Today’s plans include a trip to Netto (the supermarket at the end of the street) for supplies. I am taking a pavlova to Dagmar’s for dinner – not exactly sure how I am going to get it there on the train but I suspect the shoebox I brought the smocked xmas decorations over in may be re-assigned a role as cake tin.
We also need to get our nibbles (ham, cheese, croissants etc) for tomorrow & stuff for Boxing Day. And some beer for Tony & wine for Lauren & me and one or two last minute Christmas pressies. We saw the Christmas markets being packed up last night on our way home so it will be a bit strange being in town without the little stalls everywhere.
Our little Christmas tree looks very pretty in the corner, pressies underneath, decorations from all the different markets sparkling away happily. It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas! And out the window I can hear the bells of the Wormser Dom.
The Saga of the Pavlova.
We’ve been invited for Xmas Eve dinner with Dagmar, Matthias & Alissa in Nakenheim. As you do, when invited for dinner you take something. I figured I’d take a pavlova … nothing more traditional than Pav at Christmas. We got the eggs, the sugar, there was a bowl in the cupboard and Lauren said they had a hand held beater. No sweat!
So I wander over to get the mixer, she gives me a beater and 4 attachments/blade thingies. I come home, juggle them round till I find those which are obviously a match, plug it in, switch it on… nothing. I try the other attachments but they don’t fit either …. I go back to Lauren’s to see what’s going on, and return the hand held bit which appears not to want to go. She gives me another hand held bit and another single beater (no mate for this one). Back at the flat I try again … all the while the egg whites are sitting patiently in the bowl. Once more… nothing… back I go and collect all the bits of anything that even remotely resembles a hand held electric beater. I try them all and nothing seems to want to go except the second beater and a single blade – trouble is that won’t whip anything, you need 2 blades to whip. I’m almost ready to go into town and buy a cheap one. I try everything again, every possible combination of mixer and attachments. Finally… holding the first mixer firmly round the middle (not by the handle) I can make it go.
You beauty!... I whip away merrily … well maybe not merrily, more like sluggishly and the egg whites finally do their thing. It’s painfully slow but moving in the right direction. Time to add the sugar … and time for the beater to go on strike (or crap itself permanently, I don’t know) … maybe the mixture was too thick/heavy for this decrepit little beater. Tony and I take turns to finish whipping it with a whisk from the drawer. Oven heated, baking tray ready and in it goes 90 minutes after I cracked the first egg. It better taste OK is all I can say… and what I bought that I think is fresh cream better not be drinking yogurt. At least know the passionfruit (in a tin brought from home) and the kiwi fruit are going to be fine!
A Very German Christmas.
A last quick trip to town (it’s about a 5 min walk from the flat to the centre of town) for a couple of last minute pressies and the afternoon soon goes. Lauren arrived about 4.30pm and we stuffed around for a bit before heading to the station to get the train to Nackenheim for Christmas with Dagmar, Matthias & Alissa. Now, German trains go on time, not 30 seconds later, there is no holding the train if the driver sees someone who looks like they want to catch their train – they go at the appointed time, and you guessed it, we missed the train. The next one was in an hour!
When we got to Nackenheim, Alissa came to the station to ‘guide’ us to their place (the station has been re-built in a new position since Lauren was here in 2005 and she didn’t recognise enough for us to navigate our own way). Walking into Dagmar & Matthias’ home is like walking into a Christmas wonderland… Dagmar is the Queen of Christmas decorating … I knew this but her tree took my breath away… it is the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen. Picture (until I get actual pictures up) an 8’ tree decorated only with lights, little red baubles and glass santas … hundreds of them. They have a conservatory on the back of the house and the tree and dinner table are there, beautifully set and the rest of the room is decked out in its celebration finery. I thought I had heaps of decorations and went a bit over-board – I have nothing on Dagmar and the lounge room & conservatory were so beautiful.
We had a wonderful meal –fondue with an assortment of meats and all sorts of goodies to accompany it – salad, bread, dipping sauces, pickles etc – lots of fun – fuelled no doubt by good wine, lots of laughs & great company. My pavlova transported well in its shoe box and that just topped of the meal.
I’ve mentioned before, that Matthias is fascinated by old mechanical ‘things’ – projectors, music machines, model steam engines, valve radios etc and it turns out he has a collection worthy of a museum… including an Edison phonograph, another hand cranked phonograph that plays 78 records (Silent Night was a most appropriate choice when he proudly demonstrated it) and one that plays from those really old metal discs. He also has old gas powered slide projectors … and little working steam engines .. a marvellous collection.
We let several possible departure times slip by (we had checked out the train times carefully) but finally about 12:15am we had to call it quits because after that train, the next one was a 6am and we are both too old to pull an ‘all-nighter’ now. Very reluctantly we said our good byes, got on the train and got back here to the flat about 1:15am to find that Santa had delivered something for Lauren. Bed finally about 2:15am
So there you are… our German Christmas.. absolutely one we will never forget.