Our Christmas was quite - no tree with year since we were without a car & dragging one home on foot was out of the question. Here are a few pics of our Christmas Eve Dinner, which as a very traditional German meal ( not difficult to recreate at home). Mind you, it was not a traditional German Christmas Dinner, which involves goose or some sort of fish. I opted to stick with something tried and true. We usually have chicken pot pie topped with a chive mashed potato crust, but lacking a baking dish, a food processor and a whole chicken, I went with what we had. This is dish is called Rouladen. They are stuffed, rolled thin cuts of top round, browned & braised until tender. Yumm.
Each "steak" is laid out, topped with a bit of mustard, salt, pepper, onion ( cut into rings), a slice of bacon, a quarter of a sour pickle spear, a quarter stick of carrot. The whole thing is rolled up and usually pinned with a toothpick ( no toothpicks here, so two strands of "Parched Bones" floss from Jenny Bean were consumed tying these guys up....please don't call the Stitching Police)
I used to braise these with some beer ( some for me, some for the Rouladen), but after my son Adam was diagnosed with Celiac Disease ten years ago, I could not use it anymore due to the gluten in beer. Now I use beef stock, I might put in a bit of red wine if I have a bottle open. So, after simmering the tasty rolls for about 2 hrs in a pot with the lid on, they look like this:
After removing the actual rolls, I skim a bit off the fat & thicken the liquid with some cornstarch ( flour is ok too, just not for us). This is traditionally served with Spaetzle ( yummy fat, short egg dumplings) & red cabbage. Mashed or boiled potatoes are good too - you want something that you can eat with the delicious gravy. So, here is a pic of the finished meal. Please excuse the fancy red plastic plates that currently serve as our dishes.
Anyone hungry yet - I know I am...
Now on to something crafty. Due to the inclement weather here I decided I needed to knit myself a cap ASAP. Running around in a knitted camo beanie that belonged to one of my sons, really did not quite go with my self image. After much looking I found a pattern that appealed to me & I could actually conquer. The The Esme Hat fit the bill.
What is that knitting needle doing on the top of the hat, you ask.. well, I currently don't have a tapestry needle or crochet hook to finish it off. That requires another trip into town - maybe on Saturday. The fun thing about this hat is that the brim is cabled.
For my next project I am going to knit some socks - these in fact, Corn Row Sock
Here is my teeny, weeny start:
Now, I know what you are thinking.... what happened to my stitching. I am in a bit of a funk regarding that. I have Jenny Bean with me, and have spent very little time with her. I don't have very good light here and since the light starts fading around 3:00 p.m., especially when it is cloudy, I just lose all motivation to stitch. So here is where she stands now - excuse the wrinkles - no iron yet.
Yesterday I took a trip ( a looooong trip) to Patrick Henry Village ( one of the Army installations here ), to head for the Arts & Crafts Center. They have a really good selection of fabrics there & some scrapbooking stuff, DMC floss, and a variety of other things. I decided that I would make myself a skirt with all my free time. My dad bought me a very basic Singer sewing machine, which should do whatever I need to do ( being a real basic sewer myself). I made friends with the lady that manages the place, she helped me pick out some fabric, it was cut, I happily paid for my purchases, walked the 1/2 hour back to the nearest bus stop, while thinking about sewing this skirt.
I was busily planning a trip to the German fabric store that I has spied, while I was making a mad dash to catch the train on Monday before my ticket expired, to buy some sewing thread, a zipper & a button for my hat, when it dawned on me - I have no scissors to cut fabric. Aaargh - I keep running up against not having things, but I don't want to buy another one since I have them in my household good which are currently enjoying the high seas. So, for now I will admire the fabric & when the car comes I will have my husband drive me to the Arts & Crafts center to cut my fabric.... I can't wait for our stuff to get here.
With this bit of frustration I conclude my last post for 2009. I wish each and everyone of you a wonderful start for the New Year. I thank you for reading my blog & leaving comments. I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends who share my passion. I leave you with a pic of the family toasting our first Christmas in Germany.