Today is my eighth day in Germany and the last day of the year. It was a very German Christmas and the last week has been filled with food, family, food, games, beer, a day trip to Dresden, food, friends, beer, an overnight trip to Berlin, food, and more food. But no snow.
I have continued learning new German words and phrases. Today my favorite new phrase is “Guten Rutsch,” which is a common greeting used on New Year’s Eve. Translated, it means a good and healthy slide into the New Year to the person being addressed. Earlier today on a walk with Lance I took advantage of opportunities to use this greeting to neighbors and passersby on the street.
Speaking of Lance, he has been a total trooper throughout our entire trip. From the plane rides to the six-hour time difference to new faces to the sleeping arrangements, he has adjusted remarkably well. He is having a wonderful time playing with Oma, Opa, Oncle Joerg, Tante Peggy, and cousins Jonas, Josef, and Nina.
But back to the aforementioned food talk. Food. Let’s talk about food. Germany is the land of brats, sausages, wieners and many other different types of meats. As travel guides say, “vegetarians will have a difficult time in Germany.” Thankfully, I do not have this problem. Quite the contrary.
German food is scrumptous and heavy, especially the week between Christmas and New Year’s so I always bring my appetite. Jan & I covet this week because the food is unlike what we normally eat at home. And plentiful. VERY plentiful. Did I say plentiful? My mother-n-law is queen of the kitchen and organizes and prepares most of the delicious meals. She keeps our tummies full and satisfied all week long.
Among other dishes I am probably forgetting, here is a snapshot of what we have been eating…
Christmas Eve: Bratwurst, wieners, and potato salad.
Christmas: Beef Rouladen, potato dumplings, and vegetables.
Second Christmas Day: Christmas Goose, potato dumplings, red cabbage, and brussel sprouts.
The rest of the week we have been eating homemade soups, potatoes and quark, fried camenbert, fish, macaroni with jagdwurst, cheese and tomato soup.
In Dresden and Berlin we ate Brats and Gluwein (warm, spiced wine) on the street. And no matter how cold and snowy it gets in Germany there are always people standing around small tables at Christmas markets eating and drinking. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Germany.
A typical German breakfast consists of fresh rolls, an array of cheese (brie, blue cheese, swiss, gouda, gruenluender) and meats (salami, liverwurst, sausage, ham, lox), cucumbers, soft-boiled (or poached) eggs, yogurt, fruit, and coffee.
And if that is not enough, we sit down to coffee and cake (stollen) almost every afternoon around 4 p.m. Chocolates and sweets are also everywhere to be found throughout the entire day. We even have a bowl full of goodies next to our bed. My favorite kind of candy is anything that involves nougat.
I admit, my pants are getting tight. But this time of year I just do not worry about it. Not one bit.
Tonight, New Year’s Eve and our second to last night in Germany, we will watch “Dinner for One,” a traditional German comedy about a 90th birthday party. This eighteen minute movie, released in 1963, is a must watch each year and highly worth checking out on YouTube.
What will we eat tonight? Schaschlik, which is different type of meats (surprise, surprise), peppers, and onions on a skewer. At midnight we will bring in 2012 with fireworks and champagne. So… until midnight… Guten Rutsch!