Day 27: Volunteering in Folk Kitchen

After a longer break I am back to tell you about the very last days of my Dumpstring Month challenge.

On the day 27 I had signed up for helping out at the weekly Folkkök event that I had attended before and written about it here. It is organized by Resursrestaurangen every Monday evening in Majorna, an area in central Gothenburg.

I arrived 20 minutes late so the work had already started:

We were three volunteers and our leader – altogether two Swedes, an Italian and me, a Latvian. At the moment of my arrival there was quite basic green salad being made, and more interestingly, a broccoli pesto:

The recipe of it was improvised and invented on the spot – that was surprising and definitely made me feel free with any tasks I could be given. I got a really nice one – to make kale chips. We had got some 15 or more packs of kale leaves; I used some seven including two that got burned and had to be sent to the paper bags for compost. I also had to discard the yellowish and pale leaves (they are still edible but taste more bitter and probably aren’t perceived as good looking by most people coming to eat at Folk kitchen).

After rinsing the remaining ones, the task was quite simple: rub and massage them with a mixture of oil, pinch of a fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and transfer to sheet pans, distributed in a thin layer.

The big trick here is the baking: to make these leaves crunchy and brittle yet leave them green and not burn until they get brown is a matter of practice. Our oven was set to 200° C and the first batch was ready after 10 mins but there was also a pan of carrots and beetroots baking; the second batch got burnt in less than 7 mins – apparently because there was no other food inside the oven at that moment. here you can see the first batch (there is space for improvement, obviously):

The second round came out dark brown and extremely bitter to taste so it ended up in compost bags (top right corner):

Later on, couple more volunteers joined to help with the last food preparation tasks and setting up the space for serving. While I was dealing with the kale chips, others managed to prepare: green salad, ratatouille, broccoli pesto, orange lentils, oven baked carrot and beetroot mix, fried little sweet green peppers, bruschettas made of stale baguettes and a mix of fresh fruit for dessert. All of it was discarded by a supermarket, excluding oil and spices.

In a short time the visitors queued up and the food started to disappear quickly. The next shift of volunteers rushed to cook more so nobody is left without a meal. By the end of the dinner, we happily concluded that the resources has been used up remarkably effectively. Besides, this volunteering experience and dinner led me into some great conversations with people interested in the food waste topic – talking with people who know more or express a new perspective on the issue is always highly valuable.



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