Winter was so very impolite this season, bringing its frosty attitude and just really overstaying its welcome. But we had to eat, and so throughout this wintertide torpor I undertook a few culinary projects that had me dashing here and there in search of this and that. Not only did I reaffirm my cold weather fortitude, I added some A-lister’s to the family recipe book . Bonus.
I do not make resolutions at the start of a new year. I do not make bucket lists, either. And aside from a few posts on my Facebook page to those in my, “circle of trust,” I generally* do not see the need to share political thoughts with the wide world.
What I do enjoy sharing are the events and activities that round out my expat life. Like, how for a mere €34 annually, Tony and I can wander any of the seven or so museums on our art history card whenever we are of the mind. On a recent not-much-going-on Sunday, we took in one gallery at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History), then went for lunch. The building alone rates walking through; the art collection is a bonus.
I love food and I love to cook. But for those of us who, “Live to Eat,” grocery shopping and menu planning in Vienna could be its own reality show, with winners determined by how well they can ad lib a planned menu using fewer than three different grocers and when half of their desired ingredients are not available. I will admit that this renders me weary at times.
Friends from America were in town a couple of weeks ago, and one night we enjoyed dinner in our home before they hopped back across the pond. Culinarily exhausted from an epic four hour preparation (!) of Julia Child’s Bouillabaisse two days earlier for the family, not counting the time spent in search of fresh mussels in a landlocked country, I sought a relatively casual Austrian-ish menu for this dinner.
We can not get our Thai experience in Marchegg a couple of weeks ago off our tastebuds, and by the following weekend our desire for Thai food reached insatiable. So while cloaked in the usual boredom of the Sunday Shutdown, Tony and I researched the Vienna Thai restaurant scene and set out in search of what we hoped would be at least reasonably good Thai.
As a “Trailing Spouse,” awful as that term sounds, I have worked diligently to keep myself mentally challenged with a variety of meaningful projects, some which may reappear on future curriculum vitae. Sushi-making? Nothing but pure fun.
Perhaps I have mentioned once or twice that my kitchen is small. I have developed a cooking routine in the space that is the size of the pantry in the U.S. home, but not until today did I attempt real cooking with friends in the Easy-Bake space. How would my kitchen fare?
I debated with myself over whether to even publish these comments. It is not that I do not write about the food I eat, but this meal was different. You see, I had lunch recently at a Viennese institution noted for its Tafelspitz preparation, and this was my first ever Tafelspitz at said institution. And Tafelspitz was, you must understand, one of Emperor Franz Josef I’s favorite dishes. How dare some ex-pat not love one of the good Kaiser’s favorite meals, and Austria’s National Dish?