I am an American temporarily living in Vienna: we’ve been here almost a year already, and we’ll be here another year or two. I love the food here but the recipes in my English language central European cookbooks do not come close to re-creating the delicious food served here. My solution? Create my own Austrian/central European cookbook.
I am keeping track of what meals we especially enjoy when we go out to eat, which admittedly isn’t that often since we have a two year-old and three year-old. When we like something I photograph it so I remember what it’s supposed to look like and take notes on what it tastes like and how it’s composed.
I then look for German-language recipes for these dishes on Austrian websites and the fun begins: translating the words literally, re-phrasing the words so they read like an American recipe, converting the measurements and cooking temperatures, and, in some cases, guessing what the measurements are because the recipe will just say “marjoram” (for example).
Next is testing the recipe, adjusting ingredients and methods as necessary. When I have a recipe that I am confident I will be able to recreate when we are back in Virginia, I post it here along with a picture of the food that I’ve made. I am compiling the recipes and pictures in a Shutterfly recipe book template so I will eventually have my own Austrian cookbook. What better reminder of our time in Austria could I have?
I will also post photographs that have nothing to do with restaurants or recipes: food stalls at the Naschmarkt, seasonal markets such as the ones that pop up at Christmas and Easter, road side stands, and pictures from the grocery stores. Why? Well, why not? Enjoy.