Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Markets...

OK - so by now, you've probably made it to at least one... but ever find yourself wondering if there's some special little town, without all the crowds, but beautiful in it's magical setting?  Or maybe you'd like to find a way to go to a Christmas market in a town you haven't yet explored, but don't know which towns have them?

Well here's a tip on a lesser known, but fabulous market close by, AND a great list of Christmas markets - in English!

The Christmas Market list can be found here -
 which seems to be a great English resource for all sorts of things about Germany, not just Christmas markets!  The list of towns is on the lower left hand side of the article.

And the suggested market is Bad Wimpfen.  It's about 2 hours from here, so definitely not around the corner, but is supposed to be absolutely magical, and a bit more off the beaten path than Nürnberg or Rothenberg.  It is one of the oldest markets in Germany, and is located in the town's old medieval center, nestled under the "Blaue Turm" one of the old medieval towers.

An excerpt from their website -
 "Different to many other big cities, where Christmas markets have developed into types of annual markets, Wimpfen offers here arts and crafts articles, complimenting the idea of Christmas gift shopping.

Something else differs Wimpfen from other Christmas Markets, it is a festival for children.

The „ Christkind “ (Christchild) and St. Nikolaus (Father Christmas), accompanied by medieval foot soldiers, hand out little presents to the children. Two roundabouts near the „ Blaue Turm “ and the „ Loewenbrunnen “ (Lions Fountain) are awaiting the children.

In the „ Fairy Tales Tower “ , the story of the „ Tales of the 4 Seasons “ will be told to the little visitors. On all Saturdays and Sundays there will be puppetshows in the „ Zehentscheue r“ (Tenth Giving Barn), where the medieval villagers of Wimpfen were compelled to give 10 percent of their harvest to the church. This barn was to store the crop given."


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Condensed and Evaporated Milk

As the Christmas baking season has commenced, I thought I would post my research findings on condensed and evaporated milk here in Germany.  I know several of my recipes call for one or the other...

In the coffee section of most stores you can find something called Kondensmilch, which I believe is what we would call evaporated milk - meaning that most of the moisture has been removed.  It will be sweeter and thicker than regular milk because it has been evaporated.

But what we call Condensed Milk, is also usually cooked down further, and more sugar is added, so that it is even thicker and sweeter than evaporated milk. 

Some posts say that you can find Kondensmilch with sugar added, so if your German is good enough, reading the label might tell you.

Other posts reccomended a Nestlé product of condensed sweetened milk in tubes and cans under the brand "Milchmädchen".

And another post suggested using the cans of Bären Marke you can find in the coffee section, but I haven't checked the label on this one, so do so first!

And last, but not least... you can always make it.  For a recipe, click HERE.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Motherhood in the Fatherland

Series I found on The Local about pregnancy and motherhood in Germany.  There are seven articles at this point, and very interesting reading!

Der Spiegel Online - In English

Didn't realize this was even out there.  I'll probably still stick with an American site for general news, but should be a good source for German news!