Wednesday, April 17, 2013
A Good Winter at Lake Yellowstone
Xanterra employees are pulling in, getting the Hotel's kitchen up and running for pre-season cooks.
The floors are installed, leveled and ready for carpet.
During these 6 months, I've skied to Stevenson Island, skied up Elephant Back and down again, both things I thought were nearly impossible.
I've skied along the snow packed roads, scouted lots of griz prints, made survival shelters and practiced my fire building skills in snow.
I've learned all about "Wraps" from the chef. Basically, lots of good meats, cheeses, spreads and vegetables, even leftover breakfast quiches or "man scramble" can go in one of these over sized tortillas, ends folded in, rolled securely and served. Wraps are a great way to stretch meat and come up with tasty alternatives to the basic grilled sandwhich.
I've come up with new dessert and home made bread recipes, learned to utilize the leftover grits or oatmeal in the morning for luscious yeast breads at supper. At man camp, all the food has been tediously hauled in. All the garbage is stored in a huge trailer (dump style, built while we were here) and hauled out in the spring. The smells can draw in wild creatures. We have kept garbage to a surprising minimum.
This week I made "Spring Fever Bars". I used a basic yellow cake recipe, but instead of milk, I substituted orange juice concentrate. I frosted it with a home made icing of powdered sugar, orange juice, butter, and orange zest. The guys loved it.
I've met a lot of nice guys, most are married, many are seriously conservative. Imagine in this day and age meeting a guy who thinks women shouldn't have the right to vote because they tend to be socialists. Amazingly, this same guy thinks vegetarians should be fired.
We have some that don't speak a lick of English. That's been fun, too. I get to practice describing the menu to these dudes . Bottom line, they eat everything, no matter what we put on their plates.
Right now, most skiing has to be done early or late. Mid afternoon the snow gets punky, like mashed potatoes, the chef says. I agree.
Hiking is basically only on the road. Trails are snow packed and deep. A body busts through foot by foot. Now, we need bear spray on expeditions. Seriously, though, I'm surprised I haven't met a bear on our back deck, scoping out the bacon cooking in the morning before daylight.
Its been great, something I've always wanted to do. But, who knows, whether I return for stage two, or go on to another adventure remains to be seen.