Thursday, November 24, 2016

European Adventure Part Six: Cooking with the Burgers & Bad Wimpfen

Our last day with Daniel and his family was jam packed and so much fun! Daniel and Anne wanted to serve us a special dish with lentils, bacon, sausage and spaetzle. We knew this from Daniel's visit to the US the week before. I told Daniel he had to let us bring the lentils! He agreed and we brought the family a 5 lb bag of lentils from the Palouse!

The only lentils we ever use.
Spanish Pardina lentils from Washington!
Daniel, Omid and Leonie were in charge of lunch. Omid got a lesson in making spaetzle. It's not as easy as it seems!
First you have to make a dough (okay, easy!), but the dough is very thick and needs to be pressed into simmering water. That took muscle!

Spaetzle press

Simmer noodles for several minutes and transfer to cool water.

I wish I had made this for the kids when they were younger.
Nas especially would have loved it with butter!

This is a rib sticking meal.
We ate this and weren't hungry until dinner around 8:00 p.m.!
Lentils, German sausage, a 3/4" thick slab of bacon (one for each person),
and spaetzle. It was super delicious!
After lunch, Omid, Daniel and I headed to Bad Wimpfen. I was SO excited to visit this little town. Bad Wimpfen is a historic spa town. It is absolutely adorable. I could definitely see myself living there. Daniel said in December the town hosts a Christmas market.  I have to go back someday and visit that. Most of the stores were closed (Sunday), so we just window shopped. We did stop and have coffee and cheesecake at a little restaurant. I loved the fact that the very restaurant we were in was so very old, the floors sloped down and the ceilings were low. Just very cool, as we don't have anything that old in the US.


Daniel translating a plaque:
dedicated to the Jews that lived in Bad Wimpfen and perished in the Holocaust.

#good friends!

Can you tell I love the peek-a-boo shots?!
Sorry, not sorry!

Ancient timbers. Very cool!

Right after this photo was taken, I tried to convince Omid that we should move to Germany. Specifically to Bad Wimpfen.
I'm still trying to convince him!
I could have spent another hour walking and taking photos in Bad Wimpfen, but we had to leave.

We went back to Daniel's and played several board games with Leonie while practicing our German.

Fun fact: My HS German came flooding back during our stay and I feel I did pretty well (Omid may have called me a 'show off' once or twice).

Daniel and Anne had made dinner reservations that evening at a local farmhouse.  After the harvest in Leingarten, farmers open their homes & host pop up restaurants. Omid and I were very excited to see this for ourselves. Daniel and Anne live within walking distance (1 mile or so) of one of the farms. We all bundled up for the cold and dark walk. Thankfully, Jasmin brought a little lantern to guide us.

Not so fun fact: the scary clown scene has also reached Germany. Poor Jasmin was afraid that clowns were going to pop out and scare us. It was sad to see her so frightened. :(

Waiting for our table!
The farmhouse parlor was packed with locals who had heard about the pop up restaurant. We had to wait quite a while (even though we had a reservation). Leonie took charge and roller bladed into the restaurant to ask when our table would be ready. Go Leonie!!!

We finally got our table! What I loved was that the farmer's Golden Retriever was in and out (it's his home, of course!) of the parlor.

Guess what the girls ate? More spaetzle!!!
Daniel explained that the food was simple farmer food and showcased what the farmer recently harvested. Think vegetables and pork and lots of freshly made bread.

And by pork, I mean freshly made, uncooked sausage without the casing.
This was good. I'll admit, I was a little nervous to eat it, but I did!

...and more local wine from the region.

The food was so delicious and the experience a lot of fun. It was such a memorable way to spend our last night with the Burgers.

This photo make me happy and sad at the same time.
It was such a treat to meet Anne and the girls. We were so sad to say goodbye.
The next morning, Omid and Daniel had to go to work and I spent my morning in Heilbronn. The weather was sunny & bright, but chilly. I chose to walk a path along the Neckar River.

I came across these lock with couples names engraved.
It reminded me of the locks in Paris over the Seine.

Lots of love!

I love this shot of the Neckar River and it's banks.
So very beautiful!

After this shot, I met up with Daniel and Omid. Daniel walked us to the train station and we said our goodbyes. #sad

Omid and I took the train to Frankfurt and spent the evening exploring. I much preferred Heilbronn and Leingarten to the big city. The train system was bigger and way more complicated. We were saved by a very nice college student from North Carolina who was living in Frankfurt for the semester on an internship. He helped us navigate our way around after seeing our confused faces. ☺

We finally made it back to the airport, where we had a hotel room (in the airport!). I was so surprised that we didn't hear one airplane take off, despite seeing them depart right outside our room window.

It was a very fun adventure and I am so happy that I was able to tag along on Omid's business trip. Omid and I both agree the highlight of the trip was meeting Daniel's family and spending time with them. We loved making memories and can't wait until our next visit to Deutschland!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Euorpean Adventure Part 5: The Family Burger!

Our Saturday in Germany was our busiest! Omid and I were both battling bad colds and actually slept in later than we wanted to, so we got a late start to our day. We took the train from Heilbronn to Leingarten where Daniel and his daughter Jasmin met us. Omid and I have known Daniel for years, but this was the first time we got to meet his family.
Back seat selfie with my new friend, Jasmin!

Fun fact: Everyone smiles in the same language. ☺

Daniel, Jasmin, Omid and I went wine tasting at the Rolf Willey winery.
So different from wine tasting in the US.

Fun fact: wine tasting is FREE and visitors can taste as many wines as they want.
Wine tasting in Leingarten can be an all day affair!

Such good sport!
We spent a fair amount of time at Rolf Willey and Jasmin didn't complain once!

What bottle should we try next?!
After we were finished tasting & purchasing wine, we picked up Anne & Leonie and headed to Schloss Ludwigsburg.
Fun Fact: Schloss Ludwigsburg is one of the largest Baroque style palaces in Germany.

The palace grounds was host to a large pumpkin festival. Jasmin and Leonie were really excited about visiting.
Fun fact: Kurbis is pumpkin in German!

The gardens at the palace were beautiful! We saw several couples taking wedding photos here.

Not to be outdone, we took our own selfie!!

Fun fact: Right after this photo, Anne took her first, ever selfie!! ☺

After walking the palace grounds, we headed back to Anne & Daniel's house for a dinner of yummy raclette!
Both girls helped to prepare the feast.

Leonie made everyone name tags. So sweet!

Jasmin hamming it up for the camera!

So much delicious food!
Daniel purchased every type of German sausage available and we tried them all!

New friends!