Monday, December 28, 2015

Celebrating Christmas

The Christmas season in Germany begins on 1st Advent and ends after Drei Könige, the 6th of January.  Throughout the first four weeks are the many Weihnachts Märkte where one can buy wreaths, fresh spruce boughs, Christmas cookies, handmade gifts, bottles of Schnaps and wine, homemade bread and, to warm up, a mug of hot mulled wine.  On a cold day, the mug is a place to warm one's hands.  

The  wooden figures are from the former East Germany and grace the table of good friends of ours.

As one drives through the villages and towns at night the lighted Christmas trees decorated with soft lights glow in the darkness.  Every town will have one in the centre of town or beside the church.

We attended just one Christmas market this year--one of our favourites--out in the country at Fischer's, the well-known clothing store that specializes in German traditional dress.  No town or village is in sight, just the huge store, their cafe and their Christmas market that is always held on 2nd Advent weekend.
Schnaps: below right.  Centre below: cheese booth 

Naturally, food is offered as well, so perhaps one will opt for Curry Wurst and Pommes Frites.  (We did!)

Curry Wurst booth with Hans at left

Curry Wurst are made from freshly fried Bratwurst, sliced into pieces and covered with a curry/tomato sauce.  (Easy to do at home.)

The gentleman below has been playing his Christmas music and singing at the market for many years.  Last year he wasn't there and we wondered why.  He had been in Canada at that time visiting friends in the Kitchener area he told us.

Although we didn't attend any other markets this year, we did celebrate at various Gasthäuser and at the homes of friends throughout the season.  

Herr Brucker presenting the platter of roast pork
Our first Christmas party was held at the Bruckerhof in Reichenbach in early December where we and other Canadian and German friends gathered for a superb noon dinner.  Herr Brucker is a great cook and, as always, served us a wonderful meal.  This year:  a roast of pork with at least five freshly cooked vegetables, potato croquettes and Spätzle--a specialty of Baden-Württemberg.  As well, Feld Salat, which is in season from late fall until almost spring.

Two views of the room with Jürgen, Gertrud and Monika in the first picture; Sylvi and Hans below.

Our earliest Christmas outing was at the Kleiner Meierhof in Ettenheimweiler for wild boar on 1st Advent weekend.  Erich and his son, Patrick, are avid hunters and in late fall and winter Erich and Sylvia have special Wildschwein evenings at their Gasthaus.  

Below, wild boar, Spätzle, a pear filled with cranberry sauce and Semmelknödel.

 Some of the guests at our table.

Hans and I made the rounds of our favourite Gasthäuser, meeting with another group at the Deutscher Hof in Biederbach on the Monday before Christmas.  I had brought some of my Christmas baking and Ruth, the Wirtin, had fresh Brötchen (rolls) plus a drink on the house for all of us.

At the Stammtisch (the locals' table or regular guests)
Hans is raising his glass of beer in toast!

Ruth behind the bar and I seated in front



We had two special invitations to friends and one special Gasthaus evening that I shall write about in my next blog post.  And, as well, our Christmas Eve celebration.  Until then, enjoy this special Christmas week.

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