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Carmen’s Kaiserschmarrn

Austrian Kaiserschmarrn is fun to make, and even more fun to eat. It makes one feel good, just as working for one’s fellow-students does, says Carmen – for today’s Cook on Campus is a member of the Students’ Council at LMU.

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Carmen has just come through a rather stressful spell (her vacation was spent catching up on term assignments). Now she’s now involved in organizing an upcoming panel discussion at LMU – and then there are the regular meetings of the Studierendenvertretung (the “Stuve”, or Students’ Representative Council) to attend. Carmen is studying Sociology, but she is also active at all levels of students’ representation: she’s on the Board of Management of the Students’ Representative Council, as well as being a member of the Assembly of Students’ Faculty Councils and of the Students’ Council in the Faculty of Social Sciences. But she always tries to make time to cook. “I just enjoy cooking so much,” she says. Her colleagues are delighted too - for meetings of the Students’ Council tend to be long-drawn-out affairs, “and without a bite to eat we’d never get through them,” she says.

One of Carmen‘s favorite dishes is baked Apfelschmarrn, an especially succulent variant of Kaiserschmarrn, with apple segments. But today she’s decided to make Kaiserschmarrn instead – following a recipe she learned from her father, who is a professional cook. “Classical pancakes are a nightmare for a cook, because they go cold so fast,” she says. Kaiserschmarrn, on the other hand, presents no such problems. One doesn’t even need an oven to make it – which is just as well, because there is no oven in the kitchen at the Stuve. We’re not very well equipped here in the Stuve, but I have learned to improvise. And anyway, she says, her own Apfelschmarrn cannot compare with her Steiermark grandmother’s version.

One of Carmen‘s favorite dishes is baked Apfelschmarrn, an especially succulent variant of Kaiserschmarrn, with apple segments. But today she’s decided to make Kaiserschmarrn instead – following a recipe she learned from her father, who is a professional cook. “Classical pancakes are a nightmare for a cook, because they go cold so fast,” she says. Kaiserschmarrn, on the other hand, presents no such problems. One doesn’t even need an oven to make it – which is just as well, because there is no oven in the kitchen at the Stuve. We’re not very well equipped here in the Stuve, but I have learned to improvise. And anyway, she says, her own Apfelschmarrn cannot compare with her Steiermark grandmother’s version.

Working in der Studierendenvertretung is something that she “stumbled into”, Carmen says, as she beats the basic ingredients for the Kaiserschmarrn into a thick batter with a whisk. “In my first tutorial, I stuck out like a sore thumb because I was so shy.” Afterwards, the tutors had taken her aside, and invited her to attend the next meeting of the Faculty’s Students’ Council. The main item on the agenda that day was the organization of the biannual reception for first-year students. The task appealed to her and she was happy to help. “Everything else just sort of happened,” she recalls, “and working for the Studierendenvertretung has indeed made me more assertive and self-confident in other aspects of my university studies.”

Here Carmen turns her attention to her pancake dough. She is making two sorts of Kaiserschmarrn today, with and without raisins. She adds the batter to the butter in a large pan, and when the mixture has a firm texture, she breaks it into bite-sized pieces with a fork. She then makes room for some more sugar and caramelizes it in the pan. And while this is going on, she talks about her latest project. Together with a few friends she is currently planning a panel discussion on “Feminism and the University”. “We are in the throes of deciding who should be on the panel,” she says. “And it is interesting to discover how many people are actively involved with the issue.”

Meanwhile, her hungry colleagues have congregated in the Common Room, and are impatient to get started: “We’ve been looking forward to her Kaiserschmarrn all day.”

If you are an international student at LMU and you enjoy cooking, you could become one of our Cooks on Campus. To find out how, contact us at presse@lmu.de!

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