Feb. 12, 2014 26′ WC13′

The exodus begins.

There are a large number of flights scheduled  for people moving off continent now.  Most of the military presence, like the Nav Chaps and the Kiwi Army regulars are already gone.  Some of those who remain will continue through the winter.  We are seeing more and more people return from their summer research centers.  South Pole, Wissard, WAIS, CRESIS, any of the other locations that are inland from McMurdo are now done for the season, having closed up shop and secured their equipment before the winter winds made getting back to McMurdo treacherous.

Currently at McM, we  have an Italian crews from one of their research locations, before they return North.  Since I don’t speak Italian I haven’t a clue what they are up to, but they seem very happy to be here, warm, safe and dry.  They may not particularly like the food we are serving, but they are eating with gusto.  Probably because it is the first time they have not had to cook for themselves all season.  I can only imagine the conversation they are having about what restaurants they will hit when they finally get home.  I can see it in their gestures.  I can hear it in their tone.  I am beginning to have that same conversation with all of the people I sit down with at my own lunch table.

The inevitable end of season blues have hit us all squarely in the taste buds.

All Hail the Glorious Galley crew for their efforts at feeding and appeasing the rest of us hungry ice monkeys.  Your ability to make the same basic recipes taste varied and exciting is commendable.  The meats that fall off the bone.  The Eggs cooked to order.  Bacon done from soggy to scorched, because we all love bacon, just never all the same way. The fish and seafood -that this Mountain boy is scarfing up at every opportunity – never fails to satisfy.  Even the canned veggies…we know they are canned or frozen…yet always there are sauces with variety I would never take the time to make at home.   And the vegetarian dishes must be the hardest of all to prepare.  Such limited resources available to you Galley Chefs, yet every time I see the platters empty and your names are cheered.  Oh, boy do you guys and girls deserve Kudos.

I have to mention the deserts for two reasons:

1)  They are remarkable for their simple great taste.  Bread puddings, and fudgy brownies.  Pies of all the best fruit flavors.   Muffins and cupcakes of exceptional moistness.  And Cheese cakes that New Yorkers were raving about.  Yum!  I completely understand why making toll house and peanut butter cookies must get old and tiresome after a month or so.  It is probably best that you only make cookies for the masses one day each week.  But really, the muffins made with coffee flavors are going a little over the top.  Of course that could just be my uneducated pallet.

2) And their frequently bizarre creativity.  I had a friend grab a muffin for me when she went back to grab desert for herself.  When she set it down in front of me, it had a small stick of Trident chewing gum stuck in the icing.  I was embarrassed thinking it was a subtle message from her.  I didn’t know what to say except  “Thank you, wow, look at the time…I gotta go”  As I was leaving the Galley I saw that there was gum and other candies stuck into the icing of all the cup cakes and I burst out laughing.  I was too relieved to notice the rest of the diners staring at my sudden hysteria.

Creative is good.  But whoever thought that mixing Sriracha hot sauce in the Frosty Boy ice cream machine should be shot!

Tim

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