How to cook milk in the hostel

5 tips for cooking in the hostel

From TRAVELBOOK | April 25, 2019, 4:07 pm

A piece of dried watermelon is skillfully balanced on the lying, steadily dripping milk carton, the contents of which slowly make their way from the top floor to the bottom of the carton of tea. Above everything lies the unmistakable smell of fish. Welcome to the hostel fridge! Travel bloggers Nina and Jan have five tried and tested tips on how to survive the horror in hostel kitchens.

As a backpacker on a tight budget, you are more or less dependent on the hostel kitchen and come to terms with the given circumstances. But every now and then the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. After both our dear cheese and our milk had magically disappeared from the fridge in the past few weeks and we had to see some things we would rather not have seen, we thought it was time for a survival guide. We reveal five tips so that your next hostel kitchen visit goes more smoothly.

1. Name on it - on everything!

Every hostel handles it differently. In many accommodations there is a marker directly on the fridge, which you should ideally use to write your name and your departure date on your bag or on your groceries. The refrigerator is cleaned and emptied regularly - and everything that is past the noted date is thrown out. However, when and how to clean is not always clear. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case very often in some hostels.

In our current hostel, when asked about a marker, they said: “It's no use anyway and doesn't stop anyone from taking your things!” Ahem, yes, good. Will this refrigerator ever be emptied? I doubt it. We get our own marker, but still only pack the bare essentials well packed in the refrigerator.

2. Only in what really has to be in

Current “highlights” in our fridge were: a pack of tea, corn flakes and toast. What is that doing in the fridge? The hostel has over 50 beds and only one refrigerator. And you can imagine what it looks like. Even if it is tempting to just stuff the entire shopping bag into it: Just see what is really necessary - and take the rest with you to your room (it is safer there anyway).

3. Leave the kitchen as you would like it to be

This tip should go without saying: Please clean the worktop once after cooking and wash your own dishes. Unfortunately there are always people who leave the kitchen in a mess. According to the motto: After me the flood. Sorry, but it really doesn't have to be!

Also interesting: 9 survival tips for the hostel

4. Bring your own "tools"

In many hostel kitchens there is no salt, no pepper, no oil and no good knives either. We have now put together a small set and take salt, pepper, oil and a small paring knife with us wherever we go. The knife was really a great investment. Okay, for $ 1.25 including a peeler, we couldn't have done much wrong either.

5. Just cook!

On average, a hostel kitchen like this has four hotplates, and it feels like at least ten people want to cook at the same time during peak hours. It is clear that blocking the entire kitchen will not make friends here. Our tip: Cook in a structured and simple way, simplify your recipes and try to use as little space as possible if possible.

If you are careful not to get in the way of other backpackers cooking or preparing food, let me tell you: Nobody uses the oven! So we got all the ingredients for a nice wholemeal bread and then baked fresh bread and rolls twice in a week - a feast!

When we cook while traveling, we first try to orientate ourselves towards the local offers. In Central America, for example, eggs, tomatoes, avocados and lots of tropical fruits are on the program.

And if you really want to do something bigger, just don't set the cooking time to 6 p.m. when everyone wants to go into the kitchen!

Jan Heumann and Nina Kluge traveled the world for 444 days. On their travel blog "Weitweitweg" they described their route and the experiences at the individual stops on the world tour.

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