A Recipe For Success: From Jillaroo to Station Cook

Host: Soudan Station
Written by Michelle Lorensen – Station Cook, Soudan Station.

Every week is different on Soudan, but this week is extra special with Kent Saddlery dropping in for their annual visit. Kent Saddlery is a family owned business based in Stanthorpe (southern QLD) who handcraft and sell leather goods from bridles and saddles to belts, whips, and UHF pouches. They stock everything you would ever need when working on a cattle property. In addition to Lyle and Helen Kent, we had a couple of other surprise visitors, increasing our usual 12 for dinner to 20; nothing Michelle can’t handle and just another reason we are so lucky to have her as ‘our’ cook.

2.1 Michelle's little helpersHayden and Lacey.

Hello everyone, my name is Michelle Lorensen. I’m the cook at Soudan Station, an outstation of Alexandria. I have been working at Soudan since 2012. I didn’t come here to be a cook but a jillaroo for a year or two then planned to move on to somewhere new. I did just under two years as a jillaroo here, then the position of station cook came up and I jumped at the chance of doing something different on the station but still staying on Soudan, with a great bunch of people that have become good friends.

2.2 Michelle competingMichelle still gets a chance to pursue her love of horses.

A usual day for me is to have breakfast ready by 6am (if the stock camp’s mustering it’s earlier), with food out for anyone who needs lunch for the day to make some for themselves. After brekkie I clean up and either do some baking or some preparation for dinner. Then have smoko on the table by 9.30am, which usually is cakes, biscuits, and something else like sausage rolls, pancakes, or mini quiches. I clean the kitchen and prepare lunch to be ready at 12.30pm. Dinner is at 7pm, we sometimes have dinner at the canteen on the odd Friday night or if we have a few visitors, like the other night we had eight extra people for dinner . . . so I had 20 for dinner which is a few more than the usual 10 or 12. It’s nights like that or the surprise one or two extras that keep you on your toes.

I really enjoy being a station cook on Soudan and I’m glad I decided to give it a go.

2.3 Helping ride young horsesNot only can she cook, but she can ride too!