Best Present Ever

From the lovely brother of the German, I received for Christmas the awesomest present: a cookbook, in English and German, of Schwäbisch recipes, and a food press with three different disks: one for spaetzle, one for potato ricing, and one for applesauce/fruit juices. This is super special because:
-my brother and I were just talking about how you can only make truly fluffy mashed potatoes with a potato ricer. (OK, let’s be honest: I was chatting away, he was pretending to listen, and then he said, ‘tell me again about the Magic Open Stage?’ which is as effective a subject changer as ever was.)
-the German loves spaetzle, apparently, but barely believes that he is lucky enough to live in a world wherein spaetzle can be produced in ones own home.
-the spaetzle-maker, potato ricer, apple saucer is obviously a permanent license to never, ever floss my teeth again. Who needs teeth when it can do the chewing for me?

Translation, Things That Are Lost In

The website was kind of broken for a while, and now it’s fixed!! I think that the trick was my fourth espresssso today.
Since we last spoke, I:
-made it back and forth to Colorado with the German, and had an AWESOME holiday season, and, upon my return to Hamburg, remembered that Santa did not bring the magical necklace that allows me to understand and speak every language in the universe. So, I…

-had a hilarious conversation with the mailman where I was like, ‘Apologies, kind sir, but my German fluency is not up to par,’ and he was like, ‘Kein problem! Turkish?’ and I was like, ‘No. Espanol?’ and he was like, ‘Russian? French?’ and when I said ‘No, no, I’m sorry, oh god why isn’t knowing two songs on the guitar a more useful communication tool’ he capitalized on my embarrassment by forcing me to sign for a package for the mean dog lady that lives downstairs.

-found a cute little indie movie theatre around the corner that shows awesome movies in Spanish with Deutsch subtitles, which is laughable in all the right ways because, really, could the inflection be more different? Spoken, dramatically acted Spanish and written German? It’s like coconut ice cream versus overhard egg whites.

-went to a terrific Asian grocery store that had an astonishing array of mushrooms, with even more astonishing names. The names were translated by store personnel from source language (Chinese, Korean, Japanese,) into German, and then by me and translate.google.com into English. These names did not come out very Englishy. I was supposed to bring back lily buds, black mushrooms, and tree ear mushrooms, so, obviously, I just went with the items that sounded the most delicious/least scary. I ended up with golden spikes and three different items (one powdery, one delicately floaty but huge, and one hard as rocks,) that each claimed to be black fungus. It was an excellent exercise in the literal, and how nuance is lost in translation: nuances like relative risk of dying from eating contents of package, or which fungus will smell most like hot, dusty goat shit when you add boiling water.

-and then I went to a something something restaurant that… let’s not bother with the whens and wheres and just get straight to the whats: 12, count them 12, delicious little dishes made up the mezze, that’s what. (And if you’re clever like my mom, you’ve probably guessed based only on the word mezze that the something something culture of the restaurant had its roots in the Ottoman empire and then you would guess that, of the 12, hummus, red pepper/walnut paste, felafel, tabbouleh, minted yoghurt, and baba ganoush probably featured for 6. Good job, Mom, but where were you when I needed to know what a fairy ear fungus was?)