Priceless quotes from Amazing M.

Parenting & Musings

In these times, and being the way I am, I feel that having just M (for now…) is just about all I can handle.  Being a mother to one is definitely not easy. Mother to two? I’m impressed. To three? You’re a hero. To more? I can recommend a very good therapist.

this is the second pic of alcohol featured on my blog... it's very good gin. via deliciousmother

this is the second pic of alcohol featured on my blog. may it not be the last… it’s very good gin. let it be known that I am a very responsible drinker.via deliciousmother

When I’m beyond fatigued and my eye muscles feel sore (from all that rolling – with eyelids closed), some funny words from M plus a strong G&T makes parenthood just a little bit more delicious.

Some of my favourite quotes, including the latest from this evening:

Thank you for get me from da kindergarten and waiting for me.

I wanna cuddle and kiss you in mama’s bed.

I love you so much.

Mama, you’re so gorgeous!

Papa has a penis and M has a bum.

Thank you for making dinner.

Thank you for making cake.

Mama, I have genitals… in my knickers!

I think the last one is better than a G&T.

 

The beginning of an end…

Parenting & Musings

Our decision for me to look after Amazing M for her first three years was a good one. For us. Let me stress to you how much this decision was affected by our personal circumstances and my desire to be her sole carer in the early years.

And let me also stress to you that there were many times I felt doing any sort of work, like, say cleaning nightclub toilets, would be better than the tedium, tantrums and Mr Tumble* involved in looking after a kid full time. But it goes without saying that I’ve had the most precious time with M. I’ve had more laughs and good tears than sad tears, and as cliched as it sounds, I think she makes me want to be a better person. Just don’t talk to me about it at that time of the month.

bag full of things on her 'things to bring' list. via deliciousmother

bag full of things on her ‘things to bring’ list. via deliciousmother

Well, those precious days of just doing whatever, whenever are officially over. Amazing M had her first day at kindergarten and she didn’t shed a single tear when I left her with her classmates. Refused to kiss me or say good-bye. Gee, thanks, M. Thank goodness you’re not old enough to realise you’ve got another 831 weeks of education before mama and papa bid you, “Auf Widersehen” at the airport for your gap year abroad.

As you so often say to me, “Ha-Ha!”

 

* This guy here. He makes my friend want to punch him in the face. Harsh, but I’d have to agree.

 

 

 

Hello and goodbyes.

All things German, Cake!, Relationships

Today was a gorgeous day in terms of the weather and the company. We went to the Fressgass in town for a farewell-do for one of the expat ladies I had the good fortune of meeting. I’m not going to freak her out by extolling all her virtues ( cos I know you’ll be reading this, L). I’ve not known her long, but she is A W E S O M E. And Amazing M is seriously crushing on her husband, the man with the “pretty, pretty hair”. Let’s hope we can make it to the U.S. at some point to visit her and her family and then go mad with the retail. DM is not happy with the pricing of US beauty products here in Germany or anywhere else that isn’t the U.S. for that matter <unimpressedfaceemoticon>.

Made some of these and created a flower bouquet for the leaving-do. Unfortunately I didn’t get to take a pic of it.

When we made the decision to come Frankfurt, I was quite happy about it. I knew that we, as a little family of three would make a really great life here. Yes, there would be challenges like learning the language (the grammar;don’t even…) and adjusting to a different culture. And of course there was the issue of leaving my gorgeous friends in London and having to start from scratch on the friendship scene. But I knew deep down that I would be able to find some delicious people to have some fun with. I just didn’t anticipate how delicious the people I’ve met are. Who knows what they think of me, but I’m so happy to have found the people I’ve met and gotten to know. Much laughter has been had and I’m thinking I need to top up on some heavy duty eye cream if I don’t want my mother to tell me to stop smiling so much (lest my crows feet show). It might have been the weinschorle, great company and warm weather combined but I must say that this afternoon, I felt the beginnings of love for Frankfurt. Let’s hope this feeling doesn’t wear off quickly as the alcohol!

 

 

 

Mein Kopf explodiert.

Cake!, Food & Travel, Parenting & Musings

Yesterday’s cake was a hit. My friend and her boyfriend very much appreciated my efforts, and we enjoyed every bite of the cake. I came back home feeling grateful to have met and befriended such a warm and easy going couple in Frankfurt. Some people are just so easy (in a good way). Easy to open up to and easy to be with. Just delightfully easy. Transporting the cake there, however, was not.

I made the mistake of decorating it on the cake stand instead of a cake board, so when it came to finding a way to carry it to my friend’s flat I was stumped. No box nor carrier was big enough to hold my cake + cake stand safely. There was only one solution : take it in my hands, and carefully (and s  l  o  w  l  y) walk there. And God forsake the man/woman who bumps it off the stand.

What should have taken me 10 minutes took me 25. On the upside, compliments got thrown at me my cake by pedestrians, drivers and restaurant workers. Did you really make that cake? Wow, that looks so beautiful! Why, thank you for the cake, signora! Mmmm lecker! Oooo, that looks so yummy! Oh, that looks so good! (All in German, natuerlich!) Many smiles were given and a lot of eyebrow flirting action went on (with the cake). It got me thinking. Maybe I could make a few of these cakes for a few bucks…

And I am very pleased to say that it tasted as good as it looked. The left overs reside safely with my friend, otherwise it would be sitting in my belly right now. Which would not a good weekend make*.

However! I have a little bit of cake left in the fridge. The original recipe makes a three layer 7 inch cake and my cake tins are 6 inches. After my German lessons, I was in no state of mind to adjust the  recipe to suit a 6 inch tin. This meant I had leftover batter/frosting, and this, my dear readers, is how little cakelet (+nine cupcakes) came to be!

photo 1

three layers of moist chocolate stuff. via deliciousmother

photo 2

baby cake and mama cake. via deliciousmother

When Amazing M returned from her grandparents this afternoon, I served some of this to Oma and Opa who were impressed, but I got the feeling that M didn’t share their opinion when she spat out a mouthful of cake and didn’t ask for more. Grumble.

The fours days apart did me the world of good: Cake+cakelet was born, I could finish my German homework in peace, and I got precious time to just be me. Not a mother or a wife. Just plain old me. Which is fab! Other than a few delicious things like, say, a trip to Six Senses Yao Noi or this(DROOL), I find that having or claiming ‘me’ time is the best thing I can give myself.

Plus, the time apart gave us the chance to properly miss each other. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of the most intense cuddle from M when I greeted her at the door. Actually, she literally threw herself at me and declared, “I missed mama!”  Priceless.

p.s. apropos the blog title – it has nothing to do with this post. It merely explains the result of having to learn a very un-easy language. Also, I could not think of any other alternative title.

*many minutes spent at the gym. Gym going is my preferred form of exercise, but I’d rather have a lazy three day weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night I had a cakegasm.

Cake!, Food & Travel

It happened when it was very late. Waaay past my usual bedtime by three hours. I had the whole flat to myself as Amazing M was with Oma and Opa, and Mr B was away for work.

As much as I missed them both something crazy, I had a fantastic opportunity  to get up to some baking and could make as much mess and noise as I needed to without getting shooshed at or told to go back to bed.

I present to you my Chocolate and Nutella Layer cake, inspired by Rosie from the blog, Sweetapolita.

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I am just so chuffed with my efforts! via deliciousmother

As I started baking quite late, it was 2 o’clock in the morning by the time I had finished decorating it. So technically, my cakegasm was experienced in the early hours of the morning.

This is quite an ‘easy’ cake to bake. The cake mix is very simple- just mix in a few different wet ingredients at once and then add the dry stuff. No creaming the sugar or other time consuming techniques. The tedious bit is waiting for the crumb coat and subsequent layers of frosting to set.

As I’m taking the cake to a friend this evening for pudding, a cross section pic hasn’t been taken. I’ll try to eat just one slither of a slice…

You can find the full recipe and other delightful treats to make here.

*DM defines this as an eruption of visceral pleasure induced by the sight/taste of a cake. Not an actual physical orgasm as defined here.

Learning German.

All things German

My head hurts. I’ve just come back from my first lesson from Goethe Institut <crosseyedfaceemoticon>.

First lesson nervousness has abated. I’m in a small class of eight who seem friendly and open and hopefully will be up for some bier drinking after a few more lessons.

We began our class by formulating personal questions with a partner. Things like, “What is your name?” “Where do you come from?” “What is your profession?” “What is your marital status?” and so on. In German. And then onto verb conjugation. Three hours spaeter, we students know a little bit about each other, know how to speak in present/past tense, and have some homework to do before we start again tomorrow. Three days a week times eight weeks later, I should be able to use speak well in German using proper grammar. Not DM grammar, which makes most nouns feminine (yes, German nouns have a male, feminine AND neutral article) with the use of DM past verb construction: Any part tense verb has a ‘ge’ put at the front and a ‘t’ thrown at the back. For example, if I want to say, “I baked a cake”, I might say, “Ich habe eine Kuchen gebacht”. Which is FALSCH, but I am pretty much understood by all.

Speaking German in this way will not do. I just don’t have a desire to speak half hearted German when I know I’ll be here for a while yet. So I’ll have to put some effort into learning and get used to a little bit of a head ache. I guess it’s a sign that my neurones are connecting again.

Hazy to you, too? It's what I see when I look at this verb conjugation table. via

Hazy to you, too? It’s what I see when I look at this verb conjugation table. via deliciousmother

And speaking English in class is verboten. Why am I not surprised? Our teacher will bring her English word jar next week and charge us 50 cents for each English word/phrase spoken. Huh.

Complaints aside, I am now proud to know how to say, “I ate currywurst and doener plate on the weekend.” and ” What does one wear to the opera?” in German. Correctly!

 

A dirty weekend.

Food & Travel

It has indeed been a dirty weekend so far. As much as I would like to say it’s been of an amorous kind, I am more than happy to say it’s been of the gustatory kind.

Cue: Best Worscht in Town.

photo 2

Just before the lunch time rush. Via deliciousmother

We were running some errands this morning, when we passed by this institution: a little kiosk on Grueneburg Weg selling currywursts of varying degrees of spiciness, accompanied by various curry flavours. They are supposedly 100% meat and free from flavourings and additives.

Curry-Geschmack

I have eight more excuses to go back. source

Hot

B was not hot enough for the Korean tongue. Next time I’ll go for the mouth orgasm. :) source

Mr B chose a mix of beef and pork currywursts of spiciness “B” with the “Old School Curry”.

photo 1

Is way more appetising than it looks. via deliciousmother

The wursts here are extremely popular. I’m told that it’s heaving with customers come lunch time, and so famous is this place for currywursts, they are often called on by event planners to cater to their upmarket clients at formal events. And now I know why! It was extremely tasty and I’m sure it will hit the spot whenever I get a strong desire for something spicy, meaty and not so healthy.

Sharing an adult’s meal package between the three of us meant that we desired a little more for our tummies. So off to Leipzig Strasse we cycled to share a doener teller. I know, I know, I went on about healthy and tasty food in my last blog post. In my defence, such was the extent of our morning cycle, I must have surely negated the wurst, plus the teller did come with salad, and potato (albeit, in the form of fries), so it’s all good!

photo 3

for five euros you can’t complain. via deliciousmother

I guess it’s something green, fresh and non-meaty for dinner.

 

Courgette Carbonara (a la Abby).

Food & Travel

When it comes to cooking, I am just plain lazy and unadventurous. I stick to my basic repertoire of recipes. I just don’t get the same buzz about trying a new savoury recipe as I do with cakes. I knew I needed to explore, as one can only have so many Thai curries, pasta and meat (with three veg).

So imagine my delight when I met a lovely lady named Abby from the German expat ladies group. Perhaps she could encourage the inner cook in me? I’m not sure I even have an inner cook in me, but there’s always hope.

Abby, an ex-Londoner, is an amazing cook and blogs about food. Her blog is full of lovely recipes, photos of mouth watering dishes as well as accounts of eateries in cities she has travelled to.

When I came across her recipe for Courgette Carbonara, I just knew I had to try it out. And I thought I’d do the blog name justice by posting a blog about a delicious dish!

 

Ingredients

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Granapadano, plate of salt, chilli flakes & basil, lemon juice courgettes, eggs, red onion, pasta Amazing M. It was hard to take pics with M wanting to touch everything. via delicousmother

Result

via deliciousmother

via deliciousmother

Verdict

DM – fresh, tasty and just lovely!

A super easy and healthy alternative to a carbonara that can sometimes be a bit too oily for my tastes. Will definitely make this again.

Mr B – healthy; if you made it again I’d eat it, with more cheese.

Mr B would have preferred more cheese, more salt, lots of cream and some bacon/meat. But he’s German so let’s not take his opinion on tasty and healthy food too seriously.

Amazing M-  Mmmm. Nice, mama? I don’t like it, mama.

The courgette ribbons put her off, but I did manage to get her to eat some of the pasta. Her taste buds are much like Mr B’s so unless its super cheesy and oily/creamy, she’s not very interested.

Please check out Abby’s blog here for the full recipe and other inspiring dishes.

Please comment below on any great food blogs or sources of easy, quick, healthy and tasty recipes!

Dinner time dramas.

Parenting & Musings

One of the hardest things for me to do, parenting wise, is to keep my calm when things don’t go to plan. Triple this when I’m a bit sleep deprived or feeling stressed out. Quadruple this when I don’t take the time to look after myself properly – by way of good food or lack of exercise and general me time.

And it's BIO sekt to boot. via deliciousmother

And it’s BIO sekt to boot. via deliciousmother

Let me shed light on why I have with me a glass of Sekt tonight. (Ooo! Look at me, I’m capitalising nouns in true German style!)

Backtrack. It was actually a really nice day, as a close London friend and her children visited us (thank you sooo much for the amazing orchid plant!!!). The kids played well together which gave us some time to catch up on all that had been going on since our move. That was until Amazing M’s wishes to play ball were rejected by my friend’s daughter. In true M style, out of frustration and ego bruising (she is a Leo, after all), she threw the ball into her friend’s face and refused to apologise. Great tactic, M. Wish I could do that every time someone said no to me.

And it kinda went downhill from there.

Dinner time this evening was particularly painful, especially as Mr B wasn’t present:

DM: Please sit down for dinner*, now.

Amazing M: I don’t want to. (Standing on the foot plate of her high chair).

DM: Please sit down for dinner, now.

Amazing M: Wait. Just a minute.

DM: Please sit down for dinner, now.

Amazing M: I wanna lick the Eis off the floor (drops of dried ice cream I didn’t see till she mentions it. She steps off the chair and bends down to lick it)

DM: No, that is disgusting(catching her just in time)

Amazing M: (Crying) I wanna lick the Eis!!!

DM: Sit. DOWN. NOW!

Amazing M: Stop shouting at me!

DM: (Feeling very guilty) I’m really sorry, M. Mama didn’t want to shout at you but she got frustrated when you didn’t listen to her for the third time. I’m sorry. It’s dinner time, now.

Amazing M: I don’t like to eat salad…

 

And so it went.

Oh! And another thing – went to get some passport photos and made myself up to avoid a typical passport pic. You know, ones where you just induce smirks among customs officers. But all that effort produced picture of me looking like a police officer from a North Korean political poster. Don’t get me wrong, some of the ladies are beautiful (like this one). But the result was that I ended up getting what I wanted to avoid: a LOL passport photo.

It’s a wonder I’ve still got a lot of black hair.

On a positive note, she did end up eating a lot of the salad and a good portion of her ham and cream cheese roll. And on another positive note, Amazing M said I was pretty, come bath time. Am I too easy to please?

 

* in many German households, one warm lunch and a cold dinner is eaten (or vice versa). ‘Cold’ consists of cold cuts of meat, cheese, bread and melon/radishes/fish salad etc. When Mr B is away, this suits me fine as it means less cooking! Heck, I think it suits me fine even when he is here.

 

A new life in Germany.

Food & Travel, Miscellaneous
source

Green and glorious Germany! source

So here we are in Germany. Land of bier, BMWs, bratwursts and Boris Becker.

It was a long time coming. We knew London was just a temporary home for our little family. Many tears were shed, and many a heated discussion had before coming to a decision. We had a point system for Australia vs Germany vs U.K. and ultimately Deutschland scored the highest. And here we are, starting again. New flat, new friends, new food and nearer to the in-laws! Which is a great thing, by the way. Amazing M has a wonderful relationship with them and it really is nice to be able to send her to them for a few days whenever we want. Apologies for the alliteration peppered throughout the post so far. I’m just so excited about getting excited about blogging again that I can’t help using my favourite language technique (?).

There are many expat blogs out there that will tell you about some of the strange cultural habits/practices/manners of Germans, so I’ll quickly summarise the good and not so delicious things I’ve experienced so far:

-CYCLE FRIENDLINESS I’m in bike paradise. It is safe to ride your bike here (unlike in London), and there are specified cycle roads that lie parallel to the roads. I can cycle everywhere. To the gym, to the city for drinks (maybe not such a good idea if you plan on having a few drinks), to our local Aldi (which I love almost as much as my old local Waitrose in London- that’s another blog post topic!), and anywhere else I fancy.

- Uber RUDENESS I got massively told off by a seventy something year old cashier in the food hall of a department store. Just for having a buggy! Apparently there was no space for it to go past the aisle, but the annoying thing was that she did not even offer a solution. I was dumbstruck by her rudeness so I lamely walked away to find a cash desk that my ‘mammoth’ buggy could fit past. But I must say this it is the only experience of the stereotyped rudeness of customer service in Germany. Perhaps I’m lucky or perhaps there will be more instances to follow.

- MAKING NEW FRIENDS I’ve been meeting new ladies through an expat forum. Daunting, at first. Like going on first dates again. But it’s been great. I don’t think I’ve been this socially busy since my singleton days. All I can say is that the internet has been my saviour again. Like I’ve said in one of my previous posts, you just have to put yourself out there to meet new people and form friendships. Having great group of friends makes settling in a new country so much easier.

- FURNITURE SHOPPING Forget fashion! I’ve been drooling over many items of furniture whilst shopping for a dining suite (is it just me, or does ‘dining suite’ sound so 70’s? A brown table with rounded corners, matched with chairs upholstered in old school granny bag material come to mind). Let me tell you the immense rise in endorphins I experience when entering a Boconcept store is just something else. I love Skandi anything. Well, we finally agreed on a dining table and chairs for our living/dining room. Hooray!

- MISSING MY USUAL EATERIES I’ve had to get used to not having exciting, non-German food at hand. I just can’t walk up the road for fantastic sushi or fresh Mexican whenever I want. I miss my Iocal Italian for their amazing pizzas, and miss my dim sum. And my £20 lobsters. Next time I’m in London, I swear to Life that I’ll be feasting so much I’ll be rolling back onto the aeroplane.

- LEARNING THE LANGUAGE IN CREATIVE WAYS My official lessons haven’t started but I’ve been taking some initiative by way of using trashy television shows as an excuse to watch them. Immersion is key, so I’ve been watching trashy German shows like The Bachelorette and Shopping Queen. Looking forward to the upcoming show, Adam Seeks Eve. It’s a dating show where the contestants are naked. For reals.

- MISSING FRIENDS The first couple of weeks in our flat were fun. A new flat and new city is very exciting when you can share discoveries with a husband and child you love very much. However, when the dust settled, I was in tears, missing my dear group of friends back in Blighty. I was thinking, ‘Who else is going to love me, with all my quirks and faults?’ Okay, maybe a little bit overdramatic, but when I got over that I decided that I had to put myself out there. Again. Mr B nudged me a bit, thank goodness. And it all worked out in the end, thanks to the internet and thanks to a great group of expat women, generous enough to welcome me into their homes. To all you beautiful friends back home in OZ, missing you is a daily occurrence, a given, and something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.

- GETTING USED TO NO RETAIL ON SUNDAYS Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for having a day of rest, more family time and going back to the good old days of simple living. Really. But I just like having the option to be able to go shopping should I wish. Window shopping at a department store on a cold and wet day sounds like a good idea. I’m not one of these mums who embrace the rain and go out stomping in puddles with their rain jacketed children. No, siree. That’s what Kindergarten is for.

There you have it. A brief account of life so far in Germany. So far so good.