View Full Version : Cooking in June 2009

12-09-2008, 05:11 PM
My friend and I are scheduled to cook at the Summit in June. Would love to hear anything from folks who have cooked there or eaten there. Are there ingredients for almost any recipe?

KD Talbot
12-10-2008, 04:52 PM
There is a pantry with enough food to last about 6 mths. There are 2 freezers full of meat, cheese and frozen veggies and there are 2 refrigerators full of fresh produce, milk, eggs, etc.

I've cooked there on several occasions, Thanksgiving twice. I have always brought a few things I wanted to cook, but I have never had too bring them, I just did. If there are special ingredients you need for certain recipes you want to try, I would bring them.

You can always call ahead and ask the volunteer if there is such and such in the pantry. If they don't have it, they can always put it on the shopping list. One of the interns gets saddled with the shopping every shift change, and probably the first thing you will do when you arrive at the summit is unload the groceries and your gear and go straight to the kitchen and put the food away. You'll get a quick idea of where everything is. After you put your gear away and get settled into your quarters, you can go back to the kitchen and get more familiar with where everything is.

I would plan a simple meal for the first night until you're more comfortable with your surroundings. There are always hams, porkchops, chicken breasts, spaghetti, stuff for salads, potatos, veggies... you name it.

The one thing they could use more of in the pantry is easy to bake mixes, like cakes and cookies. I'm not much of a baker, so I like to use these, so I bring some myself. There are easy to follow instructions for cooking at a higher altitude. It usually amounts to adding a little extra water to a recipe. The old oven takes some getting used to. Not sure if they ever got the new one they were talking about this summer. I liked the old one, it had character, but many couldn't deal with its different moods. :)

Not sure where you're coming from, but it might be worth your while to take a drive up to the summit before hand and go in and look at the layout and talk to the volunteer and staff.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll enjoy your time there!


12-10-2008, 05:05 PM
I have ate there a few times :)

We like anything and everything. You can keep it simple and make pasta and sauce, meatloaf, lasagna, hame, turkey, etc. Or you can get as exotic as you want depending on what we have at any given moment.

KD is right about possibly coming up prior to your stint but if you can't no biggy, you would not be the first to make the volunteer week the first time they have ever come up.

KD is correct in that you can call to see if we have certain ingredients (but try to limit this as it gets to be a burden and a pain). But, we no longer buy food requests. If we do not have something, you will have to either bring it or work around it. We have had vols. donate money to buy their groceries for the week so that is an option. If you are bringing some of your own up, limit it to a medium ice chest as space can be limited coming up and you should not need more than that. But there is a good supply of food up top.

Practice makes perfect. Try dishes out with others prior to coming if you are still unsure. Cooking abilities is one of several things we evaluate on your first week up to decide whether a return trip is warrented. But no worries, about 90% or more first time volunteers get a return stint some time in the future, but it is not always guarenteed.

And, KD, we still have the old clunker of a stove for now.

Do you have the dates, cause I can tell you preliminarily who will be on with you.

Cheers and we look forward to your help this summer.

12-10-2008, 07:46 PM
I was talking to my fiance about volunteering, we both love to cook. Only problem is he is a late sleeper and I am usually up before the sun, I also get claustrophobic. I'm afraid I'd feel like a caged animal...

But to be up there and see what you see all the time would just be amazing...

12-10-2008, 07:55 PM
Thanks KD and Knapper; great information. We will plan to cook things we do well. Vince likes exotic food and I like comfort food. We'll have some of both. I'm glad you told me about the space. I was considering baking ahead of time but it sounds like it may take too much space?

12-11-2008, 09:19 AM
From my two weeks of volunteering there:

The kitchen is very well equiped. Only gadget I missed was a food processor. There is a stand mixer, a blender, and a good assortment of pans. The pantry is very well stocked with the basics. Just need to plan ahead, since the meats are frozen and in institutional sizes. I got the meat out for the next night after dinner, and put in refer to thaw.

Since the meats have been frozen, and the altitude tends to dry everything out, I find it best to do things in gravys or sauces. Cookies and pies have done fine just cooking as I would at home. Cakes need to be adjusted. There is a chart inside one of the cabinets giving the adjustment ratios. Brownies took 10 minutes more than the mix box said they would. The range is fine once you get used to it. I found the oven to be 50 degrees high while I was there over Thanksgiving. I does take 30-40 minutes to get the oven to 350. Water boils at 198 F, so it will take longer to cook potatoes, pasta, etc..

Folks seem to have a good appetite up there for some reason. Just go with "Hot and a lot" and you'll be fine.

Steve M
12-11-2008, 09:07 PM
Folks seem to have a good appetite up there for some reason. Just go with "Hot and a lot" and you'll be fine.

That's what I experienced. Don't worry about making too much food. Those guys don't mind leftovers. ;)