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Day In...Day Out (or: eh, Tenderloin again)

I just realized my random-date update was a couple of days ago. Me bad. So I'll throw a couple in...maybe a little less details though. Sorry, but I'll through in another date, May 1, it's not so random so I might remember. It will be the last guest-service date for the season at the Kay El Bar Guest Ranch in Arizona.

Thursday, March 5
Most Thursdays, as of late, is the day that the head chef takes off. So that means that I work all day. It starts around 5:30 am. I run the morning coffee service over to the living room in the main lodge. Then I cook breakfast for the staff. They eat a bit earlier than the guests, so they can get out and get some work down before the guests start the day.

Then it's preparing breakfast for the guests. We have a short menu Monday-Saturday and the guests have a 7:30-9 am slot. Most of them spend some time grooming their horse for the day, before eating, a few choose to eat first then meet their horse.

After I clean-up the breakfast service, including helping in the dining room itself, I do a little prep for the next day's breakfast. I bake the day's cookie choice...this day is a Snickerdoodle. Then the major delivery arrives from Sysco usually around 9:30. I check in all the goods...quality, amount...and stock everything in it's place. I also make the bread for the eveing meal, and the dessert. For this night I made a Frangelico Chocolate Mousse.

I finish getting lunch together. Most of the staff will eat lunch with the guests. This Thursday it was burgers/cheeseburgers. It was warm enough we could eat on the back patio. Since I have the bread and dessert finished, i can take off for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and I do a quick run into town and back and then a quick shower before going back to the kitchen.

This night's menu includes a tossed salad, Cornish game hens, a rice pilaf, and a corn saute. I finish preparing and helping serve. I prepare the cookie for tomorrow, i chose to go with a Brownie, so I also went ahead and baked it Thursday evening. Clean the kitchen at the end of the day.

Friday, March 6
Friday is my day off. I was planning on taking the Wickenburg Connector bus in Phoenix and exploring some of the city. But, I don't really like using alarm clocks on my day off. I didn't make it to the bus stop on time. No biggie.

I went to the local library instead. Wandered a bit through the shelves. Picked up an audio book it was a biography about Dimaggio. Also picked up a little photo hint book on portraiture. Completed my Vermont portion of my taxes. The most difficult of the federal and state forms this year. It also doesn't have a direct deposit option, so I hope the refund gets to me before I leave.

I ate lunch at Nana's, a local coffee/sandwich shop and went back to the ranch. This Friday was also payday. I stop in at the office and pick up my check from the office manager. Then I went back into town, stopped at the bank, but also just wandered for awhile. I ate dinner at the Sizzling Wok, the only oriental food restaurant in Wickenburg. I decided to go to the local movie theatre, I didn't know what was playing when I decided, and although it was Mall Cop, I decided to see it anyways. It was a bit early so I stopped in at La Cabana, a local bar. and had a couple of beers.

After the movie I walked back to the ranch and went to bed.

Saturday, March 7
Woke up around 7-ish, looked at Tv for a little while, then went down to the wrangler room. This morning was going to be my first major experience in operations. "Operations" is what the ranch calls it's staff that does the mix of housekeeping and serving meals. I have helped a little, especially with laundry and in the dining room. But today was the actual making beds, cleaning toilets kind of chores.

The numbers are down a little bit this season. We lost a couple of operations staff early for various reasons. {One lasted a couple of hours} But with the numbers down, the decision was to hire a few local people that could work on a call-in type basis. Lately, the numbers have been increasing, a normal March/April phenomenon, and the call-ins abilities have decreased somewhat. So I get to learn more and have fun in a different area. That's a big part of choosing to work at a small 'mom and pop' situation. Flexibility and the wllingness to do things that are different than what you were normally doing.

In the afternoon, I was back in the kitchen. Tonight's menu includes Beef Tenderloin grilled outdoors over mesquite, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and a salad. I also baked an herb bread, and made a, hmmm, I've changed the name a couple of times, it's like a no-bake white chocolate cheesecake with an oreo-crumb crust then topped with fresh strawberries.

Saturday night's do sometimes get a bit wild in the back. Water fights, dancing with Reba the ranch's Australian shepherd, hiding people's food, louder music than normal. It might be just the release from the week, it might be more of the staff shows up for the food. We sometimes partake in a wine or beer. But since the main entrees are the same for every Saturday night...there sometime is, Tenderloin again feeling.

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