Thursday, September 17, 2009

Strudel and Graphite

Who knows how to make authentic apple strudel? I do!!! Austrian Cuisine was a blast last night. We started off with a short lecture on the history of Austria's cuisine, and learned about how the neighboring countries (at one point or another acquired to the Austrian Empire by marriage) influenced the food and about the (minimum) EIGHT course meals that these crazy people ate! And I thought that I was eating a lot over here...

Then we made our way down to the kitchen, where the fabulous and talented Brigette introduced us to the wonderful world of strudel. We made a mouth-watering mixture of apples, and then proceeded to make the dough. One of the best things about strudel: If you're having a terrible day, or just need to work out some aggression, this is the thing to make! Because to get the lumps out of the dough, you SLAM it against the counter over and over again until you're exhausted. It's great fun, and sends a flour-cloud up into the air and all over the place. I had a good time chucking dough. And then, you do this really cool trick to make it as thin as possible, and wrap the apples up as tenderly as you would swaddle a baby, (you call the strudel your baby-that's just the way it is) and let it bake! It's delicious and amazing.

Then, we began to schnitzel everything in sight! Ruby and I are the only veggies in the class, so we of course had to team up, and we made our schnitzel out of zucchini and mushrooms (the mushrooms were so tasty!). Actually, should my Dad read this, the way that he prepares zucchini is the same way you make schnitzel, so actually Dad, you've been making schnitzel for years! Everyone did different stuff; some kids made the potato salad (German potato salad is the yummiest thing in the world), turkey schnitzel, sliced the toasted bread, and made the green salad. Of course, everyone wanted to try our scrumptious vegetarian schnitzel, which I was highly reluctant to share. So, we all sat down and ate this amazing meal, and it was great. The strudel with fresh whipped cream was the perfect desert, too. Wednesdays are my new favorite days of the week.

In Austrian Civilization today we learned about this really cool thing that you can do! In one of our readings, we learned about the mountain farmers in Austria, who work really hard to give the country organic milk and cheese, and you can volunteer with them! By working for them in whatever capacity you can, you get free room and board, and an amazing opportunity to meet Austrians an practice Deutsch. I so want to come back here for a summer and work on a mountain farm!

Martin, the art teacher, finally told me what my assignment is for the term today, too (everyone has their own individual projects). And you know, it's nothing major or anything, he only wants me to like TACKLE THE FUNDAMENTAL THEORIES BEHIND DRAWING AND ABSTRACTION. AHHHHH. This will be challenging; to work on the drawing for the sake of a drawing, with less of a focus on the subject matter, but purely on the quality of the composition and technique. Oh my. And we all know how much I just LOVE abstraction! But this will be a really good opportunity for me to grow as an artist and improve. It's a tough assignment, and taking it on will be interesting.

So, it's been a fun-filled day and night in Austria. Tomorrow a few of my pals and I are going to check out the movies in German, and hopefully the weather will be good this weekend, so I'll have a chance to frolick around outside. Thanks for reading! Everyone at COA: Get ready for the best community dinners of your life when I get back.


  1. Man, I would have so much trouble with your drawing project! Every drawing teacher I have ever had has said, "Draw from observation, draw from observation, draw from observation!" When he told us to draw our rooms from home, it felt like he was telling me to speak Chinese-- my brain couldn't process it. Good luck with that!

  2. Thanks! I am going to have a hard time breaking away from realism (it usually is) but I think it really helps in the end.