Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Ah, So That's What Krautfleckerl Are.

German with an Austrian slant.

What tends to be the main topic of conversation of any adult? Oh yes, food. How to make it, how to eat it and more importantly, where to find it. We might drop hints about it....

" Oh, that cake you made last time I was here was delicious. "
or brag about it
" Oh, you must try what I made for supper last night. It was fantastic. "
but talk about it we do.

When I visit the older villagers I often find out real culinary jewels that are passed down from mother to daughter but sadly with that new trend of buying ready made food it might become a cuisine of extinction. One dish I've heard a lot of through the years was this Krautfleckerl.

It appeared to be a very complicated and cumbersome dish because to me a Fleckerl is a bit of rag, or a rug and how on earth does that combine with cabbage? ( p/s, Kraut = cabbage)

About a month ago the penny dropped when a local villager told me that Fleckerl is pasta shaped like a little square, Farfalle or something like it. Aha, the degree of difficulty dwindled and I felt confident to ask how this Krautfleckerl is made.

My personal understanding of it was that one cut the cabbage finely, and fried it with the usual onions and garlic until tender while at the same time boiling a pot of this square shaped pasta. Mix the two together and top it with a bit of - here comes another Austrian word - Topfen ( cottage cheese ) and season to taste. Easy indeed and I treated Bob to it for supper yesterday.

Improvisation is a must in a small village and I used penne-shaped pasta ( we only buy those because Mausi likes playing with a dry stick of penne...again, any other shape she won't deign to play with... ), chilly but left out the cottage cheese.

Gosh, I have to admit that it was an instant success with Bob. How do I know? Well, he showed me the Bob seal of approval...an upturned, empty plate of food! I really have to pull up my culinary socks as these upturned plates are a bit of a rarity these days...


Monday, 26 June 2017

Three Storms In A Row.

Luckily not accompanied by hail.

It stands to reason that a few weeks of sweltering heat must be followed by a storm. Friday saw the first one yet one with a mere three drops of rain despite being full of thunder. An hour's interlude and then back to the cloying heat.

Saturday evening was the next one and thankfully it come with rain, thunderbolts and lightning which made it a pleasant way to fall asleep. It must be the faint drumming sound each drop makes on encountering our roof before terra firma. Soothing as can be and at least the fields, lawns and flowers were watered. We don't have an outside tap and once the rainwater is finished ( big barrels under the rain pipe ) it means numerous trips to the bathroom with a watering can every afternoon.

Yesterday afternoon a Formula One Race was on the cards at three o'clock and both Bob and I couldn't wait to relax in front of the telly. Best laid plans are never as imagined. Zurich, our insurance company sent an sms about an impending storm complete with all the trimmings heading our way.

I looked outside the lounge window and there was nothing ominous in sight but when I went and glanced outside our bedroom windows another story unfolded. A horizon approaching in the most darkest of grays and rather fast too. Bob took charge and unplugged all the electrical stuff including our tv. Yikes, it was half past two.

The rain pelted down, lightening lit up an overcast sky followed closely by thunder. We counted the seconds and deemed it safe to re-plug everything when the gap between lightening and thunder swelled to five seconds. As we watch our television via our broadband connection, we had to nervously wait for the reboot of everything, knowing that the start of the race was minutes away.

When they sang the national anthem we were spectators again and thus could see the race from start to finish and what a race it was. One of the most exciting races in a long long time. How marvelous to see that Vettel is not as gentle as he comes across giving Hamilton a taste of his own medicine, a newcomer standing on the podium and a race interruption as well.

The next race will be in Austria, Spielberg a mere two hours away, and should be a cracker of a race due to the duel between Ferrari and Mercedes. The unpredictability of this new cadre of drivers has reignited our love of Formula One. Bob and I will be glued to the television unless a storm comes our way...