The Dult is done, now come visit us for serious reasons

Sunday marked the final day of the Regensburger Maidult 2011. We managed to visit a few times — more than usual — for a taste of the local carny flavor. But don’t worry — there’ll be plenty of Fest over the summer to tide you over until the Herbstdult rolls around again in August. Here’s a short video of the Bierzelt flavor, for the uninitiated. Note: this is the Early-Sunday-Afternoon Oma & Opa vibe, which I much prefer to the inevitable Sweet Home Alabama and Country Roads vibe — that’s for evening Dult events.

In other news, Regensburg proudly unveiled its World Heritage Visitor Center on Saturday night. It is a free, permanent exhibit explaining what it takes to be a World Heritage Site and why Regensburg fulfills those requirements. It has a lot of potential visitors from our household over the coming weeks. I think it’ll be perfect for those just getting off the train, after just getting off the plane, trying to stay awake as long as possible to beat the jet lag on the first day before crashing out. It’s right on the Danube banks in the Salzstadel (right next to the Weenie Shack of the Ages), has all text in German and English, and features of plenty interactivity: buttons to push, motion-triggered movies, “secret” cupboards the curious can open to dig deeper into Regensburg’s cultural past. It was neat!

WEBMU 2011 Lodging Recommendations are up!

We’re moving right along with the Whiny Expat Bloggers Meetup for 2011, hosted in Cologne by the lovely and talented publishers of the blogs Resident On Earth, Germany Doesn’t Suck, Cheap as Chips and Musiköln Media. If you’re a member of our WEBMU discussion board, click here to jump in and see the recommendations for lodging. They range from hostels to budget rooms to swanky luxury joints and include hints about the neighborhoods and experiences of those in the area. I’m already comparing several promising places’ websites with their listings on Often a reservation made there can be canceled hassle- (and penalty) free with very little notice, so even if doesn’t have a lower price than the one advertised on the hotel website, it might be worth it to be able to reserve and then cancel easily if something better comes along.

The official event doesn’t get underway until the morning of Saturday, October 22nd, 2011. Some folks like to arrive about a day early for a day trip to another attraction in the area. For the Bremen WEBMU in 2008 we checked out the Deutsches Auswanderer Haus. In Munich in 2009, one of the gracious hosts led a biking tour around the city. For the Hamburg meetup in 2010, we trained it south to Lüneburg to admire that city’s salt mining museum and charming Altstadt.

We haven’t decided exactly where the side trip this year will be yet. The candidates are the Aachener Altstadt and the Palaces of Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces in Brühl.

If you live in Germany (or plan to in the imminent future) and blog in English, and are not a member of the WEBMU discussion board…why not? Head over to and register yourself. Don’t forget to mention your blog’s address and give us a real email address to which we’ll send your password.

See you there!

Lemon Mousse

My desserts have a tendency toward heaviness. I think that’s why I enjoy mousse so much. If there’s anything in which heaviness is an unacceptable attribute, it’s a mousse. And as much as I enjoy chocolate mousse, I liked the idea of a citrus flavor more for warmer weather. And as it happens, it’s simpler to make than chocolate, too. The inspiration comes from Thursday Night Smackdown and the gorgeous pictures over there, but we used our own lemon curd recipe and halved the whole thing. Follow the link for the original, the steps I took are below.

1 recipe lemon curd*, cooled
6 ozs (170 g) mascarpone cheese
3/4 c (180 ml) whipping cream

Using whisk attachment, blend together curd and mascarpone on medium speed until smooth and well-combined. Whip cream and gently fold into curd mixture. Divide into serving dishes and chill at least 4 hours, but consume within 36 hours. Serves 4-6.

*If you want to be really fancy, pass the curd through a fine mesh strainer to get a smoother product. We don’t bother with this, but we’re pretty lazy.

Traditionally Casual

I missed the kick-off of the Dult this year in Regensburg due to a business trip to Frankfurt, but I still wanted to get into the spirit. Last week Sarah and pal Matt and I were cruising the fairgrounds, and I spotted this ‘Hose. I’d been thinking about acquiring another set anyways — I still love my black set, but I’ve come to think of them as my “formal” or “Fall & Winter” set. I wanted a shorter set, in brown, for the Spring and Summer fashion season.

I’ve been wearing them around the house since I got back from Iași yesterday to try to break them in properly. According to the saleswoman, they won’t ever feel “right” if they spend all their time in a Schrank — you gotta move around in them, sweat in the them a little, get them used to you before they start to feel like they really fit.

OK by me!

Wild Rice & Broccoli Salad

We finally got a grill! And we know how to use it and how to make most of the meaty deliciousness we plan on cooking with it.

So…um, now what? We need accompaniments to the meat explosion. Nice, vegetabley salads are the next hurdle. We generally don’t do salads that need to chill, due to lack of fridge space, but they go so well with grill fare that we might need to clear out some room. This recipe (original is here – measurements are my own) was the side to our inaugural grill usage and we ate it – and enjoyed it – the same day. However, Cliff took the leftover for lunch the following day and said it tasted quite a bit better after the flavors had time to mingle. If you can plan ahead, make it the day before you plan on eating it.

And feel free to tinker with the measurements. I certainly did.

1/2 lb (250 g) wild rice, dry
raw broccoli, 1 lb (500 g) head, cut into florets
3 oz (80 g) goat cheese, crumbled or diced
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1-2 t honey
1 clove garlic, pressed
fresh rosemary

Cook rice, according to package directions, and allow to cool completely. Mix cooled rice, broccoli florets and goat cheese in a large bowl. Whisk together lemon zest, juice, honey, garlic and rosemary and toss with rice mixture. Chill (at least 4 hours, preferably overnight) and serve.

three guilty pleasures

Two of which are meat-related.

One of which are rhythm-less feet with a heavy conscience.

Let’s start with that one. Sarah was placing a catalog order this evening and got a Wham! song as her hold music. Which reminded me of this:

Meat Point #1:

We bought a KitchenAid mixer a while back and have been experimenting in the meat grinding arena.

Weber baby q100That was great and all, but we really needed a way to grill our ground meat creations. Pan-frying wasn’t cutting it. We bought a small portable gas grill. We tried it out today on one of our town’s several islands in the Danube with great success. There were lots of people out enjoying the weather and grilling their dinner along with plenty of dogs pleased by all the resulting smells. Which brings me to…

Meat Point #2

Thanks Aunt Julie for sending this video our way. We’ve been watching it (and emulating it) for days now and it hasn’t gotten old yet.