Month: July 2014

Kasspotzn – Crafting Cheese dumplings Austrian Style

Rumour had it that there’s a “Spätzlesieb” in town! Apparently one of the Austrian (from Vorarlberg to be exact) instructors took his cooking equipment around the world and as soon as we heard about it we wanted it. (For the non German speakers – that’s a piece of metal used to make dumplings). It took 12 eggs, 1 kg of flour and “A Schluck Milch” (a bit of milk) to craft the dough which is then pressed through the “Spätzlesieb’s” holes into boiling water in a pot below and cooked like pasta. Once the tiny dumplings are cooked they can be used for delicious dishes, traditionally including lots of melted cheese and fried onions. When I read this again it sounds terribly confusing so if you can’t imagine it, here are some images: First Spätzle dinner took place at my friend Kathi’s place and was delicious. Even the Austrian Spätzlesieb owner came and found them tasty. Goes without saying the Kiwi visitors loved them! Dessert was Apfelstrudel with vanilla sauce….. yum!

A must for Pay Day Dinners: Francesca’s Italian Kitchen

Pay Days are (obviously) special days of the season but this one was incredibly tasty as we treated ourselves with delicious food from my favourite place in Wanaka. What started off with just a couple of us ski instructors deciding to go for dinner together soon turned into a major organizational nightmare – mostly for chief dinner organiser Sanna O. But she – as she always does with dinners – completely mastered the task and andfound a huge table for seventeen starving ski instructors, loaded with Italian goodness â la Polenta Fries, pizza and desserts to die for.

Life is not always glorious as a ski instructor

Whenever I skim through my blog I realize that my life might look amazing. Believe me, it is amazing – most of the time. And then there are days like today. When it’s pissing down, you’re soaking wet after your first group lesson and you know there’s another four hours in the rain ahead of you. Here’s the view from the magic carpet. You can probably spot it but yep – we’ve had a lot of rain last night and today. But then there’s also the fun part of the rain – such as the rather huge area of – let’s call it – very wet snow (a.k.a. water) at the bottom of McDougalls (a chairlift at Cardrona). “Listen up, kids! See that lake down there? It’s your lucky day because we’re going to do some water skiing today! Go as fast as you can and let’s see who makes it over the water! Are you going to make it, Johnny?” Full speed ahead and we all made it – even tiny Johnny! Coming home was priceless, even …

Rainy days down in town, rainy days up the mountain?

A day off during school holidays is luxury so you better spend it well. Not much to do during those rainy days anyway but we probably need the rest to catch our breath and get energized for another week of crazy school holidays. Quiet days, cruisy mornings, a walk to town, coffee with the friends and relaxed movie nights with the housemates. Let’s just cross our fingers that the rain doesn’t reach our snow up at Cardrona.

My New Zealand Mountain Film Fest Favourite: Mission Antarctic

The New Zealand Mountain Film Fest is my perfect warm up for amazing seasons in Wanaka. At the beginning of July, just as you’re settling into your home for some months and getting back into winter mode, it supplies you with a week-long program of outdoor movies and inspirational adventure films. Last year the Film Fest was a highlight of my season – mostly because of a live talk of two Australians who had crossed Antarctica. Read more about Cas & Jonesy’s journey here. Turned out I’m still really hooked on Antarctica as my favourite film this year was also one shot there. This time it was about Xavier de la Rue’s mission to ride some of the steepest descents in Antarctica. Even though his bravery and skills are outstanding I must admit I was even more impressed by the talent of Director and Photographer Guido Perrini and his breath-taking shots of Antarctica, its marine life and ice masses. To be honest, the trailer doesn’t quite do the movie justice – so go see the full version if you can.

Flat White vs. Strong Black. Not talking about coffee here…

When I started investigating Ski Instructor Jobs in New Zealand a couple of years ago the first field that repeatedly came up was Treble Cone. Fellow Ski Instructors had worked there and I had seen stunning images of the view on Facebook and Co. Back then I inquired working there – but as soon as I had figured out that their ski school is basically run & dominated by Austrian (Staatliche) Ski Instructors I knew it wasn’t for me and opted for the more international and rather beginner-focused Cardrona Alpine Resort – on the other side of the mountain but still close to Wanaka. Although I had escaped the Austrian Ski Instructor community work-wise there was no way I could in my social life. They are dominating Wanaka’s night life and seem to be everywhere! Even at Cardrona Ski School parties, as I found out during last year’s welcome party where two of Treble Cone’s instructors had sneaked in (most of you can probably guess which dynamic Austrian duo that was). Nowadays I’m quite happy to count …

Dance like no one is watching – because in the dark no one is!

There’s a couple of things that make me not only happy but “to-the-moon-and-back-happy” – Dancing is one of them. Last year I’ve been to a real fun dance session here in Wanaka and as soon as I knew I’d be back this winter I decided that I would make it a weekly regular on my ski instructor schedule. Tonight was one of those evenings where I really needed some cheering up after a bad day at work and it was pure bliss to dance away all the sorrows, stress and self-questioning from an awful day on the mountain. Dancing in the Dark – picture by No Lights, No Lycra. Some of you might argue that they are not good at dancing, that they feel awkward to dance in front of other people or like one of the fellow ski instructors put it: “I need a couple of drinks before I can bust out my dance moves – and as soon as I’ve had those couple of drinks, my balance & coordination of body parts might not be …