Category Archives: Austria

Abendessen Osterreich

(a.k.a. Austrian Dinner) 

Tonight was our Austria finale, but we actually celebrated Austrian food all day, beginning with delicious Austrian Sweet Crepes. (I forgot to take a picture of this one, but it was a huge hit.) Tallinn also finished his rosmahling today and his little shelf now hangs proudly on his wall. He used a few stencils and did some diamonds on the top and I helped with a flower on each side. (Addie still needs to add her details.) 




Dinner was traditional wiener schnitzel, warm potato salad and asparagus with browned butter. It seems that much of Austrian food is breaded and sprinkled with parsley, so we did a lot of that. The recipes I used were from the and two were from Wolfgang Puck. I had to go to a few stores to find the veal and discovered a local wine shop for the Austrian wine-a Veltliner, so perfect with its Austrian flag on the top.   The entire meal was delicious and I would definitely make it again. I don’t even like potato salad, but this was perfect, light with a hint of white wine vinegar. 

To Austria






And, of course, we finished the meal with the rest of last night’s spectacular apple strudel. The kids have even been singing our apple strudel song all day! 

Thank you , Austria!  We have loved getting to know your culture and music and especially your wunderbar food.

apple, apple, apple strudel

tastes so good with vanilla ice cream  

Austrians eat it and they like it a lot  

we’re gonna make it and serve it nice and hot;  

apple, apple, apple strudel  

why don’t you come and meet me in the kitchen?  

(My little entry song into today’s fun, to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)  

Today we ventured into a rather difficult, gourmet if you will, apple strudel recipe. The recipe came from Spago, which I thought was appropriate. After all, Wolgang Puck is Austrian!  




So, there were many steps to this complex recipe. (Although we did get to cheat and use phyllo dough instead of making the pastry). First, we peeled, cored and cubed 6 apples. Next, we melted butter and mixed in sugar and spices, creating a syrupy caramel for the apples to soften in.  



Then, we put the mixture into ice cube trays to freeze….waiting, waiting, waiting.  

Admittedly, this was a bit tough for a 3 and 5 year-old…possibly even for their mommy as well. After the apple mixture froze, we unwrapped phyllo dough, layered two together brushed with butter and sprinkled with breadcrumbs folded up with a cube of apple filling inside.  


brushing the phyllo dough with melted butter


Although it was tough, the end result was well worth the gourmet decision. Everyone enjoyed their delicious Austrian dessert. There’s even enough for our complete Austrian dinner tomorrow night. Bon Appetit!  



twinkle, twinkle little star

…today I attempted teaching Tallinn this song on the piano. Having never taught piano before, I think my expectations were a little high. Also, having a 21-month-old pounding on the opposite side of the piano made it a little tricky. BUT, I can confidently say that he learned at least the first two notes.

Addie began her rosmahling and we prayed for Austria like we do each day. Although, today Tallinn prayed for the people who were trapped under buildings in Austria, so I had to make sure he understood that the earthquake happened in Haiti, not Austria.

Tomorrow, we’ll make apple strudel and finish our painting. Having fun learning about Austria.


I have to admit, I was about to give up on finding crafts for Austria. So I asked my good friend, Kathleen, who has lived there twice for some help. Rosmahling, which means “painted wood” is very common in Austria as they often paint their furniture with beautiful designs. My super helpful friend suggested painting some sort of wood and that is just what we did today.

At Michael’s I found some cute little wooden shelves for $2.99. The kids each picked one for their rooms and we started the painting today. After the initial base coat dries, we’ll add the special details.


Tallinn loved it and even painted a wooden heart we found at Michael’s as well.  He happily threw on one of dad’s old t-shirts and got to work. We even used “real” paint. The only problem was that we didn’t have enough things for him to paint!

Our home is alive…

with the sound of music

Postcard from Salzburg



Today we had fun with music! Although, I would highly recommend earplugs for this adventure as my ears barely survived the morning. 

The kids were in the playroom and I started playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on the piano to set the tone. (After all, Mozart wrote this favorite tune). “It’s Austria time”, I said. “Yay, Austria time”, the excited response. 

After reviewing the geography from yesterday, we learned about the following instruments: 

guitar, harp, trombone, flute, xylophone, violin, trombone, cymbals, recorder 

I printed images of each instrument and had Tallinn write the word below each picture. 


Then, I made a little matching quiz….super easy to do with clipart. 

instrument matching


Addie played along, but this was a little advanced for her. 

Next we brought the noise! Using things from around the house, we created a little three instrument band. First, we learned how to make cymbals using the lids of pots (this is where earplugs would have been nice). Toilet paper rolls were made into trumpets and oatmeal cans turned upside and banged with markers or pencils for a resourceful drum. The kids loved this and I’m glad they thought it was a little loud, too. 

three kid band


little trumpeteer


oatmeal can drum


Tonight, just for fun, I gave Tallinn another instrument matching sheet and, sure enough, he remembered each one! 



There are around 250 countries in the world and over 11 begin with the letter “A”.  It would be fabulous to study all 11, but this year we’re going to learn about two. I’m so tempted to do this again next year and fill in the gaps of all the countries we didn’t study, but for now, we’ll stick with our list of 40.

Austria is a country rich in history and a place I thoroughly enjoyed visiting years ago with some friends during a semester abroad. Because so much of Austrian culture involves music, that’s kind of our theme this week. Everyday while learning, there will be mozart playing in the background to give the kids a sense of Austrian music. Also, I added a weekly Bible verse this week and found an appropriate verse.

Sing for joy to God our strength;

Shout aloud to the God of Jacob!

Begin the music, strike the


play the melodious harp and


Psalm 81:1-2

Austrian Map

Our morning began with the spinning of the globe, leaving the US and flying to Austria.  Using stickers of musical notes instead of stars, we marked Vienna. Then, the kids had fun filling in Austria with the notes (their choice) . We found Austria on our wall map, too, squished in the middle of the many European nations.

Next, we colored the map of Austria…which definitely isn’t difficult. I found a bunch of print out maps from They’re great because they have an example of the map in color in the upper left corner of the page.


I love our wall map because it has all the flags of the world around it and we use this as a chance to find the flag that we’re studying. Tal found the Austrian flag right away and showed Addie.

finding the flag

Our activities were super quick today, so I came up with a fun game to reinforce our learning. At Cost Plus awhile back, I found those little flags from the first picture along with all the Western European flags. I dumped all the flags into a bucket and tried to see if the kids could find the Austrian flag among the others. This was quite easy for Tallinn, so Addie (3) went first and she did it!

That was it for today, about 30 minutes total! Tomorrow we’ll be jammin to some Austrian music and learning about instruments.