Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year & Einen Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr

The last half of the title means "A good slide into the New Year", which is how you wish someone Happy New Year here.  Nothing is every short & to the point here in Germany - there are always lots of words in an expression or lots of words put together to make a new word...  I am constantly reading things out loud to figure out what it actually means.

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.



  1. Oh wow! It must be so frustrating waiting for all your goods to arrive! I can imagine how hard it must be to remember what you do and don't have with you. And not to have a car! That takes a lot of getting used to as well! I love that you used floss to tie the meat rolls closed with. :D That is creativity -- the floss police would be pleased! I hope you all have a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year in your new home!

  2. Hallo Sylvia.
    Ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie einen wunderschönen Jahreswechsel! Alles Liebe und Gute für das neue Jahr und daß Ihr Euch bald heimisch fühlt.
    Heute wird's wohl "etwas" laut. Letztes Jahr wurde etwa 1/2 Stunde geböllert und Neckargemünd hat wie ein Hexenkessel ausgeschaut. War echt schön.
    Liebe Sylvestergrüße, Margit

  3. Happy New Year!! One of Eric's favorite Italian dishes is bragiole, which is very similar to what you made. You cook them in sauce and they are sooo good. I love love love your hat and that yarn for your socks is gorgeous! I want to KNIT! Guess, I'll be re-learning as one of my resolutions for 2010. Jenny Bean is looking fantastic, even if you've only managed a little bit on her. Every stitch counts. And if you need more Parched Bones, I'll send you some! What a creative way to tie up your dinner though - reminds me of that scene in Bridget Jones where her soup turns blue from the string she used. LOL! Your skirt is going to be fabulous - that looks like Amy Butler fabric. I hope your stuff shows up soon - how hard to be living without so many things. But, it sounds like you are making do! Miss you!!

  4. Hey girl! I finally got around to sending you a long email...hope all is well there in COLD Germany!!