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

Easter Egg Decorations in Germany

We have just returned from a visit to my hometown in Franconia (northern Bavaria). In those rural parts of Germany, where traditions and customs are still more present, we passed by some interesting Easter decorations in the middle of the villages.

Our first stop was in Zeilitzheim to buy some wine from Wein von 3.

Our second stop was in Schonungen, where we rented a vacation apartment at Ferienwohnung Gräf for two days.

Another stop was in the village of Hambach, where I grew up, and we went to visit my parents’ grave.

This tradition is a beautiful spring marker, and I hope there will always be enough volunteers to continue this.

What Goes into the Biomüll?

When you first arrive in Germany,  your new residence comes with quite a few new rules. Among them is the business of how to separate the trash.

Biomüll Tonnen

Some of you care to do so, so here is the list of waste items for the brown container (German: Biotonne):

  • kitchen waste – anything raw or cooked
  • vegetables and fruits (no citric fruits though)
  • cheese, fish, meat, bones, and cold cuts
  • egg shells and nut shells
  • milk, flour, and cereal products
  • dry goods having gone past the expiration date (without the packaging)
  • oils and fats (solidified)
  • coffee grounds, filter bags, tea bags, and tea leaves
  • paper towels, paper napkins, and tissues
  • newspaper used for wrapping
  • lawn cuttings
  • shrubs, fallen leaves, and bark
  • other organic waste, such as  hair, feathers, cat litter, wood shavings, and sawdust (only from untreated wood)
  •  hay, straw, and pots made of peat and cardboard

 

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