lightweights (yeah, us!)

Wow, just one glass of wine each* at the Stadtamhof Weinfest really got us loopy. Good thing we live about 3 stumbles from the action. The fun continues tomorrow, so if you’re stopping by, let us know. Our bathrooms are guaranteed better than the public ones at the end of the street, because we don’t let just anyone in.

Stadtamhof Weinfest 2009 Stadtamhof Weinfest 2009 Stadtamhof Weinfest 2009 Stadtamhof Weinfest 2009 Stadtamhof Weinfest 2009 Stadtamhof Weinfest 2009

*I had a glass of some Tempranillo. Reminded me of the Coronas 2005 to which Cool Guy Matt introduced us, but quite not as smooth and easy. Sarah had an Agnes Crianza, which is perfect, if you like to lick the insides of wine barrels.

Oatmeal Omelette

We had some quick oats* lying around after another kitchen experiment. And I was hungry when I woke up this morning. And there was precious little in the way of breakfasty stuff in Ye Olde Pantry. Sarah suggested something oaty. I looked on the package and found a recipe for an oatmeal-augmented omelette.

Turns out, it doesn’t seem to impact the flavor at all, but the texture is greatly improved over a regular omelette. Purists may scoff, but the next time I’m feeling omelettey I’m going to beef the eggs up with oats.

Here it is (which I slightly modified, augmented, and translated from the original German):

4 eggs
4 T milk
4 T quick oats
1/2 t salt
tasty omelette fixins
some butter for the fry pan

Beat the eggs, milk, oats and salt together. Get the butter melting in the fry pan at medium-hot temperature. Add some of the egg mixture and flip when you can, safely. Once you’ve flipped, throw in your cheese, sundried tomatoes, green onions, ham, whatever. Fold over one or both sides and serve. The original recipe suggested fruit preserves, which would be OK I guess, because the end result is somewhat crêpesier in the robustness of texture than what I’ve traditionally expected from an omelette, but not quite pancake-level firm. Makes (in theory) 4 omelettes — we had two big ones.

*I’m conclusion-jumping on the Quick Oats = Blütenzarte Köllnflocken assertion based on wikipedia descriptions of quick oats and the Peter Kölln AGaA and Haferflocken.

It’s like St. Patrick’s Day

Everyone’s Bavarian at Oktoberfest!

To help get you in the mood for the festivities, Sixt has come up with this site. As I recall from some of our non-Bavarian WEBUM conversations, Bavarian is still a mystery in many an experienced expatriate mind.

Here are some rules, off the cuff, using the examples from that Sixt promo:

  • Don’t use ü if you can help it. Sometimes you’ll see it converted to ia as in “Griaß eich” (stressed), sometimes it’s converted to a simple ‘u’ as in “zruck” (unstressed).
  • “eu” generally becomes “ei.” Also as in “Griaß eich.” (Figured it out yet? It’s “Grüßt euch!“) And have you ever wondered what a Preis is?
  • Forget everything you learned about voiced and unvoiced consonant pairs: g becomes interchangeable with c/k, t with d, and b with p.
  • The letter ‘L’ following a stressed syllable is often (usually) converted to an ‘i’, and thus, “willst” becomes “wuisd” “holen” becomes “hoin”
  • ‘ich’ and ‘mich’ and ‘dich’ are shortened respectively to ‘i’, ‘mi’ and ‘di.’
  • The ‘ah’ sound of ‘mag’ drops down lower to ‘mog’, and that’s why you see those heart-shaped gingerbread cookies that say “i mog di.” This is also observable in words like “wagen” and “sagen” (“wong” and “song”). Note the consonants melting together there, too.
  • Lots of trailing r’s become a’s – like as in “zua”
  • “ö” is at least sometimes converted to “ee” &mash; as in “schee!” (“schön!“)
  • “An” as separable prefix generally becomes “o” and the past participle prefix “ge-” is generally avoided — which is where Obatzda comes from (“Angebatzter“, presumably).

There you go. Prost!

Travel Deals 16.09.09

I hate summer. The travel deals kind of bottom out. And it’s hot. And bright. Boo.

But fall is here now! The air is crisp, the leaves are changing and the deals are bubbling back up! It’s only Wednesday, but I’ve already found a few interesting looking offers. So buckle up and put up those seat backs and tray tables, people! I’m excited!! WOOOOT!!!

Air Berlin fall deals **TIME SENSITIVE**
Air Berlin is offering some low fares to certain destinations in Europe and in the U.S., but only for the remainder of today! If you are a flexible traveler, dates in November and December are up for grabs. As always, the easy-to-use Air Berlin date display will help you find the best deal. Go to Air Berlin to see the details.

Lufthansa for two
For travel between 1 November and 28 February, two people can fly Lufthansa from any airport in Germany to selected European destinations for as low as 169€ round trip! You must book by 20 September and not all dates qualify. Employ the buddy system at Lufthansa.

Travelzoo Smörgåsbord
Travelzoo is one of my favorite spammers. I’m not always tickled by what I get from them, but I find out about online travel sellers, airlines and types of packages I never knew about before. The most diverse offering at Travelzoo is the Top 20 List, which you can receive weekly via e-mail. For example, this week features a couple of spa package offers in Germany, a couple of Scandinavian get-away deals and special fares from Air China to selected Asian destinations. There’s even a Seychelles island-hopping offer. I highly suggest cruising by Travelzoo to check what’s on offer – you don’t have to subscribe to check the weekly Top 20.

Happy travels! And if you have tips of your own, please let me know in the comments.

some local pictures on a day with nice weather

The Dult came to a close tonight. You can see how distasteful that is to the locals.

I got a small case of camera-envy in Munich based on pals’ polarizing filter. So I sprang for one today at my local camera shop, given the Verkaufsoffener Sonntag we happened to have this weekend. I like having some degree of control over how blue the sky looks and/or how much glare reflects back toward the eye off of non-metallic surfaces.

We also finally ducked into the church we lived closest to for five years for the first time this afternoon. Holy Rococo, Batman!

Sausage Gravy

Well, we have a good biscuit recipe. Isn’t this the next logical step? This is not by any stretch of the imagination diet friendly, but it’s absolutely delicious. Plus, it’s enough work that you won’t want to make it that often.

1/2 lb bulk pork sausage, crumbled (or make your own!)
2 T flour
1 1/2 c weak beef broth
1/2 c whipping cream
1/2 t sage
1/2 t black pepper
pinch ground cloves

In a deep skillet over medium heat, brown sausage, breaking up with back of spatula while cooking. Drain off fat except for one tablespoon and stir flour into meat until no lumps remain, then add beef broth, stirring frequently until liquid comes to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and add cream in a slow stream while stirring. Add sage, pepper and cloves and stir constantly until mixture thickens and just begins to boil – gravy should well coat the back of spoon. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

WEBUM 2009 Munich

Another WEBMU is now behind us. I was very glad to see friends from last the last meetup in Bremen again, and sad that others couldn’t make it this time around. But that’s part of the experience, I guess. Some made it to this one who weren’t at the previous one, and some of those were new to me, and I’m glad to have met them, too.

I’m posting the best of the photos I took to the WEBMU Flickr group graciously administered by Snooker, and ones involving meetuppers will be marked private by default, unless said subjects give the OK to publish them publicly. Sarah and I don’t mind if any of the pictures you took of us are publicly or privately viewable. We’re pretty sure there’s nothing of us terribly incriminating anyone managed to capture.

So now, we get a few months to bask in the glory that this meetup provided, before the voting and planning cycle can start all over again. I’m excited. Big thanks from me to the driving forces behind the planning and execution of this meetup and to all the attendees. Our hosts showed what a great city Munich is to walk around or have a relaxing Biergarten meal and our participants reminded us (yet again) that while all we nominally have in common is being foreign bloggers, when we get together, we have a rockin’ good time.

Commentary: Open your minds, America –

Commentary: Open your minds, America –

Just read some thoughts about the debate about health care at the link above, and I have to say, I don’t think the scope is limited to the health care debate.  I am reminded about arguments even within my extended family (so far, the immediate family seems pretty unanimous — but then, we haven’t discussed everything) of the recent political past.

On the other hand, I also remember eavesdropping on the “my country right or wrong” arguments between my mother and great-grandfather back in the ’80s.

What do you think? Was there a time in our collective past when it was not so terrible to consciously change one’s mind on an important and meaningful topic? If we’ve lost that ability (if we even ever had it…), how can we get it back?

We need it, don’t we?