Rust, the city of the storks

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The town of Rust on Lake Neusiedl at the border of Hungary and Austria hosts very special summer guests every year: storks. From spring to summer, around 15 pairs delight locals and tourists alike with their stork cackling.

While spring sprouts from the earth elsewhere, in Burgenland it comes flying in with wide wings. The town of Rust on the western shore of Lake Neusiedl, near the Hungarian border, is a favourite destination for the storks returning from Africa. They move into their summer quarters at the end of March to the beginning of April.

The town of Rust hosts very special summer guests.

Every year, around fifteen pairs of storks settle in Rust and raise their offspring. Then sixty or even more storks populate the town and become an attraction for locals and tourists alike.

The main street and the town hall square are their preferred residential areas. This is because the old Renaissance and Baroque houses of the picturesque historic old town – which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 – still have voluminous brick chimneys that are perfect for a large stork nest.

The fact that the storks are particularly fond of Rust and are almost always the first to be sighted there in spring is also due to the helpers of the local stork association, who spare no effort to make their summer guests’ stay as pleasant as possible. Shortly before the season starts, they climb onto the roof of the storks and spruce up the “guest rooms”.

The Stork Association provides for a pleasant stay and physical well-being.

A 53-metre high crane is used to clean out the nests where the storks of the previous year have piled up kilos of soil, twigs and rubbish – from plastic bags to pants. Some nests have grown from the original 40 to 100 kilograms when the stork family moved out.

Cleaning the house is important because it prevents diseases that can be dangerous for the young birds.

For the physical well-being of the stork families, the Rust Stork Association also grazes 12 hectares of meadows as feeding grounds for the animals, whose diet includes insects, larvae and earthworms, snails, mice and frogs.

The parents produce four to six kilograms of food a day for themselves and their offspring, which means that a stork family needs about 20,000 square metres of wet meadows to survive.

Lake Neusiedl is a unique natural paradise

“In our meadow something walks, wades through the marshes, wears a white skirt and red stockings …” In spring and summer, the spectacle from the old children’s song can be marvelled at every day around Rust. To the delight of holidaymakers who enjoy sharing Lake Neusiedl, Austria’s largest lake, with the elegant birds.

Not only because of the storks is the lake a unique natural paradise: Its extensive reed belt is also a habitat for other rare bird species such as the Great White Egret or the Goosander, which, with a little luck, can be spotted in the Seewinkel National Park.

But the stars in Rust are and remain the storks, whose family life can be followed all day long – the webcam pictures here on this page are live!

The stork parents lovingly care for their young

Once the young have hatched after a good 30 days of breeding, they are lovingly cared for by both parents. While one parent searches for food, the other looks after the offspring. The instinct to never leave the young alone goes so far that the storks in the eyrie would starve to death if the breadwinner did not return.

In Rust, of course, they are also prepared for such catastrophes: In 1987, after a stork was no longer able to feed itself following a flying accident, it was nursed back to health by the people. This action resulted in a care station for flightless storks, where many a young stork has been raised by hand.

The storks’ winter quarters are 10,000 kilometres away

With so much luxury, it is of course hard to say goodbye at the end of August. One or the other stork forgoes the exertions of the 10,000-kilometre journey to Africa altogether and instead makes itself comfortable in Rust for the winter. The reunion with their fellow storks is only a question of time, because the next spring is sure to come.

Peanut butter pie

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I made this several times during the first few months of lockdown, and now it’s my new favorite pie recipe. And the filling is like the perfect balance between creme brûlée and gooey butter cake.” 


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened or greek joghurt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk or coconut milk
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 graham cracker crust (9 inches) or oreo biscuit
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Direction: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in sugar and peanut butter. Gradually add milk. Fold in whipped topping; spoon into the crust. Sprinkle with peanuts. Chill overnight.

Bananas bread

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Ingredients: 230 g flour, 110 g sugar, 3 ripe bananas, 1 organic lemon, 2 organic eggs, 100 g butter, a handful of walnut kernels, 1 sachet of baking soda

Methods: Chop the walnut kernels coarsely and set aside. Put the flour in a bowl together with the sieved baking powder. Mix the soft butter in small knobs together with the salt, sugar and grated peel of the lemon to a soft cream. 

Crush two bananas using a fork to create a puree-like consistency. Mix with the eggs and walnut kernels. Stir 110 g of the flour under the butter mixture and then add a third of the crushed bananas. Then alternately add some of the flour and bananas until all the ingredients have been mixed together.

Grease and flour the cake tin and pour the dough into the mold. Cut the last banana lengthwise and cut it in half and place both halves on the dough. You can also bake the dough in several small shapes or conjure up muffins from it. This way you can transport your banana bread more easily and enjoy it as a snack at work or give it to your children to school

For this purpose, the banana is not halved but cut into slices and distributed on the molds. Put the mold in the oven and bake for about 1 hour at 180 degrees. If the bread has not yet reached the desired color, simply bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Chocolate just always works … You can bake a few drops of chocolate sauce in the dough or pour some chocolate sauce over the finished bread after baking… mhhm delicious!

Red Groat with vanilla sauce in Hamburg’s style

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Rødgrød (in Danish), Rote Grütze (in German or Rode Grütt) meaning is “red groat”, and it is a sweet fruit dish from Denmark and Northern Germany. The name of the dish in Danish features many of the elements that make Danish pronunciation difficult for non-native speakers, so, literally “red porridge with cream”, is a commonly used shibboleth since the early 1900s. Rødgrød or Rote Grütze was traditionally made of groat or grit, as revealed by the second component of the name in Danish, German, or Low German.

Semolina and sago are used in some family recipes; potato starch is today the standard choice to achieve a creamy to pudding-like starch gelatinization The essential ingredients that justify the adjective are red summer berries such as redcurrant, blackcurrant, raspberries, strawberries blackberries, bilberries, and stoned black cherries. The essential flavour can be achieved with redcurrant alone; a small amount of blackcurrant will add variety; sugar is used to intensify the flavour. The amounts of starch, sago, semolina differ with the solidity desired; 20 to 60 grams on a kilogram or liter of the recipe are usual; sago, groat or grit have to soak before they can be used

The preparation is basically that of a pudding: The fruits are cooked briefly with sugar The mass should cool down for a moment so that the starch—dissolved in fruit juice or water—can be stirred into it without clumping. A second cooking process of one to two minutes is needed to start the gelatinization; remaining streaks of white starch have to clear up in this process.

Rote Grütze is served hot or cold as a dessert with milk, a mixture of milk and vanilla sugar, vanilla sauce, (whipped)  cream, vanilla ice cream or custard to balance the refreshing taste of the fruit acids.

There are several modern variants of rodgrod sold basically in German supermarkets: grüne Grütze, the green variant, is made from goosberries and rhubarb in combination with kiwifruits and apples. In Denmark, a similar dish is known as stikkelsbærgrød (gooseberry jelly). To make blaue Grütze, the blue variant, blackberries, bilberries, blackcurrant and grapes are usually used. Gelbe Grütze consists of peaches, yellow gooseberries, bananas, gold kiwifruit, or other yellow fruits.

In Poland, parts of Russia, the Baltic States, Finland and Ukraine, kissel is known as a dessert similar to the Danish rodgrod.

In the US Virgin Islands—formerly the Danish West Indies before the US purchased the islands in 1917—it is known as “red grout” and is made with tapioca, guava, and sugar, served with a custard sauce.

The German Grote Grütze in Hamburg style″is made with vanilla sauce

Anise or Viennese cumin? The secret ingredient of the Italian cuisine

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Anise or Viennese cumin (Pimpinella anisum) that is the question!

The characteristic smell of this fragrant plant from the Mediterranean, a spice that resembles cumin seeds but has a stronger smell and a sweet aromatic taste is well known in France, Italy, Greece and Spain. Even in antiquity, it was used by the Egyptians, and the Greeks such as Dioskurides and Pliny, and Charlemagne to mention its taste and healing power. (Anise contains essential oil, fatty oil, protein and sugar). In Russia, it is valued as a national spice. It can be used for red cabbage, carrots, pumpkins, beetroot dishes, for wild dishes, sauces, for sweets: fruit compotes, sweet rice pudding, puddings, but it is also used in the Mediterranean kitchen for breads, for salt cakes because they bring a special flavor to these dishes. It’s also popular with punches, syrups, liqueurs. 

Aniseed pretzels: Mix 150 gr butter, 200 gr sugar, 250 gr flour, a little lemon zest, 15 gr anise seeds, 2 whole eggs, and form from the massa small pretzels. Smear them with egg whites and fry over a slow fire sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Pizzelle and the anise

No Italian-American holiday is complete without crisp, buttery pizzelle. Rather than the typical anise flavor, you can make them a bit more neutral with a splash of good quality vanilla or not? (my Italian nanny, Mimmi must be turning over in her grave right now!) But of course you can still use the anise!


  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (149g) sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups (206g) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) butter, melted


  1. Beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Stir in the flour and baking powder, mixing until smooth.
  3. Add the melted butter, again mixing until smooth; the batter will be thick and soft.
  4. Heat your pizzelle iron. Grease it as directed in the manufacturer’s instructions. As the iron heats, the batter will stiffen.
  5. Cook the pizzelle according to the instructions that came with your iron. In general, they’ll take between 45 seconds and 2 1/2 minutes to brown.
  6. Remove the pizzelle from the iron, and cool on a rack. If desired, use a pair of scissors to trim any ragged edges.
  7. Dust cooled pizzelle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Flavor to taste: classic pizzelle are often flavored with anise extract or anise seed. Butter-rum, lemon, or rum flavors are also delicious. Simply add extract to the batter to taste. Start with 1/4 teaspoon; amounts will vary a lot, depending on the strength of the extract you choose.

“Havasi meggy” vagy áfonya?

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Deep fried artichoke

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Artichokes belong to thistle family native to the Abessinian land. It arrived in Rome late in the 17th century, where it instantly conquered the area. It grows better in Latium than in any other region of Italy. Roman artichokes are rounded and tender, with the cheerful name: cimaroli. This spring menu is unmissable!

Ingredients: artichokes, lemon juice, water, salt, pepper, olive oil, flour, eggs, lemon rings

Preparation: For tender artichokes, leave the stem 5-6 centimeters in length. Remove the outer, hard leaves of the noble thistle, the outer layer of the stem, and the leaf tips. Then cut the artichokes into 6-10 pieces, put them in a bowl, where there are lemon juice, water, salt, and a pinch of pepper and a little bit of olive oil. Lemon juice retains its beautiful green color, which is lost in contact with metal.

When the oil is barely hot in the pan, you need to put the pieces of artichokes in flour, then fry them in a foam-beaten egg. That’s how they turn golden yellow and crispy.

If the artichokes are not tender, cook them beforehand for 10-15 minutes and then place them in the lemon, oily, water bath, then drain and floured in the pan.

Garnished with lemon rings and served with caper mayonnaise.

Christmas menus from simple to sophisticated

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December 24- Christmas Day

Appetizer: goose and duck liver paté, on brioche bites, with kiwi fruit and watercress
Main course: German, cabbage fish soup, cheese scones
Dessert: Mirabelle jam dumplings with white chocolate cream and marzipan

December 25 – First day of Christmas-Boxing day
Appetizer: Boursin cheese snacks, on toast cubes, with cherry tomatoes
Main course: French duck with orange, and with croquettes
Dessert: baked Alaska ice cream cake

December 26-Second Day of Christmas
Appetizer: Salad Lyonnaise with smoked bacon stripes
Main course: celery Cordon bleue, with rice
Dessert: Angel cake

December 27

Appetizer: endive salad with strawberries and with balsamic vingegar
Main course: chicken with lemon wedges and Limoncello, with princess potatoes
Dessert: chocolate mousse

December 28
Appetizer: endive soup, with red and yellow beetroot chips
Main course: French potato salad with panko fried chicken
Dessert: elderberry-curd pannacotta

Deer with rosemary

December 29

Main course: Roasted deer with dumplings and cranberry jam

Dessert: Pistachio creamy apple

December 30

Main course: Stuffed cabbage with smoked paprika
Dessert: Apple cake with caramel ice cream

December 31 New Year Eve
Appetizer: Red lentil salad, with fried lupin burgers

Main course: Sausage, black pudding with potatoes & celery and turnip puree
Dessert: White chocolate foam, citrus-flavored sponge cake

Quesadillas with choco mignonnettes, pear and cream cheese

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Quesadillas with cheese always taste good but surprise yourself and your table mates with this sweet variety. Chocolate and pear are a match made in heaven and together form a delicious dessert.

Ingredients: 4 tortillas, 16 chocolate mignonnettes (4 per tortilla), 200 g full cream cheese, 2 pears, zest of 1 orange, 80 g hazelnuts, powder sugar


Peel the pears, remove the core and cut into slices of about 3mm.

Grill the hazelnuts and chop them finely.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place 2 tortillas on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Spread the 2 tortillas with cream cheese and place slices of pear on top.

Crumble the chocolate mignonnette coarsely and sprinkle on the pear along with the orange zest and hazelnuts.

Re-layer pear and mignonnette pieces. Spread the other tortillas with cream cheese and place on top of the invested tortilla.

Slide both tortillas into the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Cut into 4 and finish with powder sugar.


Quick cake for Mother’s day

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This cake name is I like you BERRY much!

Ingredients: 1 roll crumb dough, 1 lemon, 200 ml full cream, 500 g mix summer berries, 2 tbsp vanilla sugar, 40 g pistachios, finely chopped, Icing sugar

For the pudding: 250 ml milk, 60 ml cream, 3 eggs, bag vanilla sugar, 1 tbsp corn starch

Baked beans or dry rice

Directions: Preheat the oven to 180°C.

1. Roll the dough out and top the cake tin with it. Prick some holes in the dough with a fork, lined with baking paper and fill with baking beans or dry rice. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and place in the oven for another 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the vanilla pudding: Bring the milk to a boil with the cream. Turn down the heat. Split the eggs and beat the yolks with the vanilla sugar until dissolved.

Add the corn starch and whisk well. Pour a small dash of the warm cream mixture into the yolk mixture.

Then pour this into the pan with the rest of the cream mixture. Over a low heat, bring to a boil until the pudding is thick enough. Pour the pudding into a bowl and let it to cool. Stir regularly so that no skin comes on.

3. Beat the cream stiff with a tablespoon of icing sugar and with the grated zest of the lemon. Put half the berries in a mixing bowl and spoon the vanilla sugar to it. Press/push the fruit down with a fork. Gently fold the cream in with the spatula.

4. Divide the pudding between the cooled cake base. Spoon the cream with the fruit and sprinkle with the pistachios. Finish the cake with the remaining fruit and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Happy Mother’s day!snelle_bessentaart_2