Winter Camp Cooking Class

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015

Hello all!! During Winter Camp this year our very own Chef Kimmie ran an awesome cooking class for all our Campers. Since S’Mores are a standard in any camping setting, Chef Kimmie took that concept and put a cool spin on it. S’Mores Ravioli! Now these are not your traditional ravioli… boiled in water and smothered in a pasta sauce. These are a delicious baked pastry that are assembled in the fashion of a traditional ravioli. Sort of like a Turnover… but Ravioli sounded a bit more fun!! S’Mores Ravioli recipe…  Makes 5 to 7 (depending on size) Ingredients 1 pie crust (recipe below) 4 oz Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar 2 cups mini marshmallows 1 egg white – beaten Pinch of flour   Instructions Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Cut crust into squares, approx. 4″ X 4″. Knead and roll dough scraps to cut out more squares. Break chocolate bar into segments. Put 3 chocolate bar segments and about 10 mini marshmallows on a square of dough. Top with another square of dough. Roll edges and crimp with a fork. Place Ravioli on baking sheet and brush with egg white. Bake at 375°F for 14-17 minutes. Allow Ravioli to cool for a couple of minutes before enjoying. Contents will be HOT!   PIE CRUST Makes 1 single pie crust   INGREDIENTS 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking powder ½  cup partially frozen butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water INSTRUCTIONS 1) Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Process for 5 seconds to blend. 2) Add half of the butter. Toss to coat with flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times, then process for 4 to 5 seconds. Add the remaining butter and pulse again 4 to 5 times, then process about 4 to 5 seconds. The mixture should have the texture of coarse corn meal and may still contain some larger pieces of butter (that is OK!). 3) Empty the mixture into a large bowl. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, drizzling it around the side of the bowl. Use your fingertips to push the mixture towards the center with each addition. Do this around the entire bowl. As more water is added, clumps of dough will form. The clumps of dough will become larger with each addition. Once your dough begins to form one cohesive ball, add the remaining tablespoon of water, a teaspoon at a time until all of the crumbs adhere and “clean” the bowl. If not, add a few more drops of water. (Chef’s Note: Adding the water sparingly and cautiously will allow you to get your dough to the right consistency… firm and not sticky. If your dough is sticky, you’ve added too much water. You just need the dough to “come together” in...

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Better late than never…

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014

Hello dear readers… I would have preferred to write this post in a more timely fashion but I would be remiss if I didn’t post it at all. In the picture below is (most of) our 2014 Kitchen Staff. This summer our Food Service Staff were THE most highly skilled and trained team I have ever had the privilege to work with. From my Assistant, Chef Kimmie, who is a powerhouse in guiding the daily operations of the kitchen at Ockanickon & Stockwell… to Jess (not pictured) leading the team at Matolly, who graduated from the Burlington County Institute of Technology last June from their Culinary program AND was the Valedictorian of the entire student body… to my returning staff members Max and Manuel (Manuel is also a recent graduate of a Culinary Academy in Mexico… to the rest of the crew, all fresh, first time staff members who brought a whole host of special talents, skills and experience to us from their home countries. It was an epic, busy and I dare say, legendary summer. As our Camps grow and grow, we too must keep up with the expanding needs. This summer we served the most meals per day in, what I understand, the 108 year history of our humble Camp. 2200 meals per day at the height. That equates to each one of us on the 15 person team to be responsible for about 150 meals per day (146 to be a little more precise). Our Lake Stockwell attendance was off the charts and our Overnight Camps had some of the largest attendance records that I have seen in my 18 year career here. On top of the sheer volume… and I think I’ve mentioned this before… but we continue to hit the mark on every meal “deadline” including having meals out going in 13 different directions on one singular day. “The Perfect Storm” day. Simply amazing to me. I got the inspiration to write this post now, after the dust has settled from Summer Camp and a very busy Fall with our Outdoor Center firing on all cylinders, because I recently got word from two of our international staff members that they have already begun the process to come back and work with us again and serve our children with one solid summer of intense experience under their belts… and I couldn’t be happier. It’s hard to point out each person in the picture because of the arrangement… but… Max, Kevin, Maria, Fernando, Alex, Kimmie, Manuel, Dani, Fausto, Laura, Jose, Paulo, Jess, Gary and Candy (last 3 not pictured)… THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! You made me proud… you served our Campers with care and kindness… you were on the ball with all of your duties at every step of the way. To the internationals… I know you are all hard working University students back home and I am ever grateful...

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A little Social Media change…

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014

Hello everyone!! Facebook has been doing a little “house cleaning” and is cracking down on businesses that are still using personal Facebook pages for businesses. Since Camp was a very early adopter of using Facebook… and social media in general… one of our two Facebook pages is still currently a personal page… the other is a proper business page. Our original personal page was created well before Facebook invented the Business Pages and although we did create one of those too, we didn’t want to lose what we had already started originally years before. It is inevitable that we will be shutting down the non-business page… that is (first name) Camp (last name) Ockanickon… and streamlining everything through our business page… https://www.facebook.com/YMCACamps We have many, many, friends and followers on both pages and many of you cross over and are present on both… but we don’t want to lose anyone in the transition!! Our “personal” Facebook page is currently inaccessible by us so we can not post this news there. If we at Camp could ask you… our friends, family and alumni… to help us spread the word to everyone about this by sharing this blog post or tweet we would be grateful. You have the power to get everyone over to the official Camp Ockanickon “business” page… and we here at Camp would be grateful for your support, efforts, clicks and “likes”!! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter too!! Both user names on those sites and apps are @campockanickon. Thanks for reading and sharing!! Be good… Chef Jason  ...

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… and the winner is…

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014

Hello all… Our Fruit Tray competition has come to a conclusion here at Camp between the Ockanickon Kitchen Staff and the Matollionequay Kitchen Staff and the winner is… The Ockanickon Kitchen Staff’s “Indian Chief” display!!!   The senior Kitchen Staff and I narrowed down the 5 daily trays last week to one finalist from each kitchen and let YOU pick the winner by “Liking” the photos on our Facebook page. I let the voting run from the initial posting on Saturday until midnight Tuesday and by a slim 136 to 117 count the stately Indian Chief won over the beautiful Butterfly. It was rather difficult for myself and the other Chefs to narrow down the selections because they were all very creative and well thought out by each team. Some of the criteria we used to select the finalists included… 1… The amount of fruit used. We have A LOT of hungry boys and girls here at Camp and the display had to not only be fun and creative but also serve everyone!! 2… Creativity. The interesting use of the size and shape of the various fruits, the use of the assorted colors of the fruits and the theme and overall final look of the tray all played a part in the creativity. 3… Following my guidelines for the contest. All parts of the tray must be edible (or have the edible parts still attached to the rind… no use of solely inedible parts) and no skewers, toothpicks or other assorted inedible tools to make a desired effect. 4… The “WOW” factor. What got me the most when I was selecting the ones I liked the best were the positive comments I was hearing from the Campers and Staff who were enjoying these awesome fruit displays all week!! The ones that had the most people talking about them got a boost! I will say, the Kitchen Staff did have some fun with this friendly competition… and we’ll be trying another very soon. The next contest will involve taste instead of a visual display so if you want to have fun along with us, you’ll have to be here at Camp!! Pictures say a thousand words but unfortunately they don’t taste very good. For all the staff who participated in the competition, with much thanks to Rich Rupert and his staff, I have arranged a fun afternoon on our own Challenge Course here at Camp… and the winning team at Ockanickon get a VERY special and exclusive Challenge Course treat… The Night Zip… where we go high up above the tree tops on our Matollionequay Zip Line at night!! Thanks for reading about this little behind the scenes fun we’ve been having in the Kitchens at Ocky and Matolly… and thanks to those of you who voted on Facebook!! Be good… Chef Jason & Chef Kimmie P.S… By the way…...

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A little friendly competition in the Kitchen…

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014

Hello all!! What started as some of our Kitchen Staff being a little creative and having fun with designs on our morning fruit tray for the campers, has now turned into a little friendly competition between the Ocky Kitchen Staff and the Matolly Kitchen Staff. Pictured below is an example of what I’m talking about… That is a fish made out of honeydew and cantaloupe melons with a dried cranberry for an eye. (This tray was from about a week ago and not in the contest.) So here are the rules and the way the contest will be judged… #1… The ENTIRE tray must be made of edible fruit. No toothpicks or skewers like you might see in one of those “Edible Arrangements”. Rinds of fruit are acceptable but only if the flesh of the fruit is still attached to it, like a slice of watermelon might have. #2… It must be 100% fruit… no vegetables or anything else. And that’s about it. Pretty simple rules. I took 2 elected team members to a local produce place and gave them a very small budget to buy a few unique items of their choosing for their teams. I also surprised them with a few other items that they can use, aside from out typical selection. The contest will run from this Tuesday morning’s fruit display until Saturday… having 5 displays done by each team. Those 5 trays will be judged by myself and our 3 other Chefs who will whittle down the entries to one finalist from each team. Over the coming weekend I will post pictures of the two fruit displays on Facebook and it will be up to YOU… our friends, families, campers and alumni… to vote with “Likes” on which fruit display you like the best. The winning team will get a surprise. The actual real winners are the campers who are being treated to some really awesome, fun and fully edible fruit trays in the mornings here at Camp!! And I can tell you that the Kitchen Staff themselves are also already winners for participating with such excitement and creativity here each day and hearing the praises for their work from everyone around Camp. We are keeping all the pictures secret until the weekend so stay tuned!! We can’t wait for you all to see the amazing and fun work our crews are doing!! Be good… Chef Jason & Chef Kimmie P.S… And don’t worry, we’ll probably end up posting ALL the photos of every entry after the contest is over so you can even see the ones we didn’t choose for the...

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