Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Black Forest and Cooking Lessen, Given not Taken

Painting the entire flat done in a day and a half. Raphael brought two fellows with him the first day and finished up himself the second. One fellow did all the taping and laying out of plastic, Raphael and the other fellow painted. It is amazing to me how efficient they are and able to get so much done in so short a time but without appearing to hurry. 

You know I sometimes carry “weird” things in my purse, like lemons. Yesterday it was a hard boiled egg, today it was a small bottle of sekt, sparkling wine, given to us by the travel agent, I prefer the sekt. We booked our flight, rail, hotel for in-between through this agent for Sevilla and she jokes about how much bother the cat is, being a cat person herself. 

Bruce bought a beautiful leather coat with with wool inside that makes him look very dapper and while expensive is already a good buy since it was cooler today than it has been since our return. It is knee length so will keep his bum warm too.

Ravenna Gorge Viaduct

Took the share-car on another day trip, this time into the Black Forest or Schwarzswald. We stopped for lunch at Hofgut Himmelreich in Kirchzarten www.hofgut-himmelreich.de The food was excellent but what was interesting about this hotel and restaurant was that they hire and train people with physical and mental handicaps. It is a remote location but the train does stop there so I suppose people from Freiburg could be employed.

Hotel is actually a Best Western

After lunch we went further to Breitnau to a tourist destination called Hofgut Sternen www.hofgut-sternen.de There is a glass blowers outlet there showcasing glass from all over the world along with the local blower’s works. The real work is done at Dorotheenhütte in Wolfach. But they do demonstrations here, just not the day were visiting. 


There is also the largest running cuckoo clock which forms an entire outside wall of a building. Life size figures dance in and out when the hour strikes. It was a rather cold, wet day but we still enjoyed being out and seeing new things.

Mist coming down the mountain

Railway Tunnel through the mountain
These two pictures you can tell were taken from the car, which I don't like to do often but did want to show the rugged terrain.

Cooking lesson, given this time instead of taken. Christoph and his son came to our flat on a Sunday to learn some basic methods, more around use of herbs and spices. Christoph had mentioned he can cook but limited menu and didn’t know about how to spice things up or broaden flavour aside from using salt and pepper. I asked him if a lesson would help and he said a resounding yes! much like we did with Ivan’s offer to us of Spanish cooking lessons.

Christoph went to the library and got a book German/English on cooking terms to help his son understand prior to coming, wish I’d  done the same visa versa, was a smart move on his part! His son can string simple English sentences together which is certainly better than I can in German, and understands most of what is being talked about. 

We bought a raw chicken and made four meals from it and for a more vegetable based dish, I did a stir fry, which Christoph liked but honestly I thought was a flop! I taught his son how to chop vegetables and he was a busy fellow keeping up with all the chopping, two sizes for different dishes of the same vegetable, a pro by the end. 

What we wanted to convey, and think did, was that one can put together a tasty but inexpensive meal and they understood that by the end of the day.  We also bought some basic dried herbs for them as a starter kit to take home and a notebook for Christoph to take notes. After all he wasn’t going to remember everything told to him and timing of it, or the herbs used for each dish. They have not got an oven so limited a bit by that but Bruce found out how to cook a chicken in a large pot so even that was overcome. They are a little more self sufficient now after today’s experience and perhaps we’ll do another before going to Sevilla. 

What I liked about the day was that Christoph’s son was included, he’s fourteen so now is a good time for him to gain cooking skills, Christoph appreciated that, as well as learning himself and they are delighted to be able to try out these recipes on the other younger children in the family. 

What I also liked is that we are helping out again, missing my volunteer hat I suppose, while this was a small endeavour for us, it had a larger impact for them.

Very glad to have a dishwasher, I think we used every plate, pan and cutlery item in the flat! We also put out cheese and pickles, bread and shrimp chips (a hit) for nibbles so they wouldn’t starve while cooking. 

All for now, 

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat

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