Firefighter cooks for crew
by Candi Helseth
Kyle and Natalie Beck enjoy cooking together in the home Kyle built prior to their marriage. Kyle made the walnut wood countertops that complement the hickory cabinets. (photos by Candi Helseth)
Kyle Beck is a man with many interests. Cooking is among them. At the Minot Fire Department where he has worked as a firefighter for six years, Kyle usually cooks for the crew.
The firefighters work 24-hour shifts, eating one or two meals together while at the fire station. Kyle keeps receipts for his costs, which they split equally.
“I like to cook because then I don’t have to do dishes,” he said with a grin. “I don’t always know if we are going to eat it though. Sometimes we get called out to a fire. And sometimes people drop off random food for us! Once, we got 300 cupcakes. That was a little much.”
At home, Kyle and his wife, Natalie, enjoy preparing meals in their spacious, beautiful wood-toned kitchen. Kyle built the walnut countertops that accentuate the hickory cabinets. He is currently making a kitchen table using a thick walnut slab taken from one tree.
Their full freezer supplies meat for favorites, such as venison tacos. Both Kyle and Natalie bagged a deer this year. They both also enjoy fishing. In fact, Natalie said her favorite meal that Kyle prepares is fresh-caught walleye fillets.
Most of the recipes Kyle makes came from his mother, grandmother and eight aunts. Natalie and he also like to experiment with their recipes, trying to recreate meals they like at various restaurants. Because they both work varying hours, they have also developed a good supply of crockpot and one-pot meals.
Natalie, the librarian publicist at the Ward County Library, has a master’s degree in library information science. A graduate of Minot State University, Kyle completed additional education to be accredited as an emergency medical technician and a hazardous device technician (bomb squad). Married in February 2016, the Becks live in Verendrye Electric Cooperative territory east of Minot.
With the help of family and friends, Kyle built a small home with his big dream kitchen. Despite a setback from damage in Minot’s 2011 flood, Kyle completed and moved into it in 2012. In 2015, he added a single man’s priority – a two-story, three-stall garage with space for the woodworking shop and equipment for his summer landscaping business. This spring, the Becks will begin an addition onto their home.
“I had a master plan with an expansion in mind when I built,” Kyle said. “Now I have to add a library. Natalie really wants her library!”
No doubt, the library will contain cookbooks.
Candi Helseth is a freelance writer from Minot.