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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Perspectives: Day in the Life

    Day in the Life: John Thomas

    October 24, 2016 / By John Thomas, Food Service Manager

    My name is John Thomas and I am the Food Service Manager at Casowasco for Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries. I provide meals for campers and guests, and any other event hosted at Casowasco. Come into my kitchen and I'll show you around.

    9:30 a.m. - Every day is different in the kitchen. We are hosting several events and retreats this week at Casowasco, so today began with a fresh brew of coffee for our guests.

    10:00 a.m. - After making sure there was plenty of coffee out for our early risers, I began the food prep process for lunch. First, I need to make sure I am aware of all special requests and food allergies. One guest requested a specific salad since she is vegetarian and also has food allergies. I washed and weighed up vegetables, and began prep for the main course.

    10:30 a.m. - A guest asked about decaf coffee. Realizing that the pot was almost empty, I brewed up a fresh batch for her.

    11:00 a.m. - Now that prep is done for lunch, I took another look at my notes to make sure I had everything I needed and all special requests were filled. Everything looks good! I fired up the stovetop burners and off we went. Cooking for a crowd is not always easy. Not only do I try to make sure all of our guests are pleased with their meals, I also need to make sure that meat is cooked to proper temperatures and everything stays fresh and clean.

    11:50 a.m. - Lunch is ready to be served. I made sure the food was laid out for serving and utensils, plates, beverages, and napkins were fully stocked.

    12:00 p.m. - Lunch time for me means making sure lunch is served on time. Mission accomplished. I decided to take a little "me" time while everyone enjoyed their meal.

    1:00 p.m. - Once the dining area was cleared out, it was time to start cleaning up. A guest approached me to compliment the chicken, which I received with a huge smile. It makes me happy to know that I can bring someone joy through food.

    2:00 p.m. - This is about the time I start getting ready for the next meal. Today, I need to get ready for tomorrow's lunch.  I take inventory of what's in the pantry, including cleaning supplies and paper goods. We are getting low on a few produce items, so I'll make sure to order what I need.

    3:30 p.m. - Before I leave for the day, I always try to get as much paperwork done as I can. This means going through invoices from suppliers to make sure we are up to date on everything, making sure my menu for the next day is ready, and taking note of special requests and allergies.

    4:30 p.m. - Time to go home and spend time with my daughter and rest up for the next day. I made sure the stove was off, perishable foods were properly stored, and nothing was left out. See you tomorrow Casowasco!


    Click here to learn more about Camp and Retreat Ministries. 

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    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."