We just got our last and final round of IKEA furniture this weekend, which actually can be quite exhausting! Luckily all is settled now (hopefully…). As we now finally have book shelves, I was able to unpack all my little treasure chests 😉 Obviously, I had already unpacked all my cooking and baking books, but somehow this little one slipped my attention and was forgotten for quite some time… Like a true treasure I have rediscovered it again now and I am uppermost excited about it!
It is the very first cooking book my mum got as a child in elementary school. You can see that it fell apart that’s why it was wrapped in a map for save keeping 😉 It is also quite yellowed and the first few pages are missing (which doesn’t matter as these are only the index pages) but somehow this actually makes all the charm of the booklet 🙂 Even better, my Mum made little notes here and there! How wonderful is that! I got her little booklet when I moved out to go to university, but as I didn’t bake nor cook much in the early years of studying I actually quite forgot about it. I knew that it had some amazing soups in it, but I don’t do soups that often, and when I do, most of the time I improvise and throw everything at hand into the pan. Anyway, today I took a closer look at it and discovered that it contains quite a lot of different sections; from meat to vegetarian (yep, even back in those days 😉), fish, side dishes, gravies, vegetables, mushrooms (yes, they got their own little section!), salads and small dishes. And then it comes: the sweet department! I really had no clue how many sweet dishes were in this book! Sweet meals, cakes, tarts, glazing and fillings, fruit dishes, ice cream and mousses and even warm and cold beverages including juices! It truly is a lost treasure found again!
Oh and did I mention the very best aspect of it? I t i s A u s t r i a n ! Yes, half of my heritage and if I may so, the more culinary half 😛 Austrians however do have their own little words especially for food. So once in a while I really have to think about what the „proper“ German word would be and then I have to smile cause I am just no longer used to Austrian any more, but really like it! In fact, I love that this book is Austrian, as they are famous for their Mehlspeisen. Mehlspeisen: a word typically Austrian, I would say. Hard to translate, but basically every dish that contains flour (Mehl) but is not a biscuit, cookie, cake or tart. It is more like pancakes for example. Sweet things you could eat as dinner. Yes. Dinner. Sweet things. Isn’t that amazing! The first time I introduces my boyfriend to a few of these dishes he was amazed! He was all like Wow, I can eat Dessert for Dinner 😛 And actually he nailed it, but at that time it wasn’t that obvious for me, as I am used to it. Not really surprising maybe, but one of these Mehlspeisen dishes actually is my most favorite meal ever: Scheiterhaufen 😉 Basically two layers of toast with a lot of apples between and baked in the oven. Sounds boring, but is heavenly 😉 Maybe I will make it once and post it here. Just because I feel I have to spread the word 🙂
Another big thing in the Austrian kitchen (and also part of Mehlspeisen) are Knödel (dumplings). There are all kinds of dumplings, different savory ones with patotatoes or bread, but also sweet ones, which I -of course- especially love 😉 Maybe I will feature some in the future, but until now I have honestly never tried them myself as you have to be either really talented or experienced with making dumplings I was told 😛 Anyway, I watched my mum doing it a few times, and I guess I will give it a try as they are just too divine 🙂
Anyway, I am really happy I have came across this lovely book once more, and from now on it will have a special place on my shelf and in my heart. There so many great basic recipes I have to try but also some amazing tips (some are like Grow your own Vegetables, or If you have to buy them they have to be fresh and clean 🙂 Guess buying and storing food was a bit different back then than it is now?). So watch out for some typical Austrian Dishes coming along soon 😉
Thanks Mum ♥
PS: And these cute little notebooks will become My first Cooking Book 😉 Obviously, I couldn’t just go and buy furniture at IKEA, along with some new dishes and plates (sure you will see more of them soon) I bought these three. I guess I will take the silver one for my real recipes, and the other two for all my notes and writing down the progress of my baking experiments 🙂