Thursday, December 22, 2016

Weihnachten and the Christmas Season

The decorated basket above sits in a corner of the Gasthaus Engel in Dörlinbach.

I haven't written a blog post for some time as noted by many of my readers.  I do appreciate all your feedback and queries.

First, I had a very busy summer and fall, both in Nova Scotia and here in Germany, thus the time slipped away.  Then, I had a painful hip and was in treatment for that, along with a recent tooth episode.  Things have settled down somewhat, although the four weeks of Advent have been filled with activities, parties and celebrations.

Now Christmas is almost upon us once again with baking preparations for Christmas Eve and Day ongoing.  We are doing a little less this year but still keeping up with our traditions.

One of our important celebrations in December was an anniversary.  Hans did himself proud with a beef Wellington, a dish he has prepared before and one that always is a lot of work.  I wrote about this in detail in my blog post of 5 May 2011.

A reader asked me whether Hans used one large piece of puff pastry or two.  He uses two.  This reader has made this dish a number of times but doesn't want to use truffles so asked what she could use instead.  Truffles are, of course, the important part of this dish; however, Hans says that you could substitute Pfifferlingen (chanterelle) mushrooms, although the taste would be changed.  Our fillet was 2 lbs/1 Kg in weight and he used 20 grams of truffles. (They come from the Perigord region of southwestern France.) They are expensive, but for a special occasion well worth the price.

In the following picture you can see the medium-rare fillet of beef and the cooked truffle farce surrounding it.
We accompanied the beef with fresh carrots, fresh green asparagus and Pfifferlingen (chanterelle) mushrooms as well as boiled potatoes and a great sauce.

As every year, we attended the Christmas market held in the hills about 30 minutes from us.  Fischer's traditional German clothing store is the site of this yearly event.

The lady and the gent below have been there for all the years we have gone.  She sells little coupons for charity and the gent sings Christmas songs, both adding to the Christmas spirit.  I sang along with him at one point.  The picture with me is not that clear but here it is below.

It was cold that day so I was dressed warmly.

 Lots of sausages

Lots of Schnaps, wine and liqueurs as well.

 I am enjoying a mug of Glühwein below--the traditional hot red wine served at many Christmas markets--along with Flammenkuchen that is made right there in a small enclosed area.

One of Hans' favourite suppers is cheese.  It is easy to have as no preparation is needed other than getting a couple of things ready and putting out the boards.  We enjoyed this meal in mid December.

This week we headed to the farm we go to every year for our Christmas tree.  We haven't as yet put it up but will tomorrow, the 23rd.  As Christmas goes right into mid January it is up for quite some time.

The small hut below has a wood stove and a table with a bench on each side.  There they offer a glass or two of Schnaps on the house! One reason we chose this place!

Also this week we enjoyed our traditional noon dinner with friends at the Bruckerhof in Reichenbach.

The waitress, a daughter of the Bruckerhof family.  You won't find a better one!

Slices of stuffed roast pork with various freshly cooked vegetables

My filled plate

 The Wirt and Chef, Herr Brucker, a great cook!

A small  house that we bought many years ago from the gentleman who made it.  Two views:  one with flash and the other without.  This sits on a corner table in the living room throughout the year (but without the lights and Christmas scene except during this season).

As well this past week, we visited the Deutscher Hof in Biederbach.  A group of us meets there every second week.  This was the Christmas get-together.  Ruth, the Wirtin and owner, is below.
The tree below is small but this weekend, just before the big days of Christmas, a large one will replace it.  This one will likely grace another area of the Gasthaus.

Earlier in December we had dinner at the Engel with friends.

This is the Ziguener Schnitzel served at the Engel.  It is the best we have had.  It comes with a salad and croquettes.  It is Schnitzel that is breaded and a sauce filled with mushrooms, red peppers and onions.

Martin, the chef and owner

Martin's brother Uli, who looks after the main Gasthaus and the beer and also helps to serve.

Last but not least was the great Christmas party at our friends, the Schlagers, in mid December.  I couldn't get my flash set up properly so the pictures are darker than they should be.


Sylvi is known for her cakes and they are wonderful!  Hans is known for his guitar and singing!  Below is her raspberry torte and it was oh, so good!

Her cherry cake was also outstanding along with the others she served.

One last cake picture, one from the Gasthaus Kreuz up on the hill above our town.  It is closing at the end of December so we shall go once more.  His Schwarzwälder Kirchtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake) is excellent and we shall sorely miss it, especially Hans who says it is the best he's ever had.  In fact, the Wirt phoned Hans to tell him he was baking that day and it would be the last time for his cake.   So up we went and took three large pieces home (after eating a piece each there!).  The picture is of one of the pieces of cake we took home.

Fourth Advent was this past Sunday.  Here is our Advent wreath.

The Christmas trees in Wallburg and Ettenheimmünster

Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten and Joyeux Noel!

No comments:

Post a Comment