Kärntner Kasnudeln

Kärntner or in English Carthina, is the Southern most Austrian state.  There are many lakes there, so fish is a popular main course.  They also have a Carthia noodle or Kärntner Kasnudeln, which is described as a pasta filled with various fillings.  It reminds me of a pirogue.  I learned about pirogues from my ex-husband, who loved them.  He once tried to make them and it was a bit disastrous as the dough expanded when cooking that it was a giant dumpling with only a  little bit of potato filling.

One of the worst parts of getting a divorce was having to tell people that we were getting a divorce.  Just seeing the disappointment on my friends and familys’ faces made me relive the heart break over and over again.  When I had to break the news to people that I have cancer I imagined it would be the same if not worse.

I figured that the easiest people to tell first would be those who had known I had a lump.  Some I told in person, some on text, and some by phone.  They all expressed a sorrow and fear with the news, but they had a similar quality as I do, “Okay that sucks, now what is next.”  It was a relief to have such pragmatic friends who care, but understand that dwelling isn’t going to help much.  They also reminded me that I’m not in this alone.  I’m single and my family doesn’t live near me, so it is just me. So it was nice to be told that they will be there to support me.  It all made me fell grounded and safe.

The next group of people I told was my family, actually just my mom.  I hadn’t let my family know about the lump, because they live far from me and why have them worry about something that could be nothing.  The superstitious side of me wonders would it have been nothing if I had said something.  Yup, that is a silly thought, but it definitely crossed my mind a few times. I know I need to call my mom and brothers, but didn’t really figure out how to tell my extended family.  I wait a few days after getting the results to call my mom.  My call with my mom is short.  She is in shock by the news and I don’t have a lot of information other than I have cancer and a tentative treatment plan.  She asked if it was okay to share the news with others in my family and with relief I agreed.  This is a big help as telling bad news sucks and when it is about me I feel like I am breaking peoples hearts.  Within an hour of calling my mom one of my brothers call.  It makes me laugh as I think my mom immediately hung up with me and called my brothers.  Well she is making this a lot easier on me.

I have a bunch of friends that I have met in different stages of my life.  They know me well and have seen the best and worst of me.  They aren’t all in my daily life for one reason or another, but are still totally important to me.  I know I need to tell them. The thought of having to call all of them is overwhelming.  At this point I probably have about 10 people to call, but to have to hear the sadness, disappointment, worry, and fear is just daunting.  I know that they are important to my recovery and will be supportive, but I can’t do the calls.  So I decided to text them, its the modern form of a call right?  I slowly text them over a few days.  Some text back and some call.  It actually ends up being extremely comforting to hear from all of them.

As I find the experience of hearing from my friends and family comforting.  I realize that there are a lot more people in my life that are special to me and I want to share with them what is happening to me.  A friend of mine showed me Caring Bridge, which is a website were I can keep people up to date on what is going on: doctor appointments, tasks I need help with while I’m sick, my thoughts and updates.  I decided the best way to do this is to share my news on facebook with the link to Caring Bridge.  It isn’t the most personal way, but it is the fastest and again a modern approach.  My friend Jeff argues with me that I won’t want all these people knowing about such a personal thing, but I don’t agree so I post.  The support is amazing.  I’m not excited that I am here, but it feels super rewarding to know that folks care.  That I am as important to them as they are to me.  I even hear from old friends from college that  I have lost touch with.  It is amazing.  Oh and of course it always feels good that I was right and Jeff was wrong!

I know I have a long road ahead of me and that I will need all my friends and family support to get through it.  It has always been hard for me to share the scary and sad parts of my life with others.  However this feels oddly important.  I realize that I have a long road of treatment and a blog that is going to take me about 10 years to complete.  I also have a friend who is convinced that if I write about this it will be made into a movie, I’m not so sure.  But the writing and sharing is comforting and helps me process.   I  have decided to share my story here along with my cooking adventures.  It doesn’t really blend together well, but for me writing about my experiences is easier with the comfort of food.  It is such a 180 from me trying to hide a folder that says breast cancer on it.

Now to see if I can make Kärntner Kasnudeln better than my ex-husband made his pirogies.

The first step is to make the pasta dough.  I use the pasta make attachment from my kitchen aid to get the dough thin.  I then use my favorite cup, which appropriately is from Germany to cut circles from the pasta.

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I make the filling which is potato, seasoning, and quark.

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Take the circle and add filling.

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Rub the ends with egg.

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Fold in half.

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With a fork seal it and make a pretty pattern.

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Look how pretty!

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Then you boil it in hot water for a few minutes.  My creation is worse than my ex husband pirogues!  All of them explode when I boil.  It is basically a noodle potato mess.

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I should have tested a single dumbling first.  I must have left them too long, made it too thin, or the boil was too rough.  Well I had put all the dumplings in at once, so I can’t really cook more.  Luckily I am only cooking this for me.  So I eat it as is and it tastes like it looks, a soggy mess.  I have some left over potato filling, which is yummy and creamy.  I make the most of the disastrous meal.


Recipes

Kärntner Kasnudeln

Original recipe can be found here

  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • egg white for coating
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 8oz  quark
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried fine herbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt + 1 pinch
  1. To make the dough, mix flour, 1 egg, pinch of salt.
  2. Work in a little oil and  water to produce a smooth, workable dough.
  3. Kneed for 5 minutes
  4. Form into a ball, cover with film and leave to rest for 45 minutes.
  5. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 30 minutes or until fully cooked.
  6. Cook onions for 5 minutes in 1 tablespoon of butter.
  7. Mash potatoes, herbs, salt, 1 egg, onions, and quark.
  8. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface until it is the thickness of the back of a knife.
  9. Cut out disks of approx. 10 cm diameter using an upturned glass or circular cutter.
  10. Shape small balls of the paste filling and place these on the dough circles, or use a spoon to apply the filling.
  11. Coat the edges of the dough with the beaten egg white, fold the dough together and press firmly.
  12. Press the edges between the fingers to form grooves and set down on a floured board.
  13. Heat up a generous quantity of salted water in a large pan, reduce heat to a simmer.
  14. Place the noodles into the water and, depending on size, leave to simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  15. Remove carefully and arrange on pre-heated plates.
  16. heat remaining butter until brown and pour over dumplings.

 

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