What Makes a Holiday? + Darmstadt, revisited

I’m not sure that I can adequately describe my answer to this question. But… I can start to answer it. A holiday has to include a special breakfast, right? Or at least a breakfast that you might not ordinarily have on, say, a Thursday. And given that we spent last weekend traipsing around Belgium, thus precluding my weekly intake of pancakes, this particular holiday needed pancakes to make sure that it was properly celebrated. As you know, pancake making in these parts is, shall we say, an adventure…

The last time we had pancakes, we ran out of our homemade self-rising flour. And you know what an ordeal that was, right? Right. Me too. I had a grand plan about getting new self-rising flour – the real deal, but Sandy foiled that plan, too. She’s such a pain. But anyway, we still had no self-rising flour. Yikes! So… we needed a new plan. We decided that we weren’t going to commit to making a whole bag of flour at a time, but we were still going to make pancakes. After an emergency run to the market at the train station (open on days that nothing else is open and at times when you realize just after you get back from the store that you have forgotten something and your grocery store would close before you would be able to get back there), we had the good old all-purpose stuff, which would be the foundation of our pancakes for the holiday.

But then… eek! We are out of back pulver (baking powder)! Uh oh… are you imagining the Great Pancake Disaster of 2012 like I was? Almost 2 months in… We got this. Right?

The assembled ingredients. You may notice in the background a few bottles: Edel Weiss (beer) and Winter Jack (Jack Daniels flavored with apples and spices).
Mike: “Are you planning to add Winter Jack to the pancakes?”
me: “No, it is the back-up plan. If the pancakes don’t work.”

Fortunately, I am married to Mr. Google search himself! Hooray! After some “I-don’t-think-this-is-going-to-work”s and a few “You-know-sweetie-this-is-going-to-taste-different”s, we decided that we were going to have buttermilk pancakes… BUT WAIT!! We don’t have any buttermilk. Enter last night’s leftovers…

Served with bread, we were given a bunch of the pieces up in the upper left corner, which were spicy and yummy, lettuce, herbs, lemon, green onion, and a tasty little sauce. Surprisingly good, I say!

I know what you are thinking… What does leftover food from last night have to do with buttermilk or pancakes? Last night, we went to a Turkish restaurant for dinner. Not just any Turkish restaurant, mind you, a vegan Turkish restaurant that offered to wrap up our leftovers (this is not an incredibly common thing in German, the idea of taking leftovers away from a restaurant; many places, I’m sure, this would be considered poor form, in fact)! VEGAN! RESTAURANT! ASCHAFFENBURG! Imagine that… (oh, happy, happy day…) Anyway, our leftovers included 1/2 of a lemon which, when added to a couple of cups of milk work as a good buttermilk substitute (1 tablespoon per cup of milk, in case you were wondering). Providence!

And you want to know something? It worked! 🙂

“Buttermilk” pancakes! No Winter Jack required! (I jest, of course… I wasn’t really going to take to the bottle if my pancakes didn’t work out. I hope..)

After making our tummies happy, we set off on a holiday adventure (an adventure that could be completed post-pancake project and pre-Mike’s-meeting-with-people-in-the-US-who-aren’t-observing-our-holiday-schedule) to visit the Jungendstil area in Darmstadt. We’d skipped this part of town on our previous visit in favor of sitting around and cafe-ing (like how I just verbed that noun? It’s my post, I’ll create whatever language I want). I am SO glad that we went back! The photos, oh the photos! Here are a couple, but I’m also saving some of the rest for a “rainy day.” 🙂 We also even shot a video today! Actually, Mike shot a video today. While I jumped on a trampoline… It was a very happy day, indeed. (And it is made all that much happier by the fact that I’m the one who is writing this and will therefore have all rights associated with editing said video…)

The entrance to the garden at Mathildehöhe (the Darmstadt quarter where the Künstlerkolonie (aka “Artist’s Colony”) is located.

Garden statues… They call it the “Vortex Garden.”

The Ernst Ludwig House – Ernst (we’re tight like that, I’ll call him by his first name) is the guy (also referred to as a Duke) who founded the artist’s colony in Darmstadt in 1899 famous for the Art Nouveau style, which in Germany is called “Jungendstil” (youth style). The point of the colony was to present a unified city block integrating art and work and life. Great idea! Too bad WWI ended it, but what they did was pretty darn cool. (WWII messed a bunch of it up, but the city of Darmstadt has been pretty diligent about restoring what they could.)

The Russian Church from the reflecting pool.

🙂 We found the timer on the camera!

3 thoughts on “What Makes a Holiday? + Darmstadt, revisited

  1. I LOVE the making up of new languages! Sometimes there just isn’t a word for what you want. You go right on ahead and keep doing that. 🙂 And the picture of the two of you is so fun. Love the sunglasses, but more-love seeing your two smiling happy faces! (I just made up my own language in responding to your made up language post…. hope that’s ok. 😉

  2. Once you really get around to venturing outside of Germany, Holland folks make all sorts of plate-sized pancakes, both savory and sweet. Something to look forward to!!!

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