Kim's Austrian Adventure

My year as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Graz, Austria. Yes, there are other cities in Austria besides Vienna.

26. Oktober 2006

If the dough doesn't behave, just yell at it

  • Reading: Postcard list

  • Listening to: The Blow: Parentheses

  • German Word of the Day: anbrüllen

  • Translation: yell at

  • Example: Wenn es mit dem Teig nicht klappt muss man ihn einfach anbrüllen./If the dough isn't working you just have to yell at it.

Chrissi and I have been cooking together once a week for while. She's from the Austrian state of Carinthia (Kärnten), which is kind of like Texas or Bavaria, where, when you hear someone is from there, you nod your head knowingly and everything about their behavior (ten gallon hats/liking Bayern-München/voting for the FPÖ) seems to make sense. I find the differences between the states in a country the size of Maine fascinating, so I asked Chrissi what we could cook that is typically Carinthian. Her answer was

Kärntner Kasnudeln

250 g flour
1 dash of salt
1 egg
125 ml milk
500 g boiled potatoes
500 g curd cheese (Quark)

1 teaspoon salt
50 g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 dash of mint
1 dash of chervil
1 dash of parsley
1 dash of marjoram

Mix together the flour, salt, milk and egg to a not so firm dough.

Prepare the filling: peel the potatoes and smash them with a fork. Saute the onion in butter. Let it cool and mix in the curd cheese, salt and spices, then form 16 balls with the filling.

Roll out the dough and cut 16 equal pieces. Lay the balls in the middle of the dough and wrap them, leaving an edge of about a finger's width. Make sure the edges are pushed together well.

Boil water, put the noodles (I keep calling them Pierogies) in and cook for about ten minutes. Serve with melted butter.

Sure, it sounds easy. Much like when we tried to make veggie patties, our first results were terrifying. The filling was fine, but the dough was just not working. Our small kitchen left much to be desired. Searching for a place to roll the dough, we decided to put down some baking paper and...well... we ended up with a mess. Scraping half-liquid dough off of paper isn't on my list of fun things. Chrissi and I took turns soiling our clothes/faces/hair. I continued making the filling until she said, "You try! This is annoying the crap out of me!" (In German, of course.) I begged, pleaded and finally started yelling at the dough. I, being the Grammar...well, I don't want to say Grammar Nazi, you know, so we'll just say the Grammar Stickler that I am, had to ask Chrissi if the article for dough -Teig- was der, die or das. After that it was on, and I released my rage with the aid of a rolling pin (das Nudelholz).

Among other things yelled at: wasps who mistakenly buzzed in and met their doom aka my dishtowel and the flour, which disappeared entirely too quickly.

Still, they were delicious. I suggest you try them. If anything, the yelling is fun.


At 28 Oktober, 2006 22:13, Anonymous Aunt Susie said...

sounds like a perogi to me. you were much saner and nicer than I would have been after all the 4 letter words I would have chucked it in the trash and sat on the counter with a nice bottle of
Aunt Susie


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