then again. I have never ruined a meal in my life!
Isn’t it funny how really wonderful things happen by sheer accident. It’s not always a case of tried and true but some things defy explanation. I wasn’t going to explain that one.
I often wonder if they now burn their food scraps before they add the water when they cook in the army…hehehehehe
I came across the most wonderful weight loss plan by sheer accident too. I was helping my two doggies lose weight and they basically showed me how to do it. I adapted it for people and came up with the Plan for people and pets.
I never ate so much food as the time I spent in the army. Now If I went into the army I wouldn’t need to eat half as much food as I did then. I work harder now and eat less and it’s because I now have an understanding of food I never had before.
Aaaahhhhh! It’s great.