A change for the chef

Host: Glenormiston Station
Written by Becki Carr – Station Cook, Glenormiston.

I’m very happy to introduce to you our very busy cook Becki Carr. Becki came to work with us in June last year and is a very valuable member in our team. She is organised, clean, cooks a fantastic meal, and is always looking for new ideas and things to cook that everyone will like. To top it off she loves gardening and animals, and I’m not kidding! It’s not a forced ‘you will like this line of work’, it’s a genuine ‘I have my work to do plus some because it makes me happy to be outside and out of the kitchen’ – which I can fully appreciate as I am not an indoors person. So without any further ado, here’s my cook of the year/poddy tenderer/shared gardener, Becki . . .

– Nicky

Hi my name is Becki Carr and I’m the cook at Glenormiston Station, which is owned by NAP Co. I have been here since June last year. Being a fully qualified chef and realizing it wasn’t the life style I wanted, I decided to become a station cook and well, I’ve never looked back.

6.1 - Me, cooking up a stormBecki, cooking up a storm.

My day goes something like this:

My alarm normally goes off either 4 or 5am, depending on what’s happening. Once I arrive at the kitchen, lights go on, I make sure the urn is hot, and I get to enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Then it’s time for me to get breakfast started, and the lunch and smoko things ready for staff to make their lunches for the day. Before I know it the door opens and my kitchen starts to resemble subway, with people cutting their lunches for their busy day ahead, cups of coffee and tea being sipped while the stock camp receives their plans for the day, and breakfast is served.

Once breaky is served, eaten, and cleaned up, it’s time for me to feed the kids (poddy calves), once they are all fed and contented sprinklers go on, pigs are fed, and my vegetable garden is watered, then it’s time for a quick cup of tea and a piece of toast.

Before I know it it’s smoko time for whoever is in at the station and the kids from the school room. Now with smoko over it is time to get organised, my days differ sometimes it’s catch up with smoko cooking, and those never ending cleaning jobs, or it might even be seeing to a killer hanging in the cold room. Lunch time comes around, then it’s time to think about what dinner will be, unless I’m organised and this is already done. With all this done, the floor is swept and mopped, chooks are eating their scraps, and I feel an afternoon nap may be needed. For any cooks that do get this chance they know how important this is, and everyone needs to remember the golden rule – never get between a cook and their afternoon nap!

Before long it’s time to start my afternoon/evening. Milk poddies are fed, sprinklers are turned off, the stock camp are returning, and it’s time to start dinner with the sun setting over Lake Idamea – which is right on our door step, and it’s time to serve dinner. Dinner times are the most entertaining with the camp reliving their day, with a lot of laughing, somehow dinner is eaten and the dessert bowls are licked clean and ‘Good nights!’ are passed around. It’s  time for me to clean up the dinner dishes, set up what’s needed for breakfast, turn off the lights, and head to bed before it all starts all over again.

Station cooking is the best lifestyle, for someone who wants a slower life, I was asked once how do I cope with no mobile reception and being four hours from the nearest big town. My reply was I don’t miss either. Just a couple of things you need to remember if you want to become a station cook –

  • Basic home cooking is the way to go, however if you wish to try fancy, just give the dish a basic easy name.
  • Anything with chocolate in it will get eaten
  • Enjoy your days off, especially in the middle of the mustering season.