Food-related memories and your chance to win a book!

(English version follows below)

Sie läuft mal wieder zäh an, diese Buchverlosung. Ein bisschen sind wir das ja schon aus den letzten Jahren gewöhnt, aber verwundern tut es mich da doch immer ein bisschen. Da will man schon mal ein Buch verschenken, und dann fällt es den Menschen anscheinend doch so schwer mitzumachen…..ich mein, man hat ja als Blogger einen kleinen Einblick wieviele Leute täglich vorbeischauen, und ich kann nur sagen: möönsch, Leute, traut euch doch mal! 🙂

Als kleine Aufmunterung (für die Leser, aber auch für mich, denn die letzten Tage sind beiweiten nicht besser, sondern eher noch schlimmer geworden) hier mal ein paar meiner schönsten Erinnerungen ans Essen:

Die opulentesten Essen… gibt es nach wie vor immer noch bei unseren Familienfesten. Da biegen sich wortwörtlich die Tische und es müssen Beistelltische geholt werden, damit das ganze Essen überhaupt Platz findet. Brunch am ersten Weihnachtsfeiertag. Kassler, Berliner und Schlammbowle zu Silvester. Spargel zu Pfingsten. Grillen. Osterbuffet. In meiner Familie steht definitiv keiner hungrig vom Tisch auf. Da macht es auch kaum was, dass mein Vater neulich nach über 40 Jahren Ehe plötzlich gebeichtet hat, dass er keine Kartoffeln mag.

Die sozialsten Essen….hatte ich während meines Auslandsstudiums in Stockholm. Was haben wir da für tolle kulinarische Abende gehabt. Jedes Zimmer im Studentenwohnheim hatte eine kleine Kochnische und jeden Abend haben wir uns in einem anderen Zimmer versammelt. Sei es Kartoffelcurry bei der Inderin, Senfeier bei der Deutschen, French Toast bei der Amerikanerin oder ein leckeres Durcheinander von jedem – diese Abende vermisse ich heute noch!

Eines der schönsten Essen…war während des Studiums eine Einladung von Karsten zum Abendessen bei unserem gemeinsamen nigerianischen Freund. Wir waren ganz frisch zusammen und es war mein erstes afrikanisches Essen. Fleisch mit scharfer Soße und Fufu. Das kleine Zimmer im Studentenwohnheim war rappelvoll, es waren nämlich noch drei weitere Freunde von uns dabei sowie ca 10 nigerianische Freunde, die alle gespannt beobachteten, wie wir uns denn ohne Besteck schlagen würden.

Eines der komischsten Essen….war ein Picknick in Rom. Wir hatten am Morgen Brötchen, Käse, Salami, Tomaten und Chips gekauft und saßen auf einem Platz mit Blick auf Berninis lachenden Elefanten. Nach ein paar Minuten kam eine Bettlerin vorbei und fragte etwas aufdringlich, ob wir Geld hätten. Wir verneinten (leicht genervt angesichts der aufdringlichen Art). Dann zeigte sie auf das Brot. Ja, davon konnte sie was haben. Sie nahm das ganze. Dann zeigte sie auf den Käse. Auch der verschwand komplett in ihrer Tüte. Ebenso wie die Salami und die restlichen Tomaten. Nur die Chips, die haben wir dann selber gegessen.

Das romantischste Essen….war mit Karsten auf Sansibar. Abends im Kerzenschein an einem Tisch direkt am Strand. Leckerer Fisch, Wein, dabei das Rauschen der Wellen und die nackten Füße im Sand.

Das hungrigste Essen…war in Schottland, als wir bei einem Professor von uns eingeladen waren. Die Einladung war etwas ungenau formuliert und wir wussten nicht ganz, was uns erwartete. Wir kamen an und wurden durch die (sehr beeindruckende) Wohnung geführt. Es roch bereits extrem lecker. Wir setzten uns an den Couchtisch und betrieben Smalltalk. Karsten erwähnte mehrmals, wie sensationell das Essen schon riechen würde. Wir bekamen kleine eingelegte Wachteleier als Vorspeise. Dann machte der Professor den Fernseher für uns an, damit wir uns etwas Interessantes anschauen konnten, rief seinen Mitbewohner zum Essen und sie verspeisten das lecker Gekochte zusammen, während wir auf dem Sofa sitzenblieben. Ich verstehe nach wie vor nicht, was da schiefgelaufen ist.

Es gibt ja noch so viele weitere schöne Erinnerungen….aber das würde nun wirklich den Rahmen sprengen. Vielleicht sollte ich einen eigenen Blog mit meinen Lieblingsessen schreiben. So, jetzt aber ihr! Ist wirklich nicht so schwer! Wer bis zum 30. April hier oder dort einen Kommentar zum Thema Essen abgibt, nimmt an der Verlosung für das Kochbuch “Rezepte für ein besseres Wir” teil. Haut in die Tasten!

*************************************************************************

It’s going a bit slow with the book raffle this year, isn’t it? I mean, we are already used to it but like in the last years I am a little bit puzzled. Hey, we are giving away a book for free (and a good one that is!), but it still seems to be quite difficult for most of the people to participate. I mean, I do get a small insight regarding the daily visitor numbers of the blog and, well….gee, people, have the heart to comment 🙂

As a small encouragement for both the readers and myself (unfortunately, the last days haven’t been, as hoped, a walk in the park) I will share some food-related memories:

The most opulent food can be found in my family on special days like christmas, New-Years-Eve, Easter or simply a family BBQ gathering. The tables almost break under the food, may that be smoked pork chop, asparagus or a brunch with a little bit of everything. With this much to choose, it doesn’t even matter that after more than 40 years of marriage, my father suddenly confessed that he doesn’t like potatoes.

The most social dinners were during my studies abroad in Stockholm. Almost every evening during that time ended in a social meal. The rooms in the student house included a small kitchenette and normally we took turns with the cooking. May it be the Potato Curry of our Indian friend, the eggs in mustard sauce from our German friend or the French Toast made by our American friend….I still miss these evenings every now and then.

One of the nicest dinners was an invitation from our Nigerian friend during our studies. Karsten and I had only been together for a few days and it was the first time I ate african food. Meat with hot sauce and fufu. The small room of the student house was completely crowded: there were three more friends of ours there and around 10 Nigerian students who eagerly watched how we’d manage to eat without cutlery 🙂

One of the most comical meals was a picnic in Rome. We had bought bread, cheese, salami, tomatos and crisps in the morning and were about to eat them sitting on some steps with a view of Bernini’s laughing elephant. Then a beggar came and asked (quite obtrusive) for money. We didn’t want to give any (as we were a bit annoyed by her obtrusion), but then she pointed at the bread and we offered her some. She took the whole bread and put it in her bag. Then she pointed at the cheese which vanished in her bag as well. So did the salami and the rest of the tomatos. We ended up having crisps for lunch.

The most romantic dinner we had was on Zanzibar. It was a candle-light-dinner, we were among the only guests. The table was right next to the ocean, we had fish and wine and our feet in the sand while we listened to the sound of the waves…..(big sigh)…

And we had our most hungry dinner in Scotland. We were invited to the home of one of our professors. The invitation was a bit vague and when we arrived we first got a tour of the (quite impressive) house and were then placed around the coffee table. It already smelled extremly good and while we were doing a bit of smalltalk, Karsten mentioned several times how exceptional yummy the food smelled. We got small pickled quail eggs as aperitif. Then the professor switched on the TV so that we could watch something interesting. He called his flatmate and the two of them sat down and ate up all the good food while we watched them. I am still not sure what went wrong….

There are so many happy, funny and important food-related moments that come to mind…but it would go beyond the scope of this entry. Maybe I should write a whole blog just about food memories. BUT: now it’s up to you. It’s really not that hard. Simply leave a food-related comment here or here until the end of April and you will automatically have a chance to win the cookbook “Recipes for a better us”. (It’s in German and English!). Good luck 🙂

About erdhummel

Familial entropy - that's an insight into our current life which has been fundamentally changed last summer when our daughter was born. Having studied in Cottbus, Germany, and worked/studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, we momentarily live in a small town in Switzerland where Karsten is trying to save the environment and Freddie is trying to save our sanity. Since there is not much time for elaborate, long emails while doing that, we thought a blog might be a good option to smuggle ourselves into the lifes of our friends.
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5 Responses to Food-related memories and your chance to win a book!

  1. Saya says:

    I have always loved to eat and for a time I was famous in my family for the amount of food I could eat (as a 6 year old girl I ate as much as the men). However somehow, despite many desperate attempts by my mother, I managed to avoid learning how to cook (except for the one time I tried to make “Naturschnitzel” and threw the schnitzel into the hot fat from 20 cm away which lead to a lot of hot fat everywhere…). After school I went to another city to study and luckily my parents insisted I live in a student home. But this was not yet a reason to learn how to cook. On the contrary every time I left my parents my suitcase was filled with frozen and preserved delicacies. This went on for two years until even my shy, introvert and awkward self had managed to find some friends and I joined a cooking group. And suddenly I discovered the joy of cooking, companionship and shared meals. Every evening we cooked and ate together. I still transported frozen food from my parents to my student home but now it was raw and we used it for our joined meals.
    Since then I have learned so many things about food. I have traveled abroad and sampled amazing and strange dishes. I have cooked delicious and horrible meals for big groups or just for me and I am looking forward to all the meals I will cook in the future.

    • erdhummel says:

      Wow, thank you for your long comment!! Social cooking gatherings are awesome and living in a student house surely always helps to be more and more independent. I still remember the first time my American friend in Stockholm wanted to cook something: it was her first time living without her parents and she mistook the electric stove for an integrated pancake – pan 😉 By now she is a very enthusiastic cook as well!!

  2. Yanic A. says:

    What a wonderful post!
    Everytime I think of food, the first memories are always of my mom, her sisters and friends, a circle of happy women, canning and preserving food together in fall. I was about 4 yo when I started helping. My first memory of these moments is canning tomatoes : My mom made this seasoning mix of salt, pepper, dried herbs, sugar and bay leaf. I had to put one heaping teaspoon of the mix and one bay leaf in each Mason jar… there were hundreds lines up on the floor. I think that is truly the root of my love for homegrown, homemade food. To this day, very little compares to cracking open a jar of garden tomatoes in the middle of a cold winter day.

    • erdhummel says:

      It’s funny – I think the only one in my family who did preserve food (and mainly jam) was my grandmother. I can’t remember any of my other family members or friends who did it. Maybe because we lived in a city, but it may also be a difference between North America and Europe? I am not sure. My mother has always been very fond of gardening, but I think I am the first one who started to grow vegetables. Now I seek her advice regarding perennials and she seeks my advice for strawberries and courgettes 🙂

  3. erdhummel says:

    Thank you all so much for your participation and your great comments!! The raffle is now finished – the little one has played fortune fairy and picked Saya. Congratulations 🙂 (I have written you an email for further details)

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