Interleavings: Serendipity and the Auto/Biographical Process


In the stack of material given to me by Dr. Buxbaum’s estate executor is a recipe book started in Vienna, probably by Edith’s mother, Jenny, and continued by Edith.

The recipe below was provided to me by Dr. Diane Holloway, a retired Dallas psychologist, who had Seattle connections.

Photo courtesy of Herbert J Belch.

Kaiserschmarrn or Emperor’s Trifle
1/3 cup shortening or oil
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
6 eggs separated
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup raisins
2-3 tablespoons additional sugar

Melt the shortening in a large metal cake pan or skillet set over medium heat. Plump the raisins for 10 minutes in boiling water and then drain them.

Start heating the oven at 400 degrees. Mix the flour and water in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl add water to egg yolks and combine well. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing well with a whisk.

Beat egg whites stiff, then fold them gently into the liquid mixture. Pour into the heated pan with the fat. Remove from heat at once and place in the oven. Bake until golden brown (8-10 minutes); then put back on stove top.

Tear into 2-3 inch squares, using two forks. Drizzle melted butter over, then sprinkle with raisins and sugar.

Serve with raspberry syrup or prune jam. To make prune jam for zwetschkenroster, cook dried prunes with water and sugar in a saucepan until it becomes a not so thick jam. Then add cinnamon and cloves to use as a topping on this trifle. Serves 8.

Authors’ Famous Recipes and Reflections on Food, edited by Diane Holloway, Ph.D. San Jose, California: Writer’s Club Press, 2002, pp. 222-223

Photo courtesy Herbert J. Belch, in possession of author.

If you knew Viennese-born Seattle child psychoanalyst, Dr.Edith Buxbaum, or any of her psychoanalytic and social worker contemporaries, and would like to share your experiences of them for my research into Seattle’s early psychoanalytic history, please email I am interested in correspondences, recollections, photographs, tape recordings, ephemera in general. For more information on Dr. Buxbaum see The Edith Buxbaum Journal, edited & published by Esther Altshul Helfgott, Ph.D.

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