Wilderness DiaryDiary of European Wilderness Society Volunteers

International cuisine dinners at volunteers’ flat

When the start of the strict lockdown in Austria was announced, volunteer mood dropped. We were used to going to gym in the evenings and having a few beers together on Friday nights. How will we spend our weekends now? Especially in the cold months? What activities can we do together in our flat?

In the beginning there was curry

The answer to these questions was accidentally found by Jonas. He is passionate about various cuisines and has great cooking skills. And since we were all [loudly] dreaming about Indian food for a few weeks already (there is no Indian restaurant in Tamsweg), Jonas suggested to cook it for us on weekend. The idea was accepted with glee. So on Saturday we had three course Indian food, with some drinks and board games. Everyone was involved in one way or another – getting groceries, chopping, boiling etc. Indian night was a great success.

Next week somebody mentioned that they like sushi very much. Not a problem – Jonas initiated home-made sushi night. It was a true bliss for vegetarian and vegan team members to treat themselves to such delicacy in the middle of rural Austria.

Communal cooking

And then we got hooked. We were brainstorming ideas for exotic cuisines and Jonas was happy to take on challenge in the kitchen every weekend. Usually Jonas is the head chef who comes up with dishes and coordinates work and everyone else helps with peeling, chopping, grating and boiling. Volunteer flat turns into Michelin kitchen, serving for six. And when the food is ready, we sit around a table, joking, sharing and enjoying.

Throughout the winter we have used every weekend to try something interesting. Since our team is so multinational and multicultural, each team member can cook their favorite home food for others to try. So far we have tried wonderful deep-fried Dutch cuisine, traditional Lithuanian Christmas foods, granny-style Chinese dinner, Italian pizzas, Spanish tapas and paella, home-made gyozas, Austrian raclette, German delicacies and many more.

Personally, I am exploring cuisines that I did not have a chance to try before in my life. And, of course, there are not many various cuisine restaurants here in Tamsweg, so all of us are really glad that we came up with this idea and have a nice flat to fulfill all of our kitchen fantasies.

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