our little time machines

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If you were asked to build a time machine, how would you start? What tools would you ask for and how would this time machine look like? Would you build a rocket shaped machine? Would you build a chair with a weird looking hat, connected with a million wires to the chair? Would it make people look like they are just getting an electric shock, while going back to the past or peeking into their future? And would they disappear from the presence or would their bodies still be here, while their minds explore past events and places? How would these travelers get back?

Why I ask all these questions? I don’t know. It crossed my mind and I was wondering, who was the first to come up with the idea of time machines. The idea of traveling through times fascinates movie makers and kids. Just recently I heard about a time machine in a museum (which showed the past of the place this museum is located) and it made me think about the fascination this idea provokes. And I realized that we all have our time machines. Our eyes, noses and mouths. Sure, we cannot travel into the future, but a little journey into our pasts is always possible. All we need is a trigger. It can be a scent, a sound or a flavor. The last couple of days my personal little time machines were used frequently. I watched a movie, which I used to watch with my siblings quite often when we were kids. Only a day later I stumbled across a really old animation movie, I used to love as a kid (Ever heard of “the brave little toaster”?). I needed to tell my sister about this and we started to recall the movie, realizing that we still remember, though we didn’t watch this movie for 20 years. Good old times. A couple of days later, a friend of mine pulled out a game with a set of cards, which are used in the Austrian area and mostly known in the eastern part of Europe. I knew the cards, just forgot how to play.. this game got pushed to the very back of my mind. Now, 25 years later, I learned how to play this game again 🙂 Only a few days later, I went to a second hand store and discovered a beautiful old wooden box. I opened it and found a card game, my dad and I used to play. I had to get it.

It is funny how movies, games, flavors, or scents can take you years back. When this happens I always feel happy and I like to share it with the people around me. It is nice to add other people to our memories. In ten years I will have more memories that I connect with these things, new people that I remember sharing things with. We grow and get older and our experience makes us more aware of what we loved and cherished in the past. It is up to us to enrich these memories with new ones.

I traveled my past a lot lately. Maybe it is just summer that makes me remember my childhood so much. Not long ago I was talking about how much I love to go strawberry picking, which also reminds me of my childhood. I love the fresh strawberry flavor and strawberry cake with jello reminds me of the way my mom used to make cake when I was little. The season is over, but summer is still here and if you happen to have a craving for strawberries, but not a lot of time or patience to make a complicated cake, I have a recipe for you, that is easy, fast and which makes me dwell in memories. It’s rich strawberry flavor in combination with marzipan is the right cake for those who love sweet and fresh 🙂 A memory of my mom’s cake enriched with the new marzipan cream flavor:

 

Strawberry Cake with Marzipan Cream

for the cake:

3 eggs

150 g sugar

150 g grounded almonds

 

for the marzipan cream:

 400 g heavy cream

100g marzipan

1 package vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

50 g powdered sugar

 

for the topping:

300 g strawberries

1 package red jello

40 g almonds (for decoration)

 

1. whisk sugar and eggs until fluffy

2. add almonds and mix until well blended

3. pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes at 180°C / 360°F

4. for the marzipan cream, puree marzipan with 200g heavy cream until smooth

5. whip the rest of the heavy cream with the vanilla sugar

6. sift the powdered sugar and add to the cream, along with the marzipan mix

7. (in summer or high temperatures, you might want to add some gelatine.. approx. 2 leaves)

8. put the strawberries onto the cooled cake

9. prepare the jello as directed on package and pour it on top of the strawberries

10. decorate sides with almonds (you can roast them in a non-greased pan)

11. let cool and enjoy the ride 😉

It seems weird that the cake only needs three ingredients and I doubted it works, when reading this recipe for the first time, but it really works 🙂 It’s delicious!

Enjoy your little journeys to the past and don’t forget to share them with the people around you. Memories are more enjoyable and you can keep them up when enriching them with new life. They last longer and will accompany you in the future. Hence, let’s sit down in our little time machine and be surprised where we go next.

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