Welding vegan chocolate cakes!

26 January 09

cooking in tegleholme

cooking in tegleholme

Ok so we made it to Malmo and I haven’t written anything about Copenhagen since Christmas so Sweden is on hold until I catch up.   We moved back from the posh house after Christmas to the very welcoming arms of all at Tegleholme.  I spent the first week back working with Sinne and Monne building a kitchen.  It was amazing, I saw the kitchen go from basic and not very cosy where everyone cooked in 2’s and 3’s (mainly skipped meat) to collective meals of 15\20 people and the kitchen being the place to hang out.  That probably took longer than a week to achieve, but the building structure was in place after a short while.  We made a breakfast table out of old pallets and found wood, which was sanded and oiled so we could use it for shopping.  Its been really amazing learning such practical skills from 2 really amazing women, who although they say they’ve forgotten their ages, they’re only 18!

I made it my mission for the next while to improve my cooking skills! Cooking at Tegleholme was like being on a surreal version of ready steady cook!  Every few days a few people would go on a mammoth skipping mission (going to the bins of the supermarkets and taking what we needed), it was like a weird Christmas morning each time they back.  Whoevewr was in the kitchen would ooo and ahhhh at the delights they had brought back.  The chefs mission for the next few days was to try and make as many wonderful dishes out of the food as they could.  The first week I was there we had leeks with everything, last week it was broccoli and banana.  I made a skipping wish list (mainly with baking ingredients) that some saw as a challenge, Monne definitely won, bringing practically everything on my list home.  Staying at Tegleholme has definitely made me reassess my relationship with food.  I have been so shocked with the food thrown out from supermarkets.  We were able to live like kings, eating organic, having fresh cream, milk, bread, amazing danishes (the ones we get in Ireland or the UK are not like they are here), rounds of cheese, wine basically anything you could ask for – I’ve eaten better quality food here than I have since I left home 7 years ago.

So I’ve introduced proper English scones to Denmark! I said I was going to make scones and got a few shrugs from those in the kitchen, so I made them, put a bowl of home made jam and fresh whipped  cream with them beside them and told people to dig in.  They went down very well with exclamations of “these aren’t scones these are amazing”.  In the following weeks I taught others how to make them and now they’re a staple part of breakfasts at least once a week, and now when anyone new comes along they’re treated to “scones but not like Danish ones!”

Most of my recipes are coming from a cook book I took from my mam when leaving home – the stork cookbook.  Its falling apart, looks very old but has how to make everything in it, including cheese sauce which went down a treat! Its not very good for vegan dishes though (with the arrival of Jo and Pete that made 2 vegans and 3 vegetarians and the rest freegan – eat anything if its free) so I had to improve my vegan baking.  Monne lent me a vegan cookbook called ‘don’t feed the bears’ where you are encouraged to play a named death metal song while you cook! I’ve learned how to make a very simple vegan chocolate cake that actually tastes amazing! Although I still think it tastes better before it goes in the oven, the first time I made it, I ate the leftover batter with fresh cream and was in heaven!

I haven’t spent all my time in the kitchen though.  Although I do have to say that cooking has been a thoroughly relaxing and very satisfying experience, those of you who know me that past few years know that I spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, Brian does most of the cooking.  It was very funny to hear all these people talking to me as if I had been cooking for 20 my whole life.  New challenges are what its all about!

cop23Speaking of new challenges, I’m learning to weld (picture to follow) not quite as scary as I though it would be, Martin turned out to be an excellent teacher, very patient and extremely positive with all my efforts.  Angle grinding is my next mission.  Its been really great doing lots of workshops, I now understand a little more about 12volt electricity from Brian and Rob’s wonderful 2 part electricity workshop, I helped make a pedal powered washing machine and Casey did a really interesting ‘non violent communication’ workshop.  All in all lots of new skills learned.

We also managed some trips out, i went to the sauna in Christiania with Jo and Jim, a hot but relaxing day out and then chilled with coffee and had a really interesting chat about black bloc, climate camp, green capitalism etc.  We also visited a group of people living on a boat nearby.  They’ve made their own submarines, very cool!

Staying in Tegleholme has done my soul well, I feel rested and with many new skills.  The people staying there are one of the most welcoming and open groups\collective I have ever come across.  They are so happy to share their home, skills, food and just about anything with anyone who wants to stay.  An amazing bunch of people I’m sure I’ll come across again – maybe not on land….


Grainne, x