Lana

Svetlana

Svetlana K. Vienna, Austria.

Food and Lifestyle photographer. Fairy Kitchen Editor.

svetlanakarner.com

 

I take great pleasure in cooking, eating, reading and even talking about food. I am happy standing barefoot in my tiny kitchen with wooden floors early in the morning blending flour, milk and farmers eggs into a thick batter to bake „early morning“ madeleines which fill our living room with warm and cosy scents of vanilla and rhum.  I am happy picking wild blackberries in Vienna Woods to make a mid-autumn crumble. I am happy shopping in small groceries to find new provoking ingredients, or sitting on my terrace with friends, drinking wine and discussing the-best-thing-we’ve-ever-eaten. I am happy.

Nature with its huge variety of different tastes, colors and textures is my inexhaustible source of inspiration and advice. Sometimes when I´m down, I take a morning walk through the pine forest next to our flat in Vienna, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the silence, pick a few chestnuts or some pretty leaves to take home for inspiration. Inspiration to live, inspiration to cook and to relish the food given by nature. For this reason I prefer to use fresh local and seasonal ingredients, organically grown and preferably unprocessed. Knowing the origin and make-up of what we eat is a very important step in the cooking process. Remember: don´t eat anything your grandmother wouldn´t recognize 🙂 And I love the idea of growing my own fruits and vegetables even if all I have is few terracotta pots with aromatic herbs on my windowsill.

Food connects me with the past, evokes childhood memories and a sense of nostalgia. A piece of plum cake with streusel topping makes me travel in time, back to my great-grandmother, who baked the most delicious tartes and always used juicy yellow plums from her own secret garden behind the small house in town D.

Food lets me travel while I stay at home in front of the fireplace: visit remote countries, stroll through colorful and noisy bazars, take breathfulls of their exotic aromas, wander the narrow streets of Paris, sit in my favourite cafe, waiting for the best tarte au citron with peaks of snow-white meringue on top.

Food can turn an ordinary rainy November day into something magical. People I love will come to try my first chocolate cake with hot chillis and coffee cream, filling my house with happy chatter, sitting elbow-to-elbow at a big wooden table in my living room. Sharing food and wine with them will erase the rain outside and make me feel happy.

Food is happiness, it is fun, it is memories past and memories yet to be made. Food can surprise and elate, sooth or comfort and bring us together no matter where we live, what we do, how old and how different we are.

I want to invite you into my tiny and delicious world full of travel stories and childhood memories, where I will share with you my most favourite recipes and where I will try to surprise and seduce you.  Welcome!

 

All posts by Lana

Fini´s apple strudel

Apple strudel

I have a wonderful mother-in-law whose name is Josefine. She is more than 80 years old, but always in a good mood, smiling and laughing - I´ve never met a person who loves and enjoys life that much. Every single day of it. She lives in a tiny half storey appartment just under the roof of an old Jugendstil house with the view to Belvedere and bakes best apple strudel on Sundays. In her small kitchen overvieving the tiled Viennese roofs a truly magic happens.   

Marzipan Pears

Marzipanpears

This is a perfect dessert for the days following Christmas holidays - it´s light, delicious and requires minimum of work. I got the recipe from an old lady in my grocery shop as I was purchasing those sweet and juicy pears. She advised me to choose ripe but firm fruits that will hold their shape once cooked. You can modify the recipe according to your taste and the remains of that luscious holiday table. Add lemon zest, a pinch of cinnamon, some rhum, or use gingerbread and spice cake leftovers.   

About Christmas and cookies

Wreath

Christmas is all about rituals and traditions. Baking cookies is one of them. In our family there has to be at least ten different varieties on the Christmas table to satisfy all tastes. Everyone knows exactly what to pick first from the cookie plate. There are the half moon shaped vanilla kipferl, spicy gingerbread and orange-tinged saffron biscotti, cinnamon stars, Spekulatius buscuits, jam drops also called Husarenkrapfen - our family favorites, and novelties that vary from year to year.  

About pancakes and comfort food

PancakesJam

Winter is well and truly here. Skies are grey, air is crisp and days become shorter and shorter. It´s dark and frosty when I get up in the morning and the afternoons rapidly turn into dusk. The streets are silent, litten by random light of laterns and curtains are drawn tight against the cold. It´s time for slow cooked meals, hearty soups and sweet puddings, meat stews and apple pies to help me warm up and bring back my childhood memories. What´s better than a flickering fire and big bowl of good old fashioned comfort food on a cold winter day? I have a few winter favourites which help me through this long and cold season, but if I had to choose one, it would be pancakes. Quess whom I owe this recipe?  

November Picnic with spiced muffins

RiverPicnicWomanTea

I love picnics! Never mind the season or the weather. It´s gorgeous to pack a checkered blanket and enjoy the first truly warm day of spring under a meticulously selected tree in bloom on a sunny meadow. In summer I can spend days on end on the seaside, curled in a hammock with a book while sipping my favourite wild thyme and ginger lemonade, or in search for unbroken seashells, waiting until the sunset colours the sky flamingo-pink. Autumn picnics have their particular charm, they are full of rituals: the sipping of hot tea from thermos bottle, the rubbing of frozen fingers and hiding my red nose into knitted scarf. Then we must make a fire and eat something comforting.