Eating Salami in a Peanut Butter World…
Hi, I’m Karen, the voice behind German Girl 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 clothes (including those scratchy woolen stockings that Oma sent), went to a German school on Saturdays, we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve… Inside the home, my family was German. But outside, we lived in sunny southern California.
This was the 60’s and 70’s, so travel and communication wasn’t like it is now. No Face-Time, Zoom, or even e-mail. Instead, we had occasional scratchy long distance phone calls (where the minutes were carefully watched!), and we’d receive packages wrapped in brown paper and twine covered in stamps and full of delicious treats. Family would visit, and once in a great while, we would board a plane, usually Condor Charter, and fly 11 hours to visit the people we loved.
Growing up this way was normal for me… but I could see how different I was from the other kids. You could say, the salami sandwiches on black crusted rye bread in the lunchroom made me stand out.
Since starting the site in 2014 German Girl in America has evolved to a place I never could have imagined when I started writing about my Oma, lunchrooms, and Weihnachten. Some of my favorite posts do a deep dive into corners of German history, there are closer looks at celebrating holidays, I’ve done many book reviews, and the site has lists of German restaurants from all across the country. We do product reviews, and help you find delicacies from Germany that you miss the most. Thanks to my work with the German National Tourist board, I’m able to show you corners of Germany that you might not have seen before. And I’m delighted to share posts about pockets of German-Americans here in the United States.
Why did I put all this online? I guess that writing it helps me remember…and allows me to share the culture and the recipes I grew up with. The good, the bad; the traditions and the misconceptions about what it means to be German in America.
Some posts you might Enjoy-