Jennifer Steigelman prepares a tray of corn dogs  in the kitchen Friday afternoon at the Sheridan Junior High School.Jennifer Steigelman prepares a tray of corn dogs in the kitchen Friday afternoon at the Sheridan Junior High School.

SJHS cook prepares meals for 500 students

SHERIDAN — Jennifer Steigelman is head cook at Sheridan Junior High School. Beginning at 7:30 every morning, she and her staff of five cooks have the daunting task of preparing meals for more than 500 hungry students. Approximately 100 students have breakfast at the school each morning and 500 have lunch. In addition, the kitchen staff prepares meals for Fort Mackenzie High School and the Wright Place and occasionally, sack lunches for students participating in field trips.

Steigelman moved to Sheridan when she was in eighth grade and has stayed because, “it is a great place to raise my (three) kids.”
Obviously, she said the toughest part of the job is keeping the kitchen organized and running on time.
“Some days we are scrambling,” she said.

Hands down, the kids’ favorite meal is…pizza. We only have it every three weeks, but they would like to have it every day if they could.

When it comes to getting kids to eat their fruit and veggies…we put it on display on the salad bar and ask the kids to try it, (we tell them) you never know what you might like.

I wish I had a dollar for every time a kid said…why do I have to take a fruit or veggie? Some days they only want the main dish and nothing else.

My favorite thing to make for the kids is…the kids really like the chicken gravy and hamburger gravy with mashed potatoes. It’s nice when they like what we cook!

The hardest thing to learn for this job was…paperwork. It is very time consuming and takes time away from fixing meals. But it is important just like everything else we do.

When I cook at home for family or friends, I love to make…potato salad, Mexican wedding cake, barbecue ribs, chicken and steak.

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