Tuesday, July 31, 2007

6 June: A German Barbeque

I took Mom downtown today – the usual tour of the Königstraße, Schlossplatz, and Schillerplatz, with a detour to Calwerstraße, where Mom found a miniature porcelain teapot in a very cool little tea shop to bring back as a gift for her neighbor, who collects such things. Naturally we also took a stroll ‘round the Markthalle and picked up fresh ingredients for our potato salad. We tried to find Mom a knitting shop too – I even went into a sewing shop on Calwerstraße and asked if there was one in the neighborhood; they gave me the name and address of a store but it was too far to walk and we really needed to get home to make the potato salad.

Mom and I walked over to Evelyne’s house around 6 p.m.; John was still at work so I just told him to come over as soon as he got home. It was a pleasant, warm evening so we sat outside drinking wine on the covered patio. After a while I went with Evelyne to take Eiko for a short walk in the woods while Oda entertained my mom. Finally John arrived a little after 7 and then I presented a few items that I had brought from the States, namely a bottle of Liquid Smoke (Evelyne asked for this by name!), a bottle of maple syrup along with a recipe for blueberry buttermilk pancakes, and a Michigan volleyball T-shirt for Oda. She was so surprised when I handed to her – she held it up for everyone to see and said, “Cool!” with a big grin on her face.

We sat down to a feast of pork chops, chicken wings, sausages, and hamburgers. Evelyne had pulled out every kind of condiment known to man; she was very worried that her hamburgers wouldn’t meet our expectations. Apparently Americans have quite a reputation for having enormous appetites; Evelyne kept insisting that we have another serving of meat! I think she had enough food to feed about twenty people. John doesn’t really know how to say “no,” so I think he consumed about three times his normal portion.

About half-way through dinner we were treated to a brief summer thundershower, but since we were well-protected on the patio we just sat back and enjoyed it. After dinner 14-year-old Birk showed us his book of graffiti art (which of course he only practices in legal circumstances, like on his aunt’s garage) and Oda gave me a CD by Schandmaul, her favorite German medieval folk-rock band (their name translates literally as “malicious tongue” and was inspired by the jester on a deck of playing cards).

It was getting pretty late at this point and Cody was waiting for us (he was invited but we decided the evening would be more relaxed if he stayed home), so we said our farewells and headed home.

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