For the most part, I have easily adapted to the food here in Germany. I love the easy access of fresh food, and I really do love many of the regular dishes that are prepared here. It makes me so happy that there are fewer fast food chains around than Stateside. Even though I do not eat red meat or pork, I really do find it easy to eat well here in Germany. (I know , I know, the stereotype of the German diet is all sausage and kraut. But, you actually can find a lot of veggie options here too!) Also, the prices of food here are fantastic compared to shopping in the States, it’s another great bonus of living here in Western Germany.
Except when it is time for the holidays. Then it gets a bit costly. You see, I am a bit of a purist when it comes to my American holidays like Thanksgiving. I want a turkey, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce that holds the shape of the can when I put it on the plate to serve. There are other things I want too, like mashed potatoes, but those are of course easily found here in Germany.
We have been lucky when it comes to the turkey. Our local grocery store, Rewe, carries frozen turkeys. I was able to get a decent sized turkey(not too big or it wouldn’t fit in my Easy Bake Oven, I mean Ikea oven) there this year for 2.99 a kg. In the States, I don’t think I ever paid more than .59 cents a pound for a turkey that was the size of a small dog.
Finding the pureed pumpkin in a can was a bit more of a struggle. It is available on Amazon for around 6 Euros a can. Yikes! I got lucky and found it at the English Shop in Cologne.(It’s a store that imports items from the UK and the USA). I know, I know, I could bake a pumpkin and make it from scratch. But that ain’t happening friends! It’s not that I am unable, it’s just too much damn work here in my micro-kitchen. When I lived in the USA, I had an oven, I also had a roaster oven and I had a ton of counter space. I do not have that luxury here.
We were lucky when it came to the cranberry sauce. My friend Suzi, from North Carolina, came for a visit earlier in the year and she brought us two cans. They went quickly and I was left struggling to find more for Christmas time. It’s available online for close to 18 euro, No Way! Again, the English shop came through for me and I was able to get some for under 6 euro a jar. The expense of this stuff makes me feel like I am eating cranberry flavored gold!
My other struggle with living abroad during the holidays is trying to find brown sugar for baking. You can easily find raw sugar, which is brown, but not the real American brown sugar that is made with molasses. It’s just not used here in Germany. I once paid around 10 euro for a bag online. That makes for some very pricey cookies! This time my friend Julie, who is currently living in Amsterdam, saved the day. She came to visit recently and brought 4 bags of brown sugar gold for me. What makes this sugar even better is the name. In the Netherlands, brown sugar is called Lichte Basterd Suiker.
Clearly, my sense of humour runs on the low brow end of things. But come on, Licked Bastard Sugar is really funny, right???
Do you live in a different area of the world than where you grew up? To what lengths will you go to obtain your favourite items from home?