Oh what a relief…

Kyle and the mountain of lettuce

So, for the past five weeks or so I've been grappling with the kitchen.  The Pavilion kitchen.  The kitchen through which runs all the food consumed by the Ranch every day.  Which is a lot.

Last week we hired Miss Gigi to run it.  Gigi actually knows what she's doing, having extensive experience in running commercial kitchens and having owned and run a restaurant with her husband.  Talk about finding a treasure in your own backyard, Gigi and Jo live a mile up the road from Down Home Ranch on “the Spur.”

“I always knew I'd wind up here somehow,” Gigi said. “Every day when I'd drive by going into Elgin I'd see that gate and think…someday I'm going to be there.”

Valerie & Mike bag food into household portions

This matters to Gigi because of a very special little girl, granddaughter Presley, who inspired her parents to create a foundation called The Upside of Down to better the lives of people with Down syndrome.  Upside has paid for many a camper to attend Ranch Camp over the few years it's been in existence.

Man, those cute little tykes wake up a lot of love!

So enjoy these pictures of our Ranchers happily hard at work as Miss Gigi gets the kitchen whipped into shape.  Presley's mom and dad might not have envisioned their little one inspiring scenes like this, but then the world is just plumb full of surprises, isn't it?

Kara setting up drinks for lunch