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Things are cookin’ with the SHS lunch ladies

The lunch staff at the SHS cafeteria make many of their meals from scratch. Photo by Sarah Thompson.

The lunch staff at the SHS cafeteria make many of their meals from scratch. Photo by Sarah Thompson.

By JANELL ECHUCK and SARAH THOMPSON, staff writers

At the Sidney C. Huntington School, the cooks at the cafeteria are pretty chill people when they running a huge kitchen.

We spent one morning shadowing the lunch ladies at SHS. Becca Huntington is the head chef in the kitchen.

She said that her favorite part in her job is that she is on her feet and not being at a desk sitting and doing paperwork. Ms. Huntington tries to make everything that she cooks out of scratch.

Ms. Huntington lived in Galena her whole life. When she went to college, she went to Fort Lewis in Colorado, and after she was finished with college, she came back. Ms. Huntington used to go to SHS school when she was young. Her mother would pack her a lunchbox for lunch until she got into high school. She started to work when she was thirteen years old.

She also used to to work at the Coffee Shop, and she was the one who started the Thai noodles. She started to cook when her aunt put her in the kitchen. Her sister taught her to cook Thai noodles and lasagna.

She worked at the Elder’s Center in the community, where she worked in the kitchen. Ms. Huntington said, “The job was demanding.”

Ms. Huntington started working at SHS kitchen four years ago, where she worked under longtime cafeteria cook Judy Burgett. She enjoyed working with her.

“I learned alot from her,” she said. When she was working under Mrs. Burgett, she took over breakfast, when Mrs. Burgett retired last year, Ms. Huntington applied for the job to become boss.

They make a monthly meal plan, but sometimes they have to change the meal cause the produce might get stuck somewhere. Ms. Huntington cooks lunch and fellow lunch lady Claudia Demoski makes breakfast.

Ms. Huntington’s favorite food to cook is curry, but she doesn’t really have a favorite dish; she just like to cook all sorts of food. She said that she doesn’t really have a best part in her day because her day goes so fast that she doesn’t really have time to look at the clock until she serve the kids food. But Ms. Huntington added, “Being head of the kitchen, she has to makes sure that the kids get the right amount of vegetables, meat, dairy, fruit, and the paperwork.”

If someone did get a job here,Ms. Huntington would say that “you’re always on your feet.” At 10:30 a.m. she sets out the tables for lunch before it’s time for the kids to eat. Ms. Huntington doesn’t mind when the teacher help clean tables and sweep the floor. She actually likes it when they do that.

At the lunch we watched the ladies create, SHS secretary Sharilyn Kriska said that “lunch was good today, never had homemade lasagna for a while, they did a good job. I liked the garlic bread.”