die Italienisch Küche/la Cucina Italiana


romantic, no?

About a month before traveling to Germany, I took the ipad and photographed nearly every page of our cookbook collection – Julia Child, America’s Test Kitchen, Rick Bayless, books on chicken, sandwiches, Southern cooking (where I got the gem posted above), and on and on – nearly 500 recipes.


My wife loves a good Bolognese, so I pulled out the ipad and flipped to recipes copied from The Splendid Table, which everyone should own. Like another of my favorites – Rick Bayless’ Mexico One Plate at a Time, Splendid Table offers traditional recipes followed by contemporary – and slightly healthier – alterations, which I would then have to fudge using ingredients  I can find at the typical German Supermarkt.  For example:

...this is celery.

…this is celery.

not exactly pancetta, but it will do.

not exactly pancetta, but it will do.

we can! WE WILL!!

The constraints of an understocked kitchen: we can! WE WILL!!

Thankfully, carrots, onions and ground beef all look the same. The major plus is the abundance of Laktosefrei Milchprodukt INCLUDING lactose free HEAVY CREAM, which will allow me to make my darling wife Alfredo without the show-stopping after-effects.

At the end of the day, Guten Appetit!


and what’s to be done with the leftover Schinken Würfel?

das Omelette!

das Omelette!


Guten Hunger

Somewhere, at some point in time, someone, or a team of someones, must have designed what a typical grocery store should look like, and then deemed that this design must be replicated all over the planet.  Even for someone (me), whose knowledge of the German language is rudimentary at BEST, it is possible to find one’s way around a German grocery store and generally know where to find whatever.

This is incredibly beneficial when coupled with the fact that very little makes me more ill at ease than the first time in a strange grocery store, especially if that grocery store is in a new town, ESPECIALLY if everything is in a language that I don’t yet understand.

The importance of food in my life can be gleaned simply by glancing at the vowel that ends my last name. Cooking and eating are two of my many passions and within them are the combined forces of home, guests, family, and hearth – not in that particular order.  Unfortunately, I am also rather competitive when it comes to cooking (and I’m  a sore loser…but, that’s for another blog).

German grocery 101: a) Globalization means kettle chips, quinoa, and Oreos; b) Germans love ketchup; c) the Käse (cheese) counter will make you want to smack your momma; d) the Fleisch (meat) counter will make you want to make yer momma smack HER damn momma.  There are also “American” sections, which yield off-brand peanut butter, Crisco, and hot dog buns “…in the American style.”  Favorite lost in translations:



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~ insert off-color comment here ~

When all was said and done, my adventure to der Supermarkt allowed me to craft a beautiful poached cod with a sauce made from a reduction of the poaching liquid, served with  mushrooms, yellow peppers and cucumbers that were sautéed then poached with the fish, sautéed beans and roasted potatoes. (thanks and apologies to Julia Child).

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