Memories of my Oma’s Keller – The Wonders of the German Basement

  You could blindfold me, spin me in a circle three times, and drop me through time and space into Oma’s Keller, and I would still instantly know where I was, just by the smell and feel of the air; cold, with a hint of damp, the smell of earth and laundry soap, and maybe a little oil? The door…

Visiting My Oma in Germany- From Suburban California to NRW

My Oma, Elfriede, was a strong woman. She was a widow for the last 20 years of her life, and lived alone with her dog, Ben. But, she never seemed lonely. She had her routines, her friends, and a set way of doing things. I loved going to visit her in Germany. Once I turned 11, my parents would send…

German Shield Charms – Collect Memories on a Bracelet

Some people collect spoons, other collect patches or post cards; still other people collect beer steins. I don’t know when it began, but somewhere in my childhood I started collecting German Shield Charms for a charm bracelet. These special little charms are all painted with a place name, and then enameled. I fasten mine on to a silver bracelet that I…

Sandwiches in Waxed Paper-German School Lunch in an American Cafeteria

  The school cafeteria in the 1970’s was one place where I always felt different from everyone else. Mom packed my school lunch for me almost every day, and I loved these lunches, but it’s amazing how different mine were from the kids around me. You see, although  I had a Scooby Doo lunchbox like the other kids, the contents…

Nutella, My Opa and the Care Packages

Nutella and Opa – One quick glance at my backside, and you will see that my love affair with that sinfully, chocolatey, delicious hazelnut spread has gone on for a long time. REALLY long time. My parents emigrated to America from Germany in the 1960’s, shortly before I was born. They left everyone behind, and headed for the promised land…

The German Cold Cut Expedition- Fred Reich and Hickory Sweet

When I was a child German Cold Cuts (Aufschnitt)  like Schinken, Cervelat, Fleishwurst,  and Leberwurst HAD to be on the table.  Not Bologna Not Roast Turkey or Roast Beef My family ate Zungenwurst, Blutwurst, and Mettwurst and Gelbwurst. Sadly, the deli department of our local grocery store didn’t carry anything like that. So mom had to go further out to…

Saturday means Deutsche Schule (German School)

For most American kids in the 1970’s, Saturday mornings meant eating Sugary Cereals while watching cartoons in pajamas. Not for me…every Saturday morning from the time I entered Kindergarten until I went to High School, I ate my Haferflocken (Oatmeal) or gekochtes Ei (soft boiled egg), then headed off to German School (Deutsche Schule). You see, my parents came here…

My Denglish Life- German Culture in America

  I was born in California, but my heart has always been in Germany. You see, my parents are German, and emigrated to the US in the 60’s to start a new life. Fortunately for me, much of the life they thought they’d left behind came along with them. My first language was German. I ate German foods, wore German…

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