There are so many myths about firehouse life that some days I think the Mythbusters or Big Foot Hunters should be deployed to investigate some of these rumors. But alas it seems these people are far too busy with there own issues to turn their collective attention to firefighters, so I will make a humble effort in their absence.
Not all firefighters are great cook, in fact many struggle with getting peanut butter on the bread and not on everything else. The recruit academy does a fantastic job of preparing new members in the basics of fire suppression, not question of that.
Where the short comings are reveled is in just living in a firehouse. Everyone (at least in days past) has to cook. A rotation is established, a pecking order if you will. You have your turn at the controls. You set the menu, gather the ingredients, establish a time frame to get the food on the table at the predetermined times; noon and six.
Now the average person, the lay person only comes against these circumstances a few times a year. Maybe Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Fourth of July, those circumstances include the feeding of up to a dozen hungry, demanding, judging, Neanderthals. They are not as polite and caring as your family is on a holiday, in fact get it wrong and you might find your meatloaf stuffed in your boots on the next call.
Some new guys were so terrified of this experience that they went to great effort to avoid the embarrassment of failure. One guy I worked with had his ever so sweet mother deliver meals to the station when it was his turn to cook. Good thing she was an awesome cook, because if she sucked, he would have been in even deeper shit. She never would have heard a word by the way. We may be pricks to each others, but never and I mean never to family or the public. It is just not done.
Other guys made a decision to be smart and use a recipe. That could work in your favor if you pulled it off, the biggest side effect of these attempts was going way over budget. You see another myth is that our food is provided for us, not true we buy it and new guys clutching their little sheets of paper tended to go way over budget.
If the recipe called for some balsamic vinegar or truffle oil and they did on occasion, these ditts would buy it. A whole bottle of the shit for a teaspoon and a half.
Sorry gotta go. I'll finish this later.