Rather than launching into an exhaustive (and exhausting) narrative of the trip to Germany and France, I thought I'd make a few lists since
1. I like reading lists on other people's blogs.
2. I'm still pretty whacked out on what time it is; my thoughts are certainly not coming in coherent bursts. Lists will hopefully keep the digressions from taking over.
3. I must be able to stop this at any moment and lavish love all over my two critters who I missed so much I really did have trouble breathing at times.
4. I left the camera with Brian (who is still in Germany) so he could take lots of pictures of the Porsches in the adjacent garage at the Nuerburgring for Ian (aka Porsche fiend). Thus I won't have access to my photos of nice foods, yarns, places, etc. until he returns on Saturday.
(Sorry, I can't get accents or umlauts to work in Blogger.)
Food List # 1--what I loved:
1. The German's fondness for fresh dill. Just a touch in many salad dressings, chopped up with scallions as a garnish, etc.
2. Muesli and fresh fruit and thick yogurt for breakfast. If I had a house-elf, one of its main tasks would be to make sure there was fresh fruit salad in the fridge at all times.
3. Really lovely ham at breakfast. Cold, thin sliced and not at all slimy (the way bad ham can be).
4. The best apple I have tasted in years. I took an apple out of the fruit bowl of the lovely inn we were staying in near Nuerberg and it was perfect--incredibly crisp, sharp, not too sweet (which is one of my objections about many American apples). 'Tis the season for terrific apples in Michigan, but I'm pretty familiar with most of the varieties available at local orchards and the farmer's market and none of them have this apple's pure perfection. And no, I don't know the variety. If I had to guess I'd say there was some pippen in there, but it was bigger than the British Cox's Orange Pippen (which I also love).
5. Sorbet. Even the most mundane ice cream stall in France has better sorbet than you can buy here. Mind you they weren't as fabulous as the sorbets sold on Ile St Louis in Paris, made by Berthillon (I did find a site with some recipes to make sorbets like Berthillon's--first up in my house--Poire) which just blow your mind (I still vividly remember a double cone of apricot and chocolate sorbet that shot the pleasure center of my brain for a week or so). But even the most basic sorbets in France are damn good.
6. Les salades compose. Pretty much any cafe in France has an amazing assortment of the most fabulous salads--simple grated vegetable salads (like celery remoulade next to some lightly dressed beets mounded on leaves of butter lettuce), gorgeous big salads with toasts topped with warmed goat cheese, salade nicoise (even very far away from Provence), salads with slices of duck breast, or a perfect little dressed pile of sweet shrimp, you get the idea. For someone with a salad fetish such as I have, it would be a dream to have even one cafe in town where one could go and know that one's salad craving could be assuaged with no anxiety about gluey dressings, crappy lettuce or tired vegetables.
7. Reisling. I now have a white wine I love. Give me a dry reisling and I am a happy girl. I'm sure I'll still pick red for regular consumption, but now I know what white I'll keep in the house too.
8. Franziskaner Dunkel Hefeweisse. The best beer I had over there, and yes, you can get it here. I think Ashley's even has it on draft.
9. Poire William Eau de Vie, available just about everywhere as a digestif. I didn't have time to get a bottle, but I'll see if Brian can pick one up before he gets back (or else I just head over to Big 10).
FoodList #2--what I missed:
1. Whole wheat toast and multi-grain bread. Yes, even I have tired of the lovely little brotchen rolls at breakfast. France only does multigrain breads in segregated natural foods stores and in Germany the multigrain bread is of the brick-like rye variety (nice, but not what I crave).
Yup, that's about it in the missed food category! I'm heading off to Arbor Farms today to restock my supply of Ed's Bread Multigrain (makes the best toast, in my opinion).
I think I hear the critters stirring upstairs, so more lists (or perhaps a coherent paragraph) coming in future posts.