one week back.

“It all seems impossible until its done.”

– Nelson Mandela

Well then, it has been a full week since writing anything. How do some people manage to write a new post me very day? Respect. Really…

But, in all seriousness I have had a good week.  I ordered a fancy food processor as I am planning to start working as the main cook at the Volksküche and anything that will save me a bit of time is an invaluable tool.  This week I gave it a test run.  This included making a rosemary bread and mincing some garlic and onions.  It literally took 7 seconds for the garlic and onions.  The bread took about 2 minutes.  Both are a dramatic improvement.  My only complaint is that it takes a bit to clean.

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Rosemary Bread: very tasty, but also very crumby (physical attribute, not flavor)

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7 Itty Bitty Seconds for 3 Onions and 3 Cloves of Garlic. AMAZING!

I also used it to process (?) some corn flakes so that they would be smaller and perfect to bread the chicken that was on sale this week.  It was very tasty and baked.  I seem to be on a healthy food kick at the moment.

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Crunchy Baked Chicken with Herbed CousCous and a Simple Salad

Last night (26. Feb) we grilled for the first time this year.  I always have a hard time with finding a good cut of meat (to grill) in Germany because the way the meat is butchered is differently as in the United States and the German version of grilling is pre-seasoned pork steaks or something that looks like ribs, but tastes like something else.  It is pretty much always a disappointment.  In turn, I usually have to get creative.  This was the case yesterday.  I should probably buy a better, sharper knife for such a task.  Regardless, when all was said and done it tasted quite delicious – especially with asparagus (even though the asparagus came all the way from Mexico).

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My Poorly Butchered Meat
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Delicious Grilled Steak!

As for my attempt at crock pot spaghetti sauce last weekend, all I can say is that it was…okay.  It was certainly not my new “go-to” recipe, even though I used wine and ground pork and sautéed the onions.  It just did not have the complex flavor I was looking for.  Ah well, at least it was easy and made a few nights of dinner.

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Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce (before it was cooked)

On the other hand, the “hike” (Berlin/Brandenburg is too flat to really go hiking.  It is more of a really long walk) I went on was very enjoyable.  I met a very nice woman from New Hampshire who is a molecular biologist. We talked practically the whole time.  It was enjoyable as the opportunity to engage in a long conversation with an English-speaking individual rarely presents itself.  And the most amazing thing happened…I was riding on the train talking to two men from France and they thought I was German!  All of my hard work practicing German may in fact be starting to payoff.  It was an amazing feeling.

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A Lake in Southeast Berlin

This week I also started a temporary job helping to renovate an apartment.  Yesterday included ripping the wallpaper from the walls.  I do not want wallpaper in my house.  Ever.  But, the fun thing is that I found a message from my friend from 1999.  She has since moved to India, but I sent her the picture anyway.  I am sure it was a surprise…especially from me.  haha

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Finally, I tested out a kitchen tip: place a wooden spoon over a boiling pot of water to prevent the water from boiling over.  And, as it turns out, this trick works.  No spilled over water, just tasty noodles.  Woo hoo!

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Boiling Pot of Water + Wooden Spoon

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