German Word of the Day: der Dorfweiher

Hundreds, in same cases a thousand years ago, most villages had a little pond in the center. Back then, most houses were made from wood and covered with straw, which posed a substantial fire hazard.

Each village generally had a Löschweiher* (a.k.a. Löschteich, Feuerlöschteich oder Feuersee), or in English: firewater pond, pond with water used for firefighting.

This one we found in the village of Vasbühl (Werneck). I was pleased to discover a remaining village pond. Over the years, many of them have been filled to make space for other facilities.

A long time ago, the village pond was also essential as a water source for cattle on its way home from the fields. Women also used to wash their laundry there. Wash machines did not come to Germany until 1951. My mother got her first wash machine in 1965, I believe.

Not so long ago, when we were children, we had fun skating on frozen ponds. This was very popular in the 1960s.

Nowadays in Vasbühl, with the fire brigade having a central water supply, it still sits right next to the pond.

This is Saint Florian, the patron saint of the fire department.

 

German Word of the Day: das Seifenkistenrennen

The first Seifenkistenrennen (soapbox racing) was held in …

Seifenkistenrennen

German Lesson: der Sauerampfer

Many years ago, my best Korean friend, Heajin, showed me all the edible greens around here in Oberursel. While taking walks, she pointed to this ‘weed’ and that ‘weed’ and how to prepare it, how expensive herbs like these are in Korea, and much more. Unfortunately, I did not take notes, and I had no camera of my own.

Back then, about 20 years ago, all that edible weed sounded almost too wild for me to give it a try. Here we are now – going back to nature, and away from processed foods.

The only weed I remember eating as a child is Sauerampfer (sorrel), which grows by the wayside in abundance. The young leaves taste the best.

Sauerampfer

Sauerampfer

I will give this plant another try by preparing it the Korean way (Korean pancake: pajeon 파전)

 

German Term for the Day: die Katzenwäsche

Cats regularly clean themselves throughout the day. Right now, we are in the middle of a drought (die Dürre), and need to preserve water. Hence, live more like a cat.

Katzenwäsche

Besides the daily shower, I had taken extra ones throughout the day, but the City of Oberursel sent out a notification to ask us to preserve water for the coming days/weeks.

This means, I still get to take my daily shower, but during the other times of the day, I have to contend with a Katzenwäsche.

Definition: kurzes, oberflächliches Waschen (a short and perfunctory washing of the body)

Beispiel: Ich bin spät dran für die Arbeit. Ich habe keine Zeit für eine Dusche. Ich mache eine schnelle Katzenwäsche.

German Term for the Day: die Hundstage

From 23 July to 23 August, we will get to experience the Hundstage (the dog days of summer), which are supposed to be the hottest and most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

In Greek and Roman astrology,  this period was associated with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.

The Dog Days of Summer

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