22. November 2005

a little off topic - i am planning a trip to london

yesterday my baby sister (she's working on a foodblog too!) paid me a visit.

we where in a pretty reminiscent mood, talking about our time in london and how we both loved it there. she was the only one of my family who paid me a visit when i lived there and i in return visited her when she was working at the austrian centre a few month later.

london really is our big big thing. so yesterday - out of nowhere - suddenly the question popped up:

why not go?

we are both finally (after like 8 years!) in a position where we just could book a flight and spend a few days in our beloved city. whenever we where dreaming about another londontrip before one of us was either broke, too busy or most of the time both.

so now we are seriously shifting commitments to spend some days in london. maybe around new years? however, we are very excited.

where will we stay?
will we have enough time to go all the places we planned?
should we leave our creditcards at home or shop till we drop?

so many questions, so much more to figure out ...

can't wait!
can't wait!!

21. November 2005

"gebrannte mandeln" with vanilla flavour

every year around christmas i am really really into vanilla.
german speaking girls, help me out on this one: is there an english word for "gebrannte mandeln"?

you only get this sort of candy/pastry this time of year on the christkindlmarkets.
the scent of the almonds enwrap all of the marketplace and it already feels like christmas.
they smell so incredibly delicious and they taste like little pieces of heaven.

18. November 2005

simple vanilla noodles

0,25 l milk
10 g butter
1/2 vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
75 g noodles (ribbon noodles or any pasta you like)

01 bring milk to boil and add vanilla, sugar and lemon zest.
02 cook till noodles are tender and the liquid is nearly absorbed
03 serve with stewed fruit or sprinkle with cinnamon
my ascetic drive hasn't lasted very long ... i decided not smoke for a while instead of not eating. this makes me feel better too, to be honest ...

11. November 2005

roasted duck with bread dumplings and red cabbage

are you kidding me, mister butcher?! i am not buying a goose for 20 euros! a goose which can feed at least 7 people. i am single, i live alone. and i don't want to eat roasted goose for the rest of the year.

so what am i going to do now? according to the butcher i have no alternative. he would not just cut off a piece of the damn bird for tiny little single gal. what the hell. i still want to have a nice piece of extravagant poultry today!

so i went to the supermarket and bought a haunch of a duck instead. not a good start to my adventures in traditinally inspired dishes.

main dish: roasted duck
haunch of a duck
half an apple - peeled, cored and chopped
some small potatos

01 wash, dry and salt the meat
02 place in a pan
03 add peeled, cored and chopped apple and the small potatos
04 add two cups of water to the roasting pan
05 let roast gently at 200°C and baste every now and then

side dish: red cabbage
3/4 cup water
1 small head red cabbage, finely shredded
1 apple - peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
spices, herbs, salt

01 place all ingredients in a large saucepan
02 bring to boil
03 reduce heat and cover
04 simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender

side dish: bread dumplings
2 white dinner rolls
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 egg lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg

01 dice rolls and soak in milk, until moist but not soggy
02 melt butter in a small skillet and saute onion and parsley
03 add eggs, onion saute, salt, pepper and nutmeg to bread/milk mixture
04 mix well and shape into dumplings.
06 cook in salted water for 20 minutes and serve immediately.
angelika posted a very detailled description of this rather special day in austria too ... go check it out!

i have to lay down and open my pants now because i am really stuffed.
the martiniduck was delicious!

10. November 2005


tomorrow is st. martin's day. this is a big big thing here in austria - if you are 5 years old or if you have a child in your family. kids tinker paper lanterns in kindergarten, walk around in the streets and sing songs about st. martin. the food traditionally eaten on this day is goose. according to the legend, martin did not want to become bishop so he hid in a stable filled with geese. the noise made by the geese finally gave his hideout away and he was discovered.

i am actually not very religious, i am not five years old anymore and there has not been a tradition of eating goose on this day in my family.

i want to make a tradition of my own and make my very first goose tomorrow. i have been looking for a recipe on the internet, but i guess i will buy myself this bavarian cookbook tomorrow which i have been keen on for a while! or maybe i'll buy a traditional austrian cookbook instead. this time there will be no freestyle cooking, if you buy a 5 kg bird you don't want to be in for a culinary surprise!

*martinigansl is the well known austrian dialect word for "st. martin's goose"

6. November 2005

getting old and disappearing ...

i did not forget to foodblog, but i spent some time in the rolling hills of upper austria at my partent's. they don't have an internet connection and so i vanished off the face of the earth for a while.

why did i stay at my parent's?

acutally, i am hiding. i have my 30th birthday tomorrow.

i never really got expensive presents on my birthdays and having a birthday was never a really really exciting thing. though i am outgoing and selfconfident, i don't like it if people make a fuzz about me.

and my friends have been talking about this for weeks ... thirty, thirty, thirty! most of my homies are way younger, my best friend is 21. she has been laughing all year about the fact that i'm gonna be an old lady tomorrow. so i decided to avoid embarassing "hey-you-old-maid!"-scenes, turn of my cellphone for a few days and spend my birthday with my family back home. so my folks took me out to a nice rural gasthaus today, we had a traditional austrian meal with lots of meat, various kinds of dumplings, heavy gravy, potatos and afterwards: a schnaps for digestion.

i had a wonderful time with my my parents, my sister, my brother and his girlfriend, my grandfather, my godfather and godmother. spending time in the town where i was born is a rare treat these days so i really enjoyed these hours amongst my loved ones.

my two younger siblings gave me a delicious cake - and where also making fun of their "old, old, oh so old" older sister ... well, i decided to take it with grace and dignity!

t-h-i-r-t-y. quite a number, isn't it?

but to be honest - i don't really mind! i am quite happy about what i do and where i am.
i can't wait to see what life has in store for me!

bring it on!
i am a grownup now!