Temperatures are dropping low but spirits were running high today amongst our retreat guests and volunteers, as Mexican was on today's lunch menu. Our Mexican theme is one of the most popular of all the meals we make here at Govinda Valley and retreat guests always get extremely excited when they see the spread laid out in our dining hall. Even according to our long term volunteers and live in residents at Govinda Valley, Mexican is one of the recurring favourites when it comes to menu choices.
Lets put it this way, everyone suddenly forgot how cold it was today when they saw the taco shells and tortilla wraps being dished out. It must be the prospect getting our hands a bit dirty when we eat, and the challenge of assembling the tacos and tortilla wraps with as much food as possible without breaking or bursting them. And there's also the challenge trying to not look too greedy (or messy) when you've overloaded your fajita wrap. And lets be honest, who doesn't like a bit of hands on action when they eat their food? Food just tastes a lot better when we use our hands.
As ever, we try our best to use much as we can from our herb and veggie garden. Today's mexican menu consisted of a heartwarming tomato based mixed vegetable soup (now that autumn chills are kicking in here at the valley) mixed bean chilli con carne cooked with our homegrown zucchini, a tomato salsa seasoned with freshly harvested garden coriander and tofu scramble, all garnished with our own organic garden lettuce. Everyone approved of the well measured kick of chilli in the food, thanks to the addition of the birds eye chillies our chefs added in - also taken from our gardens of course.
Its really satisfying to see the herb and veggie gardens finally beginning to flourish, and knowing that our chefs are able to use at least a few ingredients in every meal that is made here at Govinda Valley. Eventually, the aim is to be able to be fully self sustaining and to be able to cook all of our meals using only fresh ingredients grown on our land. Patience is a virtue, but until we can fully sustain ourselves and our retreat guests, we source as much local and organic produce from nearby farms and producers.
Written by: Mandy Pang