Hi I'm Melanie & this is my first dig!
Cooking for 50 hungry archaeologists is a daunting prospect, especially as I've never cooked for more than 20 people before but it's an exciting challenge & an adventure in itself.
The daily food shop is a trip I look forward to as I'm never quite sure what will be in store. Take for example the supermarket. To start with it's all Greek to me. Thank goodness for the pictures on the labels! At the butchers it's difficult to work out if the Cypriot lamb is is actually lamb or goat. And thanks, but no thanks, I won't buy a skinned goat's head today. Erk! The fruit & vegetable market has a concrete water feature in the middle of the shop with plastic palm trees and live turtles in the rock pool. Are the turtles there for display purposes or can you actually buy them to eat I wonder? Then there's the escargot – live snails the size of golf balls. Hmmm....
My days are very busy planning meals, shopping and cooking. The cooking is another challenge as I only have 2 working stove tops and 1 ½ ovens, which might seem a lot, but it does limit the type of food I can cook, especially in the vast quantities I need to make.
50 people eat a lot of food. Every day we go through 3 loaves of bread, 6 litres of milk, 2 litres of cordial, 3 boxes of cereal & at least 2 jars of jam. And that's just for breakfast.
I have wonderful volunteers each day who help with the food preparation, getting meals out on time and washing up. You'd be surprised at how many cups, plates, knives, forks & spoons need to be cleaned at the end of a meal, and then there's all the pots and pans.
I'm having a great time and, although I can sometimes be on my feet for up to 16 hours a day, I'm doing what I love by making people happy with my food.