One week today we leave Germany. And although they have many weird and wonderful traditions, customs and foods, there are many more that I will miss.
In Germany you can find a bakery on every corner, even within some larger department stores. Germans love their baked goods and who can blame them, they are pretty damn good at it?
These bad boys are called Laugenknotten, they are a kind of pretzel type dough, but chewier and not salty and without the crunch. I will admit to a slight addiction and fully intend to eat my body weight in them before we leave.
You have probably read my ravings about the garlic mushrooms you get at the fairs here. Another wonderful German delicacy and try as we might, the hubster and I have not managed to recreate them…yet. Although he does have a German Aunty who I intend to tap up when we get back to England, she tells me she doesn’t know the secret but I feel she may be holding out on me.
Rot Kohl or pickled red cabbage is another food stuff we will miss. It’s entirely different to our version of red cabbage (incidentally, my Nana makes the best English pickled red cabbage in the world!). Rot Kohl is not crunchy and quite sweet tasting rather than the sharpness of our pickles. Over here they heat it and eat it as an accompaniment to meat dishes. It goes fabulously well with a roast beef dinner or sausage and mash. But, we have found, works just as well in a salad.
I could go on, there are the ice cream parlours on the corners that don’t have bakeries, the currywurst stands, the gluhwein at Christmas, the strawberries that are the sweetest I have ever tasted, the gingerbread and apfelkuchen.
But apart from food, the wonderful sense of family the Germans have is something I have never experienced in the UK, I have seen it all over Europe, but never in England. Children are welcome wherever you go here and a noisy or over zealous child is always seen as a pleasure- a child merely being a child, never a nuisance. People stop on the street and tell what beautiful children you have, in England we would find that weird, but there is almost a sense of innocence here that allows it as the norm and no harm or potential weirdness is meant.
To begin with I struggled with no Sunday shopping, I mean what else is there to do on a Sunday but wander aimlessly around B&Q buying things we don’t really need? But I have learned to appreciate the fact that Sundays are meant for spending time with eachother, relaxing and enjoying our time together.
And finally, one word~ Christmas! The entire season is just magical over here. Whether young or old they embrace the festivities and have not given in to the commercialism in the way we seem to have done. There is a feeling of magic in the air from the end of November until well into January. We have encountered some lovely traditions over here that we will carry with us and we shall definitely do our best to keep that Christmas magic alive in our celebrations wherever we live.
With our forces gradually being brought back from Germany over the next few years the chances of a posting here are becoming slim, but to anyone who has never visited this beautiful country, I urge you to put it on your list.