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German-American Bake-Off and other culinary and cultural events

Much of the past two days have been spent in the kitchen and dining rooms at Kupsers. Friday we had a “German-American Bake-Off”: Ruth made a plum cake (Zwetschgendatschi) with plums from a neighbor’s tree), and I made an apple pie with apples from another neighbor’s tree. Thankfully Scott was able to send me a recipe for pie dough. Ruth has a pie plate and a few assorted measuring cups from all the Americans who have found their way to this house over the years. It had been a long time since I made pie crust, but it felt pretty decent when I wrapped it and put it in the fridge to set. Both baked goods looked and smelled fantastic when they came out of the oven, and Ruth and I got to sample them in the afternoon during coffee time. We declared both to be equally good.

Their son, Thomas, his wife, Martina, and their two girls, Ellis (10) and Juli (7) arrived later in the afternoon. Thomas premiered a new documentary film he made about a locally famous bar (das weiße Roß – the white steed) and the owner (Walter Hertle). Walter has owned the place since 1978 in the small village of Immeldorf, about 5km from Neuendettelsau. I’m not quite sure how to describe it – if you’ve been to the bar in Luckenbach, TX, it’s in that direction. Many, many local musicians and bands got their start by playing at the weißes Roß, so it’s legendary. Thomas did a great job with the documentary. He’s a filmmaker by trade, and has won awards from the German Ministry of Culture in Berlin for his work. This documentary captured the essence of Walter and the unique characteristics of the bar. After the film, Thomas and his band, Mars Mushrooms, played from 10PM – 2AM. I didn’t stay for the musical performance, but the band has been together for 25 years.

Even though it was a bit later than normal, breakfast Saturday morning was like old times, with 9 people crowded around the table and reliving Friday evening’s events. After breakfast, the granddaughters decided they wanted Käsespätzle (see last blog entry) for lunch, so I proceeded to help Ruth with the dough and pressing the noodles while Thomas showed his friends Neuendettelsau on a walking tour. By the time that group returned, Ruth and I had everything ready to go and we all gathered around the table for another delicious lunch. Ruth commented that I have had Spätzle every day since Thursday – but that is fine with me.

It is fun being with Kupsers, who I met back in 1986 when I spent a semester abroad studying in Heidelberg. Now Peter, Thomas, and Annemarie all have children who are around the age they were when I first met Ruth and Rudolf! Such are the joys of having long term international friendships.

Pictures: left to right, top to bottom

Top row: making Spätzle in Ruth's kitchen

2nd row: Saturday breakfast; film premiere at Das weiße Roß

3rd row: Taste test; apple pie ready for baking

4th row: Plum cake and apple pie fresh from the oven; making plum cake

5th row: Views from windows at Kupsers; simple supper



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