Outpost Caretakers Week 2 ~ Caretakers at the HelmOctober 25, 2011 | 1000 Views
Our first month has raced by. It starts the moment the plane takes off, the summer crew is gone and the lodge is now “ours”…
This year our food order arrived on the helicopter with us. With so many helping hands the 1600 lbs of supplies were quickly dispersed of in the basement for me to take care of. I like to grocery shop, I think people who love to cook enjoy this first step but putting it all away doesn’t fit into this part of the equation. Heavy boxes of frozen turkeys, ribs, beef roasts, ground beef, bacon, sausages, whole chickens, chicken breasts and chicken wings, veggies, fruits and maybe a small container or two of ice cream where shoved into freezers wherever there was room. Cases of canned goods put aside to be dealt with later.
This was my first priority… unpack, organize and make lists of what is where. You know what it’s like to put something in the freezer and 3 months go by and of course you have forgotten all about that leftover lasagna you thought would be nice to reheat maybe next week, well imagine 5 full size chest freezers.
Cans of baked beans, kidney beans and black beans sit in rows along with tomato sauce, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, plum tomatoes, whole tomatoes plus spaghetti sauce, ketchup and tomato juice to complete the tomato family. Totes full of flours, sugars, oats, nuts, dried fruits and chocolate make me want to start baking. A wonderful variety of dry beans, rice and pastas will have me searching for new recipes. Job complete I look around at my “grocery store” for the next 9 months and think “another season has began”.
Keeping a mini grocery store of sorts upstairs cuts down on the trips to the basement every time I need something.
Getting the season’s food order involves a lot of handling. After it is unloaded at the WCFC office in Vancouver, it gets weighed, marked and loaded onto the plane north. At Masset it’s transferred to the helicopters for the trip to the OP where it’s manhandled into the waggons and lugged up to the lodge. One more set of hands takes it from there into the basement where I am the final one to unpack it.
Now that the food is all put away I can move on to unpacking our personal belongings and adding a few items to make the lodge feel more like home. The 20 odd boxes that I had stashed away during out time out were all carried up from the basement. Since I hadn’t made lists of what each one contained (not very smart, I know ) each had to be opened to find what I was looking for. I had forgotten that I had so many clothes, didn’t realize I had a set of baking utensils here already, why in the world did I keep that… were all thoughts that ran through my mind as I cut open box after box. Lists would have helped.
It didn’t take us long to move furniture around to suit us better and turn one of the crew bedrooms into our own where we can look out and see the deer in the morning and visa versa…
The kitchen is still a work in progress, even after a month. I like to have everything for cooking and baking right in front of me or as close as I can. It takes 13 steps to walk to the fridge in this commercial sized kitchen. Mike has already started his game of silently following me to the fridge and than shutting the door behind me once I’m inside. Yep, we’re settling in just fine.
While I have been busy inside Mike has been re-familiarizing himself with the generators, taking the work boat out for a spin (he says test drive to make sure it runs), learning all about the new reverse osmosis water system, taking inventories of oil and filters which need to be sent up on the barge and searching through the woods close by for a tree or two which he could add to the wood pile.
So a month has come and gone in the blink of an eye and now there are eight remaining.
Till next week,
Heather & Mike