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CF - Albergue Kitchen Etiquette?


2018 edition Camino Guides

Robo

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------------------------------
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together again :-)
#1
As my 'dearly beloved' enjoys eating as much as I do, but is also a great cook, there is a chance we might trying cooking a couple of evenings. If there are no great local places to eat you understand. She might not need pursuading :rolleyes:

Having never stayed in Albergues before and certainly having never cooked in one, I thought it best to find out the 'Kitchen Etiquette' in advance.

Assuming we find ourselves in an Albergue with cooking facilities. I have a dumb question....

Let's say we head out to buy some ingredients, perhaps with some newly met friends.
We then get back to the Albergue to cook a communal meal.

Are we likely to find ourselves waiting for 3 hours for the kitchen to be free?

I'm not suggesting there is a Camino equivalent of that amusing practice of 'certain' European tourists.....who dash down in the morning to put their beach towels on the best deck chairs around the pool :eek:

But, how does it all work?

Wouldn't want to be upsetting my fellow Pilgrims by not knowing the form and all that...... :oops::oops:

P.S. And Yes. I'll pick up a small sharp kitchen knife in SJPDP. Good tip...
 
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VNwalking

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#2
Not to overthink it Robo.;)
Being able to share space and flow around each other are essential skills.
And if others aren't doing that, it's just a matter of finding a way in. The hardest situations can be when there is an organized group that takes over the kitchen. Then you just have to be politely assertive.

Many albergue kitchens don't have much in the way of tools. But not to add a wok or steamer to the rice cooker and coil. Adapt is the name of the game.
And not just in the kitchen.
It's a fabulous practice, that forces us to let go of all our petty attachments.
 

Camino Chris

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#3
I'm not very assertive in group settings (except in my own household:)), and there were often groups already cooking in the kitchens at dinner time. This was intimidating to me and I was too impatient to wait my turn or butt in. I actually preferred going to the restaurants anyway if no communal meals were offered at the albergues.
 

jozero

Oh... That's what the shell is for...
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#4
Not so much etiquette as tip, I found a real challenge when large groups of a common nationality were in the Albergue. They would tend to treat the kitchen as their own at home and take it over for the whole night, using virtually all the space and cooking facilities. They seemed to be having a great time and don't believe it was a conscious plan, it was jus the cultural norm for them. So... when I saw these groups I would either get cooking very early (they were generally eating a little later) and vacate before they arrived for dinner or just choose to eat in a bar that night. No animosity, just had to learn how to carry myself in another's country with different cultural norms.

Another small lesson I had was in the purchasing of food for group dinners with newly met fellow pilgrims. To increase the ease of whole group paying an equal portion it seemed easier if the whole group went to the store to choose and buy the food and wine. There were at times some who I can only guess didn't like some choices as they chose not to chip in for the meal. Money certainly wasn't the issue but instead the desire to be a good terms with everyone in the days that followed. I say this all but also want to say that the communal meals were the best I had on the Camino and what I look forward to next month on my return.

Good luck and good cooking!
 

Robo

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together again :-)
#5
Not to overthink it Robo.;)
Being able to share space and flow around each other are essential skills.
And if others aren't doing that, it's just a matter of finding a way in. The hardest situations can be when there is an organized group that takes over the kitchen. Then you just have to be politely assertive..
Definitely not a strong suit for either of us :oops::oops::oops:
Where others are inconsiderate, I tend to lose the politeness :D

Maybe one of the reasons the idea of Albergue living is not a great draw card for me :oops::oops::oops:

But we shall see :D
 

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VNwalking

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#6
Where others are inconsiderate, I tend to lose the politeness :D
Maybe one of the reasons the idea of Albergue living is not a great draw card for me :oops::oops::oops:
Where is it written that it's impossible to change one's default setting? ;)
I do 'get' your lack of enthusiasm.
But putting yourself in interesting situations could be a fast-track to a new way of being around the thoughtless among us. Go out there and play...and see what happens. Sometimes it'll be abject failure, other times it may surprise you. (And if you totaly lose it in response to someone who's been consistently selfish...well, maybe they'll actually be listening, and will learn something. (I think we tend to be too polite sometimes, letting stuff fester when it's not a bad thing to take someone aside and give them the sharing message they either never got or never heard.)
 

Robo

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together again :-)
#7
Where is it written that it's impossible to change one's default setting? ;)
I do 'get' your lack of enthusiasm.
But putting yourself in interesting situations could be a fast-track to a new way of being around the thoughtless among us. Go out there and play...and see what happens. Sometimes it'll be abject failure, other times it may surprise you. (And if you totaly lose it in response to someone who's been consistently selfish...well, maybe they'll actually be listening, and will learn something. (I think we tend to be too polite sometimes, letting stuff fester when it's not a bad thing to take someone aside and give them the sharing message they either never got or never heard.)
I'm quite happy with my 'default settings'. :D
Why should I change them to compensate for the failings of others ? :eek:

Just teasing.....;)

We're going to try it...........
At least so you lot will stop hounding me to try it! :p:p:p
 

VNwalking

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#8
'm quite happy with my 'default settings'. :D
Why should I change them to compensate for the failings of others ? :eek:
Just teasing.....;)
We're going to try it...........
At least so you lot will stop hounding me to try it! :p:p:p
Hee heee heeeeeee....tease away.
I'm only sorry we'll likely to be walking at different times and different routes. I would so enjoy clearing out the kitchen for you and Pat.:D:D
Buen camino, you two! Bravo for pushing the edge of the possible...
 

Robo

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together again :-)
#9
Hee heee heeeeeee....tease away.
I'm only sorry we'll likely to be walking at different times and different routes. I would so enjoy clearing out the kitchen for you and Pat.:D:D
Buen camino, you two! Bravo for pushing the edge of the possible...
One day we will have to walk together......it's meant to be ;)
 

OzAnnie

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#11
:D:D:D


Check what’s in the kitchen before you go shopping. There’s no point buying a whole bottle of olive oil if there are three bottles, each partly used, already in the cupboard.
Jill
Great tip Jill ! Also check with Hospitalero/a;
Often produce in fridge is also ‘free to use ‘ having been left by pilgrims from previous day.
Ps. Very important ! Make sure there is a bottle opener. Not much in the way of wine with screw caps in Spain.

I’d say ‘lucky fellow pilgrims’ ...

Buen Camino to you both !

Annie
 

SabineP

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#12
Not to overthink it Robo.;)
Being able to share space and flow around each other are essential skills.
And if others aren't doing that, it's just a matter of finding a way in. The hardest situations can be when there is an organized group that takes over the kitchen. Then you just have to be politely assertive.

Many albergue kitchens don't have much in the way of tools. But not to add a wok or steamer to the rice cooker and coil. Adapt is the name of the game.
And not just in the kitchen.
It's a fabulous practice, that forces us to let go of all our petty attachments.
Ah yes the organised groups: with their own equipment in terms of toolkit with own knives and utensils. Most of the times they were youthgroups with adult helpers. Younger ones went walking and the grownups did the cooking.
If I stayed in the albergue I and other individual pilgrims just asked them how they were thinking of organising and we tried to find a solution. Most of the time it worked out fine. And btw there always seems to be too much lentil soup so you can share...:)

I already told somewhere on this forum about my two accidental but lovely meetings in two different years with the group of seven Italian men from Verona. I will never forget what a wonderful elegant pasta dish they made in that tiny kitchen in the albergue in Portomarin.

And yes sometimes you won't find anyone in the albergue that day to connect in terms of talking or cooking. I remember my evening in the muni of Mansilla de las Mulas where I ended up cooking for myself ( did not fancy going to a resto ). Went to the small tienda up on the road, bought 5 individual mushrooms ( yes you can buy them that way in Spain ) , red pepper and passata and made myself something. Feeling a bit miserable for myself...Well it ended to be one of the nicest evenings after all on my 2011 Camino ! Later in the evening a Dutch cyclist came in and an older French gentleman whom I had met a week earlier . They were allocated to my small dorm room ( where I was the only occupant till then ) and they proved to be so nice and educated.

Hmm my first rambling of 2018....

PS: Ah yes , I try to be as openminded as I can BUT do not clip your toenails in the kitchen!! I actually saw someone doing that!!!!:D:eek:
 

VNwalking

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#13
I try to be as openminded as I can BUT do not clip your toenails in the kitchen!! I actually saw someone doing that!!!!:D:eek:
No. Just...no.
 

VNwalking

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#14
One day we will have to walk together
Karma willing...heck, you never know, Robo! ;) We might run into each other out there.
I'm pretty recognizable.
I'll look for you and Pat...and the rice cooker.:p
 

scruffy1

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#15
Another all important hint. He or she who went before you on KP might... just somehow...perhaps...no disparaging words mind you - whoever did the wash-up before you quite possibly impulsively imbibed from the fermented grape before, during, and after their meal.. Give everything another good wash before proceeding!
 

Sailor

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#16
I found most of the caminantes using the kitchens to be respectful and helpful wth each other. The only times we used the kitchen was to prepare salad (easy to do). Concur with the comments about washing all the utensils before (and after) using them. Beware, if you stay at Albergue Casa de Espiritualidad Nuestra Senora de Belen (Filipenses), in Carrión de los Condes, Sister Maria may NOT allow you to clean your own dishes! Heads up! Wishing you fun cooking, good and healthy meals, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 

Kitsambler

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Camino(s) past & future
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#17
As my 'dearly beloved' ... is also a great cook, ... we might trying cooking a couple of evenings. ... She might need persuading :rolleyes:
Speaking up on behalf of your personal chef here: although I personally enjoy cooking very much, one of the true joys for me of these walking trips is having someone else do the cooking. Just saying ...
 

Camino Chris

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#18
Speaking up on behalf of your personal chef here: although I personally enjoy cooking very much, one of the true joys for me of these walking trips is having someone else do the cooking. Just saying ...
Amen to that! I was always too tired to even think aboit standing and cooking once I arrived. Well said, Kitsambler...at least IMO!
 

ShellsG

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Camino Frances (Sept/Oct. 2015)
#19
Funny story (sort of anyway). I was staying in a very small village albergue and had stopped early because of the heat. Sitting out on a patio area was a group enjoying an afternoon beverage (or two or three). The most prominent couple (older,loud, boisterous) were not staying at the albergue (nor were many sitting at the tables) but at the hotel next door and were buying drinks for everyone from the bar. As the day went the woman started to plan a very elaborate meal. Bear in mind that there was just a very small shop with very limited items and open very limited hours. She was enticing all the young pilgrims with the description of this meal and inviting everyone to join her and her husband in this meal. I was thinking a) where will you get all the items (40 cloves of garlic being one) for this exotic pasta dish you speak of and b) you (and many of the others around the table) are not staying at the albergue so where will you cook this lavish meal.

Turns out they planned and executed (poorly) this meal in the communal alberque kitchen. They were very loud, drunk, boisterous and only 4 of the 10 or so were actually from the albergue. I think they basically ended up having pasta noodles with butter and whatever vegetables the shop had. I did not attend this meal as I had other plans and really had no desire to join in a loud boisterous meal.
 

SabineP

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#20
Funny story (sort of anyway). I was staying in a very small village albergue and had stopped early because of the heat. Sitting out on a patio area was a group enjoying an afternoon beverage (or two or three). The most prominent couple (older,loud, boisterous) were not staying at the albergue (nor were many sitting at the tables) but at the hotel next door and were buying drinks for everyone from the bar. As the day went the woman started to plan a very elaborate meal. Bear in mind that there was just a very small shop with very limited items and open very limited hours. She was enticing all the young pilgrims with the description of this meal and inviting everyone to join her and her husband in this meal. I was thinking a) where will you get all the items (40 cloves of garlic being one) for this exotic pasta dish you speak of and b) you (and many of the others around the table) are not staying at the albergue so where will you cook this lavish meal.

Turns out they planned and executed (poorly) this meal in the communal alberque kitchen. They were very loud, drunk, boisterous and only 4 of the 10 or so were actually from the albergue. I think they basically ended up having pasta noodles with butter and whatever vegetables the shop had. I did not attend this meal as I had other plans and really had no desire to join in a loud boisterous meal.

Oh dear....! The older man wasn't by any chance an operasinger who performed arias from Wagner ....:eek:
 

Camino Chris

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#21
Hi ShellsG,
As annoying as you felt at the time, I think it's all the reasonably priced vino tinto that turns normally courteous pilgrims over the edge to being obnoxious...(but never me:rolleyes:)! Our Camino memories...the good and not so good, all contribute to a desire for many of us to return again...and again!:)
 

Robo

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------------------------------
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together again :-)
#24
Speaking up on behalf of your personal chef here: although I personally enjoy cooking very much, one of the true joys for me of these walking trips is having someone else do the cooking. Just saying ...
I would never ask her to cook :eek:
It might only occur because she genuinely wanted to

And if that happens......I will be expected to know the kitchen etiquette and how it all works.
I have learnt to plan for all eventualities..........however remote ;););)
 
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Robo

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together again :-)
#26
There are dozens of countries represented (as hospitalero, I counted eighty) and hundreds of cultures. When observing "inconsiderate," it's worth asking whether you might be misinterpreting a cultural difference.
Good point........
 

kelleymac

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#27
We cooked pretty regularly, and rarely had to wait more than a half hour for counter and stove space. I found there was often flour, olive oil, salt, pepper and a few spices. We found thyme growing along the way sometimes. We'd ask if anyone wanted to join us for dinner before we went shopping. Once, my son and I were so hungry that we made twice as much food as we needed and ended up feeding the next four pilgrims who came through the door.
 

Icacos

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#28
And wasn't there a story not so long ago about one couple offering to share their dinner with another pilgrim, and then the pilgrim ended up eating the entire lot and there was nothing left for the cooks?
 

RJM

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A few times, but soon again I hope....
#29
Robo, you and your wife should make it a point to stop in Carrion De los Condes and stay at the albergue run by the nuns. They have a communal meal every night and it is a shared preparation as everyone contributes food.
I really enjoyed that albergue.
 

WGroleau

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#30
As annoying as you felt at the time, I think it's all the reasonably priced vino tinto that turns normally courteous pilgrims over the edge to being obnoxious...(but never me:rolleyes:)!
Couple years ago, a lady arrived already a bit boisterous. Later, Ias was speaking to the pilgrims at our communal dinner, she got up from the table and kissed me. When I returned to my seat at the opposite end of the room, another pilgrim, presumably her husband, said "It's only one night. I have to live with it year-round."
 

J Willhaus

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Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#31
My challenge was learning how to turn on the cook tops. Took me several albergues before I found some one to teach me. Then I passed it forward by teaching a young Japanese woman in Hontannas.

At Carrion Phil and I were boiling some eggs for the next day when the sisters hustled in to start the huge communal supper. Phil cut bread for 60 people while I made a huge salad. Then I noticed one of the sisters peeling my eggs and she added them to the salad. We were surprised, but said nothing and shared with the hoard.

So watch your eggs if you intend to eat them alone!
 

jsalt

Jill
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#32
At the very first albergue in Leon in Sep, one of my group members put a big, juicy nectarine in the fridge to have with breakfast.
We had all just sat around the breakfast table when another guy came into the kitchen, took her nectarine out of the fridge, and proceeded to eat it.
We all sat there open-mouthed unable to say a word.
We joked about it for the rest of the trip.
Jill
 

J Willhaus

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#33
Robo, in the kitchen try to use your tools and wash them right away for the next pilgrims. If there is only one big pot or small pan, cook and then put your food on a plate or bowl so the next pilgrim can use the cooking gear. Share your sharp knife if you want to make friends.

Our albergue in Zamora had three or four huge pots and skillets, but a shortage of smaller pans and lids. We also kept staples on hand for pilgrims so check the cupboards before shopping.
 

Robo

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#34
Robo, you and your wife should make it a point to stop in Carrion De los Condes and stay at the albergue run by the nuns. They have a communal meal every night and it is a shared preparation as everyone contributes food.
I really enjoyed that albergue.
Do you remember the Albergue name?

Was it maybe.......

Albergue-hospedería del Convento de Santa Clara
 
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RJM

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#35
Do you remember the Albergue name?

Was it maybe.......

Albergue-hospedería del Convento de Santa Clara
Albergue Santa Maria....
Next to the church near the small tourist office.
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#36
Hello to all out there,
This thread has been quite an interesting read thus far, and has got me rethinking my strategy for my coming trip in June this year.
I was just going to eat out at restaurant tapas bars/cafes as I hadn’t considered cooking for myself whilst on my trip.
I am quite a social person(being Irish it’s sort of in the rule book) and love to interact with new and different people usually over a pint or two..
however I’m also a chef and have been working in the restaurant and hotel trade for nearly 30 years, I don’t really want to have to cook, if I can.
For me personally there are some pros but as a chef there can be some cons......

I don’t want to be a kitchen bully and come in with my chef head on and take over or worried that I would offend someone in the process of cooking for myself ....
but as I’m famous in my family for cooking way too much, do I just invite the next pilgrim that walks through the door to join me?

I’m also worried that I would fall in with a group of fellow travelers and possibly end up being their personal chef for the duration, being taken advantage of because of my profession.
Or worse, people stay away from me or feel intimidated that I would criticise or critique there food.
So do I dive in and “do my thing” ?. or do I take a back seat and go with my first plan to eat out for most of my trip ?
 

domigee

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2018: 'Via Lemovicensis or maybe Via Francigena, again....
#37
Hi Darren! You don't have to say you're a chef... I think you're right, some people might be intimidated to share the cooking with you OR some may want to rely on you all the time :eek:;)

See how it goes, you may get fed-up with eating out every night and fancy some home-cooking a few times... On the other hand, it's quite nice to have a rest from cooking! :) Don't over-plan things, go with the flow :cool:

Buen camino!
 

Momonne

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#38
Let’s not forget that elaborate meals may require purchasing larger quantities of ingridients than needed and that you may not want to,carry the left overs with you, and be a bit heart broken leaving them behind, not being able to make the most of your purchase, hence why eating out is so common, especially for those walking solo.

I also agree with Domingee: noone needs to know what you do for a living. It’s a conversation that, while not being taboo, seldom comes out on the Camino.
 

C clearly

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#39
I think you can safely play it by ear. Things will be very fluid and you should be able to control your involvement without difficulty.

When you are inspired to do so, yes, just invite the next pilgrim that walks through the door to join you.
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#40
Very true, I suppose no one needs to know I’m Chef,
Play it by ear and go with the flow will be the order of the day

Thanks guys

Darren.
 

williamlittig

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#41
On any Camino in life it is a good practice to play it by ear I have been a Hospitalero twice in Spain and have seen days with no one in the kitchen and others with 15 people in 32 ft.² it will work most days if you share food you will have lots of friends
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#42
Very true, I suppose no one needs to know I’m Chef,
Play it by ear and go with the flow will be the order of the day
However, will you really be able to "go with the flow" or will sharing the task with someone who does things differently drive you nuts?

I'm not a chef, by a long shot, but when I'm doing something in the kitchen, I have to apply some effort to be silent when someone else insists on some particular technique that I know is not important.
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#43
However, will you really be able to "go with the flow" or will sharing the task with someone who does things differently drive you nuts?

I'm not a chef, by a long shot, but when I'm doing something in the kitchen, I have to apply some effort to be silent when someone else insists on some particular technique that I know is not important.
Dear wandering weirdo,
I do have a slight and boarderline ocd compulsion to rip the the knife from a persons hand, because I cringe at the sight of people using ( incorrectly) knives, for fear that they’ll do themselves a mischief, it really sets my teeth on edge, like nails on a chalk board just to watch. But for the sake of being courteous I really do have to bit my tongue.
I have a feeling I might have to do similar on my coming trip.

Best regards


D.
 

SabineP

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#44
Dear wandering weirdo,
I do have a slight and boarderline ocd compulsion to rip the the knife from a persons hand, because I cringe at the sight of people using ( incorrectly) knives, for fear that they’ll do themselves a mischief, it really sets my teeth on edge, like nails on a chalk board just to watch. But for the sake of being courteous I really do have to bit my tongue.
I have a feeling I might have to do similar on my coming trip.

Best regards


D.
Although the average knife in the average albergue kitchen is rather blunt ;):D
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#45
Although the average knife in the average albergue kitchen is rather blunt ;):D
I was thinking about that, and briefly thought about bringing a couple of my own ..... but then thought better as it I could possibly and potentially be painting a target on my back.
HEY LOOK AT ME AND MY KNIVES, I’m a chef... nope !!!
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#46
I was thinking about that, and briefly thought about bringing a couple of my own ..... but then thought better as it I could possibly and potentially be painting a target on my back.
HEY LOOK AT ME AND MY KNIVES, I’m a chef... nope !!!
Again , don't worry. It is quite liberating to notice that on a Camino hardly nobody talks about their profession.
 

Sr.Bigote

Three Weeks - Three Caminos
Camino(s) past & future
Unknown
#47
I found evening meals as some of the most enjoyable events on the camino. There seemed to be more "cooking" happening in municipal albergues because they were attracting people on a more limited budget (younger folks?). Private albergues tended to have meals prepared by the albergue (good, but different atmosphere). You will likely have some type of "camino family" consisting of a group of people to whom you have an affinity and travel together. My "family" usually decided a menu, shopped as a group splitting the costs, and then prepared the food in unison while splitting the chef duties. Quite often, there were other "families" cooking at the same time. On almost every occasion, we then just set all of the food on the table (from all families) and had a big, community meal. We had as many as 20 people doing this at times. . . . .with recipes / meal types coming from all over the world. Great opportunity for conversation and cultural exchanges. I will point out that I did the Camino Frances in early April and the crowds were small -- I am not sure how things look in August!
 

Rosa TT

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Via de la Plata, Via Francigena
#48
Hello to all out there,
This thread has been quite an interesting read thus far, and has got me rethinking my strategy for my coming trip in June this year.
I was just going to eat out at restaurant tapas bars/cafes as I hadn’t considered cooking for myself whilst on my trip.
I am quite a social person(being Irish it’s sort of in the rule book) and love to interact with new and different people usually over a pint or two..
however I’m also a chef and have been working in the restaurant and hotel trade for nearly 30 years, I don’t really want to have to cook, if I can.
For me personally there are some pros but as a chef there can be some cons......

I don’t want to be a kitchen bully and come in with my chef head on and take over or worried that I would offend someone in the process of cooking for myself ....
but as I’m famous in my family for cooking way too much, do I just invite the next pilgrim that walks through the door to join me?

I’m also worried that I would fall in with a group of fellow travelers and possibly end up being their personal chef for the duration, being taken advantage of because of my profession.
Or worse, people stay away from me or feel intimidated that I would criticise or critique there food.
So do I dive in and “do my thing” ?. or do I take a back seat and go with my first plan to eat out for most of my trip ?
Go with the flow. I love to cook and serve. I go out alone and buy enough to make a large vegetable stew, some bread, and a bottle of wine....all for about €10. I buy a few chorizos. As I'm cooking, I invite others to join me. I've fed more than 20 with a huge pot. I then divide the stew in 2 and add chorizo to some since there are vegetarians. As the group grows, I announce that we might need more bread or wine and others go out and get it. I do not accept any payment for my stew and it's always my treat. Others graciously offer to help clean up.
Any leftovers I warm up for breakfast in the morning.
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#49
Thank you Rosa,
I really like that idea. I think I might have to try it at least once during my trip.
If nothing it at least gets me out of doing the washing up at the end.
 

simeon

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
#50
And btw there always seems to be too much lentil soup so you can share...:)"\QUOTE]

Any lentil soup is too much to share. Detest the stuff lol
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#53
Can’t be doing with lentils, prefer barley myself
As long as there’s some meat in there with it, or possibly a nice pea and ham soup with lots of crusty bread.
 

Madamjoy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances. September 2017
#54
As my 'dearly beloved' enjoys eating as much as I do, but is also a great cook, there is a chance we might trying cooking a couple of evenings. If there are no great local places to eat you understand. She might not need pursuading :rolleyes:

Having never stayed in Albergues before and certainly having never cooked in one, I thought it best to find out the 'Kitchen Etiquette' in advance.

Assuming we find ourselves in an Albergue with cooking facilities. I have a dumb question....

Let's say we head out to buy some ingredients, perhaps with some newly met friends.
We then get back to the Albergue to cook a communal meal.

Are we likely to find ourselves waiting for 3 hours for the kitchen to be free?

I'm not suggesting there is a Camino equivalent of that amusing practice of 'certain' European tourists.....who dash down in the morning to put their beach towels on the best deck chairs around the pool :eek:

But, how does it all work?

Wouldn't want to be upsetting my fellow Pilgrims by not knowing the form and all that...... :oops::oops:

P.S. And Yes. I'll pick up a small sharp kitchen knife in SJPDP. Good tip...
Some of my best Camino experiences revolve around communal cooking /communal meals.. walking into an albergue after 32 km and being invited by some younger walkers to share the meal they were cooking. I quickly ran to market and bought wine and tomatoes to add to the bounty. This was day 3 of Camino. I made a connection with one of the group; we would meet up now and again some for an evening meal, we developed a close bond and are in regular contact even tho we live at at different ends of the world. I got into habit of boiling half dozen eggs at night and sharing them with whom ever.. . great to have hard boiled eggs for snacking along the way.
After a days walk the communal kitchen becomes the centre of the universe...people young and old sharing their day, talking about their feet , maybe some music playing, just being ‘in community’. It may or may not suit your mood at that moment. There is always an alternative. Albergues with communal meals, like the ones at Granon, San Bol, etc. remain highlights for me. I also shared many happy meals at private bars/cafes and sometimes I choose to eat alone. On reflection while food/hunger drives us into the kitchen, what you may find is an awesome supportive community. Buen Camino
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#55
Ah I remember with much joy the lovely but humble soup of lentils with chorizo in the Grañon albergue. Even more joy because of the wonderful vibes around that communal table.
Ah yes, the people one is with makes a big difference too!:)
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#56
Can’t be doing with lentils, prefer barley myself
As long as there’s some meat in there with it, or possibly a nice pea and ham soup with lots of crusty bread.
You will be in for a treat if you like meat: chorizo, bellota ham or iberico...etc..etc
 

AbbyDee

Court Jester
Camino(s) past & future
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of my 25th year, I will begin my Camino in September 2017
#57
:D:D:D


Check what’s in the kitchen before you go shopping. There’s no point buying a whole bottle of olive oil if there are three bottles, each partly used, already in the cupboard.
Jill
Very true! There is usually, olive oil, rice and pasta available in the kitchen, also some minimal seasonings like salt and pepper. No need in buying it again.
 

Trish K

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
December (2017)
#58
As my 'dearly beloved' enjoys eating as much as I do, but is also a great cook, there is a chance we might trying cooking a couple of evenings. If there are no great local places to eat you understand. She might not need pursuading :rolleyes:

Having never stayed in Albergues before and certainly having never cooked in one, I thought it best to find out the 'Kitchen Etiquette' in advance.

Assuming we find ourselves in an Albergue with cooking facilities. I have a dumb question....

Let's say we head out to buy some ingredients, perhaps with some newly met friends.
We then get back to the Albergue to cook a communal meal.

Are we likely to find ourselves waiting for 3 hours for the kitchen to be free?

I'm not suggesting there is a Camino equivalent of that amusing practice of 'certain' European tourists.....who dash down in the morning to put their beach towels on the best deck chairs around the pool :eek:

But, how does it all work?

Wouldn't want to be upsetting my fellow Pilgrims by not knowing the form and all that...... :oops::oops:

P.S. And Yes. I'll pick up a small sharp kitchen knife in SJPDP. Good tip...
Walk in the winter!! Just finished my first Camino and had no issues with waiting to use the kitchen if I needed to as so few Pilgrims - well until Saria. I loved watching how some people would concoct amazing dishes! I mostly settled for salads or pasta but often opted to eat out as a decent and very filling 3 course Pilgrim Menu with bread and wine averaged around €10, so for me, cooing was not often worth the bother. I also liked to sample some of the local food. Be sure to visit a pulperia when in Galecia - the pulpo (octopus) is amazing!
 

marylynn

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17+(18) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 Hærvejen DK
#59
Robo, you and your wife should make it a point to stop in Carrion De los Condes and stay at the albergue run by the nuns. They have a communal meal every night and it is a shared preparation as everyone contributes food.
I really enjoyed that albergue.
And Grañon has a great communal meal where everyone pitches in to help cook, prepare salads, set the tables, and clean up afterward.
 
Camino(s) past & future
1999, 2004, 2008,All camino frances. 2013(mini bike)from seville 2014 mini bike from france. 2014 walked from porto . Will coastal walk 2015 (may-june)
#60
And Grañon has a great communal meal where everyone pitches in to help cook, prepare salads, set the tables, and clean up afterward.
At Granon 2008 4th of July "Mrs Crumble " from Corsica enlivened the meal with a great "Apple treat". As there were several pilgrims from our former colony, a great evening was had.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#61
Dear wandering weirdo,
I do have a slight and boarderline ocd compulsion to rip the the knife from a persons hand, because I cringe at the sight of people using ( incorrectly) knives, for fear that they’ll do themselves a mischief,
Just remember that most of us manage to cook for ourselves at home.....though it might not be restaurant quality.
And most still have their digits intact ;););)

I'm sure you have a lot of fun :)
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#62
And Grañon has a great communal meal where everyone pitches in to help cook, prepare salads, set the tables, and clean up afterward.
Looks like there are 3 in Granon.
Which is the one that everyone raves about? :)
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
#63
Never had a problem in the kitchens, just ask your fellow pilgrims who is going to cook and work together as a team, I did and ended up usually cooking for everybody, love the reference to the beach towels as I enjoyed removing the towells books etc and placing them in a big pile as I am an early riser and love to have a cuppa down by the pool about 5.30am.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#65

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#67
And the next question is.......... ? ;);)
The albergue San Juan Bautista in Granon is the one with the great communal meal and mats on the floor which we all love so much. See more info on www.Gronze. com. For 10 years of unforgetable personal stops at Granon see this blog page.

Happy planning and Buen camino!
 
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J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#68
I was thinking about that, and briefly thought about bringing a couple of my own ..... but then thought better as it I could possibly and potentially be painting a target on my back.
HEY LOOK AT ME AND MY KNIVES, I’m a chef... nope !!!
We did buy a knife in country. Not chef grade mind you, but a good sharp Opinal with a corkscrew in the handle. Used it every day and we were popular in the albergue kitchens, too. Handy for making baguette sandwiches, opening olive pouches, opening wine, etc. Left it in Muxia at the albergue so no troubles getting it home on the plane.

It does seem like the knives in most albergue kitchens have been badly abused. Hard to cut yourself, much less vegetables, bread, or meat.
 

Flatlander

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2015, via the Atlantic Cycle Route
#69
Hello to all out there,

I’m also worried that I would fall in with a group of fellow travelers and possibly end up being their personal chef for the duration, being taken advantage of because of my profession.
Or worse, people stay away from me or feel intimidated that I would criticise or critique there food.
So do I dive in and “do my thing” ?. or do I take a back seat and go with my first plan to eat out for most of my trip ?
Going on a bike means that you will have much less of a chance of falling in with a group of fellow travellers - you'll most likely be moving much faster than the walkers. The groups of cyclists I encountered while travelling solo seemed to prefer their own group dynamic (which suited me fine:) - they were typically on mountain bikes and treating the Camino as a race)

Don't know if you're planning on following the walker's route or the road, but don't underestimate the difficulty of what you're trying to accomplish! Most evenings laundry and grabbing a bite to eat was about all I had energy for!

Bear in mind also that some Albergues won't allow cyclists in until they think all the walkers are in! That'll mean you'll be behind the schedules of others. (This only happened me once, but I believe the Frances is busier than ever now). You may be cooking solo long after everyone else has eaten.

I had one disappointing meal and some absolutely spectacular ones on my Camino eating out. The value and quality is so good it's hard to force yourself into a kitchen to cook! :) (My background is hospitality too)

Buen Camino

Frank
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#70
Going on a bike means that you will have much less of a chance of falling in with a group of fellow travellers - you'll most likely be moving much faster than the walkers. The groups of cyclists I encountered while travelling solo seemed to prefer their own group dynamic (which suited me fine:) - they were typically on mountain bikes and treating the Camino as a race)

Don't know if you're planning on following the walker's route or the road, but don't underestimate the difficulty of what you're trying to accomplish! Most evenings laundry and grabbing a bite to eat was about all I had energy for!

Bear in mind also that some Albergues won't allow cyclists in until they think all the walkers are in! That'll mean you'll be behind the schedules of others. (This only happened me once, but I believe the Frances is busier than ever now). You may be cooking solo long after everyone else has eaten.

I had one disappointing meal and some absolutely spectacular ones on my Camino eating out. The value and quality is so good it's hard to force yourself into a kitchen to cook! :) (My background is hospitality too)

Buen Camino

Frank
Thanks Frank,

I honestly didn’t think about the difference if I’m cycling, I will be using a mixture of route and road and taking my time as much as I possibly can, no need to rush.
Ive already planned or taken in to consideration places that don’t take cyclists, I got an app for my phone called wise pilgrim and bought a guide book, so I’m pretty much sorted on that front.
I’m still considering my first option of just eating out as much as my trip will allow, I’m really not sure about cooking on my vacation when I do it for a living.
But I still have a while before I make any “final decision”
But again, thanks for the insight

Best regards
D
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#71
…, because I cringe at the sight of people using (incorrectly) knives, for fear that they’ll do themselves a mischief, it really sets my teeth on edge, like nails on a chalk board just to watch. …
I understand. Forty-plus years ago I worked in a burger joint. Showed my co-worker a safer way to cut onions. Then he went back to doing it "his way," and removed about a centimeter of his finger. In such a situation, I think it's better to speak up than to avoid hostility. But when it's a matter of how to work faster vs. how to avoid a lot of cleanup, I "go with the flow."
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#72
I was thinking about that, and briefly thought about bringing a couple of my own ..... but then thought better as it I could possibly and potentially be painting a target on my back.
HEY LOOK AT ME AND MY KNIVES, I’m a chef... nope !!!
Of course, a lot of people here have seen both your photo and your confession. :) ← I put a zipper-mouth emoji there, but apparently the forum code can't handle that.
 
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Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#73
Of course, a lot of people here have seen both your photo and your confession.
I think I might have to shave the beard before I go.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#74
It does seem like the knives in most albergue kitchens have been badly abused. Hard to cut yourself, much less vegetables, bread, or meat.
I was in the kitchen in a hostel in Ireland. Above a rack of plastic cutting boards of many colors was a sign showing what kind of food each color was for, so raw veggies don't get contaminated by raw meat, dessert things with garlic, etc. I pointed to the sign and said, I suspect no one obeys that. Another guest said, "I didn't even know it was there." Moral of the story: wash it before you use it.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#75
I think I might have to shave the beard before I go.
I was told to shave my beard before going to Turkey. Glad I did so, not only because of Turkey's political situation at the time, but the immigration guy in one of the European airports spent a long time carefully comparing my passport photo (no beard) with my face.
 

RJM

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#76
I think I might have to shave the beard before I go.
I think you will quickly discover that while on the Camino Frances not many people discuss what they do for a living, or don't do. Also you will find there are not that many pilgrims who look at this forum, especially amongst the younger pilgrims. I myself walked the Camino Frances twice before I even knew about it (forum). The members and viewers make up a tiny percentage of pilgrims and seem to be made up of mostly the same demographics.
 
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long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
Norte Spring 2018
#77
Ultra lightweight gear peregrinos should probably look away now but I'd recommend bringing your own cooking pot, plastic plate and cutlery.

My current cook setup is very lightweight and I also use the pot to store and protect other items while walking.

I found the albergues generally didn't have much in the way of kitchen utencils. I also let others use my pot too as long as they washed it up after.

Amazing what you can cook with just a single pot!
 

ShellsG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept/Oct. 2015)
#78
Dear wandering weirdo,
I do have a slight and boarderline ocd compulsion to rip the the knife from a persons hand, because I cringe at the sight of people using ( incorrectly) knives, for fear that they’ll do themselves a mischief, it really sets my teeth on edge, like nails on a chalk board just to watch. But for the sake of being courteous I really do have to bit my tongue.
I have a feeling I might have to do similar on my coming trip.

Best regards


D.
Or you could take the opportunity to instruct them on the correct use. You don't have to announce you are a chef .... many a great home cook knows how to use a knife properly (just sayin'). Unfortunately I told someone what I do for a profession and I became the nursemaid. I would more than happily jump into an emergency ... tending to your feet or your sniffles, not so much.
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#79
Or you could take the opportunity to instruct them on the correct use. You don't have to announce you are a chef .... many a great home cook knows how to use a knife properly (just sayin'). Unfortunately I told someone what I do for a profession and I became the nursemaid. I would more than happily jump into an emergency ... tending to your feet or your sniffles, not so much.
I do understand that I don’t have to announce anything that I don’t want to, and maybe it’s just an Irish (cultural) thing, but usually within 5 min of sitting down with someone you’ve not met before, it’s usually follows in the order of Name, where you’re from and what you do for a living.
 

Momonne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primtivo, Portuguese, VDLP
#80
I do understand that I don’t have to announce anything that I don’t want to, and maybe it’s just an Irish (cultural) thing, but usually within 5 min of sitting down with someone you’ve not met before, it’s usually follows in the order of Name, where you’re from and what you do for a living.
On the camino profession very rarely comes up. It’s more along the lines of forst name, country of origine, where dod you start walking and when, and finally where are you walking to today.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/Frances. SJPP - Estella May 2009.
C/frances. SJPP - Santiago April/ May 2013.
C/Finisterre. Santiag - Finisterre - Muxia May 2013.
C/Ingles. Ferrol - Santiago May 2013.
C/Frances. SJPP - Santiago May - June 2015.
C/Finisterre. Santiago - Muxia - Finisrerre - Cee. June 2015.
C/Frances. Logrono - Burgos May 2016.
#81
As my 'dearly beloved' enjoys eating as much as I do, but is also a great cook, there is a chance we might trying cooking a couple of evenings. If there are no great local places to eat you understand. She might not need pursuading :rolleyes:

Having never stayed in Albergues before and certainly having never cooked in one, I thought it best to find out the 'Kitchen Etiquette' in advance.

Assuming we find ourselves in an Albergue with cooking facilities. I have a dumb question....

Let's say we head out to buy some ingredients, perhaps with some newly met friends.
We then get back to the Albergue to cook a communal meal.

Are we likely to find ourselves waiting for 3 hours for the kitchen to be free?

I'm not suggesting there is a Camino equivalent of that amusing practice of 'certain' European tourists.....who dash down in the morning to put their beach towels on the best deck chairs around the pool :eek:

But, how does it all work?

Wouldn't want to be upsetting my fellow Pilgrims by not knowing the form and all that...... :oops::oops:

P.S. And Yes. I'll pick up a small sharp kitchen knife in SJPDP. Good tip...
Just do not try to cook in Galicia , there the attitude is fully fitted kitchen ,with no utensils ,no plates , cups knifes ,forks ,spoons you might be lucky to get a pan and the smallest pot.
Oldman
 
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago (2018)
17.09-31.10 CF (2018
#82
I would have loved to have been invited to a communal meal. I would have helped shop, cook and clean afterwards.
Hopefully, next time.
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#83
Just do not try to cook in Galicia , there the attitude is fully fitted kitchen ,with no utensils ,no plates , cups knifes ,forks ,spoons you might be lucky to get a pan and the smallest pot.
Oldman
Hey Oldman,
Is this a regular occurrence from Galicia?
Don’t fancy having to carry all that gear too.
 

Momonne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primtivo, Portuguese, VDLP
#84
Hey Oldman,
Is this a regular occurrence from Galicia?
Don’t fancy having to carry all that gear too.
The munis in Galicia have great big kitchens, with nothing in them to cook. It’s their policy.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#85
The munis in Galicia have great big kitchens, with nothing in them to cook. It’s their policy.
Perhaps a health concern? I was in a hostel in Ireland where at least eight different cutting boards, each a different color, were stored under a sign explaining which color for raw meat only, which for fish, which for … etc. I pointed at the sign and said, "I suspect that is not obeyed." Another guest responded, "I didn't even see it."
I've also seen dishes broken because people won't comply with the request to put some away instead of seeing how well they can play reverse Jenga in the drying rack. And non-stick pans that aren't non-stick because people won't comply with the request to use wood and plastic instead of metal.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#86
One year I walked from Mont St Michel and stayed in a few refuges..usually on my own and sometimes the first for a week or more. I was impresssed with what was provided..fully stocked fridge and larder..including beer. I often thought how long this would last on the CF with the voracious piranhas cleaning everthing out. On the via francigena there were several places that opened up to pilgrims. One had a bar,kitchen,fully stocked larder and it was all on an honour system. Once again I thought how long would this last on the CF..a week. maybe
 

Momonne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primtivo, Portuguese, VDLP
#87
Perhaps a health concern? I was in a hostel in Ireland where at least eight different cutting boards, each a different color, were stored under a sign explaining which color for raw meat only, which for fish, which for … etc. I pointed at the sign and said, "I suspect that is not obeyed." Another guest responded, "I didn't even see it."
I've also seen dishes broken because people won't comply with the request to put some away instead of seeing how well they can play reverse Jenga in the drying rack. And non-stick pans that aren't non-stick because people won't comply with the request to use wood and plastic instead of metal.
Much more an issue of the cost of replacing broken and stolen equipment than health concern. How fancy they are with the different coloured cutting boards. I see those being pushed here at home. I sigh. Not surprise noone had noticed. And it’s not as if pilgrims often prepare chicken or steak.
 

Darren.R

cyclists required may/June 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to SDC in 2015. Planning to cycle from Pamplona to SDC around May/june 2018
#88
Perhaps a health concern? I was in a hostel in Ireland where at least eight different cutting boards, each a different color, were stored under a sign explaining which color for raw meat only, which for fish, which for … etc. I pointed at the sign and said, "I suspect that is not obeyed." Another guest responded, "I didn't even see it."
I've also seen dishes broken because people won't comply with the request to put some away instead of seeing how well they can play reverse Jenga in the drying rack. And non-stick pans that aren't non-stick because people won't comply with the request to use wood and plastic instead of metal.
If this is the norm of people disregarding what’s requested of them, then I would hazard a guess that this is why there is no equipment in these kitchens.
As for the colour coding on the cutting boards (sometimes knives too) this was brought in to kitchen in the early ‘90’s by European food safety legislation.
The colour coding is supposed to help reduce instances of cross contamination, using particular boards for particular jobs
Red/ raw meat
Yellow/ cooked meat
Blue /raw fish
Brown /vegetable
Green/ salad and fruit
White/ dairy and bread
More recently with the increase of gluten free diets, through trend or genuine intolerance
We now have to have purple boards and knives.
In Less than 30 years, we’ve gone from using wooden boards to coloured lumps of plastic.
 

onwayhome

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Ponferrada-Santiago,(c1986)
Frances SJPP-Santiago (2011)
Portuguese Porto- Finisterre (2016)
St Michaels Way (2016)
#89
Mmm this thread is getting me hungry... Also on the kitchen etiquette front I don't think it's helpful to leave behind extra cooked pasta, rice, sauce etc without specifically offering it to other pilgrims. If just left, it will be thrown away by whoever does kitchen clean up the following day- extra work for them and a waste of food.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/Frances. SJPP - Estella May 2009.
C/frances. SJPP - Santiago April/ May 2013.
C/Finisterre. Santiag - Finisterre - Muxia May 2013.
C/Ingles. Ferrol - Santiago May 2013.
C/Frances. SJPP - Santiago May - June 2015.
C/Finisterre. Santiago - Muxia - Finisrerre - Cee. June 2015.
C/Frances. Logrono - Burgos May 2016.
#90
Hey Oldman,
Is this a regular occurrence from Galicia?
Don’t fancy having to carry all that gear too.
Sorry I just came across this now , the answer is yes, great kitchens ,nothing in them . you have been given various reasons for this , the real one is the running of the Municipal Albergue is franchised out to one of the local hostelry's, who want you to eat in their Bar/restaurant , so its not in their interest to provide you with any facility to cater for yourself.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's SJ to Sahagun 2015, Sahagun to Santiago 2016, Le Puy Route, SJPDP to Santiago (2018)
#91
Mmm this thread is getting me hungry... Also on the kitchen etiquette front I don't think it's helpful to leave behind extra cooked pasta, rice, sauce etc without specifically offering it to other pilgrims. If just left, it will be thrown away by whoever does kitchen clean up the following day- extra work for them and a waste of food
I agree! However, do holler out if you have an extra half an onion, brocoli, or whatever. Always seems to be appreciated. I think it's fun sharing a kitchen with fellow pelegrinos, an adventure to try to put together a meal with limited supplies. To me it's all part of the sometimes "strange" journey. One of my all time favorite times on the Camino, the communal meal. Seems to make no difference who's doing the cooking. Food, bottle of wine, exhausted body, community. Incredible!
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#92
Hi Darren! You don't have to say you're a chef... I think you're right, some people might be intimidated to share the cooking with you OR some may want to rely on you all the time :eek:;)

See how it goes, you may get fed-up with eating out every night and fancy some home-cooking a few times... On the other hand, it's quite nice to have a rest from cooking! :) Don't over-plan things, go with the flow :cool:

Buen camino!
If anyone presses you to know what you do, have a canned (no pun intended) answer ready - I dabble in the kitchen, my dad / mom / wife is a cook, I just really like to cook/eat/whatever...You don't have to reveal anything you don't want to. It's your Camino, too, so do it your way and enjoy it :)
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
#93
I'm not very assertive in group settings (except in my own household:)), and there were often groups already cooking in the kitchens at dinner time. This was intimidating to me and I was too impatient to wait my turn or butt in. I actually preferred going to the restaurants anyway if no communal meals were offered at the albergues.
This was my experience. I thought I'd be cooking a lot, but in the end only had two big communal dinners that we prepared ourselves, and a few 'quicky' communal dinners (canned food, instant soup, or frozen pizza). A lot of this was due to the fact that I'd arrive later in the afternoon than most, and that I mostly walked solo.

Not so much etiquette as tip, I found a real challenge when large groups of a common nationality were in the Albergue. They would tend to treat the kitchen as their own at home and take it over for the whole night, using virtually all the space and cooking facilities. They seemed to be having a great time and don't believe it was a conscious plan, it was jus the cultural norm for them. So... when I saw these groups I would either get cooking very early (they were generally eating a little later) and vacate before they arrived for dinner or just choose to eat in a bar that night. No animosity, just had to learn how to carry myself in another's country with different cultural norms.
Are we talking about people from that country that's shaped like a boot? I was part of that crowd, and it was interesting to see it both from the inside (super fun) and from the outside (people grumbling that the pilgrims from ..... were taking over the albergue). There were definitely some cultural differences along the camino!


I’m also worried that I would fall in with a group of fellow travelers and possibly end up being their personal chef for the duration, being taken advantage of because of my profession.
Or worse, people stay away from me or feel intimidated that I would criticise or critique there food.
So do I dive in and “do my thing” ?. or do I take a back seat and go with my first plan to eat out for most of my trip ?
But chefs always let slip that they're a chef! I don't think you're at risk of becoming a personal chef for a group, though. It's rare to find a kitchen where people can really show off their skills. I walked with two professional chefs for three days, and each day they'd talk about making a big meal that night. Each night we'd find a tiny, crowded kitchen with two pots, and in a town with just basic supplies at the mercado. They finally did manage to pull off a big dinner, but sadly (for me) it was after they had already walked ahead.
 
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