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Do you crave wild romance? Then a hike through the Höllental gorge is just for you. (The Höllental, English translation “Hell Valley” or “Valley of Hell” is one of the routes on the German side leading up the Zugspitze on the German-Austrian border in the northern Alps. It is located in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.) You can discover the pristine charm of pure nature with all your senses. The Hammersbach stream with glacier run-off carves its way down through the high mountains, tumbling over boulders and dropping over cliffs into pools with milky foam, roaring and thundering along the way. Some of the adventurous sections of the trail go through electrically lit tunnels where you
can hear the dampened pounding of the wild water through small windows. The air you
inhale is fresh and clear, particularly refreshing on a hot summer’s day. The Höllentalklamm gorge is easily accessible, has a length of about 1 km (0.6 mi) and offers an experience entirely distinct from any other gorge.
Follow the signs to the alpine lodge at the bottom entrance to the gorge, the Klammeingangshütte (1047 m), which you will reach after approx. 1 to 1 ½ hours (snacks, cake and coffee, small meals available). Hike through the gorge, passing through tunnels in the cliffs (electric lighting) and going over small bridges and up steps, until you reach the end of the gorge at 1193 m (3914 ft) above sea level after approx. 45 minutes.
It is worth going the extra meters to the Höllentalangerhütte, the alpine lodge further on
up with a splendid view and food and lodging. The wide green valley here reveals a view of the Waxenstein peaks, the Riffelwände walls and the Höllentalferner glacier with the towering peak of Zugspitze 2962 m (9,717 ft) in the background. To return, follow the route going to the Neuneralm alpine meadow lodge above Obergrainau as described under “Höllentalklamm”. The trail is a little more strenuous when going from Hammersbach,
but the extra effort is rewarded by gorgeous views.
Important tips: it is highly recommend ankle-high hiking boots and rain gear. Bulky objects such as baby carriages and bicycles are not permitted in the Höllentalklamm gorge. Temperatures
in the gorge are always cool, even on hot summer days. Therefore, make sure to dress accordingly. The Höllentalklamm gorge is in alpine terrain, so be sure to always exercise the necessary caution. If you are taking children along, it is advisable to secure them with
a rope and maybe a harness.
The Höllental gorge is open for summer season.
Places to stop for a bite to eat:
Höllentalklamm-Eingangshütte: opening 13 May
Entrance fee per person (up and down):
Adults: 4.00 EUR
Adults with a “Kurkarte” (guest card): 2.00 EUR
Children: 1.00 EUR
DAV members: 1.00 EUR
Group tickets: 2.00 EUR
A museum at the gorge entrance showing interesting cultural exhibits was opened in July, 2011. The exhibits in the museum cover the following topics: Mining and ore mining – History of Höllental, the “Valley of Hell” – History of the Höllentalklamm gorge – General history. Entrance to the museum is included in the gorge entrance fee.
This French patisserie is typically a variant on the croissant or pain au chocolat, made with a leavened butter pastry, with raisins added, shaped in a spiral with some filling. Known in Australia as an “escargot”, in Sweden a cinnamon roll, a member of the pâtisserie viennoise family of baked foods.
Ingredients: 220 ml lukewarm milk, 40 gr fresh gist, 100 gr aronia berry, 500 gr flour, 100 gr sugar, 1 egg, 1 pack vanilla sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 pinch of salt, 200 gr marzipan masse, 500 gr powder sugar, 4-5 tbsp water
Instead of raisin I added aronia and marzipan to the escargots!
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk and set aside. In a large bowl mix sugar, salt and egg. Add (2 cups) flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually for 30-60 minutes. Soak aronia berries in warm water and put aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
When the dough doubled in size, punch down. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough.
Prepare aronia and marzipan masse: role the marzipan masse up and add two tablespoons of milk in order to make it smoother. Add aronia berries to marzipan (without water) and then mix this with the dough. Roll up the dough again.
Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place aronia marzipan roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls then serve them!
You won’t believe or not but in Vienna exists a Vegetable Orchestra (also known as Das erste Wiener Gemüseorchester, The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra or The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra).I’m serious! There is an Austrian musical group who use instruments made entirely from fresh vegetables. They are the world’s foremost exponents of this rare genre. Worldwide one of a kind, the Vegetable Orchestra performs on instruments made of fresh vegetables. The utilization of various ever refined vegetable instruments creates a musically and aesthetically unique sound universe!
The group was founded in February 1998, consists of ten musicians, one cook, and one sound technician. The members of the ensemble are all active in various artistic areas (for example trained musicians, sound poets, sculptors, media artists, designers, and architects) and have worked together on conceptualizing and carrying out their project. The interdisciplinary approach is a crucial factor in researching and further developing the vegetable music. The intention is to create a sonorous experience which can be perceived with all senses. Musical concepts of the Fluxus movement, for example compositions from John Cage (Branches, 1976) could be considered as a source of inspiration for this unique orchestra. Their distinctive repertoire also seems to be deeply rooted in sound art and experimental and electronic music because they play unheard-of interpretations of Igor Stravinsky, the German electronic pioneers “Kraftwerk” (power work) or the Austrian band Radian as well as their own compositions. All the pieces feature various forms of graphical notation and are exclusively composed for live performance.
Their instruments, which are all of their own invention, include carrot recorders, clappers made from eggplant, trumpets made from zucchini, and numerous others, which are amplified with the use of special microphones. The instruments are made from scratch just one hour prior to each performance using the freshest vegetables available, then all ninety pounds of vegetables are cooked into a soup following the performance.
The Vegetable Orchestra has released three CDs: Gemise (veggies) (1999), Automate (2003) and Onionoise (2010). They have toured Europe, the United States and also performed in China and Singapore. After each performance the cook makes excellent dishes from the used vegetables!
The ensemble consists of Christina Bauer, Juergen Berlakovich, Nikolaus Gansterer, Susanna Gartmayer, Barbara Kaiser, Matthias Meinharter, Jörg Piringer, Richard Repey, Marie Steinauer, Ingrid Schlögl, Ulrich Troyer, and Tamara Wilhelm.
Ingredients: 5-6 red potatoes, 3-4 slices of bacon, 2.5 tbsp white vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup quality mayo [homemade or store-bought], 1/4 cup sour cream, 1.5 tbsp sriracha chili sauce, 1/4 cup chopped green onion, paprika, to taste
1. Peel potatoes and chop into 3/4-inch cubes.
2. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water, about 1 inch above the potatoes.
3. Set burner to high and bring water to a boil.
4. While you wait, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and top with 3-4 slices of bacon. Set oven to 400 degrees F and place the baking sheet inside [no need to pre-heat] on the center rack. Bake for 20 minutes until crispy and golden. Alternatively you can fry the bacon if you prefer.
5. Once a rolling boil is reached, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork tender. [approx. 8 minutes]
6. Drain potatoes and move to a large mixing bowl.
7. Add salt and vinegar and combine gently with a rubber spatula/bowl scraper.
8. Allow to cool slightly, letting the potatoes sit for around 15 minutes.
9. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and sriracha chili sauce in a small bowl.
10. Once the potatoes have cooled a bit, fold in using the rubber spatula.
11. If you’d like spicier spuds, feel free to add extra sriracha to the mix. Made as written, the recipe is zesty but not quite face-kicking spicy.
12. Top with crispy bacon, chopped green onion, and paprika and serve at room temperature.
13. Serve alongside your trusty bottle of sriracha so anyone willing to walk on the wild side [it’s delicious!] can turn up the heat with a little extra kick!
With summer passed, although leaving many bright thoughts with us, autumn is here. Sun-filled early mornings still exist, exuding a slightly cooler touch with a sharp finish to follow. I look forward to each season with great anticipation, just in the day was to be spent at Grandma’s which meant one thing: Grandma’s home made stew or gulyás soup in a kettle! I gave a try to make it this weekend with the help of some male family members and eating this delicious rich soup with some fresh home made slice of bread we felt that now the autumn can come.
History of the Gulyás
Gulyas is a soup or stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices such cumin seeds and bay leave. Originating from the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, goulash is also a popular meal in Central Europe, Scandinavia and Southern Europe. Its origin traces back to the 9th century to stews eaten by Hungarian shepherds. Back then, the cooked and flavored meat was dried with the help of the sun and packed into bags produced from sheep’s stomachs, needing only water to make it into a meal. It is one of the national dishes of Hungary and a symbol of the country!
The word gulyás originally meant only “herdsman”, but over time the dish became goulash meat – that is to say, a meat dish which was prepared by herdsmen. Today, gulyás refers both to the herdsmen, and to the soup. From the Middle Ages until well into the 19th century, the Puszta was the home of massive herds of cattle. They were driven, in their tens of thousands, to Europe’s biggest cattle markets in Moravia, Vienna, Nuremberg and Venice. The herdsmen made sure that there were always some cattle that had to be slaughtered along the way, the flesh of which provided them with meat for the soup.
In the Hungarian cuisine, the traditional “goulash soup” is cooked in kettle under open fire by cattle herders and stockmen. Garlic, caraway seed, bell pepper, and wine are optional. These dishes can be made as soups rather than stews. Excepting paprikás, the Hungarian stews do not rely on a flour or roux for thickening.
Goulash can be prepared from beef, veal, pork, or lamb (but in Hungary the lamb meat is not so popular). Typical cuts include the shank, shin, or shoulder; as a result, goulash derives its thickness from tough, well-exercised muscles rich in collagen, which is converted to gelatin during the cooking process. Meat is cut into chunks, seasoned with salt, and then browned with sliced onion in a pot with oil or lard. Paprika is added, along with water or stock, and the goulash is left to simmer. After cooking a while, garlic, whole or ground caraway seed, or soup vegetables like carrot, parsley root, peppers (green or bell pepper) and celery may be added. Other herbs and spices could also be added, especially chili pepper, bay leaf. Diced potatoes may be added, since they provide starch as they cook, which makes the goulash thicker and smoother. A small amount of white wine or wine vinegar may also be added near the end of cooking to round the taste. Goulash may be served with small egg noodles.
There are many goulash variations in Hungary: such as Gulyás à la Székely, in which the final result is a thicker and richer goulash, similar to a stew, originally made with three kinds of meat, it is called Székely gulyás after a Hungarian writer, journalist and archivist József Székely.
The second popular gulyas soup is the mock or fake gulyas in which: you should reduce the potatoes and add sauerkraut and sour cream. Substitute beef bones for the meat and add vegetables.
In winter people like the bean gulyás: in which they omit the potatoes and the caraway seeds because they use kidney beans instead.
At the case of Csángó Gulyás: you should add sauerkraut instead of pasta and potatoes, and finally at the “Betyár Gulyás” (cowboy or outlaw Gulyas) it is used smoked beef or smoked pork for meat (it can be made with mutton flavoring with red wine).
The porcini mushroom is the most rewarding of all fungi in the kitchen for its taste and versatility. Its flavor is nutty and slightly meaty, with a smooth, creamy texture, and a distinctive aroma reminiscent of sourdough. Young, small porcini are most appreciated by gourmets, as the large ones often harbor maggots, and become slimy, soft and less tasty with age. Fruit bodies are collected by holding the stipe near the base and twisting gently. Peeling and washing are not recommended. In English porcini is called the ‘penny bun’ and all over Europe it is generally agreed by connoisseurs to be among the finest eating mushrooms. In France ceps make great eating and are highly valued by chefs and gourmets. They can also be very expensive, particularly when fresh, although dried ceps tend to be better value. Porcini are sold fresh in markets in summer and autumn in Central and Southern Europe, and in other countries they are available dried or canned at other times of the year. They are usually eaten and enjoyed raw, sautéed with butter, ground into pasta, in soups, and in many other dishes. In France, in the Provençal cuisine they are used in recipes such as cèpes à la Bordelaise, cèpe frits and cèpe aux tomatoes. In Italy porcini risotto is a traditional autumn dish.
Beside the sensational taste the porcini has many health benefits: such as it produces a variety of organic compounds with a diverse spectrum of biological activity, including the steroid derivative ergostherol, a sugar binding protein, antiviral compounds, antioxidants, and phytochelatins, which give the organism resistance to toxic heavy metals. Porcini were thought to have anti-cancer properties according to Hungarian research conducted in the 1950s, but later investigations in the United States did not support this.
Porcini with parsnip and parsley purée
Ingredients: 1 1/2 ounces porcini mushrooms, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1/2 cup dry white wine, 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth, 1 cup beef stock or canned beef broth, 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature, 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
for the parsnip purée: medium sized parsnips and parsley, salt and pepper, 200 ml cream, 1 teaspoon of thyme or 2 sprigs, 1 clove garlic, olive oil
Methods: Wash porcini. Cut them vertical into three slices. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Place the porcini slices into saucepan and add a bit of garlic to. Spice porcini with thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Pour mushroom a bit of water or other liquid such as white wine. Let them cook about 10 minutes but not longer in order to remain them crispy. Then prepare parsnip and parsley purée.
Methods: Put parsnips in pot, season with salt and cover with water. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender – the tip of a paring knife should easily go through without resistance, approximately 15 minutes.
In a medium saucepan place the cream, thyme sprigs and garlic clove over low heat and bring to a simmer.
Drain parsnips and reserve cooking liquid. Place parsnips in a food processor with butter, or extra-virgin olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of reserved cooking liquid. Begin to process and add strained heavy cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and puree until very smooth. Serve porcini with parsnip purée and pour over some remained liquid.