Saturday, December 5, 2009

Beschäftigt in der Küche

It has been a while - but 'tis the season and I've been busy in the kitchen....

As proof/justification for my lack of writing, I offer a few images:

Thanksgiving pies waiting to be picked up (I can accept the fact that I had to import pie pans (though you do have to pity a culture that doesn't even know about, let alone appreciate (worship?) pie), but the fact that I was forced to house them in pizza boxes (which work OK for pumpkin, but are seriously too shallow for a proper apple) because this supposedly cosmopolitan city doesn't have a single store selling baking supplies (a la New York Cake Supplies). You must be able to order them from somewhere, but still....

Christmas Linzer Cookies (particularly delicious delicious with my foraged plum jam). Thanks to Martha Stewart for the Christmas tree cut-out idea (and the recipe, which I highly recommend as the dough is surprisingly workable and the finished product even better than I had expected: after sampling a single cookie, one customer immediately ordered a kilo.)

And a marshmallow snowman awaiting his perch atop a chocolate cupcake. This guy and his cohorts were sold at a Christmas Bazaar at an international school here (part of my attempt to teach myself marketing/self-promotion). I really can't tell you how defenseless small children are in the face of these guys. I felt almost guilty. (Again, I have to give some credit to Martha (the woman (or her staff) does have good ideas), but not all that much as hers look a lot more like birds than snowmen. And I couldn't get behind the beret look...).

Finally, on a totally unrelated note, a shot from the cemetery down the street. While I'm not a cemetery person, I have to admit the Germans do this better than we do. Each plot is almost a little garden with loved ones regularly tending to the plants, making cemeteries feel less desolate, which I think is a nice thing. Who wants to spend eternity in desolate sterility? One of the cemeteries in my old neighborhood had an actual and frequented playground within its walls. And a different cemetery in my new neighborhood (where the brothers Grimm are supposedly buried) includes a cafe. But, of course they are still German cemeteries so the plots are neatly arranged (no wild flowers growing into the neighbor's plot now!). And in this photo, you can see that the various people who come to tend to the mini gardens keep their personal watering cans on-site and they are all Germanically locked up so that nobody can steal them!