Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Es ist kein affiges Hochzeitsblog

This is no fluffy wedding blog (with page-long debates as to the pros and cons of mint and geranium vs. sunshine and moonglow as wedding colors or whine about why my bridesmaids don't like the dresses I decided they should like), but...planning this shindig here in the Fatherland has led to some fun discoveries, like....

1. The Wholesale Flower Market! I always meant to check out the NYC version, but never got around it (read: got up early enough to do it). 8 AM was plenty early for a Saturday morning, which is my excuse for forgetting my camera, but I can share a picture of the sample I brought home. Anemones are almost as nice as poppies, no?!Ok, the picture is bad. My apartment gets terrible light. You'll have to trust me: they were lovely.

2. The extreme cuteness of miniature Weck jars. The big ones are cool, it's true, but you have no idea how cute the tiny ones are. Making little jars of jam to serve as favors and table number assignments is my one real Martha Stewart project for the wedding. I have to admit, it seemed like a better idea back before I was in the middle of it. Maybe Spring will finally manage to arrive and I can fill the last 40 or so jars with some nice rhubarb jam. I think I should try to squeeze in some orange marmalade though, seeing as winter is lingering (and the RSVPs keep on coming (note to those desiring a small wedding: avoid marrying the gregarious types who are exceedingly good at keeping in touch with friends)).

3. And most excitingly....we have finally found a caterer who doesn't think (a) mozzarella and tomato (regardless of the season or the quality of the cheese or tomaotes) is the be all and end all, (b) quark and tsatsiki are requirements for any and all sorts of grilled meats, or (c) sauerkraut beds have a place at weddings. Ick. My caterer understands that there is not one recipe for coleslaw. And I didn't even have to explain it to him. He actually thinks about food, doesn't just make sauerkraut because there will be pork. And he complemented mein Mann (seriously) on his really ugly Republican-Hippie sweater (my opinion, clearly others like it). It was a happy day for one and all.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ein romantisches Frühstück mit Schnee

Who says cream of wheat doesn't have the makings of a romantic breakfast?! All you have to do is cut your dried fruit compote into heart shapes! (I'll spare you the details of the char that was the compote syrup. I have a special knack for getting distracted and burning things. Burned granola is my specialty, but the compote syrup really took the cake. Luckily I had fished out the fruit, which was vanilla-y and delicious).

And check out how cute Berlin can be in the snow: kids here still use toboggans! Here is a whole pre-school group of mini-tobogganers! The hill across the street from our apartment is full of them! In the morning/afternoon, parents pull their Kinder to/from school. It just about makes the fact that we haven't seen the sun in weeks (weeks!) bearable. I'll have to think really hard about how cute this is when I am paler than my wedding dress. Alas........

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Die Rückkehr

So, my job was the Hammer (as they say here when something is really cool), but it did keep me from telling you all kinds of funny things (most of which I've most likely forgotten by now) both because I was crazy busy and because I signed a contract promising not to ... but there were lots of funny, non confidential happenings. The dog cages outside KaDeWe (big fancy department store), for example. Of course I learned about this because I didn't walk in the main entrance with the hoi polloi, but from one of the parking garage entrances (don't be too jealous, I'm now back to using public transportation like the rest/most of you (it's actually my preference; driving someone else's car is way too stressful for me). Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of these amusing dog cages and there were never any dogs in them when I was there, but I love the idea of rich ladies stashing their dachshunds and miniature schnauzers while they shop. I also really liked shopping at KaDeWe on someone else's Euro, though I still maintain that the place is almost 100% overpriced things you can buy at better quality for less price elsewhere.

In other news, watching Obama get elected from afar had it's pros and cons. It is pretty thrilling to watch the Germans gush over him. They are seriously jealous that our president is cooler than then theirs (and pretty much everyone's, no?). On the other hand, effectively missing the election and the inauguration made me feel like I am really far away from home, from my generation, from all the excitement. Cheap international calls, skype, email, etc.... sometimes only being there is being there (although I'm sure some of you would argue that if I was on Facebook, I would have felt closer).

And then there is the thrill of wedding planning in a language you have yet to really master. I do now have the distinguished honor of having successfully (I think) negotiated a wild boar roast auf Deutsch. I guess not every bride-to-be can say that. It's nice to be removed from the wedding hysteria that exists in the US, but doing everything in Germany means.....I had to take my own measurements and email them to my dressmaker/designer (actually I had to do this twice because the first time I (and my trusty assistant/Mann measured my neck as being larger than my waist, invitations that are standard-size in the US turn out to be 1 cm bigger than standard in Germany and are all returned with big ugly stickers on them (ok, I could have figured this out in advance, but instead I chose to throw a tiny fit, blaming it all on the absurdness of the Fatherland's overpriced postal system and my complete inability to lead even a mildly productive expat life before calming down, peeling off the ugly stickers and sending mein Mann off to buy extra postage) ... oh, and all the caterers are just lame. There has got to be someone in this country who wants to do something other than insist that I need tsatsiki to go with my roast meat (what?! I like tsatsiki just fine, but why on earth do German's think it is a mandatory grill condiment?) and throw mozzarella and tomato salad/kebabs/etc. at me (sure I like the combination, but there are hardly any good tomatoes in Germany, even in summer. I don't know why, but it's true so serving this in May (even if it is considered the height of luxury here) is not going to happen at my party. Don't even get me started on the caterer that wants to give me a bed of sauerkraut for my roast wild boar. I like sauerkraut as much as the next girl (maybe more), but does anything not scream wedding or May garden party as much as sauerkraut? Anyway, you/the guests will just have to believe that in my head, the food at my wedding is perfect.....

And now I am off into the wintery mix that is Berlin this week to run all the errands I haven't been able to get to for the last five or so months. I will try really hard to have exciting encounters and maybe even document them with my new camera and then tell/show you about them. I promise!