What to do in the Kitchen when there is Nothing to Do

kitchen-boredAnybody who has ever worked in the Kalani kitchen knows that it is a busy environment, most of the time. But not all of the time. There are those awkward in between tasks times when you really don’t know what you should be doing, because there just isn’t anything to do, but you don’t want to be that volunteer who is just standing around doing nothing. What are you supposed to do? It’s uncomfortable to just stand there doing nothing, so you have to think of something fast before you get accused of being lazy. We know what it’s like. Some of us at In Touch… With Kalani used to work in the kitchen. Here are a few of the things we used to do to keep busy.

  • When we worked in the kitchen, we would spend an hour or so sometimes tasting all the spices and arranging them on the shelf in order of most favorite to least favorite. It’s amazing what you learn about yourself and others doing this. A great deal of honesty is required for this. Be ready for that.
  • Go through the refrigerators and grab all the food that has expired. Instead of slopping it, run it all through a blender, put it in a salad dressing container and label it “Raspberry Vinaigrette.” Put this out on the salad bar and laugh as people put it on their salads.
  • hidePlay hide and seek.This is fun in the kitchen! There are literally dozens of places to hide! Use the Hobart as base and “It” can count to twenty. You can even expand the hiding territory out onto the lanai if meal service is in full swing. Under guest tables is a great hiding place, which you will discover if you work in the kitchen and get bored.
  • Condiment Art. This is exactly what it sounds like. Grab some ketchup, some mustard, some mayonnaise, some relish, even some mango chutney for extra color if you like. Take them over to the big metal prep table, and be creative. We used to make incredible works of art with just these simple pigments. Truly inspiring, truly beautiful, incredibly perfect, we had fun expressing ourselves this way. But like the Sand Mandalas of Tibet, impermanence was the intention. Once created, once enjoyed, these amazing works of art were wiped away with the sprayer and washed down the sink never to be seen again.


There you have it. If you work in the kitchen, by all means use these suggestions when you are not sure what to do. And be creative! Come up with some of your own too. Remember to think outside the box, and you will always look busy and your volunteer experience will be forever enhanced.


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