Cocinar con Corazón

Two wonderful weeks of rest, work, and sharing wholesome food at Albergue Verde.

 

About six weeks ago, we passed through Hospital de Órbigo in search of Albergue Verde, one of the generous establishments that agreed to host us in support of our project. After following the “snail” signs through back streets of the town, we arrived to welcoming arms and immediately knew it’d be a place to come back to. The nourishing vegetarian food, large garden, easy going atmosphere and big hearts of Mincho, Velas, Miriam & Andrea are just a few characteristics that make this place so extraordinary.

And thus, to revive our bodies between spring and summer caminos, we returned to Albergue Verde as “hospitalieros.” Our hands have washed sheets, worked soil, welcomed pilgrims and cooked meals. We’ve exchanged knowledge, recipes, songs and stories. But the best part has been creating a home away from home.

Las Chicas - Mariuja & Balbina

Las Chicas – Maruja & Balbina – Mincho’s mother and aunt

We were lucky to find such people who share similar values, particularly regarding food. Miriam, the amazing wonder-woman head-chef who does it all, prepares a full menu for pilgrims six days a week. The meal, donation based, includes bread, soup, salad, entrée, dessert & tea. When most pilgrims discover the meal is vegetarian, they sigh with relief and appreciation. Although the fresh breads, sharp cheeses and fine cured meats found along the Camino can be a fantastic experience of Spanish cuisine, it’s not easy to find alternatives.

Fortunately we’ve had multiple opportunities to cook for the albergue. Concocting a full course meal for many can be a slightly daunting task, but as Miriam says, “If you do it with love, everything will taste good.” And it’s true.

Of course, we tried to incorporate at least one wild food into the menu.

Our latest experiment: Stuffed zucchini topped with champiñónes and alfalfa salad on a pillow of white bean cream.

During the meal, one pilgrim thanked us saying, “I can really taste the joy in every bite.” Compliments such as this fill us with the satisfaction of nourishing fellow human-beings with wholesome food.

A daily tradition at Albergue Verde is to bless the meal with song. The lyrics, written below, help us recognise the energy needed to produce our means of sustenance – from seed to basket and pot to plate.

Honouring the Feast

En esta comida (in this meal)

veo claramente la presencia de todo universo (I can see clearly the presence of the universe)

manteniendo mi existence, mi existencia (maintaining my existence)

los nubes veo veo (I see the clouds)

el campesilla veo (I see the farmer)

el sol veo veo (I see the sun)

y la semilla veo (I see the seeds)

la concinera veo (I see the cook)

y su marido veo (I see her husband)

la primavera veo, la primavera veo (I see the spring, I see the spring)

Enjoying the sunset and tea after dinner.

Enjoying the post-dinner sunset and tea.

We highly recommend anyone to spend a night at Albergue Verde:

Phone: +34 689 92 79 26

Email: oasis@albergueverde.es

http://www.albergueverde.es

https://www.facebook.com/AlbergueVerde

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