Monday, November 30, 2009

A German Thanksgiving

Yesterday I cooked my very first Thanksgiving turkey. We named him Tod.

My wonderful assistant.

Four hours later, we were ready to devour him. I'll admit this picture may not be his most flattering side--but he turned out a lot better than I expected.

The end (of Tod).

Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy start to December! :)


Thursday, November 26, 2009

I've worked the malls at Christmas in the US--now I thought I'd give the old world version a go. As of Monday--I am an official "kiosk" worker of the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg.

Let the mad rush of holiday shopping begin! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunset on the Pegnitz

This evening, I have discovered, once more, that each night as I have sat in front of my computer and whittled away the hours writing, Facebooking, surfing the web, preparing lessons, studying—whatever it was that called my attention to the screen—I was missing out on the most spectacular light show on the planet, just outside my window, free of cost.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the exquisite tastes of America...

Who says America doesn't have anything to offer the taste pallet? Check out what fine cuisine the stars and stripes have supplied the shelves in the German supermarkets with...

*despite being some of the finest bakers in Europe, the Germans even save some shelf room for good ol' American muffins and chocolate chip cookies*

*can't forget our sauces--especially hamburger sauce--whatever that is*

*Germans are the masters of the sausage world, yet they honor our country and our president (Truman) with a sausage-in-a-jar product called "American Style Hot Dogs"*

*it's a little blurry, but on this marshmallow bag they have a motorcyclist with a banner reading "Easy Rider", and on the side it reads "The American Way of Life"*

*and look who I found, Ms. Lady Liberty herself hanging out on a Cola gummi bag*

Germans even love walking on our president--check it out *bama footwear-- "Like walking barefoot!"

So next time someone comments crudely on America's lack of culture and cuisine, you tell them that just isn't so.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Deutsch 101

I think the German language is full of really great words.

For example:

Elbogen --> a way cooler way to say "elbow"

Kuhlschrank --> "refrigerator" which literally translates to "cool cabinet"

Kopfkissen --> means "pillow", kopf = head and kisser= well, it means what it means in English, therefore: "head kisser" (although küssen is the actual word for 'to kiss in German'--but close enough ;)

And another thing--the German language loves to combine words. We use compound words in English, ex: dog + house = doghouse, however, German takes it to a whole new level.

The following is an example of one of the longest German words in use today:


Made up of 42 letters, the Germans decided to give their space bar a break and instead combine several words to create a single word that would translate to "Danube steamship company captain" in English.

Or how about this one?


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a word--coming in at a mere 63 letters, it is made up of ten different words, and twenty syllables--and its meaning has to do with a law used for British beef imports during the 'mad cow disease' scare.

As Mark Twain once said, "Some German words are so long that they have a perspective."

I can see why.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

for the love of lebkuchen....

Christmas is clearly on its way.

Lauf and Nuremberg have already begun putting up garland and lights and angels and stars along the streets and in the marketplace. The stores have been stocked with Christmas chocolates and foods with St. Nick packaging since the middle of October. And Nuremberg is literally consumed with Lebkuchen stands and stores selling the stuff.

The countdown until the opening of the Christkindlmarkt here in Nuremberg has begun. The opening day is on the 27th of November (!)...

Halloween came and went here in Germany without much notice. That night, I saw a total of six trick or treaters, and three of the six were some sort of lady vampire. When the costumed-kids came to our door, the Hallers had no candy, so Mr. Haller sent me to the door with a bag of sour gummi worms. One bag... which I didn't know how to split amongst three kids and so, I ended up giving it to the kid with the one-eyed dead man mask. Needless to say, the two vampires weren't very happy. I wanted to tell the boy he had to share with them, but I didn't know how to in German. (So to the two German vampire girls, if you are reading this, I want you to know I apologize whole heartedly. If you come back next year, I promise to have enough candy for each of you.)

Not having a Halloween this year wasn't much of a disappointment really, as I stopped Trick or Treating in the 6th grade. Its having to go without Thanksgiving that I'm sad about. I think I will try to replicate it here... somehow. Even though there will be no Macy's Day Parade to wake up to, no school to have a holiday from, no pumpkin pie (!) :(--regardless, there is still lots to look forward to as the holidays approach, no matter which holidays you celebrate or how you celebrate them. Not just for me, for everyone... :)

(Well almost everyone.)

So let the countdown begin! :)