• Gregory Perreault

Vienna Family Style

Serving up a bit helping of news and photos today because its family in, with the family. My wife Mimi and kids arrived on Tuesday after a stressful 6 months wondering if it would all work out. To be clear, there was never anyone official who made us doubt the possibility of transit; the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Austrian Embassy DC and the Border Control guards at Vienna all confirmed that the documents I had were the right ones. But neverthless everything came down to gate agents and individual border control guards.

For as crazy as this kind of transit is, my wife is amazing, the actual process was as smooth as it possibly could be. At every step of the way, we found both the airlines and authorities to be helpful and kind. Austrian Air was kind enough to bring out colored pencils for the kids and a small stuffed place for my youngest (who loves airplanes).

So the family arrived, slowly but surely recovering from jetlag. They of course were asked to quarantine for 5 days at which point they can test to exit (this ends on Sunday, which stinks because very few places are open Sundays in Vienna). In the meantime, we've been trying to keep the kids entertained with lots and lots of TV time, Daddy testing out some Austrian dishes, and some sidewalk chalk on the back deck.

So far the Austrian dishes have been a hit. The Kaiserschmarnn was particularly popular with my oldest who is the family "picky eater." Also popular was the Wurstknödel and kartoffel krokettes.

I'm lucky to have a great colleague at Vienna in Folker Hanusch, who beyond being a great collaborator has been helpful even with me navigating the cuisine. He provided a recipe for the Kaiserschmarnn which is waayyy easier than most of what is out there and it's been really sucessful for me. I think there's still room for improvement...but then I'm an academic. In short, my kiaserschmarnn may be "accepted" by my team of mini-reviewers, but the editor "me" still thinks it needs some revisions.

Recipe for Kaiserschmarnn below!

Kaiserschmarnn or "Emperor's Mess"

Ingredients for 2 people

  • 1/4 l milk

  • 120 g plain flour (type 700)

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

  • 1 shot of rum or 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • Sugar for caramelizing

  • Oil and butter for baking


Preparation time: 20 minutes

1. Mix milk, flour, salt, sugar, rum or vanilla sugar into a smooth dough . The batter should be

slightly thicker than a pancake batter.

2. Add eggs and stir in only very lightly with a wooden spoon. Tip : Do not stir in the eggs for too long and under no circumstances use the mixer to stir in, otherwise the dough will be too firm, the pancakes too hard and not fluffy.

3. Heat some oil in a pan (the bigger the better). Pour the dough up to a height of 3 to 4 cm and cover. Bake on low heat for about 7 minutes , until it is compact enough that you can turn it. Turn and place 1 piece of butter on the bottom of the pan. Cover and bake for about 5 to 7 minutes.

4th Pound or tear the Schmarrn with a wooden spoon. Fold in another piece of butter and increase the heat. Sprinkle with sugar and caramelize. Serve with stewed plums or lingonberries.

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