Category Archives: Germany

Midterm Misery

Want to know the secret to making a theatre major feel really, really dumb?

MAKE HER TAKE A POLITICAL SCIENCE EXAM.

Yup, it’s midterms in Berlin…already!!  It’s crazy to think that my time here is almost half way over…AND when I think about that, it just makes me not want to study when I know my time in Berlin is becoming more and more limited.

A night out to Berghain, an early morning yoga class followed by a walk in Charlottenburg, and hunkering down in my two favorite eateries, Goodies and Schwarzes Cafe, have all helped the mass of information go down easier 🙂

Vegan chocolate zucchini breadBrunch and books at Schwarzes Cafe

Brunch and books at Schwarzes Cafe

Midterms suck...but I'm still the luckiest girl in the world 🙂

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Who Let This Bitch in the Kitchen?

If any of you who are reading this are my friends from University of Maryland, you know that my roommates and I love our kitchen adventures.

For example:


We usually become such ridiculous fools while creating our culinary masterpieces that we’ve come up with the phrase “Who let this bitch in the kitchen?”  By the end of the semester, it was a common greeting for each other.

During my first few weeks in Germany, I was hardly a bitch in the kitchen.  I was more of a tired/frazzled/hungover idiot in the kitchen that all I could handle making was baked potatoes.  Woof.

All that started to turn around this week, however, when I had some friends over for family dinner.  We were all craving Italian food, so I whipped this out

Spaghetti with pesto and caprese salad.  Yes, the pesto was jarred, but the caprese salad was good.  Just cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, olive oil, balsamic, a ton of basil, lots of sea salt, lots of garlic pepper.  It was my first time really cooking again.  No recipe, just using my senses to make the most delicious food as possible.

Then, yesterday, THIS happened

This, my friends, is Milchreis.  I came across it in the grocery stores here, but the Mensa makes some BOMB Milchreis.  It’s kind of like Rice Pudding, but 203981209430948 times better.  It’s warm, it’s sweet, it’s comforting, it’s filling, and it’s dirt cheap to make.  So I decided to make it yesterday after braving the bone-rattling Berlin cold for an excursion the program planned for us.

I picked up dry Milchreis grains and some milk at the grocery store, dumped it in a pot, brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer until I thought it looked good (~30 minutes?).  I ended up having to add extra milk a few time throughout the cooking process because I would get hangry (hungry to the point of anger, for those of you who don’t know) and impatient and turn up the heat, but that would only make the milk evaporate instead of gently thickening with the rice.  Low and slow is MAD ANNOYING (still angry), but so worth it.  Especially when you top your creation with cinnamon sugar and applesauce.  My friend who is just as infatuated with Milchreis came over to try it with her two friends who are visiting, and they ended up eating the rest of the batch out of the saucepan.  I also ended up making it again, four hours later, for dinner.  Heck, it’s probably going to be my dinner tonight.

Sorry baked potatoes, but we’re on a break.  The Bitch is back.

You Know You’re Making Progress with German When

1. You can’t stop saying “genau”

2. You stop yelling “FUCK YOU IT’S SQUAREPANTS” at the TV whenever Spongebob Schwammkopf (SquareHEAD) comes on.

3. The girl at the Mensa asks you if the soup you’re pouring into the bowl is split pea soup, you say “Ja, das ist Erbsensuppe” like it’s no big dealBECAUSEREALLYGUYZITSNOBIGDEAL.

4. The cashier at Aldi no longer dreads your appearance because you can give correct change now.

5. You can actually order in restaurants.

6. You can go to the theatre and sit through a play for three hours without wanting to kill yourself.

7. French, your preferred drunk language, is littered with German words/sentence structure, rendering you incoherent to everyone.  But it’s ok though because you tell yourself you sound more international/exotic/fancy that way.

Lunch at KaDeWe

This, my friends, is the most expensive lunch I have ever bought.  I cringe when I think of the exact number, but let’s just say that my lunch from the Mensa, or student cafeteria, cost about %15 of what this meal was.

Tired of eating Mensa (cafeteria) food and the baked potatoes I live off of at the apartment, my friend and I ventured to Charlottenburg to go to the KaDeWe, Berlin’s (if not Europe’s) fanciest department store for a pinkies-out, swanky lunch.

For the record, this lunch was fresh kiwi, parsley, honey, and orange juice, salad with microgreens, a cabbage slaw with kumquats and fennel, cabbage, melon, tomatoes with mozzarella, olives, peppers, and a veggie croquette that I topped with balsamic vinegar and walnut oil.  The soup was an “exotiches Fisches suppe”.

We enjoyed our lunch with views that looked out over the whole city

You could spend an entire day shopping in this expensive megalith, but we decided to poke around the food section.  I’m about to hit you with some serious food porn, but the pictures really don’t do it justice.

Just a small section of the American section of the food department. Maple syrup, El Paso taco kits, Crisco, Betty Crocker, Snapple, Reese's, and much more covered the walls. I'm just happy to know I have somewhere to get my Pop Tart fix 😉

My last day in London…

…was spent sorting through everything I packed seeing if there was any way I could travel more lightly.  After parting with my hairdryer, 3 pairs of shoes, 10 books, and my stash of warm weather clothes my suitcase closes quite nicely.

It was actually SUNNY in London today, so my mom and I spent the afternoon enjoying the weather with a long walk through the giant Regent’s Park

We both wanted to go to Harrod’s one last time for tea and to scope out the sales.  Well, the crowds were overwhelming and the tea was too expensive so we decided against that, but as we were making our way towards the exit I spotted that there was a LADUREE in Harrod’s!

Ladurée famously sells one of my favorite confections in the world–macarons, which are two rounds of an almond meal based meringue glued together by an intensely flavored filling.  My mom loves them to, so we picked up a small box!

Seriously, they are the most delicious things in the world.

Unfortunately, I could not say the same for my dinner.  I’ve been craving pub food the whole time I’ve been in London, so we decided to go out to a pub for my last night.  I was thrilled to see Ox Cheek and Red Wine Pie with Kale Colcannon on the menu, so that was what I ordered.  Sadly, it did not live up to my expectations

First, I don’t see any kale in this colcannon.  Second, even though the pie looks MASSIVE, it turned out to be quite empty.  I scavenged roughly five pieces of meat and five mushrooms from a lake of over-salted gravy.  Oh well.  You can’t win them all.  Luckily there were some more macarons at the flat when we returned.

 

Also I’M FREAKING GOING TO BERLIN TOMORROW SO AT THE END OF THE DAY IT DOESN’T MATTER THAT I HAD CRAPPY PIE FOR DINNER!!  Berfreakinglin.  I’ve waited my whole life to study in Germany and since I visited Berlin a year ago I’ve been itching to return.  And now I get to live there STARTING TOMORROW!!!

I love you London, thanks for providing me for such a wonderful and fun vacation, but now it’s time for the next adventure.

Contemporary German Art at the Saatchi Gallery

 

Nothing like some contemporary German art to remind you that you’re going to Germany in four days, am I right?

After a morning spent reading (just finished In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson–it’s amazing; please check it out!), my mom and I went to the Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square to check out their exhibition Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art from Germany.

The exhibit was organized into 15 galleries that displayed works from 24 visual artists living and working in Germany.  To my surprise, when I walked in to the gallery there was no curatorial direction, exposition, commentary, nada.  The point of the exhibition was literally “take a look at this German art”, which I really appreciated.  Instead of thinking about and analyzing possible grand themes of the exhibition, I focused on my experience with the art.  However, the influence of found objects and graffiti gave the exhibition a distinctly German feel.

I didn’t take too many photos, but here are some of my favorite works!

Andre Butzer's Anhembild 2411

 

Isa Genzken's Bouquet

Gert and Uwe Tobias's Untitled

Jutta Koether's Leibhaftige Malerei

Alexandra Bircken's Unit 4

Thomas Helbig's Vater