We have moved into our house and we’re back online. It is so nice to be back in touch with all of you.
For some reason, people seem to think that Germans aren’t very funny – that they’re just ernst (serious) all the time. That’s not true at all, but I would say that many of the Germans I know tend to have dry sense of humor.
The other day, I was buying Aufschnitt (cold cuts) and cheese for our deutsches Abendbrot. I’ll explain what that is in a moment. We are currently without a car, so sometimes Rosebud and I have been walking to our local grocery store, a Tengelmann store (http://www.kaisers.de). It’s one of the national grocery stores here in Germany. I enjoy the walk, and often someone will stop and talk with us. Having a cute baby along often gets people to talk with you.
When I stopped at the deli counter, the gentleman waiting on us had a great sense of humor. Bear in mind that I was wearing Rosebud in our carrier so that she could see what was going on. She was fascinated by everyone and everything. I first asked for four Bratwurst. The gentleman joked, “Ah, two for you and two for baby.” Then I asked for Schinken – smoked black forest ham. By black forest, I really do mean the black forest, the Schwarzwald. He held up the whole block and said with a big grin, “You want the whole thing, yes?” Then he laughed and sliced off what I requested.
First, I must extol the virtues of Schinken. It’s a truly unique ham product, and it is one of those foods that I invariably associate with the German-speaking world. It’s thin like bacon, and it’s smoked so the texture is slightly dry and it has a nice salty taste to it. Schinken is really wonderful stuff.
So, deutsches Abendbrot: most Germans eat a light breakfast, have their main meal of the day at lunchtime, and then have a lighter dinner which they call Abendbrot (evening bread). I guess you could say we are going native and enjoying our Abendbrot at least a few times a week. Usually it consists of bread and/or rolls, cold cuts and cheese, and salad, fruit and yogurt, and maybe Quark. Quark is possibly my most favorite dairy product ever, like a thick and creamy yogurt. And of course, one might enjoy a beer or glass of wine with their Abendbrot. Traditionally, each member of the family would have their own little wooden board (like a small cutting board) on which to prepare their Abendbrot.
In these pictures, you can see some of the yummy bread. We’ve got two types here – the rolls are called Laugenbrot. I haven’t seen this kind outside of Bavaria. They’re basically pretzel dough turned into rolls, and they’re very tasty. Then I have a loaf of Roggenbrot, a rye bread with lots of sunflower seeds. This particular loaf has a cute label – it’s called a Hedgehog bread because the shape makes you think of a hedgehog. And then you can see our Abendbrot spread. That’s basically Abendbrot!
I have lots more to say in the coming days, and lots of pictures to upload. We received a lot of snow shortly after we moved in, we’ve already made friends with several neighbors and we’ve taken a few short trips to towns near where we live.
By the way, you may be wondering why I capitalize so many of the German words – it’s because in German, all nouns are capitalized.