One of the challenges for parents with children is when to find time to spend with your spouse. Living in another country, across the pond, has made that even more challenging for us. I must admit, when David was first offered his position here in Penzberg, our daughter was only three weeks old and my immediate reaction was absolutely not! I wanted Rosebud to grow up close to her grandparents in Cincinnati and our dear friends in Indianapolis, who, of course, could also babysit for us.
Since we moved here last January, David and I had not had the opportunity to go on a date without Rosebud. Our four-year anniversary was this past Thursday, so we decided to find a babysitter so we could spend some much-needed time together without having to worry about Rosebud. One of the American families in our neighborhood are missionaries. They have four children, the eldest of whom is about 16 or 17. I brought Rosebud to meet her this past Tuesday and was so happy with how she interacted with our daughter. She came over to our house yesterday and watched Rosebud for the afternoon. Rosebud was very happy and seemed to enjoy herself.
As for David and me, we had a fantastic day of shopping in Bad Tölz. For lunch, we went to the Ratskeller Restaurant, which primarily serves Bavarian specialties. David had Pfefferhaxe, which was a deep-fried ham hock (also called pork knuckle) with green peppercorn sauce. Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I joked that perhaps this is like the fried turkey of Bavaria. I had a venison goulash with Pfifferling (chanterelle) mushrooms. Both dishes were outstanding. I’m glad we tried this restaurant because now I know it will be a great place to bring our family and friends when they visit.
One of the shops we visited was the Enzianbrennerei (or Enzian distillery) Max Schwaighofer. In addition to offering Enzian and other spirits, they have a coffee and wine bar in the back of their shop, wine tasting tables and an impressive wine selection. We had the opportunity to try some Austrian wines, including a Zweigelt Barrique. Zweigelt is a grape crossing of Blaufränkisch (also called Lemberger or Franconia) and St. Laurent (a grape from the Burgundy family) and barrique means the wine was aged in an oak barrel. We decided to purchase the Zweigelt Barrique wine for our Thanksgiving dinner, so we are looking forward to that on Saturday. We’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving then because David has to work on Thursday and Friday.
The other amazing find at the shop was one of their specialties, Lebkuchenlikör. It’s a Schnapps that is so popular, they now offer it year-round instead of during the Christmas season. Lebkuchenlikör tastes like Lebkuchen, which is essentially German gingerbread. The Schnapps itself has an amaretto base with the added Lebkuchen spices and it’s one of the nicest Schnapps I have ever tasted. I picked up an information sheet on the Lebkuchenlikör, which suggests it is not only nice as a digestif, but also lovely added to tea, coffee, hot chocolate; or you can pour it over ice cream; or add it to cake batter. All of these possibilities sound pretty darn good to me. The next time I am in Tölz, I am going to see if they have miniature bottles of the Lebkuchenlikör because I think it will make a nice gift.