Three steps up, three steps down, three steps up, three steps down. It may not seem like much, but when you do that over and over again during the course of a meal service carrying full, steaming hot pans of food from the kitchen to the serving line, it is an exhausting task. Prior to our kitchen renovation, the entrance from the serving line and the entrance from the hallway were both via steps. While a sunken living room might have been the height of fashion in the 1950?s, let me tell you it is definitely not a good idea in a kitchen!
Do you remember trying to navigate the serving line with a child or a person who needed assistance? You entered the serving line from the hallway on one level and then the floor became a ramp to a lower level in Fellowship Hall, but the actual serving line railing did not. So your tray stayed on the same level while you descended the ramp. And just to add another level of difficulty, in the middle of the serving line, there was a pole that you had to move your tray around. It was quite the obstacle course! Try doing that when you are under 6 years old or using a walker.
Some of the highlights of our extensive kitchen remodeling included taking away those three steps, replacing the wonky serving line with two efficient serving lines, and making it much easier to serve our church members restaurant-quality food...Miss Sherrie's chicken pot pie, gumbo, chicken piccata, mmm! When you mention our church's menus to people outside our church, they are amazed.
One of the most-used pieces of equipment in Fellowship Hall is the ice cream machine. Although the children raised the money for and were the driving force for purchasing the machine, I will let you in on a little secret?it is the adults who are first to come into the kitchen and let us know when the ice cream machine runs out. So we know who has the real sweet tooth!
There is an old joke that where two or more Baptists are gathered, there will be coffee and donuts. We are so fortunate that our kitchen staff does so much more. Whether it is catering a beautiful wedding reception, preparing a pre-memorial service meal of family favorites and then handling the reception following the service, the Mainstreamers? meals, the SMILE luncheons, the Wednesday evening meals, the Sunday lunches and business meetings, and countless other meetings and activities too numerous to list here, our kitchen staff has truly made the most of the kitchen renovations.