Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Highs and Lows 2016

March is a pretty blah month, but April brings the promise of spring, and this post means April is about to begin. From the weather reports, today is supposed to be the warmest, nicest day so far, and in the near future.


  • every day teaching my students at the Hermann-Hesse-Kolleg continues to be a high!

  • two riding lessons on the darling Mallory, who has moved into a new flat (stall) with an outside view. Apparently not everyone likes to ride her because she's SO fast - she's often "auf der Flucht" (fleeing), as the instructor says. But I feel like I know her pretty well by now, and I do really enjoy riding her.

  • our Denglisch Kochkurs at Straub's Krone with two other Stuttgart expat bloggers, Traveling Hopefully and Kaffee und Kuchen. I think we learned even more this time than usual, and definitely prepared more dishes that we can and will do ourselves at home. In fact, we've already done a few of them! 

  • trying (and succeeding at) these two dishes we learned about at the Kochkurs:
Kässpätzle (with bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin)

Apfelküchle mit Hausgemachter Vanillesoße
  • making a beef roast (cooked for 3 hours in a bath of wine and broth) on Sunday because we needed some meat to accompany our leftover Spätzle - fried the second day in a pan with butter.
  • attending a Lenten church service because I learned that one of my students would be singing and then speaking to the congregation. He had asked me for help writing out what he wanted to say to them, and I wanted to go to support him. (ähm...I haven't been to church in quite a while...) He sang two hymns in Arabic - a capella - and he has a beautiful voice! The songs were very mystical and melodious. I could have listened for hours. The worshippers applauded him warmly for his words of thanks to the community at the end of the service, and one of the woman invited him to come to choir practice! On Easter Monday he and another of my students sang with the choir during a service.

  • trying my grandmother's coffee cake recipe a second time (see "lows" for the first attempt) with M's help on a weekend and not completely failing.

  • attending a Lichtstubenabend in our neighboring town to learn about the various Denkmäler such as Feldkreuze and other monuments in and around the town.

  • making Maultaschen with M - and succeeding! We made everything from scratch, including the pasta dough, which we rolled out with our new pasta press.

The pasta needs to be thin enough so one can read a newspaper through it.

  • Easter dinner! M and I were alone this year because my Schwiegermutter went up North to spend the week with M's sister and family, but we M still made a delicious meal. Lammkeule (leg of lamb), roast potatoes, and Kohlrabi französisch. This is why we don't go out to eat a lot (other than to Straub's Krone) - because the meals we make at home are our favorites and we enjoy cooking together!


  • In the Landtagswahl for Baden-Württemberg, the third most popular party (of the 10-12 viable parties) was the AfD. This is not quite the nazi party (NPD), but they are extreme right-wingers who, if living in the U.S., would probably be voting for Trump. It makes me extremely sad that even in our little village of 2200 residents - where I feel happy, comfortable and safe - the third most voted-for party was the AfD, who are vehemently anti-refugee and anti-foreigner. Actually they're probably not against all foreigners - just those who look and sound like foreigners.

  • trying my grandmother's coffee cake recipe for the first time and failing miserably. The dough went into the trash instead of into the oven.

  • Donald  Trump, and everything about him, especially the people who are cheering for and following him.

  • reading about the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act passed this month in the House Judiciary Committee. "Despicable and cowardly" one politician against the act called it. I agree. If this passes and becomes law, I will be ashamed. The "home of the brave" will then be a complete farce.

  • saying "auf Wiedersehen" to my Syrian and Eritrean students, as their class ended today. Even if I teach again when the next round of classes starts again, I am sure I will never have another group of students like this one. They made such an impression on me, I learned so much from them (even if I still cannot confidently say "the United States of America" in Arabic despite their repeated attempts to teach me!), and I will miss them immensely. I do have a way to contact them each through email or Facebook, and I hope we can meet occasionally.

I wish you all a happy start to April!!


  1. Poor Mallory got a bad rap, huh? I tended to prefer the quicker horses, myself, because: a) I rode mostly Arabians and they're rather good at scooting and zooming around when they want so it's not so weird to me; and b) I find it much more pleasant to channel the quickness through some circles and half-halts than have to nag at the horse to go faster. Plus, I found that the lazy, slow horses are more likely to buck and get stuck behind your leg.

    1. We did quite a few small circles today! She was really good at first, but as soon as we canter the first time, it's high gear the rest of the lesson. We get along well, though. One of my favorite lesson horses when I was a teen was an Arabian (probably only part).