Between preparing, serving, clearing away and washing up after all our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and multiple-course 2-hour dinners, the kitchen staff managed to roast and slice all kinds of meats, chop and mince ingredients for all kinds of salads, saute all kinds of vegetables, bake all kinds of breads, assemble all kinds of casseroles, arrange all kinds of cheeses, whip up all kinds of sauces, and make all kinds of desserts.
They surprised us with all these at “The Taste of Balkan” night, using table and counter space throughout the public areas of the ship–the restaurant, the Aquavit Terrace, the forward deck. In each area we could join queues past foods of all kinds, so that if you went to any one single area you could get a full meal and by going to all the areas you could get full but different meals.
They even invited us to climb down the steep companionway into the galley where there was a spread of salads with assorted dressings, and raw vegetables with a variety of dips, hot meats, various vegetable dishes, quiches and other entrees as well as an ample selection of puddings, tarts, baklavas and chocolate volcano cakes.
Here’s the thing. If the kitchen staff had prepared nothing but the “Taste of Balkan,” and spread the dishes out over the entire voyage, there would have been plenty for all 188 of us passengers–and the staff could have taken those three weeks off and gone home to their families.