Thankfully, I have a brother who made sure my mother in Germany was well taken care of. I help, and visit as much as I can. At this point in life, my mother needs more help and support. Until now, she has survived with the help of many people she lived with on the farm where she was born—both fortunate and lucky. But now it is getting complicated.
This year, spring has come early to northern Germany. Looking out of my mother’s hospital room, there is a huge tree covered with pink blossoms. White asparagus is being harvested and sold, which is usually a May event. When I was here last year, it snowed the entire month of April. While in Germany, I ate in the cafeteria at the clinic and rehab center my mom was . I was thankful for the often decent food. I was also lucky enough to have a Tegut grocery store (similar to Whole Foods) on the way to the hospital. My girlfriend, Monika, not only provided me with support and help in the German medical world (which is excellent by the way), but also cooked some delicious meals for me. Bless her kind and gentle heart, a true friend.
There were no gourmet meals, but I managed to find some great cheese, bread, and of baked goods (of course). Those little bakeries in Germany are my favorite. Here are some of my favorites:
This is a crunchy pastry filled with cooked tart gooseberries topped with a meringue that was crusty on top but soft in the middle. This piece of cake is not sweet. But it hits the spot on a busy afternoon with a cup of black tea.
This is a simple, but oh-so-yummy yeast cake covered with butter, sugar and almonds. It is best eaten fresh out of the oven, and it has to be done the right way—fluffy not gooey.
I always have several of these from my favorite baker, Ralph, in Northeim. It is a light pastry filled with hazelnut cream covered with a sugary glaze topped with a hazelnut.
This is a crunchy, gooey nut bar made German-style. It is buttery filled with a jam-like layer between the nuts and the almonds—a true culinary delight.
Should you be so lucky and find fresh white asparagus, make sure you peel it correctly. Some people peel the asparagus twice just to make sure the woody outside is gone. So, don’t skimp on peeling away the outside. There are asparagus peelers in Germany that work beautifully. I did not peel away enough this time at is was annoying when I ate the asparagus. My blog has a recipe for white asparagus soup.
While in Germany, I had a beautiful salad with an oil and vinegar vinaigrette, asparagus, strawberries and goat cheese.
After six weeks in Germany and a glorious trip to Marrakech, I’m back home in Santa Cruz. It feels good and I’m getting used to my normal life and enjoying it.