Here are a few of the things we've enjoyed and places we've been this December during Advent, starting with our pre-Christmas party on 1 December:
For the first time, we held our party in the afternoon. It was 1st Advent weekend. That worked best for many, including us. A lot of our friends no longer enjoy driving at night, especially in the winter, as one never knows whether there will be snow or perhaps fog. We live at the top of a fairly steep hill, so that can be a worry. For us, it was somewhat hectic on that day itself, but overall it worked out well. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves (as did we), and our feet were up by seven in the evening. As it happened, there was no snow or fog. It was a bright, sunny day.
As usual (this is a tradition), Hans welcomed everyone with a glass of "moose milk," better known as eggnog. This goes back to military days. He makes this from scratch each year. He has, though, occasionally served Glühwein instead. The buffet is simple: a huge pot of chili and lots of garlic French bread.
The Gasthaus and Metzgerei Rebstock traditionally open their shop on this weekend with complimentary glasses of Sekt (Champagne-like wine) for those who go inside. These are two views from outside through the glass. Some booths and scenes along the street follow.
Crepes being made while we watched.
A hot mug of Glühwein to warm the hands.
In the picture below, Whitey, a recent stray, is enjoying the comfort of a warm house on 3rd Advent.
On that Sunday, we picked up two lady friends: Anita and Lina. I have written about them on my blog before. Anita is 88 (I had thought she was "just" 86, but "No," she told me, "I am 88!"); Lina is now 96 and always game for dinner at a good restaurant. Age is catching up but they are still able to get out. This time we enjoyed a lovely meal in the historic Gasthof Krone, a hotel-restaurant in Kirchhofen, a small town south of Freiburg in the Markgräferland. That is a large wine area and known especially for their Gutedel wine. They also are known for their special Markgräfler cut wine glasses (see at left). The Krone dates back to 1747 and has been in the same family for over 200 years. It is warm and cosy inside with wood paneling, soft lighting, good food and good service.
In the last week or two of Advent we visited the farm market "Kasperhof" outside Schuttertal and Dörlinbach. We bought a large piece of Schinken (German-style smoked ham). Schwarzwald Schinken is world famous and is a protected product. We also bought two thick rumpsteaks and some jelly. This is a typical German farm although not all farms have their own store. Most of their products are produced right there.
Farm bread below and Schinken and sausages hanging beside the blackboard with specials noted.