So… tonight I am cooking dinner for eleven Germans. Ten of them I have not yet met. Here is what they will know about me after tonight’s dinner:
-I make bouillabase without fennel and without saffron and without fish stock (apparently my grocery list wasn’t as clear as it could have been and it’s Good Friday in a country where church and state are firmly not separated, so the goddamned gas stations are closed never mind the saffron-and-fennel stores.)
-I swear, even on Good Friday.
-I wear a combination of dirty and wet clothes (did you know that Germans don’t routinely have clothes dryers in their homes? Me neither!)
-I know very few words in German other than the words fleisch (meat), salat (salad), and fleischsalat (you guessed it, and it’s my very favorite.)
-Of all of the wonderful inventions American ingenuity has produced, including electricity, the internal combustion engine, and super awesome movie stars, for my guest’s dining pleasure I am someone who smuggles in Peeps.
I think that’s enough for one evening, don’t you?
Epilogue: Dinner was tons of fun, the Germans were patient, kind and funny, and the soup was saved by the addition of nearly a full bottle of sprightly white wine and a good dose of salt. The Peeps were a big hit with the one child in attendance. Her comment can, I think, be roughly translated to “Mmmm. These taste like evil! How many of these can I eat before I have kidney failure and diabetes?”