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By Billy | July 30, 2011

I’m writing this post for myself and not for you. Sometimes I do that.

Today I tried to make an Austrian dish called Mohnnudln. When words end in “ln” it is a little like putting a ‘y’ on the end of a word. Mohn means poppy seed, nudel is noodle, but they’re little noodles. Noodlies. The dish is basically mashed potatoes + flour-til-it-becomes-doughy. Then roll the dough into little noodlies with your hands as if it were play-doh.  Play dough. Hm. Now you have little logs of mashed potatoes, and you put them in a pan with a lot of butter (80 g of butter for 500 g of potatoes + 250 g of flour). Then you cook them a little, not to get them browned or anything, just so the butter is melted and they noodlies stay hot. Now you put 100 grams of sugary whatever (honey) and a splash of rum, then a ton of ground up poppy seeds.  Easy.  My recipe called for 200 grams of poppy seeds but I stopped slightly after the supersaturation point.  I should have gone slower.

Well I am rather disappointed with my work. I boiled the potatoes for too long, I cooked them in the oven as the weird recipe told me to (after I floured them, but hadn’t mixed it in. Weird recipe, indeed) but did it for a little (just wrote a lottle, maybe I did cook it a lottle too long) too long, then I threw in way too much poppy seed for what was reasonable. In the end it came out as entirely edible, but rather… strange.

OK, so an actual Austrian person came in to give me her opinion and she tells me that this is what it should taste like. If you say so! So, I have apparently cooked Mohnnudeln properly, but just didn’t know that you’re supposed to bring a bunch of powedered sugar to the table when you serve it. Austrian food is so weird.  I’ve never seen powedered sugar in my house in Virginia, and it goes in Austrian spaghetti, potatoes, salad… everything. Maybe they are using powdered sugar in everything that we already have high fructose corn syrup in. Hm.

Well. If you make this recipe, even if you put 100 g of honey/sugar in it, you need to put powdered sugar on top when you serve it! Now we know.

What I was originally going to say in this post was this: At the Harrisonburg community center, Our Community Place, we have a rule in volleyball. If it’s your first time playing volleyball on the OCP court, you get 1 re-do at serving on your first day. After that, you never can redeem it again. This rule is nice because it instills a sense of confidence and an understanding of welcomeness to the new players. It’s evident in their faces and attitude upon hearing the rule.  Why don’t I give this to myself when cooking? From now on, the first try at cooking any new recipe is to be taken for granted as a possible mean-nothing-because-you-get-a-re-do event. Even if this Poppyseed Noodlies recipe had come out crazier than it was meant to, I shouldn’t get mad at myself for doing a poor job at following the 5th (or something) recipe I’ve ever tried to do alone. That’s not a very good way to get good at anything. (Boy, I was really frustrated at my cooking abilities after I finished today)


For your knowledge,

Austria, especially Niederösterreich where I reside, is potato and poppy land. You can see fields of them growing everywhere you go, and their recipes are heavily influenced by them. They have strange desserts made primarily of poppy seeds. I don’t like it too much, but will try to make it for my family when I’m a little better at following directions.


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