Thursday, December 15, 2011


These are Lebkuchen hearts
This yet another posting about groceries. If you are not interested, just skip it. My feelings won't be hurt.

Yesterday I was on a quest to find molasses. Somehow I had decided that it would not be Christmas unless I made gingerbread cookies, and I could not make gingerbread cookies without molasses. I suspected they sell it here since Lebkuchen is pretty common, and it looks a lot like gingerbread. They sell it in big heart shapes at the Christmas Market, with sappy phrases written on the Lebkuchen in frosting (like Americans might do for Valentine's Day). Anyway, I did not know the word for molasses, and the dictionary did not help me. I looked at a big grocery store, and found nothing. I looked at a gourmet grocery store. I even asked there, but because I didn't know the word for what I was looking for I had to try describing it. I asked the lady who worked there about finding a syrup, for baking, that is a brown color. That was the best I could do. She took me to the section with food coloring and said that she was sorry, they didn't carry brown, but I could try mixing a few other colors to make brown. I gave up on that store.

I met up with my friends Renee and Kaska for lunch, two members of our hausfrauen club. Kaska is Polish but has lived in Germany for a long time and had a German friend from out of town with her. I described what I wanted to Kaska, who didn't know the word but asked her German friend and they talked about it for a while in German until he finally came up with the word: Zuckerrubensirop.  So I went to yet another store, this time the one where I usually shop, and looked over and over again at the shelves in the baking section - no luck. I decided to ask the guy who was stocking and said "Do you have..." and showed him the paper. I wasn't sure I could pronounce that word so that he would understand. Luckily he did not laugh at me. He took me to the section where they sell jellies and honey and pulled out a paper carton of Zuckerrubensirop. I had been looking for a clear glass bottle in the baking section, preferably with a picture of a grandma or a bunny or something familiar like that. Instead, this is what it looks like:

So now I can make gingerbread, which means Christmas can happen here in Hannover. But if I decide I need brown food coloring, I'm out of luck.

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About Me

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Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.