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The Mission Reunion

You don't spend two years with people preaching the Word in a foreign land without developing some serious friendships along the way.

Last Friday night (April 1, 2011), some 50 of us - former missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who served in Austria, along with many spouses, and one of our beloved mission presidents, met to renew old acquaintances, swap war stories, and pound our bellies full. And it was a wonderful experience.

I had been asked by the organizer to be responsible for the food. I agreed. It was pretty stressful, and I would never have been able to do it without the help of my sweet companion - but only after she spanked me for not getting her involved sooner.

So here's what we prepared or purchased, planning on feeding about 50 people:

Sauerkraut (sauteed with bacon, onion, potatoes and caraway seeds, Austrian style)
Rotkohl (red cabbage with tart apples and vinegar)
Spätzle (These were the hardest, and they got overdone )
Bratwurst & Wienerwurst, with German mustard and fresh-grated horseradish (Kren), just like you get them on the streets of Vienna.
Krapfen (Austrian Jelly Doughnuts)
Mohnstritzel (A poppy-seed pastry)
Sachertorte (2) (The most famous Austrian dessert)
Weinbeerweckerln (raisin rolls, prepared with butter, strawberry jam and Edam cheese - baked 'em myself, I did). There was a lovely sister, Linda Masching, who worked in a Konsum (sort of like a Smith's) by the train station in Innsbruck, and she came up with this little treat - the missionaries loved to stop in for one whenever they had the chance.
Semmelbrötchen (Austrian hard rolls.) These were supposed to look like this, but they ended up looking like this... the German bakery tried to convince me that they were the same thing, but their ignorance was appalling. Yes, the dough is similar, but it was supposed to look Austrian.
3 kinds of German rye and pumpernickel bread
Swiss and Edam cheese

And, as icing on the cake, another missionary brought in a load of Wiener Schnitzel to add to the feast.

Part of the groaning board

People were happy, and went away full. We took home two gallons of kraut and cabbage, a bunch of sausages, krapfen, and a couple of pounds of cheese, some of which I distributed to the kind neighbors who loaned us their large roasters we used to keep stuff warm in... but we still have a lot left to eat.

Here's what the room looked like, for the most part:

I saw people that I hadn't seen for 35 years, and it was so wonderful to share, to update, to catch up, and to reminisce. The next reunion in 18 months will be potluck, so less work - but I hope that this gathering served to whet the appetite of those who were not able to come. As for me, I left filled in both body and spirit.

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Apr. 6th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
You might say that to those who really devote themselves to God, everywhere on Earth is foreign land. "My kingdom is not of this world," after all.
Apr. 11th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
must be great to meet up with old friends again :)


The Old Wolf

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