Wednesday, November 9, 2011

nostalgia wednesday(s)

Ok, people, here's the deal: I'm all about some nostalgia. Pictures from when my sister and I were little, home movies my parents recently put on DVDs for us, my albums from my times in Europe, you name it. If it reminds me of the "good old days" (am I old enough to say that yet?), I will cling to it. 

So something new is happening here every Wednesday. And it's all about nostalgia. I will do my best to also link it to food (although if it's regular cooking-related posts you're after, I imagine you abandoned this blog long ago). It's just my small effort to break up my monotonous work week, and to snap out of this majorly blah mood I've been in lately.

I'm starting with the place I found myself in exactly three years ago today: Salzburg. 

the beginning of The Sound of Music tour

the trees from which Maria and Von Trapp children sang

proof that I occasionally embrace my real hair color 

the strudel-peddling restaurant that was probably a tourist trap, but
a very welcome one after a day of traipsing around in the cold rain

Salzburg was the third of four stops on a ten-day trip away from Venice in the fall of 2008 (which was when I was living in Italy and serving as student assistant to 20 college kids). I didn't know it at the time, but I was about to come down with a nasty cold, probably due to nearly ten days of traveling in the frigid weather, eating poorly, and sleeping even worse. 

Despite the impending cold, Salzburg was beautiful, still showing some colorful signs of fall while people simultaneously geared up for the ubiquitous outdoor Christmas markets. We went on a whirlwind Sound of Music tour with a crazy guide and a few funny van-mates. After a flurry of piling in and out of the van, snapping umbrellas open and closed, and taking a million pictures, we all packed in to a small little restaurant supposedly famous for its apple strudel. 

If I remember rightly, the strudel was pretty overpriced, and we recognized it as a tourist trap off the bat. But we were our little fingers and toes were frozen solid, and we were tired, and hungry. It was subsequently the best strudel we'd ever tasted. Just thinking about how warm and sugary and restorative that snack was makes me want to give this strudel recipe a shot. 

Because my family didn't ever place a huge emphasis on cooking, nostalgia wasn't really something that was linked to food for me before I lived abroad. Now I eat a good bolognese and think of all the times we went to the neighborhood restaurant in Venice and were served by what I think must've been the island's most hilarious family. I eat a certain type of pizza and remember all the late night visits to the little shop near all of the bars we would go to. I get my hands on authentic gelato and I remember the innumerable cones we consumed in our effort to determine the best gelateria in the city. 

Anyways, speaking of travel, I'm doing just that for the long weekend. Nothing as glamorous as Salzburg, but an impromptu trip home. An effort to snap out of the aforementioned mood I've been in lately. A weekend to make some strudel.

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