Pinewoods Dedication

Pinewoods Camp, Inc.  is an educational, non-profit traditional dance and music retreat that has served primarily adults, with family sessions as well, for over eighty years.  I first attended when I was six years old with my brother and mother, and later worked there as a teenager and young adult, moving through the ranks to eventually run the kitchen.  I returned in my late 30s to supervise a new generation of kitchen staff that were working there for some of the same reasons that I had chosen to be there: to dance, sing, and play music.  They are in the process of rebuilding the venerable dining hall and kitchen, and fundraising for it.  A book is being published for the opening.   Twenty Tables of Eight, containing interviews and recipes from the former cooks and chefs at Pinewoods, is being assembled by a woman native to Takoma Park, MD, Sarah Pilzer,  who worked for many years on the Kitchen Crew at Pinewoods.  It will be published later this Spring.  Below is an excerpt from my dedication page.

Dining, as dance, is a communal activity, with its own set of rules, traditions, and aesthetics. Cooks and chefs are as committed to creating an experience for an audience as any musician or caller. The Pinewoods dining aesthetic is one that many people have contributed to, and is framed by the limits of the space, the tools at hand, the money available, and the campers and their wants. The cooks at Pinewoods work within these confines, and seek to produce food for some 160 people a meal, three times a day, from June into September, making food from scratch — real, honest cooking — during a break from their regular lives, or while they try to figure out what’s next, or so that they can avail themselves of the opportunities to learn that which Camp provides… In the meanwhile, life happens, and for some of us our experience at Pinewoods is defining.

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