Once upon a time — actually just last summer — I had a blog while living on Martha’s Vineyard. With only 7 entries, it perfectly describes the summer: no time for anything other then working and fake sleeping. You can read the 7 entries here. The following is one of my favorite entries on that blog because it’s exactly how the summer developed! Just a little background on MVY: I worked in a private golf club in Edgartown. My stations were Garde Manger and Pastry, which kept me busy during both lunch and dinner. Typically, I worked lunch service which was entering work at 9am and setting up for service to start at 11am. I’d prep the day ahead most items, but had a few things left to do and a complete set up of the station. Service was from 11am to 3pm, and at 3pm I’d breakdown the station, scrub it down and re-set it for the dinner girls. From 3pm to 5pm, I’d set up all of the dinner prep and grab dinner before I left. I’d then have the day to myself, but most times I didn’t really leave at 5pm.

Cobb Salad; Daily Menu; Chicken Croissant
Daily Menu; Set-up of Employee Meal; That’s M.!
Chicken Sandwich; Tuna/Chicken Fruit Plate; Fruit Plates

After finishing my entire dinner prep, I’d help M. on all of his prep because his station was Veg and had the most amount of preparations: make popovers, form risotto cakes, make stuffed tomatoes, peel asparagus, medium diced carrots, 3-step egg wash set-up, and so much more. “Murray, what else do you need?” was my eternal question. I’d do one thing and ask “Murray, what else do you need?“…on and on until he’d say “Nothing, I’m caught up”, to which I’d respond “Are you sure, I don’t mind…” and he’d look at me and say “Well, you can….” and that was us. I definitely preferred staying to work more! But if I wasn’t scheduled to work dinner service, I’d be out by 6-7pm. If and when I was scheduled for dinner service, instead of helping M. prep I’d go home at 4pm, take a quick shower and relax 2 seconds and come back at 5pm to prep again. Dinner service was from 6pm to 9.30pm and then we’d break down stations and clean for a good hour or so. Thing is, dinner was until 9.30pm, which meant we could be sitting people at 9.30pm, so breaking down was never going to happen until about 11pm. Sweep, scrub down, mop. Tweak. Tweak everything twice, double check and go home. Home was a minute away, thank God! This was when the Vineyard night started, but that is an entirely different post! Enjoy this Blast From The Past: MVY!

Blueberry Muffin Making; Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes
Fried Chicken Dinner

Midnight Cravings

Cooks tend to range from huge eaters to small bites tasters. Some can go through the day just by tasting everything they make (a spoonful of sauce, a bite of bread, a slice of tuna, a slurp of soup); others are the “Standing” cooks, the ones that serve themselves their family meals on a real plate, gather some silverware and place it on the edge of their station, to grab bites as they go before service. There are cooks that survive on caffeine, cigarettes and Gatorades during the rush; there are few cooks that really take a break to eat and when they do, it’s normally at the end of the night, after service and scrub down of the kitchen, this is when the cravings begin.
After having sweated for hours on end, a cook craves a beer. An ice cold beer, normally gifted to them by the front of the house management, as a thank you for not biting their heads off. A cold beer is the gateway to the harder liquids, the gin and tonics. After all is said and done, after the lights go off in the kitchen and they all walk out, they all walk towards the same house, to relax, play and shoot the breeze while downing more adult beverages. As they enter their homes, they look around and say “Anyone else starving?” to be replied with a moan, a sigh and a loud YES!
Midnight cravings on the Vineyard include: pizzas with fried egg on top, fried egg sandwiches, grilled cheeses, bbqs at midnight (pulled pork, vinegary slaw, roasted corn salsa, soft taco shells), frozen chicken tenders/onion rings/sweet potato fries, collard greens with bacon and cornbread from scratch, brownies with Honey Bunches of Oats (not a good idea, the crunch factor is not there, they get soggy), brewed coffee.
Midnight Cravings on The Vineyard…
President Obama Sightings at the Club
Good Game Mr. President!

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  1. Love this post for so many reasons. 🙂
    Kitchen work is incredibly hard, but it shows just how much you love it all.

    Well done!

  2. Alyssa, that after shift beer tasted on so delicious. I led the life of a cook on the Vineyard and your “a little bit sweaty and a wee bit tired” comment I’ll assume it was sarcasm?

  3. After getting out late in London, I always craved a doner kebab from the place just down from my flat. Second best feeling ever was biting into that greasy, spicy, yogurty kebab. The best? That after-shift beer. Never has a beer tasted so good than when you’re on that adrenaline high from a full service and you’re still a little bit sweaty and a wee bit tired.