A few weeks ago I cooked for 25 people for a whole weekend. 2 Dinners, 2 Brunches, 2 Desserts, salads, many dips and lots of snacks. Meal Prep, planning, shopping, the works. I am not a cook, far from it. I took one “Foods” class in High School when I was 16. That is the extent of my training. My parents raised me on whole, usually local and healthy foods. We had a garden, and fruit trees, and so did all my family members, and friends. And man am I thankful that this was so. I consider this to be the most important part of cooking. Using the best ingredients. Whether that means organic, local, omnivorian, vegaritarian, vegan, paleo, gluten free or whatever type of diet you feed yourself. It really doesn’t matter. What I have learned so far while practicing and cooking for others is that simple and tasty is much better than extravogent and unsatisfing. If you start with non-nutritious ingredients that have flown halfway around the world after being grown unnaturally, no amount of effort or talent will make them tasty.
I have a big family, and my boyfriends family is also large, so family gatherings involve a lot of food. I have cooked for 10,12,15, but never for 25. It basically involves 16 hour days on your feet and constant movement with your hands. But during the entire time I was buzzing like a bee, I never had the, ” I do not like to do this .” Feeling. Rather the opposite. It was such a pleasure to see so many hungry eyes and empty plates come back from the table. Along with my wonderful friend and kitchen partner Timea, we chopped, sliced, and bubbled up a storm in the beautifully decorated and stocked kitchen in the Mesnerhof Camp, in Tirol, Austria. Just 100 kilometers south of Munich.
During this weekend I spent my time with 24 other women, ages 20-45, of only 6 I knew previously. I realized that this was the first time, in a very very long time, that I was with so many women for so long overnight. When you are a kid you spent half your time at your house, and the other half with friends and cousins at sleepovers. Why do we not do this more as adults ? Of course everyone has jobs, more obligations and priorities. But this really should be one of them. It is so rewarding! Each person has something different to bring to the table. Everyone has a unique voice, talents and ideas. And spending time this way is really precious. I will definitely do it more often :)
In fact we already have two more of these weekend Getaways lined up at the Mesnerhof and I will be attending both of them to cook for all our guests, and when my hands are free in the kitchen, take some photos. We would love to have you attend !
Check them out here : http://thedown.dog/get-away/
Below you will see many images of the weekend. Some of them I took, and some of the them Christina, a good friend of mine, the event organizer and yoga teacher, and photographer took.
Thank you for visiting, for reading and my apologies in advance for any typos, I am writing this on my phone from France. Take Care and hope to see you soon, Andrea