I like to cook! I really do! I like to be creative and just throw together what’s in my fridge and freezer. And if it’s just something simple like a stir fry withgreen beans, tomatoes, roasted chicken, seasoned with BBQ sauce, herb butter and cheese.
I regularly browse cooking magazines and wherever I am, I usually bring back home a new cookbook. Like from Ostfriesland, Washington, the Queen Mary 2, England … diligently using tons of Index Post-its to mark the recipes I want to try one day. (And never seem to get doing that! Or let’s say, very rarely! I might get inspired by one of those recipes, though and try some part of it …)
My favourite cook book, however, is the first one I got and which I had wished for once upon a Christmas: the Sacher cook book (from the famous Viennese Hotel Sacher). It’s still the best and the one I use most, especially when I want to cook Austrian dishes I know from home. Like Szegediner Goulash, Pork roast, red cabbage, etc
And of course, I also have an old-fashioned binder with handwritten recipes (sectioned into main dishes, desserts, baking, etc) I copy down from screenshots made from online recipes. Because, being theefficient person I am, I just don’t like the looongcooking descriptions I don’t need. And by reading the recipes I also know right away which ingredients I don’t like or can skip, using keywords only for the cooking instructions. Which is much easier and quicker to read and use. It also contains recipes from home, dishes my Mum used to cook and are usually not in any cook book. Among my favourites? Pasta with ground meat, seasoned with ketchup, mustard and pickles. Or fried curd cheese dumplings; pancakes with baloney, mushrooms and asparagus; pasta with white cabbage “Krautfleckerl”; their meat, veggie and mozzarella lasagne; Mum’s Tiramisu … and so much more.
My binder is the one I go to first when I need an inspiration for something sweet and savoury to try out for tea or coffee visits from my friends or actually decide to try a new recipe.
Thinking back to my childhood, I was lucky also in these regards! Both my parents were great cooks!(And not only them! I basically grew up with wonderful cooks in my family. My uncles, my grandfather, Aunt Do …) And while Mum was responsible for everyday cooking, my Dad used to cook on the weekends and loved to try new recipes or recreate something he had eaten on one of his business trips. We were among the first of our acquaintances who had a Raclette set, which Dad brought back from Switzerland. Or cheese fondue.
I loved to help my Dad and basically learned from him that recipes are merely a suggestion and one doesn’t always to have to stick to everything that’s written down. My Mum, she was the one who stuck to the recipes, Dad was more resourceful. And, would you know it, they too had their recipe binders with cut-out recipes from magazines and handwritten notes. When they died, I couldn’t just throw them away, so I combined their recipes and put them in one folder, with my favourites. I miss those times, being home, their cooking, looking over their shoulders, learning. With everyone standing around in the kitchen when we had guests, because it was just the place to be.
I try to keep up traditions and not forget the recipes. And even though most of the time I’m just being creative, experimenting with food I have at home, with the main focus more on speed than gourmet cooking, I do cook the food from my childhood too.To remember …
2 thoughts on “WHAT’S COOKING?”
My mouth is watering just to read your post. I just imagine you leafing through your cookbook and try to find a vegan recipe. LOL. An everybody has her own spaghetti sauce. Yours sounds great. I used to try hard to create my own sauce with ketchup and everything. However ever since I started to go to Trader Joe’s, I gave up since they make such wonderful sauces. Sorry, I just googled. I thought Trader Joe is a German brand, but it turns out to be an American store. How odd. How come I had this impression that it’s a German brand?
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Well, vegan is not exactly part of Austrian cuisine 😁. But maybe the red cabbage used with oil instead of clarified butter, spiced with salt, sugar and cloves, red wine and cranberry jam. Or bread dumplings with bouillon instead of milk and egg. Definitely “spätzle” would be vegan the way I make them. They just consist of flour, water and salt to be pressed through a spätzle sieve into boiling water for their typical shape. 😁