Monday, January 21, 2008

Grub (noch mal!)

While I continue to be frustrated from time to time by the food situation/scene in Berlin (today's frustration was my inability to find Lapsang souchong tea, though this may have more to do with my looking in the wrong place and not being much of a tea expert), I am still making new discoveries (one of the stands at my Friday market actually sells food that they grow on their farm...) and remembering that sometimes, if you want something, you have to make it happen. Thus, Berlin Reified and I decided to throw another Grub potluck (again, in the tradition of my Psister's Berkeley Grubs). As most everyone is recently back from the holidays (whether that meant a subway ride across town or 3 airplanes), our theme for the evening was Cook Something from Home, "home" of course, was subject to interpretation. While the first Grub was a lot of fun, we were a little frustrated that too many people didn't cook but brought cheese (sorry, Diana, but it is a cooking party) and the cheapest beer that isn't embarrassing. So, this time, we kindly but sternly forbade people from bringing cheese (not that I didn't manage to make a delicious mac and cheese out of the many, many bits of mystery cheese left at the end of the night) and mass produced beer. We may have weeded out a few people, but we were quite pleased with the spread. Home may be particularly difficult for temporary/permanent expats to define (though we had many "real" Germans in attendence) and for Americans (among others) "home food" can seem pretty international ... we had a lot of Asian-ish food (Vietnamese springrolls from San Francisco, sushi from a German who had lived in Japan and California rolls from a Californian, an invented Korean tofu dish from a Korean-German, an Indonesian noodle thing from a half-Dutch woman, and Chicken Yakitori from an Australian who also lived in Japan). Latin America/the Southwest wasn't so well represented, but I did my part with my grandmother's (Tucson) Green Corn Tamales made with local Schmalz and German Bergkäse. We promised ourselves we were going to take pictures, but it didn't happen once again...GrubBerlin will come back to life in March and I promise to try harder...(though I hope you are all impressed with my newfound linking skills).


anne said...

the linking is impressive, indeed!
obviously, i never made it to the post office before going to chicago, so the books are awaiting your next stateside visit (or my euro one), or my next post office trip, whichever comes first! miss you!

Berlin Reified said...

Oh, you linking devil you! Have you checked out the tea place on Danziger Straße just past Schönhauser Allee and Pappelallee? The man there is very competent and patient with people who want to smell five kinds of Assam...

Diana Pittet said...

Yes, I am very impressed with the linking, esp. since you linked to me! And did you change the color of your site?

I may love cheese, but I do agree with you that it's lame to bring it to a pot luck even thought it can be an expensive contribution.

Another recommendation for leftover cheese: fromage fort--garlic, white wine, several grindings of black pepper, and scraps of cheese all blended together and then spread on bread and melted under a broiler.

I might buy my ticket to Berlin tomorrow.