Coffee Chat: Thoughts on Creamed Chicken, the Fifties Housewife & other things

Long time no chat.  Hi there!  Let’s just jump right in with todays chat,  I hope you have a cup (or pot) of your favorite beverage nearby.  Today, I’m drinking ice-cold sparkling water with a slice of cucumber.  It’s HOT! I mean, Africa hot!!  Its 28 degrees (that’s 82 in farenheit) in my kitchen right now and its early in the day.

I tried another recipe from the Betty Crocker Picture cookbook for the cooking-through challenge.  The key recipe for Creamed Chicken.  It was really easy and quick, especially having leftover chicken breast to use.  I poured the mixture over egg noodles as suggested and it looked nice but the flavor to me was quite bland.  As you know, I followed the recipe exactly.  If I do make it again, I would definitely season it up a bit.

Unfortunately, I have no picture  (sorry) as the batteries ran out on my camera, it only uses batteries and of course I did not have any of the right size in the house.

So with that said,

Keep or Toss?  Hmmm….. probably toss, but not sure yet.

Now on to other things as to where have I been?  We ended up having company last week and we did a bit of travel.  A river cruise on the Danube from Plattling, Germany to Linz Austria.  Absolutely beautiful!

 

We had about 5 hours on the ship, leaving at 9:00 a.m.  We spent the rest of the day exploring beautiful Linz. 

Then hopped on the train back to Germany.  Long, exhausting but wonderful day!

We also went to watch baseball in Regensburg to enjoy the Euro Cup games.  So wonderful watching the different countries compete.  I love that we live near a baseball city too.  One thing you may not know about me but my husband and I are baseball geeks.  In fact, he is so knowledgeable about the sport, including statistics and players from the early days, one would think he is American.

What else, oh, I finally got my garden finished.  Happy to say that I  have a few things actually growing!  We have had Barbecues and been enjoying visiting with extended family.  Also, did two 32K bike rides.  Finally, swimming at the beach.   It was a wonderful week!

But now… its back to the grind and as I mentioned, the heat.  I am not sure what I will be cooking for the cooking-through challenge for the rest of this month.  Normally, I have a plan and I do (or did), but I just can’t cook in my kitchen in these temps.  We do not have air conditioning, in fact, Germany does not do air-conditioning or ceiling fans even.  This includes many restaurants and stores.  I am not kidding.  I guess grilling, wasn’t quite a thing in the Fifties yet. The heat wave is only supposed to last the rest of this week, so we will have to wait and see what happens then.

Other things… Remember back when I said I was going to try three months has a 50s housewife?  Well, here are the results of that experiment.  The 1950s housewife prided her self on running an efficient home and always looking and dressing modern.  She did not wear clothing or hairstyles that her grandmother wore.  I still have many of the core values I was raised with, I think I run a pretty efficient home,  I am frugal, although Happily Mr. is the king of frugal living.   As for clothing and hairstyles, I do have a vintage dress I love.  I can do pretty much any hairstyle if I so choose.  My hair usually has a mind of its own though.   I have stopped shopping though or should I say buying.  I do enjoy window shopping but finally don’t feel the need to buy.  I have enough to work with to look my best and that is finally good enough for me.

This experiement did make me reflect on a few things though.  Making do with what you have.  I learned it is more society telling  me I need  new and improved items and new styles, although, in reality, I don’t.   Sometimes, something a bit worn may just need a simple makeover or a needle and thread.  I also didn’t realize how much food I waste.  I guess I still am adjusting to buying only for two and having a european size refridgerater.  I have more recently changed my grocery habits a bit which ironically is very similar to the housewives of the Fifties.

As to limiting my internet usage and social media, since that wasn’t around in that decade,  I have to tell you, my hardest part was watching YouTube videos, I did not realize how often I will sit down in the middle of the day and watch a few!   Now, in the middle of the day, I do take a break, if I am home, but I watch a German soap opera.  I have to laugh as I remember my mom watching Search for Tomorrow!  I feel, this is a better use of my time as I really need to improve my language skills.

I still am online on my laptop though, or else I wouldn’t be posting this.  I just allow myself a certain block of time to answer emails and blog.  What I did learn is I need to have  another slot of time for reading my favorite blogs or watch my favorite youtubers and look at Facebook.  So what I do now is take only  half an hour 5 days a week to do this.  Which is usually between 10 and 10 30 am, again, if I am home.   I set my timer when I hop online.  Its a great way to keep track of the time.  The only social median I have now is FB.   Living so far away from friends and family, it is the only way, unfortunately,  that I can keep in touch.  Although, Facebook is a touchy subject for me as it usually makes me homesick and a bit depressed.  I am finding I prefer to email with loved ones, honestly, and may start doing that more often instead.  Darn, I am wordy!

So, to conclude, I don’t feel like I failed my experiment at all.  In fact, I feel more in tune to whats important in my life. I may not look or act like a fifties housewife but I guess that wasn’t what it was about after all.  I just am the best person that I can be.  I am proud to take care of our home.  Living in the moment, just being myself and keeping my husband happy.  If he is happy, than I always seem to be too.

Sorry, I will work on the length of my posts,  maybe stick to just one subject in the future.  I really need to get a bit more organized and I will!  Do I hear another experiment coming?  😉

Happy Summer my friends!

 

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Weekend Recap & chatty stuff

Well, I am back from celebrating my birthday in Holland.  To say I had a wonderful time is an understatement!  It is a memory that I will cherish forever.  As this wasn’t really “traveling” but more like visiting, I sadly do not have many photos to share.  Also, the one day we visited the Wildlands (which is an adventure zoo in Emmen) it was so cold outside that I had issues with the lens of my camera steaming up.

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I didn’t add any effects to this photo.  So, I put the camera away and just enjoyed the day.

Another of the highlights from my trip was shopping in the city of Groningen.  If you don’t know me,  I have a deep dark secret.  I love makeup, especially MAC.  I haven’t bought any since living over here as it costs twice the price in Europe.  But…. because of my birthday, I was spoiled…

My husband took so much video of this trip.  I am wondering out loud, if I shouldn’t make a YouTube channel to share all the videos in the future?  Hmmm….  He loves to do the videos and I love to take the photos.  We make a good pair, don’t we?!

We also got to see an old steam train while we were waiting to board our connection in Nuremberg.  It was so beautiful, iconic and loud!  I don’t have a good photo as it was dark out, but my husbands video is pretty cool.

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So that was my weekend and since I have been back I finished the final de-clutter project in our home.  I know, I probably should have shared that too.

I have brought up all the christmas decor from the cellar and am working on making our home holiday ready.

On a not so happy note, while we were away,  our city hall, which was over 600 years old burned down.  So devastating!  Thankfully no one was hurt! Here is a rooftop view looking into the building from the newspaper.

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One thing I love about living here is the rich history of many of the buildings and the architecture.  We will be heading into the city later today as our Christkindlemarkt opens tonight.  I don’t know how festive it will seem this year with the empty shell of our “Rathaus” looming over the square.  But… I will let you know.

I think or rather, I know I will be sharing a bit more on this blog about “my days” in the coming year.  I still am on the fence though about “vlogging” on YouTube.  Let me know your thoughts on that, I could really use a little imput.

Well, I need to get a move on as the beautiful sun is rising,  so must I.

 

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Are the days of spontaneous travel gone forever?

honeymoon 2011 070I sure hope not!

I lately wonder if technology has ruined the spontaneity of traveling. Other than booking our transportation and a hotel we rarely plan anything when taking a trip. Relying only on a map of our destination along with a travel guide. Yes, it is a small book which are still thankfully readily available through a book store or amazon.

Sadly, a newer trend is popping up where a reservation must be made online to visit some sites. It seems that there are a few places  where one can no longer decide to just walk in off the street to visit or tour a place of interest. Thankfully, this has not taken off everywhere and I hope it never does as I do not have internet capabilities when traveling, by choice.

The process of sightseeing is an adventure in itself. Why plan your day hour by hour? Sometimes, due to transportation delays one may not get to their destination at the alloted time for a tour. It happens and is all part of the adventure.

Personally, some delays have led us to some of the most interesting places which we did not intend to visit or even knew existed.  Like in this photo of the Eiffel Tower.  We were just “walking the streets” of Paris enjoying the warmth in of an early spring day.   We were so surprised to look to our right and see the tower.  It was a beautiful experience.

I believe the best way to travel is to not plan too much. Get to your desired destination, check in to your hotel, talk to some local people and begin walking around. Some of the best attractions are off the main paths. Places that the local residents enjoy and places that you just simply stumble upon.

So when planning your next trip be sure not to schedule too much and just be present and enjoy the adventure.

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Delicious Baked Camembert & old Leipzig Gastronomy

Let’s talk about food and with this post I must add beer as the two go together at this place.

My husband had heard about this old beergarten with a rich history so of course we set out one afternoon to go find it.  We had gotten off a tram and began our walk down a narrow cobblestone street in a quiet area of Leipzig.  This was when we stumbled upon Schiller’s house (which I mentioned in my previous post).  We had no idea it would be on the same long winding street to the Gosen-Schenke ohne Bedenken Biergarten.

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Right, I know you are probably thinking what I was.  It looks like a normal building on the outside.  But as with many places in Leipzig, the front appearances are very deceiving.  Let’s go inside.

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Since it is such a beautiful warm day let’s walk on through…

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The tables and benches go back quite a ways.  In fact, it is huge!

This establishment opened in 1899 although the building itself was built in 1905.  Again, like a mentioned in my previous post the Gose beer was originally brewed first in the town of Goslar and has a distinct salty and herbal flavor.  It seems the people of Leipzig adopted this Gose recipe as their own.  It is very tasty.  Some American cities such as Chicago and Baltimore, are now brewing this beer at micro breweries even.  There is so much more history about this place and if you’re interested in knowing more  or seeing the menu, you can check out their website (in English).

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The restaurant was closed when Leipzig became part of the DDR and then reopened in 1986 by a private citizen who wanted to continue the tradition.   It is not just the beer that it is known for but also for its gastronomy and is rated highly as one of the best restaurants in Germany.

My opinion – it definitely is and let’s talk about that!

I ordered the baked camembert with baguette.  I honestly thought it would just be some warm camembert on a baguette but…

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The camembert was baked in a light, delicious beer batter.  OMG, it was truly amazing!  The flavors and textures – my mouth was very happy!  This was one of those times that I did not want my food to be gone, I savoured every bite!

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Would you like to see what my husband ate?  One of his favorites, Homemade Meat Jelly, seasoned with Gose and fried potatoes.  He said it was very good too!

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So that my friends, is it from Leipzig.

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We are looking forward to getting up that way again and definitely making time to enjoy another meal there.

Cheers

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Follow us around Leipzig, Germany

If you happened to read my last post, you know we are back from… you guessed it, Leipzig.  I admit I was a bit apprehensive about this trip when we found out the main Train Station was to be closed for the time we planned to be there.  They were replacing all of the tracks into the station.  A bit inconvenient but we made other connections using the S-Bahn from Halle (a city nearby).    The businesses were open and it was nice to look around and really see and take in the beauty of this old station without running to a platform to catch your connecting train.

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An elegant bookstore and cafe bar inside the train station.

The first day in Leipzig was the soccer game, our main reason for this trip.  The cool thing about this stadium is, it was built inside the existing old stadium.  This year is the first year that Leipzig is in the First Division.

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The old and current entrance to the Stadium

Can we just talk about the steps for a minute?!!!  We counted 290!  The entrance is not the only place with steps.  The guest entrance where we had to enter through had soooo many.  Too many!

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See the new stadium in the old?
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…and a peek inside

What is so wonderful about Leipzig is you can go anywhere in the city at anytime using the Trams.   Their public transportation is fantastic! So, we did a bit of sightseeing…

This building which looks like a church  is still being rebuilt on the inside.  Leipzig was formerly part of the DDR and the communist did not want the university church, so the original church, The Pauliner Kirche, was blown up in 1968 for political reasons.  It is quite a complicated history.  Although the altar and various items from the old church were saved and will be used in this new assembly hall and room of common prayer for the university.

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A little less complicated…The Opera House.

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Opera House

This next building is the Bayericher Bahnhof or Bavarian Train Station.  Although the front was renovated it is not a working train station anymore but a brewery of Gose beer (originally  from the city of Goslar) and very good restaurant.

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Of course, I only have a photo of our beverages for this meal, but I had a delicious platter of assorted lunch meats and cheese’s with delicious fresh & still warm, homemade Potato bread and Leif ate what is called a cold Wurst Salat with Kase which is basically  strips of pork lunch meat and cheese all mixed up with vinegar and onions.  A very Bavarian dish.

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Oh, one thing that I have to share with you which was so unique was this upstairs area in the restaurant, where the restrooms were located.  This beautiful old piano.  I used to play classical piano and I love anything vintage, so it just spoke to me.  Wish I could have this piece in my home.

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We visited many other beautiful parts of Leipzig.

The monument for the battle of the nations, completed at the 100th anniversary of the battle against Napoleon.

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Völkerschlachtdenkmal

and a view inside… these stone sculptors are the Guardians of the dead.   Sadly 100,000 soldiers were lost in this battle.

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My first visit to a Russian Orthodox Church which also opened at the same time as the monument (above).  This is also a monument in remembrance of the Russian soldiers lost in battle in the year 1813.  What is so unique about this building is the outside resembles a monument but the inside is a church.  The idea was to create a living monument.  I couldn’t take photos on the inside but it is absolutely beautiful and so peaceful.

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St. Alexi Orthodox Church

Now on to other sites.  Friederick Schiller’s house, the classical playwright famous for his works such as The Robbers and Mary Stuart.  Did you know… he was originally a Doctor of Medicine until he saw his first play?

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The University Library – yes, the book geeks that we are, we did go inside to have a look. They have an American section which was incredible.  I think I could write great papers in this building!

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University of Leipzig Library

The famous Auerbachs Keller, one of the city’s most important wine bars and restaurants from the 16th century even.  Linked to Goethe’s famous Faust drama, it is located in the beautiful Mädlerpassage which also has high-end shopping inside.  I really wanted to eat here but it was a bit on the pricey side for us.  I noticed this photo is a bit blurry but the entrance to the restaurant is just to the left of the sign in front of the monument.  It truly is in a cellar!

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Auerbachs Kellar

… the passage  with shopping and cafe bars.

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Mädlerpassage

Finally,  one of my favorites from this trip was a visit to St. Thomas Church, for a concert.

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Johann Sebastian Bach was the music director in the 1700’s at this church.

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As I mentioned above I studied classical music, so this was incredible for me.  We heard some of his works executed beautifully by the organist and the highlight… the St. Thomas Boys Choir performed.   I was so moved listening to the blend of these talented, beautiful voices.   I honestly, did not want them to stop singing.  A wonderful experience for me.  In fact, leaving the church after the concert, I felt so calm and relaxed.

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The boys choir warming up before the concert/mass

I have to say I felt totally safe and comfortable as we navigated our way around Leipzig.

A little reality check though as we stumbled upon this laying on a side street. It loosely translates,  For a peaceful world, Here is no place for rasicm, right-wing activism, and anti-Americanism.  Sad that in this day and age we have to have reminders such as this around.

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On to happier thoughts….These were the highlights from our trip to Leipzig, BUT one of the best moments was lunch at a famous biergarten (beer garden).  As this lookbook seems to be quite lengthy, I will share this final place and our meal even in my next blog post!

To close…  I have to say Leipzig has a place in my top three cities in Germany.  I look forward to making a trip back to see more of this historic place, so rich in culture.

I hope you enjoyed following us around a little bit of Leipzig.  If you happen to find yourself in Germany, you should really plan on spending some time and creating your own beautiful memories in Leipzig.

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My 6th Gäubodenvolksfest!

I’m here!  Sorry for not posting last week, but it was celebration time here in Bavaria.  Many of you may know this time as Oktoberfest, State Fair or Volksfest.

In the beautiful city of Straubing, the Gäubodenvolksfest is held for 11 days in August.  Briefly the background is, the King of Bavaria organized this agricultural festival in 1812 as a way for people in the Danube region to meet up once a year.  They have been celebrating it ever since with only a brief interruption during the war.

It is the second largest festival in Bavaria, of course you may know that the “Oktoberfest” in Munich is number one.  Still, the Volksfest sees about 1.2 million visitors who come to enjoy the festivities and even dress up in the “traditional dress”, lederhosen & dirndls or trachten.

I did find this photo from 1912 – as you can see there was a bit of flooding that year from the Danube River, luckily they have pretty much contained that problem here now.

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photo from br.de

Now on to this year! Let me briefly show you around.

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The one thing we do very well in Germany is beer.  The local Karmeliten Brewery got my number one vote this year as the best tasting.

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Yes, we drink beer in a maß. Basically a “big ass” mug of beer.  Delicious, I have to add.

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Luckily, we had a bus ticket which was good for the duration of the festival.  No biking home and the best part is our stop is right in front of our building.  How is that for service!

This is me waiting for said bus wearing the traditional dress.

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(above) Hands down, the biggest and best tasting Pretzel in the whole fairgrounds.  Unbelievable, I was too busy eating it to take a picture of it.  But here is Leif holding up the first “bretze” Pretzel we bought during the fest.

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Here are a few photos I took walking around the fairways.

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Nope, those aren’t Amish girls,  that’s just our traditional dress. 🙂

There are tons of rides, roller coasters, kiddie rides and even one of the original rides makes an appearance every year.

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Also games…

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Love seeing my Country represented! 🙂

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Yep, you can buy big pickles…

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or ox meat sandwiches.

Corn on the cob…

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Or sit in one of the many beer tents and be served…

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while listening to the fabulous folk music during the day (or shlager and popular music in the evening).

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Prost!

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I am exhausted!  I haven’t even touched on half of what this festival offers. Although, I do call it the happiest time of year here in Germany.  I am so glad I live in the city that hosts this festival.

Finally, I leave you with a skyline view of Straubing from the ferris wheel.  I love my hometown!

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Excerpts from our honeymoon in Paris

Paris!  A romantic city by night and so much beautiful history to look at by day.  My first time in Paris at the age of 10 was magical.  Maybe when you are small and you look up at the Eiffel Tower and are overwhelmed by the size and the fact that it looks like a huge lace statue, it does leave a memory.  Later on at 13 years old, I saw this city in a different way.  The shops, the cafes and the couples walking hand in hand, stealing a kiss while standing on the banks of the Seine.  The artist painting the city through their eyes.  The couture… yes, Paris left quite a different impression on me at that stage in my life.  It was at that time, I decided one day I would visit Paris on my honeymoon with the man I loved.

It took quite some time to happen, but 5 years ago I did fullfill that dream of a Honeymoon in Paris, with the man I love.  It is even quite possible that the magic of the romance of Paris put a spell on our love and it deepened more than one could think possible.

Here are some of my favorite photos from that trip.  I hope you enjoy them.

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