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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Guard Shack Cooking

One of my fine friends suggested that I write a cookbook or start a blog about "Guard Shack Cooking."  
Now, there's really not a whole lot of cooking you can do in a guard shack, so all the information I have at this point can be written in one article.  Maybe one article can lead to many others, but for now, this is what I have to offer.

A guard shack is a tiny building where security guards spend up to 16 hours.  They never have a kitchen.  If you're lucky, the one you are working in happens to have a microwave.  Usually because some other guard got tired of not having one, and scored a used one from goodwill.  Don't count on there being one.

So if you have no microwave, then you have to figure out how you are going to feed yourself for 16 hours, because you can't leave.  Most guard shacks are in an area where pizza will deliver, but not always!

Some people don't mind eating nothing but room temperature sandwiches, but I can't stand them.  So, I had to learn how to "cook" in a guard shack, with no means to cook.

How on earth do you "cook", if you have no means to cook?  You have to bring your own means to cook!  Of course, you won't want to lug a microwave to and from work every day.  You need something small.

I used to bring a 1.5 quart crock pot, and a 1 quart hot pot.

The crock pot was used to heat up whatever I want to heat up, whether it's leftovers or a can of soup.  It takes about 20 minutes on the high setting.  If you are busy, you can switch it to low, and eat whenever you need to.

There are slow cookers smaller than 1.5 quart, but I would not recommend them.  The 1.5 quart is the smallest size that has a removable stoneware pot as well as different heat settings.  Smaller sizes do not have those features.

At first, I would wash the crock pot after each use.  Eventually, I discovered that a pint sized ziploc twist n' loc container fits perfectly in a 1.5 quart crock pot, so I can heat up my food without having to wash the pot.

The hot pot was used to heat up water, for hot cereal, noodles, or hot chocolate.  Usually, the guard shack will have running water.  If not, you will need to bring some bottled water.   The hot pot can heat water to boiling in about a minute.  

If a microwave is available, you can bring a pyrex measuring cup to heat hot water in the microwave.  Use a pyrex measuring cup instead of a coffee cup, because it has a spout and won't spill all over you.

If there happens to be a coffee pot (usually not, unless another guard brings one), you can heat hot water in a coffee pot.  Just don't put anything in the filter, and it will make hot water.

One guard shack where I worked had a toaster oven, which was brought by another employee.   In the toaster oven, you can heat up various items on aluminum foil.  One time I brought hot dogs and buns, and toasted both in the toaster oven.

At another guard shack, I brought a grilled cheese sandwich press, and a loaf of bread, and made hot sandwiches to eat.

Now, all of this is assuming your guard shack actually has electricity.  Occasionally they don't, and so you can't do anything.  Why do businesses have such blatant disrespect for the guards they are paying such a pittance?

So, there you have it.  Guard shack cooking!  If I ever come up with any more ideas, then I will start a blog or maybe even write a cookbook.

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