Health and Wellness
Recipe Rescue: January 2012
As members of the fire service, I think we can all agree that one of the finest aspects of our profession is the camaraderie and unity we share as a brotherhood/sisterhood.
By Patrick Mathieu
As members of the fire service, I think we can all agree that one of the finest aspects of our profession is the camaraderie and unity we share as a brotherhood/sisterhood. We spend one-third of our lives together in our fire houses, away from our homes, families and friends. Inevitably, when most people are off work, at some point in our careers, we will be required to work during holiday seasons. It’s not just major marked holidays – our call of duty often disrupts life’s other celebrations. We make the best of every situation, and we do this by honouring the importance of life’s occasions by celebrating them together in our fire halls. If we cannot be with family and friends for holidays and special occasions, we can rely on our fire-hall families to help celebrate the important days in our lives. Bringing your crew together in the kitchen to create a special occasion fire-hall feast can often satisfy the possible unease of being away from home. Festive Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, Easter brunches, themed holiday menus, or your favourite birthday spread will bring a sense of home to you and your fire-hall family.
Last year, my platoon was scheduled to work on Super Bowl Sunday. This is definitely a day in the calendar year that most people spend enjoying the game with family, friends and neighbours. Our game plan at Waterloo Fire Rescue was to have a super-sized potluck dinner celebration. Each member of the platoon brought a favourite dish to the table. The menu ranged from items as simple (and hilarious) as a potato chip salad, to the classic homemade mac and cheese, to the other end of the gourmet spectrum with a lobster and jalapeno dip and Jamaican-jerked baby back ribs. The result was a fire house full of satisfied, elated firefighters who still got to enjoy the grandeur of Super Bowl Sunday. Good food and good friends – it’s the classic recipe for a perfect family celebration, and despite being at work, our firefighters all got to experience that. Having everyone prepare a dish also brought laughs, a little friendly competition, and the all-important unity that is so important in our line of work.
The recipes I’ve included are Super Bowl party-inspired, and would be a great addition to any Super Sunday, regardless of which family you are spending it with.
Patrick Mathieu is an 11-year veteran of Waterloo Fire Rescue. He has won several cooking competitions and has helped raise thousands of dollars for charities by auctioning gourmet dinners at the fire hall. Contact him at email@example.com