This is the aforementioned shopping trip post.
Here is the background you need to know: A relatively consistent thread running throughout my life is pancakes. My family has pancakes/waffles most Saturday and Sunday mornings, and it’s not uncommon for “old cooks” to make an appearance during the week (leftover pancakes and waffles). In some ways, pancakes are like my blankie.
To head off homesickness before it happens, we decided we would have pancakes. First, we planned to go to Mickey D’s for some hotcakes. Plan foiled. They don’t have hotcakes.
The recipe that I know best (and prefer, having taste-tested several) calls for self-rising flour. Which doesn’t exist in Germany. So… Mike found a recipe to convert all-purpose flour to self-rising. Like a whole bag of flour. In order to do this, we had to find both baking soda and baking powder. Which meant that we had to find out what baking soda and baking powder are in German. In case you are wondering, they are natron and backpulver. And then you have to figure out where these items are in the grocery store. Insert 30 minutes and 1 German-speaking grocery store employee, and voila! We have it. In America, these are reliably packaged in a box or in a particular cylinder container. In Germany, these are packaged in small envelopes, 1/4 cup at a time. It was a small fiasco but we emerged with baking soda, baking powder, flour, eggs, vegetable oil, and refrigerated milk.
We got up early on Saturday, excited to have pancakes. And then reality set in. The flour recipe had us sifting the entire bag of flour + baking soda + backing powder 3 TIMES! That’s a lot of sifting, boys and girls, a lot of sifting. So, I was tired before we even finished the flour recipe. Then… we started actually making the pancakes. At which time we realized that we don’t have a whisk. Shortly after that we realized we didn’t have a spatula. Nor do we have a non-stick pan.
And then we learned that our stove runs exceedingly hot. Needless to say, we sit in the apartment, more than 24 hours later, still smelling the pancake disaster (burn stage). We were able to nibble on exactly 1 of the pancake attempts, and it was still burned on the outside and raw on the inside. BLEH! All of the sudden, the traditional German brote sounded really good (a roll for breakfast is very typical for Germans to eat for breakfast).