Vienna 1880 - Lunchtime

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Some time during late morning Elisabeth went back up to the family's apartment to see that lunch would be ready at noon. She entered the kitchen, which had patterned cement tiles on the floor. There was a large metal stove with a box full of wood and coals next to it, a wooden kitchen table with chairs and some cupboards. A window looked out over the courtyard abd a narrow door at one wall led into the pantry.

Maria had already a large pot on the boil on the oven. Elisabeth opened the lid. Inside there were a few smoked beef tongues, carrots, parsley roots, a pice of celery root and an onion. In a second pot there were peas. The dried peas had been soaked for several hours before getting them to boil on the stove.

Maria was just about to prepare batter for Butternockerl – small dumplings made of butter, flour and eggs. Elisabeth ckecked on everything and seasoned where necessary. The dining room table was already set with plates, cutlery and napkins. Lunch with the family was very important to Georg, who was of the opinion that every sensible family had this habit. Café or not, he wanted his lunch, even if it was not as extensive as the meals of other families. They made do with two courses. The staff would have to deal with things themselves for a bit.

Shortly after the church bells struck 12 the children returned home. A few minutel later Georg came upstairs and the family sat down at the table. Mareia served the lunch. The water from boiling the meat was turned into a soup, which they ate for a starter. It was a strong, clear broth in which the Butternockerl were floating. After this they had mashed peas with boiled cow tongue.

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