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During this Pandemic time I buy fruit while they are not quite ripe…..thinking they will last longer than purchasing them already ripe.

I had a bag of plums sitting on my kitchen counter for at least two weeks…and one morning when I touched them the skin broke and the juice dripped on to the counter. They were definitely ripe. I had already made plumb jam earlier in the Spring…and did not need any more to add to what I already had… With that in mind…I decided to make Plum Kompote”

Here is a quick way to make any kind of fruit compote quickly. It is important to choose a juicy fruit…like plums, cherries, or any kind of berries. Here is the recipe: Wash the fruit and cut it into small pieces.. put into a pot and add some sugar…if you have 3 cups of fruit…add 1 cup of sugar and a tsp of grated lemon rind. Let it boil for a few minutes until it is completely cooked and still runny when you spoon it up and let it run/drip down the spoon back into the pot. that is it…pour it into a jar put the lid on and let it cool to room temperature. Last step is to find room in your refrigerator to store it…

My mother loved having Plum “Kompote” in her refrigerator at all times… She even made it from prunes…. to have some over the Winter. With European meals “Kompote” is not an unusual addition on one’s plate. It is served with many cooked doughs, like noodles and dumplings of various kinds, and many meat-roasts, especially when they are prepared with very spicy ingredients.

The first time I had a Cherry Kompote with my meal….I was only seven years old….It was a holiday and my parents were invited to their friends home for a mid-day meal in Vienna…. my brother and I were included as well….I was seven years old and my brother was fife.. The table was set with white linens, china and silver ware, the glasses were crystal. My mother took us aside and had a little chat with us. We needed to behave and eat properly at the table… Needles to say I was a little frightened although we always ate with my parents and grandparents at the dinner table…and learned early on to eat properly and could not talk unless we were asked a question by an adult….. we needed to finish chewing and swallowing before we answered the questions we were asked. Therefore, it was not that we did not know how to behave at the table…it was that we were not at home that made it special and a little frightening..

But what was so special at this dinner that the small piece of pork roast was served with a cherry jam. The maid served the meal and my brother and I were served last. Our roast was cut into small pieces and the tablespoon of jam was next to the meat. I watched the adults how they ate, drank and talked all at the same time… Little did I know that eating properly at the table and knowing when to talk and when to eat would be of utmost importance in my adult life.

We have been members of the “International Wine and Food Society of the Americas” for close to 20 years and still are members of the local W&F Society Chapter….My husband has been on their board for 13 years and still is on the local board. We traveled the World and the United States having had dinners at the most interesting restaurants and private homes. It was an experience that I treasure and the memories of the fun and wonderful people we dined with will always bring a smile on to my face.

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Maja’s Viennese Kitchen

Maria Reisz Springer

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With this Virus situation I find myself a little bored at times…It was today that I felt like doing something that I NEVER have done before!!!

I baked Christmas Cookies…!!! These little morsels I bake every December to the delight of my family and friends. Today however is a Summer day and very warm with humidity!

It is a simple butter dough which makes the best crunchy morsels!!! Everyone loves them in my family ….and friends do too.

Well they looked beautiful when I took them out of the oven…and left them to cool on the cookie baking sheet….for about an hour. I returned to store them in a box and keep them in the refrigerator. When I picked up the first cookie…it fell apart in my hand…at first I thought it was very crisp…but soon I felt the pastry being wet. To my dismay they were all damp from the humidity in the kitchen/the whole house. We do have air-conditioning…but it is not enough to get all the moisture in the air out of the house.

All my Cookies crumbled and the only way to eat them was with spoon~!

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Maria Reisz Springer