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Film Released: 1965
Genre: Drama, Family. Musical, Biography
Film Directed by: Robert Wise
Cast/Actors include : Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Richard Haydn, Eleanor Parker


This all time classic musical is set in Austria just before the Second World War and is based on the true story of the Von Trapp family. Maria, played by Julie Andrews, is a young Postulant (a trainee nun) who always seems to be getting into trouble at the Abbey. The mother abbess decides to send her to the home of Captain Von Trapp, played by Christopher Plummer, a widower and retired Naval Officer, as a temporary governess to his seven children aged between 16 and 5 years old.

Upon arrival Maria, finds herself in the midst of a household governed by rules and regulations, where the children aren’t allowed to play normally but are instead, drilled navy fashion, both in their studies and leisure time with no real contact with their father who is often away from home for long periods of time. However, being the spirited girl that she is, Maria often speaks her mind, a little too much for Captain Von Trapp whose initial bemusement at her almost childlike honesty, turns to one of fury when, in a rather heated exchange, she confronts him with the truth that the children need his love and attention rather than his indifference.

In his absence she has taught the children to sing and play, which brings music and happiness back to the Von Trapp household and through the music, Maria and the Captain are fall in love. They eventually marry, with the children’s approval, but shortly after have to leave Austria when the captain is requested to rejoin the navy of the Third Reich after Austria is annexed to Germany – something which he is morally opposed to. With the help of the Nuns at the abbey, they finally manage to escape, walking over the mountains into Switzerland and freedom.

Now for the food aspect. There are two Austrian dishes which are both mentioned twice in the film. Rather than choose between them, we are going to feature both.

Firstly, they are mentioned in the song “favourite things”. Sing along …….

Cream coloured ponies and crisp Apple Strudel,
doorbells and sleigh bells and Schnitzel with Noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
(all together now)     
These are a few of my favourite things

The other occasions when they are mentioned, are by two of the other main characters. Strudel by Max Detweiler, played by Richard Haydn when he is asked by the maid if he’d like another piece of strudel :-


Max “ How many have I had”
Maid: “ Two”
Max: “Let’s make it an uneven three”


Schnitzel by Baroness Schraeder, played by Eleanor Parker , who was supposed to marry the captain ….. until he fell for Maria. One night after dinner she comments

“I must speak to cook about the Schnitzel: it is entirely too delicious for my figure.”


Here are the recipes for you to try -

Happy Cooking!

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Wiener Schnitzel    HT  MC  25mins

Serves 4    Hot  Veal  Main Course  Germany  Austria  Europe



4 x 150g/5oz Veal Escalopes


Fresh Breadcrumbs to coat

1 Egg

Salt and Pepper

1 teasp Olive Oil

Oil for frying

25g/1oz Butter

Lemon Wedges and watercress to serve




1. Place the flour and the breadcrumbs on two separate plates. Mix the egg, salt, pepper and olive oil and place on a third plate.


2. Beat the escalopes flat with a rolling pin or meat mallet then coat in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip them in the egg mixture and finally in the breadcrumbs.


3. Fill a large frying-pan with oil about 25mm /1 inch deep, add the butter and place the pan over moderate heat. When the fat is very hot, fry the escalopes, 1-2 at a time, until golden on one side.  


4. Turn them carefully and fry them on the other side. Drain the meat on kitchen paper and keep the first ones warm. Repeat until all are cooked. 


5. To Serve - Transfer to warm serving plates and garnish with wedges of lemon and sprigs of watercress.



Apple Strudel    Veg HT CD CBF DP Austrian 55mins

Serves 4-6    Hot  Cold  Vegetarian  Baked Fayre  Dessert  Pudding  Teatime   Eggless  Austria Europe

1 tbsp water
2 teasp Lemon Juice
3 tbsp Soft Brown Sugar
1 tbsp. Plain Flour
½ teasp ground Cinnamon
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3 tbsp Raisins
225g/8oz Strudel or Phyllo Pastry
Melted Butter
A little icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas Mark 6 and lightly oil a flat baking tray.

2. Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the apples and raisins and toss to coat.

3. Roll the pastry out into a rectangle as thinly as possible. Brush the pastry with some of the melted butter then, with the short side facing you, spoon the apple mixture evenly onto the middle third of the pastry to within 2.5cm/1 inch of the edges.

4. Fold the bottom third of the pastry over the filling, brush the pastry with more melted butter, then starting from the short edge closest to you, loosely roll up like a slightly flattened Swiss roll.

5. Press the edges firmly together and crimp to seal then lay it on the baking sheet, seam side down and make 5cm/2-inch diagonal cuts through the top of the pastry through to the filling at 5cm/2 inch intervals, to allow steam to escape during the cooking.

6. Brush the top with more melted butter and bake for 30 -35 minutes until golden brown.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve hot or cold.  


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