28 December 2006

In Hell's Kitchen

Three crazy-minded girls, two recipes and a kitchen together is a bit like baking cookies successfully without a food processor: You combine, improvise, put the mix in an oven not knowing what will come out of this - and the result turns out to be entirely weird but in a good sort of way.

The whole adventure started when Stacia and I decided to engage in a transnational christmassy cookie baking night and although initially a bridging of the Austrian and US-American traditions, the underlying spirit of a competition was clearly in the air. It was the Vanillekipferl against the Chocolate Chip Cookie. Who would emerge as the winner?

Well, turned out that the champions showed some sportsmanship by joining their powers to improvise for the obstacles they encountered:

_ Lack of a food processor for the choc chips, as required by the recipe (in the US, the food processor is indispensable, since it had been invented even before the wheel)

_ Conversion from American measures to European ones:

Stacia: Shall I look up pounds or ml?
Heidi: I can work with ml. (five minutes later upon reading the reprinted recipe) 118 ml (!) of sugar???

_ The unpromising condition of the vanilla dough (Felt too fluffy, did not taste even remotely like vanillekipferl and looked like puke. The consistency was resolved by leaving it in the fridge for two nights but it still looked like puke).

The real fun came up when we were joined by Nancy in "Hell's Kitchen". Although she is finally in London, she feels like replying in French whenever someone adresses her in English.

Nancy: I talked to a conductor about hooping*, how do you say?, klaxonning**? Conductor, is that the right word? Conducteur...?
Heidi: You mean la personne qui conduit la voiture?
Nancy: Äh... nein!

(She was actually referring to so. conducting an orchestra)
*hupen = german for "to hoot"
**klaxonner = french for "to hoot"

All in all, the three of us had an enlightning night: We discovered that:

_ the Austrian equivalent of "Let's take it out!" is "Lass uns aussegehn auf die Bluatwiasn!" (provincial dialect for "Let us go outside onto the bloody meadows!")

_ the one for "rack" is "Gestell"

Stacia and I watching the choc chips in the oven.
Heidi: Look at this rack they have! I don't know why racks in Britain look like that! MY rack is much better!!!
Stacia: (erupts in laughter) "Rack" is slang for breast in English!
Heidi: Oops! But it is interesting that it is like our "Gestell" (which is slang for a woman's legs)!

_ and last but not least that German-speaking and English-Speaking people do not have the same sense of humour, thanks to a Monty Python sketch. (Can ANYONE find this funny???)

Also, we established what the Austrian national sport was:

Stacia: (explaining a joke about baseball)
Heidi & Nancy: (blank faces)
Heidi: We don't have baseball in Austria, do we?
Nancy: No, we don't.
Stacia: So what is your national sport?

Heidi: (thinks hard for 10 seconds and then says) Sackhüpfen!
Nancy: (almost falls off the chair laughing)
(For all those of you who are not Austrians: That was a misunderstanding, it is actually skiing)

At some point (to be more precise, at some point at 6am), Stacia suggested we should finish the Vanillekipferl which turned out very special because of the bang of salt in the aftertaste and the funny shapes:

The next afternoon when Nancy and I got up, Nancy reaches for a vanilla cookie and starts grinning.

Heidi: What?!
Nancy: I am having vanilla cock and boobs for breakfast!!!

Vanilla cookies rule, hehe! But Americans can do good cookies too!

2 courageous comments!:

Kat said...

why am I not surprised at the second-to-last photo? *grins*

Heidi Jahn said...

*looking innocent* That was actually Stacia's idea... (but I found it bloody good)

Btw, Nancy and I also got 34 anagrams made of vanilla cookie letters.