Sunday, November 6, 2016

Kaiserschmarrn (Emperor's Cut-Ups) -- and a snippet of our trip to Europe

Craig and I returned from our two-week tour of Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland a couple of weeks ago. This trip was the best one, EVER, and I say that with a whole heart.   Well, maybe not WHOLE, because I feel as thought I left a piece of it in my mother's home town of Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria.

I lived there from age 3-8, and made four return trips -- some with my Mutti, and some without.  Then, my travel to Bavaria took a hiatus for the last 25 years.  I'll share a little about my trip, at the end of this post.

Kaiserschmarrn... this is a classic Austrian recipe for "cut up pancakes" that we saw on every menu, including in Bavaria.  These are very light and fluffy pancakes-- almost soufflĂ© in texture--that are also served for breakfast or as a light evening meal.  In Bavaria, we saw this served with a plum compote or with apple sauce.

My mother used to make this for us, as kids, and to this day it is one of our favorite breakfast dishes.  Now my son and husband like this, and they are very easy to make.  The batter is very simple-- flour, milk, egg yolks and folded in egg whites.

It's cooked with clarified butter (or just melted is fine) until it becomes golden brown...

...the is carefully flipped over and cooked a few minutes more.

I served ours lightly dusted with powdered sugar and with homemade apple sauce.  I'm sure I'll make this a few more times, for nostalgic reasons.  We could have, easily, spent another week or two in Bavaria. The food, the beer, the scenery and historical places to visit exceeded our expectations.

I'm just scratching the surface of our trip details, but here's a snippet of our wonderful two week trip:

We spent the first ten days on a bus tour, after a very long 11 hour non-stop flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt. We were greeted by our tour company, and joined 9 other couples for a ten day bus tour starting in Mainz, Germany. We spent nights in Heidelberg, Lucerne (Switzerland), Innsbruck, Salzburg and then Munich. With 3000 total photos to edit, and organize, we have many lasting memories to organize into a slide show for our family.

If I had to pick just a few highlights: Lucerne (Luzern), Switzerland: This city won my heart, with it's beautiful Chapel Bridge, with pristine waters and beautiful shops, cafes, chocolate shops and bakeries.

One of the highlights of Luzern, was our trip up to Mt. Pilatus. With an elevation of almost 7000 feet, the views were spectacular-- and we lucked out with the weather. The skies were clear, but luckily, I had layered a sweater and two jackets for the mountain chill.

If you look at the lower left of this photo, you will see the steep cogwheel railway in the world-- and that's how we got down, after riding the gondola up!

 We journeyed from Lucerne, Switzerland to Innsbruck, Austria for two nights.  On our way to Salzburg, Austria, we took a slight detour to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. This was my second visit, and Craig's first.  180 spiral steps, my wobbly knees managed to climb! Yay!

I don't want to make this post too long-- so I will share with all of you the true HIGHLIGHT of our entire two weeks.  I was able to fulfill my promise to my mother. It was her dying wish that I would take her ashes up to her "mountain".

Fourteen years later, we climbed onto the cable car 5000 feet high to reach the summit of "her mountain".

We were blessed with clear skies, and fresh snow from the night before. There was no snow in the town, though.  I had no idea where I would spread some of my mother's ashes (the rest remain in the U.S.).  I said a silent prayer, looked up and saw a trail.  I have trouble with my knees, but I was determined to hike up to where I saw...

... this beautiful cross.  Then, I knew... this was the place.  

... a daughter's promise to her mother fulfilled.

While Craig and I were thankful to cover so many cities in ten days, we definitely want to return to Bavaria.  We only had five days to explore my mother's home town and Berchtesgarten.  We definitely plan to return very soon!  In the meantime, we have a lot of photos to sift through.

I promise to be back with more recipe posts,

As always, a printable recipe link is here

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Susan Sevig said...

I have tears in my eyes, reading about your return to your Mutter's Heim. I understand that it is a feeling in your total being that cannot be explained. You walk where your ancestors have walked. Bless you for making such a beautiful trip. I am sure loving eyes were smiling down on you. And never, ever, stop traveling. It does wonders for the soul. Mit liebe, Susan

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I'm glad you got to fulfill your promise to your mother. You couldn't have picked a more beautiful place.

Big Dude said...

Great to fulfill the promise - very pretty up there.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Deb, what a beautiful place to fulfill your promise to your mother, she must have guided you there.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I was following your feeds and was so enchanted with all your photos. I still hope to visit these areas myself someday. I want to see Bavaria band I need to get to Switzerland so I can meet other people with my last name. Your story of your mother is so sweet. *HUGS*

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad Craig and you were able to make this wonderful trip. As one who lived in Bavaria for 5+ years and traveled extensively, I've visited nearly all the places mentioned and countless more, a month-long return in retirement is already on my Bucket List. When you find the time, more details, please...
The Other Craig