18. Januar 2007


i just love all the influences of various ethnicities in austrian cuisine! my country used to be a multiethnic monarchy under habsburg rule until 1918, i believe you all know that from history class (or, maybe not). it expanded eastwards starting out from the teeny tiny austria i live in today and included parts of the czech republic, slovakia, poland, hungary, italy, slovenia, croatia, serbia, romania and the ukraine.

up to the present day we have so many diverse dishes, so many flavours and textures and so many regional specialities still influenced by eastern europe and the former duchies, counties and kingdoms of the austrian empire. history around the globe teaches us that it's not exactly easy to manage a large empire with diverse ethnicities and austria inarguably has had a large share of a very dark moment in history.

still, i grew up to not only tolerate but embrace diversity in beliefs, religions, traditions and above all food! i value that highly.

when i was little it never really occured to me that i was so incredibly influenced by eastern european cuisine. i always believed that the dishes i grew up with where typically austrian and only found out about their history when i grew up to be a food loving teenager. bohemian pastry, mediterranean and balkan meat dishes, and not to forget the comforting eastern european stews are all a staple in my diet.

i just adore topfengolatschen (bohemian) with a nice cup of coffee in the afternoon.

minced meat ćevapčići (balkan) where my favorite fast food snack as a child and still are our traditional family christmas dish today. forget the turkey, my family has eaten ćevapčići for at least 20 years on christmas eve. i often get a "what?!? where is the roast pork?!?" when i describe our luscious feast with ćevapčići and a wide range of side dishes, sauces and various breads.

when i think of comfort food from my childhood - cheap, easy, quick, filling and delicious - i always think of the hungarian goulash. it still is the most comforting food i could ever eat.

this will also be my contribution to the brandnew foodblog event waiter, there's something in my ... stew, because goulash really has always been comfort food for me. my mama makes like a gazillion versions of this hungarian speciality and szegedin goulash (or as we call it: szegediner gulasch) has always been my favorite. when we have regular goulash i usually push the meat aside and drown white bread in the sauce, but when szegedin goulash is on the menu is finish off the whole plate, i request seconds (and often more) and i always feel the urge to lick the plate when i'm done eating ... oh yes, and then my pants pop :) ... when i've eaten too much i can always sip a little slivovitz (eastern european) ... indeed, sweet relief!

400 g diced goulash meat (pork)
500 g sauerkraut
vegetable oil
1 onion
3 tsp paprika powder (you can take as much as you like, even up to 2 tsp)
1 clove of garlic
about 150 ml water
bay leaf
2 tbsp flour
150 ml milk
  1. in a pot, gently fry diced onion and diced garlic in a little vegetable oil
  2. add pork and continue to cook until the meat is turning brown
  3. add the sauerkraut. some people like to drain or even rinse it, but i prefer putting it into the pot with all the juicy liquid. i also like to rinse the package with a little water (about 150 ml), so there's enough liquid in the goulash later
  4. bring to a boil
  5. now add the paprika and the bay leaf
  6. reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes
  7. mix flour and milk and add to the goulash to thicken it
  8. bring to a boil again
  9. serve with plain bread or cooked potatoes
i have never made this goulash myself, so danke für das rezept, mama :)

my siblings and i gave my parents "the internet" and a laptop for christmas and my mother is slowly losing her fear of technology. she can even skype me now, she can check and send emails and she is also beginning to discover those mysterious things called "weblogs" ...
technorati tags: wtsim, waiter theres something

so i kick back with my goulash and listen to the strong wind outside ... a storm warning has been issued yesterday for central europe, and i am kind of worried about that. though i have always been fascinated by thunder and lightning i have never witnessed something like that before. it's really a very unusual weather situation and the storm is expected to hit the northern part of the alps (where i live) in two to three hours with 150 km/h. i honestly don't know if i should be afraid or excited.

i am just watching the news where they have live coverage of various locations in austria preparing for the storm - everyone is on red alert. that really is a weird situation right now ... i better prepare a few candles and matches, i don't want to be surprised by a power blackout ...


it is 23:30 now and various things, odds and ends are tumbling around on my neighbours terrace ... why didn't he put that stuff in the shed? he'll probably find his patio furniture and his plants in the danube tomorrow, a few kilometers downstream ...

now the light starts quivering, that definitely feels weird. thank good i am in a solidly built house and i don't have to be afraid that the roof gets blown off ... but the loud wind and the noise from all the stuff that gets blown away outside is definitely giving me the creeps!

another update

so how did you other europeans survive this
stormy night? the hurricane was gone when i woke up and though there still are rather strong winds, neither myself nor anybody i know was harmed during the night. my sister could not get to work in time this morning and there still is a blackout in the remote village where my grandfather lives, but my mama is taking care of him and bringing coffee and warm food until the broken wires are repaired.

apparently upper austria was hit very hard (137 km/h in linz-hörsching) and with lower austria and salzburg the most damage was done along the northern side of the alps. we had a peak of 216 km/h in the alpine upland in salzburg. that sounds really scary!

i will skip university today and i'll take a walk around my neighbourhood later to see if anything is heavily damaged. but it looks totally quiet outside right now, there might be some damage on the current building site near the danube (they are errecting a protective wall to prevent flooding of my neighbourhood). there are no warnings about flooding in linz right now, but its raining heavily and we might have to expect something over the next few days ...


Trig hat gesagt…

Really good post - I like writing about politics and current affairs in relation to food. Also some of our garden fence was blown down tonight by the terrible winds which are now heading your way!

Rosa's Yummy Yums hat gesagt…

That looks superfine!

This night, we a had a terrible storm (100km/h winds), but I think that it didn't create much damage...

awoz hat gesagt…

This recipe is very tempting for me.I have polish origins and I love eastern food . I never tried this kind of goulash but I really like saurekrout and I am sure that I would enjoy this dish.

sherry hat gesagt…

Oh my!! I adore goulash and that recipe of yours is perfect. I must make it! But, I hate wind storms. We get a lot of them here in Northern California.

Andrew hat gesagt…

Top of my list to try out, sounds delicious! Thanks for taking part Gerda.

zorra hat gesagt…

Das wollte ich schon lange mal machen, und jetzt habe ich ein leckeres erprobtes Rezept. Danke auch an deine Mama! :-)

Ellie hat gesagt…

That's one gorgeous looking stew right there! I've never had goulash before, but I'll have to bookmark this for when our weather gets colder and I need something warming to fill my tum :)

Pille hat gesagt…

What a lovely goulash - I've never tried this version before. I wish I had bought a lot more sauerkraut from the market today (I only bought enough to nibble in the office sadly)

wheresmymind hat gesagt…

Very interesting post...I love big storms when no damage is done to my house :)

neil hat gesagt…

We love our goulash and I'd bet my wife would love your version. I wanted to reach into the screen and put my finger in for a taste!

burekaboy — hat gesagt…

hey gerda, sounds like you guys really got it good. i remember when we had this huge icestorm which knocked out the power in my city for up to 4 weeks in some (remoter) places.

i think that topfengolatschen is the same as what we call cheese danish? i love those, too.

Jen Stewart hat gesagt…

Gerda, I made your székelygulyás recipe for dinner tonight -- I put it on top of egg noodles. It was WONDERFUL. I had enough left over that I can have it for lunch tomorrow, too....hurrah! :)

tschoerda hat gesagt…

it is fantastic, isn't it?! it is even better if you eat it the next day!