Monthly Archives: February 2015

Fasching - Mittenwald

Our first Fasching

February 25, 2015
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Fasching happens every year in Germany and it’s a pre-Lent celebration lasting over a month. The grand celebrations usually take place before Ash Wednesday (start of Lent) and includes numerous fancy-dress balls and parties, processions, parades and dancing, but whatever the celebration it most certainly includes dressing up.

In Munich there is the famous Dance of the Marketwomen at the Viktualienmarkt – unfortunately we didn’t manage to go to this as Bella was having her own Fasching Party at Kindergarten where she dressed up as Tinkerbell.

In the afternoon, we travelled to Mittenwald, a picturesque village at the foot of the Alps and were lucky to see their Fasching celebrations. Mittenwald is known for it’s beautiful painted buildings and also its history in making violins.

There were lots of people dressed up, an unusual band playing music including a man on stilts at a gigantic piano and a man in drag throwing ladies underwear at the man at the piano, characters with sweeties on fishing lines for children to catch and sausages barbecuing on an open fire  – a carnival feast for the eyes.

I wondered if Bella would be very frightened by some of the ghoulish costumes but she sat on her daddy’s shoulders with jaws dropped in amazement, and she even braved trying to catch some sweeties with the other children.

My Simple (German) Beef in Gravy (with hidden carrot)

February 9, 2015
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When making a Coconut Beef Madras for us, I wanted to make Bella something less spicy that she could eat with us that looked similar so I made simply beef in gravy but added carrots into the sauce as she won’t eat carrots usually. It’s a trick I learned from Annabel Karmel to get other vegetables into her and I now do this frequently with bolognese, lasagnas, shepherd pies etc. Of course you can do this with other vegetables too.

Bella rating – 4/5Sauce Zu Braten

  • 1 to 2 tbsp Oil
  • Diced Beef – 80-100g (or as much as your child eats)
  • 1/4 small onion
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • Sauce zu braten (Rein Pflanzlich)
  1. Using a little of the oil, brown the beef in a frying pan. When browned, place on a plate to rest.
  2. Fry the onion and grated carrot together in the rest of the oil (I did this in the pan that I’d been frying onion, ginger and garlic in for our dinner)
  3. Boil the kettle and dissolve 2 heaped teaspoons of sauce zu braten into boiling water and stir.
  4. When soft, place in a food mixer and blend until smooth – you may need to add a little of the gravy mixture to help blend it.
  5. Add all the gravy mixture to the blended paste and mix/blend well.
  6. Place Beef into a small oven proof dish, cover with gravy mixture and cover with the lid or foil if there is no lid.
  7. Place in oven at about 160 degrees for an hour or so or until tender.

I served this with rice (to look like our curry), peas and sweetcorn but of course it can be served with anything you like.   Lo and behold our curry wasn’t that spicy after all and she enjoyed that too! But still – I have a new meal to give Bella that she enjoyed.

Snow, snow and more snow

February 3, 2015
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Well it’s definitely a proper winter here in Germany – we’ve had lots of snow – in fact its been snowing for at least a week solid – I even am now the proud owner of a snow shovel! As a German citizen (burger) it’s your responsibility to make sure your path is snow-free for the postman each morning so its another item on the morning to-do list once I’ve persuaded Bella that kindergarten takes precedent over playing with her cars at home, and cleared the car of snow.

In England a “snow day” meant staying at home and avoiding any reason to drive or take public transport – I even remember one snow day in London where everyone was sent home from work and we spent the afternoon in the local pub all cosy and warm. Here the snow ploughs are out and about before 7am clearing the roads and paths – even the cycle paths – the cars all have snow tyres on and the trains are (usually) still running on-time. There’s no excuse for the city to stop.

You can ski only a half hour away from here too so you see people with skis with them on the train. In fact, we’re hoping to do that too, and especially to see what Bella makes of it. So far she’s loving the snow. Afternoon fun usually includes sledging at least once a week – this is the first real snow Bella will remember and remember it I think she will as she spends almost every day playing in it.



And for me, as well as the fun that Bella and I have in the snow together,  it really is truly beautiful, especially the days with a pure blue sky, the sun shining on the new fresh snow and the trees are laden with white.

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