Monastery lunch ritual to highlight abbey products
Monasteries are places of silence and reflection. Silence, an important age-old value within monastic life, is precious nowadays. Outside the monastery, we could be more at ease with this. Time for reflection. The monastery lunch ‘Serenity’, developed in cooperation with food designer Katja Gruijters, goes back to the essence. How does your food taste, smell and sound in silence? Does it make you aware of taste, smell, shape and sound? A new ritual in which taste and experience come together.
After a look into the kitchens of various monasteries that make their own abbey products, from classic recipes to new innovations, the first Kloosterlunch took place in Koningshoeven Abbey. The ritual of washing hands with cleansing ingredients such as mint and silver fir from the monastery garden ensured a serene start. After the cleansing, the bock beer leek broth with a garnish of cheese toastie shavings was filtered in silence and with attention. At the long table, the brothers and sisters enjoyed a loving tasting of their own abbey products. From savoury vegetable spreads from the Vegetarian Sister and beer-brush bread from Koningshoeven Abbey to sweet treats such as marmalade, sultana bread and honey from the beekeeper-brother Abdij Maria Toevlucht. The white wine from the Catharinadal sisters, hot grape juice and home-brewed beers from the Trappists and Premonstratensians could not be missed either. The Monastery lunch was concluded in silence with a serene tea ritual and warm chocolate pudding made from old bread from the hay box. With a topping of dried berries, crunchy chocolate balls and chopped walnuts from the future food forest, this tastes like more.
Picnicking in the monastery garden
Katja Gruijters was then asked to translate the Monastery Lunch ritual with monks into a Monastery Lunch picnic in the monastery gardens and a Monastery Gift Pack. In June, the picnic edition of the Kloosterlunch took place at the Emmaus Monastery in Velp. In September, there will be editions at the monasteries in Megen and Sint Agatha.
Monastery gardens are traditionally places of reflection but also of innovation. Many species of plants and herbs that are common today have found their way here via the monastery gardens. In the cooperation with nature, following the rhythm of the seasons, we can enjoy the abundance that nature can offer us. This benefits man, plants, birds and insects. Monastics treat creation with care. They live off what the seasons have to offer. This is reflected in the Monastery Lunch Picnic. Healthy and honest food from the convent gardens of North Brabant with fruits from the future food forest and edible flowers from the convent gardens.
The Monastery Lunches are almost full, there are still a few places left for the edition at Sint Agatha on 19 September. Not to worry, the public will soon be able to get their hands on special monastic products gift packets that will be introduced at the Abbey Market at Berne Abbey in Heeswijk.
Photos: Marieke Wijntjes