Almost a month has passed since my last post – time truly flies.
Regglisweiler is starting to dress up for autumn as brilliant reds, yellows and browns are insinuating themselves within a slowly fading green landscape ( see picture gallery below). Fog is now part of most mornings but tends to dissipate between 9:30 to 10:30 am – that’s providing the sun is shining. Today it took until early afternoon before skies cleared.
After the initial temperature cooling, the weather has turned warm again during the day, hovering around 18 to 20C and supposed to go up to 21C this week-end. Quite pleasant. I take advantage by hopping on the bike whenever I get a break. Teaching right now is only a couple of days a week, which allows for plenty of writing and bike-riding.
A couple of days after my September posting, I was offered to be on contract with the language school I presently work for. This of course took care of all the health insurance issues and I’ll now only have to take care of a small portion of the fee. What an answer to prayer! This entails that for the next six months to a yearI cannot freelance for other language schools but that’s a small price to pay considering the benefit of having the health insurance looked after.
A couple of days ago I went to a second-hand store to find an adjustable office chair. All sold and more coming but there was a nice compact stereo system for $25 and a couple of side tables for less. I can’t tell you how much I missed having music in the house! Relishing every minute now.
German is improving steadily. Some of the memory cells have been hard at work recalling the dormant 35+ years stock of information, vocabulary, etc. It somehow seems to develop much faster than did Spanish. Or maybe it’s just my bias – who knows. I certainly seem to cotton more to the Germanic way of life than the Spanish. Maybe my Dutch roots have something to do with that; they’ve been more predominant that the Italian ones. The local Swabian is still hard to comprehend (maybe I never will). This morning I was told my next appointment by the Dr’s receptionist . “I’ve booked you for three quarters to ten” – or something to that effect. The nonplussed look was sufficient for her to say laughingly, “that’s how we say it here… I meant quarter to ten”.
The customary southern hello greetings are “Hallo” and “Grüß Gott” (which literally means Greet God), goodbye greetings besides the common “Tschüs” are: “Adé” and “Ciao”.
Local specialties include “Spätzle”, which is a form of pasta noodles, cut up in pieces and served as an accompaniment to Goulasch, beef- or pork stew.
Maultaschen is another favourite and the local butcher makes them fresh they look like ravioli but are double in size- to be sure, these are a Swabian delicacies and are filled with meat and vegetables, or other choices depending on the family tradition.
Flädle are pancakes cut into strips and added to beef broth.
Hutzelbrot is made of dried pears or other fruits –Hutzel in Swabian means dried pears.
There are of course many more local specialties made – as you can see from these samples –with wheat and off-limits for me… but I’ve already looked at gluten-free alternative recipes, or substituting GF for the regular wheat.
Right now I go by memory; remembering what these dishes tasted like when I was still able to eat them.
My favourite and verboten bread is the Laugen Brötchen or lye bread. Most of you would know it as Pretzel or Bretzel (lye) – Not sure what kind of alternative I can find if at all – Ah well, I’m remembering the taste of those salty buns (not the pretzel version) …. That should do.
“Leberkäse” is also made fresh at the butcher’s and kept in a small oven so as to cut thick fresh warm slices for a sandwich or to take home, which is what I do and just enjoy as is. Yum!
Finally, during the latter part of September and up to now, I have feasted on wild mushrooms. The ones I picked in the forest as a child, with my dad, are the Pfifferlingen known as Chanterelles.
The Ulm Wednesday market, which only carries food (contrary to the Spanish markets where one could find food, clothes, etc), has various produce stalls that sell all kinds of mushrooms along with the German Steinpilzen or Boletus.
The latter also has a highly poisonous variety and, not having grown up with them,
I wouldn’t venture picking them myself… So after sampling the mushrooms I had a feast for the next four days, trying a range of recipes. You’d have to come and visit in September/October if you wanted to taste these delicacies 😉
I also couldn’t resist buying a…. cauliflower? Broccoli? Broccoflower? Caulibrocco? See for yourself. A biologist friend,while discussing genetically modified foods (GMO), commented that foods have always been experimented with and cross-sectioned, and this specimen is a creative example! It was tasty with subtle texture.
Also bought some lovely home made red Johannisbeehren jam at the convent.
Last but not least; my car hasn’t arrived yet. The Princess is taking her time. Meanwhile the dealer has given me the use of a loaner Twingo. It turns heads wherever I go…
Pictures below take you on a stroll into my neighbourhood, my street and the village and valleys around – my Moo-ey neighbours steps from my home and the horses not far behind. Some pictures are form September – you can see the difference in colours in just one month. Enjoy the walk!
See you back in November. Until then, Tschüs.