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Vanilla Sauce Recipe – Vanillesoße – the Perfect Dessert Topping!

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Vanillesoße is the little black dress of sauces. Honestly, it just goes with every dessert or Nachtisch… it softens the tartness of Rote Gruetze, gives an added dimension to Apfelstrudel, and it magically transforms boring chocolate pudding to a fancy dessert. My Oma always kept packets of instant Vanillesoße in her “packet drawer” (you know […]

Sorbian Easter Eggs- How are they made, and who are the Sorbs?

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Some of the most beautifully decorated Easter Eggs that I’ve ever seen are Sorbian Easter Eggs. My mother introduced us to them when we were children, and she remembered them from her childhood. You see, my Opa, her father, is from Weißwasser… a town in eastern Saxony, Germany, a town that once belonged to Upper Lusatia or Upper […]

What is Bock Beer? And Do Germans Really Call it Liquid Bread?

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Cover image Calvert Lithographing Co. (Detroit, Mich.), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons I regularly see memes and articles about how German beer is considered “flüssiges Brot” or liquid bread. But where does this idea come from? Most likely this started with  a group of monks and Bock Bier. During Lent, members of the Paulaner order […]

Karl May- Old Shatterhand and Winnetou

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Karl May might be the best selling German novelist that most Americans never heard of. May’s stories of the American West have been making frontiersmen and Native Americans come alive in Germany since 1893. And for Germans of a certain age, the names Old Shatterhand and Winnetou are as familiar as Harry Potter, Ron, and […]

Frau Holle- Grimm Fairy Tale, Legend, and Goddess

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, Frau Holle Cover Image- Nickge4, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons When it snows in Hessen, people say that Frau Holle shakesg out her feather beds. And thanks to Grimm’s Fairy Tales, we all have an image in our minds of imagine an old woman airing her bedding out the window. But the story […]

Chocolate and Pear Cake Recipe aka. Schoko-Birnen Kuchen

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One of the things I love about German baking is how they mix fruit and cake so easily. (Maybe it’s to lesson the ‘guilt’ of eating cake? You can honestly say you are getting your daily allotment of fruits too.) The first time I saw this Chocolate and Pear cake I thought… hmmm, it looks […]

The Gäubodenmuseum- 7000 years of History in Straubing, Germany

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The Gäubodenmuseum is an absolute treasure trove of early German, Celtic, Roman, and Bavarian artifacts. You’ll find the museum in a rebuilt patricians house on Frauenhoferstraße, off the main pedestrian zone in Straubing. The museum was recommended to me by our tour bus driver, Bene. (And here’s a travel tip- when the bus driver recommends […]

The Katzenjammer Kids- A German-American Comic for over 100 Years

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On Dec.12, 1897 a comic strip featuring a German-American family with a distinctly Denglish accent made its first appearance in a Sunday Supplement of the New York Journal. The Katzenjammer Kids featured twins Hans and Fritz, two boys who were always up to mischief and pranks. The word Katzenjammer basically means “Cat Wailing” or caterwauling, […]

The Candy Bomber – The Berlin Airlift & Operation Little Vittles

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Cover Image-C-54 dropping candy during Berlin Airlift c1949 – Public Domain In a recent newsletter, I mentioned that I would be writing about the Candy Bomber who dropped handkerchief parachutes with chocolate payloads for the children of Berlin during the Airlift. One of my readers, Dorothea Thunig Smith, reached out to me with a lovely […]

German Hedgehog Cookie Recipe

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The first time I ever saw a hedgehog in the wild, I was riding home from a party at 2am with my cousin on a small road in Germany. We were tooling along, and suddenly he slowed,  “Look, an Igel” and there, scampering along to road, a spiny little Hedgehog! I think I may have […]
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