Sunday, 13 June 2010

Mozart-dodging in Vienna and Salzburg

The nigh-on holy trinity of art, trams and coffee-houses makes Vienna one of my favourite cities. I only have one problem with the city and that is the men dressed-up as Mozart who are wont to harass you whenever you are near the the Opera house or the Stephansdom. As ever the rule is: do not engage.

Anyway, whilst Mutti worked I mooched around galleries, the Belvedere and the Leopold. I also had a great picnic in a sunny spot in Karlsplatz, tomato-mozzarella-rocket sandwiches, apricots and apfelsaft gespritzt from the Naschmarkt.

Highlights of the trip included:
Statues of lion-ladies with wings, boobs and plaits at the Belvedere. Who's idea was that?

Wine in tankards!
We caught the tram out to Grinzing where there are still vineyards on the edge of the city. The town is full of heurige, wine taverns that sell the wine they produce to locals and tourists alike who drink it by the jugful.

Salzburg was like being inside a postcard; a string quartet play Mozart in the square, you should be entertained but you just feel like you are being held on the line. Mum and I ate roast pork and gravy with dumplings and sauerkraut in the blazing sun. I suppose it would have tasted better in winter. Guess what? I wasn't that struck, but I couldn't help eating the dumpling out of carb-craving curiosity.
I reckon its illegal to escape Austria without buying some Mozart Kugel as a souvenir. These chocolates with pistachio and marzipan are actually quite tasty and I bought some to take back for a friend at work... just in case. The thing is, I like Mozart but the kitschification of him is totally naff.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Blueberry muffins and a moral

My housemate Izzy is off to America to study at Reed college for a year. I will miss our chats about food/uni/people, her gingerbread men, her sense of humour, the duffel. To say goodbye I baked her blueberry muffins. The baking operation was not entirely successful. When our oven isn't fierce it is FEROCIOUS. If it made a noise it would probably roar.

The story goes a bit like this...

Sometimes things will go right. You will smile.

You will be proud. You will be pleased with yourself. You will make and do things and want to share these experiences with people.

Sometimes things will go wrong. You will feel like a plonker. You might forget how great things were going less than 20 minutes ago. You may suffer from feelings of mild despair.

But wait! Just as they say every cloud has a silver lining, under every burnt muffin top there is... some salvageable muffin! Really, its fine, it tastes good! So what if the topless muffins are feeling exposed next to their golden-crusted counterparts?

Yes. Scraping of the burnt bits is an essential life skill. Go, go! Make the most of every opportunity.