Strudel

Apefelstrudel

Apfelstrudel at a cafe in Innsbruck

“…Oh, Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels. Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles. Silver white winters that melt into springs. These are a few of my favorite things…”

Actually, doorbells aren’t one of my favourite things. They give me anxiety because they’re usually being rung by evangelists or delivery boys dropping off delicious takeaways for other flats. And I don’t eat schnitzel. Nor do I particularly like when winter melts into spring – its usually slushy and my boots get wet and muddy. But I do like ponies and I absolutely LOVE crisp apple strudel. Not to mention Mohnstrudel with poppy seeds. And Topfenstrudel which puts any other cheesecake to shame.

I remember, years ago in culinary school, my instructor, Chef Jean-Luc, a native of Alsace, who was intensely serious about both his French and German patisserie, taught me to perfectly pull and stretch a small elastic ball of this supple dough out to the size of a tablecloth, big enough to cover a card table. I was really proud of that skill, though I haven’t done it for years now.

As we walk through through unsuitable house after unsuitable house, in our attempts to find a new home, I look at the kitchen and I think “could I stretch a strudel dough in here?” Its just as well I don’t say this out loud really because I think our agents are getting a bit fed up with me as it is.

[“Gosh, this room’s really tired, isn’t it? But there’s a lot of scope here.” I say as they show me a run down mess of a conversion, infested by students and damp. Or “It would just be gorgeous if you converted this second bedroom back into a dining room.” Two bedroom flat, my arse. Oh, and don’t get me started on the ‘shared’ gardens. If I still wanted to have a communal living space, I’d still be at uni, living in halls of residence.]

But I digress.

On a recent trip to Tirol, I recently indulged my fondness for this semi sweet-savoury pastry accompanied by a short dark coffee with thick crema.

And now I long for a house where I can stretch a strudel. And that’s not even a euphamism.

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