Confessions of a Navy Cook - Chef Fern Garcia's Combat Chronicles vol. II
|image via Chef Fern|
|Turkey A La King In The Reefer|
"I used to clean the 9 hour steak grill with my bare hands, soapy water, and a sharp grill brick which tore my hands into picadillo over time. Eventually, a sailor gave me a secret (no names), he busted out a box of "bug juice."
Bug juice: United States Navy artificial fruit-flavored drink powder issued in Vietnam or some other senseless war.
The box was all white with a label stating..."Property of the U.S. Government."
The bags inside the box stated...."grape"...."cherry"....all the flavors of the rainbow.
I discovered that one could pour this evil shit onto a flat grill, and that it would cleanse it of grease easier than the method of tearing my hands to shit with soap, water, and a spiked grill brick. Mind you, the grill had over an inch thickness of animal fat tar attached like a leech slurping the succulent blood of an unfortunate host.
Eventually I got used to the punishment of being a newbie in a world where I probably did not belong. Then, when I was smoking a cig (I smoked all 4-5 years of duty like a chimney in winter...cut me some slack...I was a stressed mess.) A doc saw my hands cut up with multi colors surrounding it like a rainbow (The BUGJUICE entered my wounds from the grill brick). I couldn't even hold the cig...I couldn't even put my clothes on, tie my boots, or even brush my teeth for a couple months. I was damaged goods. That officer took me to my boss' office and tore them a new asshole."
I got relieved of grill duties just in time. New recruits arrived and I was spared by that awesome soul (the doc). I then began a new chapter. Roasting mannnnny portions of meat and slicing them while the ship rocked like a cradle. Stitches, stitches....
Eventually I worked my way into my own private kitchen and being the greatest hero that ever lived.....actually not the hero part. But I did get my own kitchen eventually and was taught how to cook by Master Filipino cooks whom cherished the Masonic ways. I traveled the world, I saw, I ate, I conquered. Many more stories to come....work and play differ greatly.