We just got back from a surprise baby shower that Herr R has known about for weeks. Complete with games, a diaper cake, and a baby-shaped real cake, it was exactly what I would have hoped for in a baby shower if I’d known one was coming. As a surprise, it was pretty much the best ever. It’s almost criminal, though, that the most baby-shower-appropriate food I’ve ever made was sitting back home in the fridge the whole time: pink-and-green-striped buttermints. I got the recipe from the Land-O-Lakes website, and I made a double batch. They turned out better than expected, and now in a big tin in the fridge there are layers upon tempting layers of cute little confections that are both buttery (yum) and minty (also yum.) Thank god the clementines are so sweet and delicious right now; they certainly ease the transition back to real food.
Note: if you’re going to make buttermints, I would recommend planning on at least an additional box/bag of powdered sugar to work into them as you knead the dough (otherwise it’s a sticky mess), and I would heartily recommend having a destination for the finished product other than your refrigerator.

In baby news, at 36 weeks we are still able to tie our own shoes and to attend our favorite football club’s games. Herr R and I went to a mid-afternoon game today and had the traditional bratwurst-and-mustard-and-roll snack before the game. Also on offer at the stadium: fischbrotchen – a nice crusty roll with fried or pickled or mayonaised fish. These are often quite good, and the vendor at the stadium was kept busy, but there’s something about a lukewarm fish sandwich that just doesn’t scream ‘sporting event’ to me.

Between the buttermints and the candy canes and the caramels, we have waaaayyyyy too much candy in the house, and I still want to make pfeffernusse cookies and gingersnaps and fruitcake. Since it’s too late to offload it on the nice people who organized and attended the world’s sweetest and most thoughful baby shower today, I think that the next best thing is to start my own tradition of taking candy plates around to the neighbors. Because Hanukkah doesn’t start until December 20th this year (and because I should know more about it than ‘festival of lights’ if I’m going to even pretend-celebrate it by forcing sweets on relative strangers,) these plates will be given in honor of the Dutch SinterKlass, who arrived in Hamburg Harbor today.

A very happy Sinterklaas Arrival to all, and to all a good night.

p.s. you know how people get all frothy about putting the Christ in Christmas? Here in the land of ignoring-the-possibility-of-anyone-not-celebrating-Christmas, the religion part is so assumed it’s a non-issue. That makes the holiday window displays at this schmuck store even funnier:
-the name of the jewelry (schmuck in Deutsch) store is CHRIST
-their downtown holiday window displays exhort you to Put the CHRIST in Christmas!!!!!
-there is no mention of the Jesus-Christ-Lord-Savior anywhere. Unless he is, like Prince, going by a symbol these days, and unless that symbol is a diamond pendant.

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