Saturday, April 4, 2009

Quark with Beebalm?

One of my Bees in Topkapi is in the above photos.

Spring has certainly sprung here. All the cafes have tables and chairs outside and the smokers have emerged coughing and spluttering into the sunlight and are happily lazing about in the brilliant sunshine polluting the atmosphere.

I am back to T Shirts but some people are still rugged up against the non-existent cold. One of the real problems with Wien is that when it is really cold you dress warmly – but it has to be stuff you can take off quickly – because most of the shops are heated to sauna temperature.

A major offender is Ringstrassen Galerien where in winter it is sweltering inside. On the two occasions Cate and I went there before Christmas we didn’t stay long because it was simply too uncomfortable. We just grabbed some owls and got out of there.

You buy Gaz at the Tankstelle – BP to be precise. It is (of course) excruciatingly expensive.

It comes in the biggest Gaz bottles I have ever seen. I am sure these rarely ever combust spontaneously but if they do then Am Heumarkt 7 is in trouble. I think we will lose Stiege 5 and 6 and there will be some collateral damage next door. I have left notes on the doors of the neighbours suggesting that they get their affairs in order.

Unfortunately I bought two bottles (before I realised how big they were) so that I would have a backup. This is to prevent running out of Gaz half way through a barbecue and having to finish everything in the microwave.

The second bottle is in the basement and I fear that the primary explosion will trigger a secondary explosion that will take out large tracts of Stadtpark and send most of the ducks to Slovakia. By the way – the pond is almost empty – of water and ducks. I shall investigate further.

I cycled to Star Bikes to get a pump and a new widget to replace the one that broke when Cate collided with me some time ago. I also got a snazzy bicycle tire pump that tells we what the pressure is.

The cycle paths in Wien are just fabulous. Of course there are any number of morons who park on the ones along the footpaths and force cyclists onto the roads – but one just has to be careful.

There are also cyclists who travel at astonishing speeds and a collision with one of these would by horrendous – so I keep my eyes open for them.

On Friday I rode down to and through the Prater and then back through Gasometer City and along the Donaukanal on a dedicated cycle path. Just Brilliant! There are some exciting parts where you ride right next to the Canal and there is a big drop to the water – and no fence.

This is ideal territory for a Dummkopf like me but I managed not to fall in – I would hardly be able to blame Muffin for that.

I tried to book dinner on Saturday night for The Wiener Salon but Felix said that they had already closed for Easter – which is a week away - but I guess there is no point being successful if you can’t take time off when you want to. I must speak to Cate about that.

We had a great meal in Martinjak in Am Ring – which is one of the few places where you can get really good food at reasonable prices. The desserts included ‘Quark with Beebalm”.

Quark is a type of cheese – and I am not really sure about Beebalm – but it may just be a Wiener name for Honey? Someone out there will enlighten me – although I notice that very of few of my questions get answered. Perhaps this is what has happened to the Bees?

We set off again our second expedition to buy outdoor furniture and found exactly what we (i.e. Cate) was looking for. We arrived five minutes before they closed and Cate immediately spotted what she wanted so the transaction went off remarkably smoothly.

Of course they only take cash so I will have to go to the bank on Monday and Tuesday to get the required amount.

We were almost back at the car (50 metres away) before Cate decided that she did not like the colour she had just chosen - but my wracking sobs persuaded her that she should stick with the original choice.


  1. i think beebalm would go well with moosebeer marmalade.

  2. According to Wikipedia, bee balm is some kind of herb, more commonly known as Monarda:

  3. Do they really have "Quark" on the menue, here in "Topfen" city? Or is there a physicist in the kitchen ("hat, no hadrone collider tonight?)?

  4. I never learnt to ride a bike when I was a kid so it was with fear and trepidation I started riding while at ANU - university in Canberra. There were lots of bike paths. My then boyfriend used to ride up beside me, reach over and change gears for me because I daren't remove my feet from the pedals or hands from the handlebars. I lived in fear of ending up in a stormwater canal, similarly unfenced but ran into the wall on a bridge instead. I haven't gone on with this form of transport, much prefer horses as they balance themselves!

  5. Thanks, Badger.
    I'll have to come back to all that Quark at a later time. ;-)

  6. According to Wikipedia:

    Quark (or qvark) is a type of fresh cheese of Central European origin. Dictionaries usually translate it as curd cheese. It is soft, white and un-aged, similar to Fromage frais. It is not the same thing as cream cheese or cottage cheese. It is distinctly different from ricotta because ricotta (Italian: recooked) is made from scalded whey. It also differs from the other cream cheeses in its usually much lower fat content (about the same as yoghurt), and it is completely salt free.

    It sounds good, actually!