Bloomhill Volunteering - Kitchen capers The pace is busy in the kitchen at Bloomhill. There’s a lot of multi-tasking taking place with barely a moment to stand still, unless you have a spatula or spoon in your hand. A qualified pastry chef once upon a time, Chris is one of those cooks you have to admire. No measuring of ingredients or checking recipe quantities and instructions. A bag of sugar is opened and simply poured into the food processor. The result is perfect creamy frosting for the carrot cake which appears out of the fridge. The scene is much like ‘one I made earlier’ and it is. Chris whipped it up yesterday along with a bevy of other tasty morsels. The aroma is delectable. Sausage rolls are baking in the oven, as are roast vegetables. Everyone knows what to do and they are busy preparing for the day and the week. All at a hectic speed. Monday and Tuesday are high energy days. Much of the week’s preparation is put in the oven and fridge on a Monday before being finished off on Tuesday. Cakes and slices are baked and come out of the fridge ready to be iced expertly and so very quickly. “I work with a rough guide in mind,” Chris says. “First up on a Monday there usually isn’t much left so I restock with lasagna, spinach pie, zucchini slice and frittata. The spinach and ricotta pie is very popular as are the sausage rolls. “After the savory foods are prepared I get on with the baking in preparation of icing first thing Tuesday morning. Sausage rolls are also made early so they can be ready for the gardeners when they come in for morning tea. “Although Monday is the busier of the two, both are busy.” Occasionally Chris also comes in on a Wednesday so she can catch up and get extras in the freezer. If you’re passing by the kitchen on a Tuesday look out for the plate of Chris’ extras. Edges of the cakes and slices are removed and placed for whoever might pass by and be tempted. The carrot cake is expertly iced and as that is placed in the fridge, a chocolate slice takes its place on the table ready for chocolate icing. Once again the sugar is poured adlib into the food process and the combination of ingredients comes out beautifully glossy. This amazing lady lived nearby for almost 10 years and drove by often. When she gave up her sales job the plan to do some volunteering materialised. After applying on-line to do some driving for Bloomhill, Chris initially found herself in the café where her barista skills came in handy. But when her cooking skills were revealed Chris found herself in the kitchen making magic. “I was a pastry cook at 15 and worked for many years in different places. At one stage I was manager of a bakery and found myself working in different places and putting my hand at whatever was needed.” When she isn’t racing around the kitchen at Bloomhill Chris enjoys swimming at either the pool or in the ocean as well as walks along the beach. Reading is another pleasure, especially Judy Nunn and Di Morrisey. The kitchen and café girls enjoy catching up socially, usually with a bring a plate at home event and lots of chit chat. Apart from serving up fantastic food Chris has a quote which has served her well -“Be grateful for what you have”.