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Zwetschgenmännchen, making dolls out of plums
Allgemein
Germany
Northern Europe

"Zwetschgemännle" made out of dried Prunes

For decades the “Zwetschgenmännle” which are popular figures from dried Prunes, can be found at the colorful world of the Christkindlesmarkt. There are over 350 different figures – from “Nackerte” (Naked) to “Schlotfeger” (Chimney sweeper) to Lovers. The repertoire ranges. There are hundreds of Gnomes and bass Violin players, Guitarists and Pianists, Cooks and Waiters, Mushroom pickers, Pastors, and even Devils etc.

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Christmas of my childhood banner
Allgemein
Germany
Northern Europe

“Weihnachten” from my Childhood

The Advent in Germany is the most magical and festive time. I remember the romantic historical Christkindlmarkets, the garland, lights and glittering Christmas trees, the Glühwein and Lebkuchen that makes a dreary season heart light up. As children we decorated a wreath with four candles, called “Adventskranz,” and lit a new candle every Sunday. Afterward we would walk down the street and view the decorated homes with wreaths, yards and trees with strings of lights, and pyramids with candles in the windows.

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Passau boat ride, Schifffahrt Stephansdom, Cathedral, Passau
Germany
Northern Europe
Travel Destinations

Passau, the city where three Rivers meet

After settling in at my Airbnb in Passau, a city in Lower Bavaria, I took a walk at the beautiful waterfront promenade. There were colorful flowers and buildings as I strolled along. I noticed the architecture of Passau’s old city buildings, and as I was reading later, there is a reason why it has an Italian flair. After the catastrophic city fire of 1662, the Italian influence can be seen everywhere….

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Egg Liquor cake, Eierlikörkuchen
Cake and Torte
Desserts
Germany
Northern Europe
Recipes

Egg Liquor and Rum Cake will lighten up any gathering

Many people already know about Eierlikörkuchen from a German grandma – who, of course, has made the world’s best. Same recipe can be used as Rumkuchen (Rum cake). Incidentally, those cakes are often made with an oil and butter mixture. This creates a very special moisture. In the classic version, it is baked in a […]

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Hot Egg liquor Punsch, Eierpunsch
Drinks, mixed
Germany
Northern Europe
Recipes

Eierpunsch or Eggnog Liquor Punsch

Made with Eggnog Liquor and White Wine. It is something you would not expect to taste this good. It can easily become your favorite drink at the Christmas Market. Eggnog Liquor (by Evan Williams) or the more expensive Verpoorten should be available in the US at least 6 weeks before Christmas at the Liquor store. […]

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Topfenknoedel, Austrian dish
Austria
Desserts
Germany
Northern Europe
Recipes

Austrian Topfenknödel

A typical Austrian or Bavarian dish I ate in Mittenwald, South Bavaria. These are called “Topfenknödel“. Topfen means Quark, and can be substituted with Greek Yoghurt. The dumplings could be be filled with Plum or Apricot pieces, and covered with puppy seed instead of bread crumps. While preparing the Topfenknoedel, you can make the Vanilla […]

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Mittenwald, Karwendel Mountains, Bavaria
Germany
Northern Europe
Travel Destinations

Mittenwald in the Karwendel mountains

When driving south from Landshut, I tried to avoid the Autobahn. After a couple of hours through South Bavaria, I arrived in Mittenwald. A lovely Bavarian town known for their Facade paintings on homes, and the Karwendel mountain peaks as a backdrop. South of where the Isar rises, Bavaria meets Tyrol. Thus, Mittenwald became a trade […]

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Sauerbraten Recipe, German Dish
Germany
Main Course
Recipes

Sweet-sour and tangy Sauerbraten

A Sunday meal I remember growing up. That sweet and sour, tangy taste and smell you won’t forget. Some have to develop tastebuds for it. Sauerbraten can be a big hit a the dinner table, you can’t go wrong cooking for a big crowd. Plan for it way in advance, the marinating takes several days […]

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Doener plate, Turkish food
Allgemein
Germany
Main Course
Recipes

Döner, a popular street food

A Döner is the Turkish version Greek Gyros. When in Germany, I order my Plate with a slaw, cucumber, tomatoes and fried garlic potatoes. It’s my other favorite street food while in Germany. The true Döner was discovered 1867 by Iskender Efendi (Master Alexander), the original family restaurant is located near Istanbul (Bursa), Turkey, where […]

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Landshut, Bavaria streetscape
Germany
Travel Destinations

Landshut, a Bavarian Jewel just north of Munich

Landshut is the capital of Lower Bavaria. This considerable small town of about 70,000 inhabitants was a pleasant surprise when visiting friends recently. Just 20 minutes north of the Munich Airport, Landshut is one of the richest industrialized towns in Bavaria with a striving economy.  After a three-day stay Passau, I was driving for about […]

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