Monday, October 24, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 24: Germany, Part 1 - Sulzfeld

During the first 2+ years of our marriage, my hubby and I lived in Germany. My hubby was serving in the US Army, and he spent a total of 3 years stationed in Kitzingen and Würzburg.

We were engaged when my hubby got his orders, so he shipped off to Europe while I stayed behind and started my first job out of college. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for him to pack up, say goodbye to his family, and move halfway across the world, especially when he was only 23 years old. I mean, I know people do stuff like that all the time, but I thought he was very brave :) I'm proud of you, honey! And I'll know if you've read my blog if you say thank you!

My hubby moved into a cute little apartment in Sulzfeld am Main, a small town on the outskirts of Kitzingen. The apartment was actually the ground-floor of a large family home owned by the Bürgermeister of Sulzfeld. This turned out to be a very good thing, indeed. When you're living in a foreign country, it's helpful to know someone who can look out for you and assist when necessary. Plus, we always felt cool at the Sulzfelder Strassenweinfest, when Gerhard would wave to us like we were part of the "in" crowd :) Oh, come on, if Buddy Cianci waved to you at the Bristol 4th of July Parade, you'd feel cool, alright?

(By the way, I don't expect anyone but native Rhode Islanders to understand that reference!)

Sulzfeld was an incredible town to live in. The town itself is enclosed by a stone wall that dates back to...well, a really long time ago. I can't remember, darn it! I wish I had written stuff like that down. I want to say it may have been as early as the 1100's or as late as the early 1400's. But still...that's crazy old! 

The town has cobblestone streets and medieval towers in the walls, y'all! It's also smack in the middle of the Franconia wine region, so we were surrounded by tons and tons of vineyards and wineries. Some of our neighbors even had little vineyards in their backyards! (Some of these same neighbors also chose to mow their lawn in a tiny Speedo, but I digress).

Our apartment was in the house in the center of the photo below.

It's amazing! We lived on Weingartenstrasse, which translates to "wine garden road." Isn't that cute?! Here are some views from our stone can see the Main River in the background of some of them.

My hubby took this picture on Christmas Day 2001. Isn't it beautiful? I only wish I was there to see it with him :(
My parents took this picture when they visited in March 2002. They named the gnome Gerhard after our landlord, the Burgermeister.
The view on a rainy day. It rained a lot in Germany. I remember it once rained for about 6 weeks straight. That was...wet.

Another snowy picture. So beautiful!

This one looks like springtime! See how our neighbor has some grapes growing in his yard? Yeah, that's the Speedo guy.

Oh, Sulzfeld, I miss you so much. I miss going for long walks in the vineyards above our apartment...

I began running in Sulzfeld. That will always hold a special place in my heart! We would run up and down the slippery cobbled streets, up and down the vineyard roads, and on the bicycle path. 

We'd always stop at the local bäckerei on the way home and buy a big loaf of bread and some cherry yogurt. We'd run back home, smear our bread with fresh cherry jam, and sit on our patio with a big cup of coffee, gazing at the valley below. It was pretty awesome.

I also miss how gorgeous you looked in autumn, when the leaves started changing...

I miss being able to walk down the road and have a gazillion wineries at my disposal :)

I don't really miss my cramped galley kitchen, though.
But I'll never forget you, Sulzfeld. It's where I spent my first Christmas as a married lady!

One of my favorite things to eat in Germany was pfefferlingen mit spaetzle. This is a dish of chanterelle mushrooms, cooked in a delicious mushroom gravy, and spooned over egg noodles. It was amazeballs. There's no other word for it. When I was thinking of German food, this is the first thing that came to mind. But spaetzle is not the easiest thing to make - you need a spätzle press and time to fiddle with making the dough, and I have neither (I also didn't have any chanterelle mushrooms, incidentally). So, what's a girl to do? Make a total cheater's version of pfefferlingen mit spaetzle and enjoy it anyways. And you know what? I did, and so did my hubby!

I cooked up a combo of some brown rice penne and rotini and tossed it with the Mushroom Sauce from Vegan with a Vengeance. This sauce is so scarily reminiscent of pfefferlingen sauce, it's not even funny. We loved it! I added some green beans and karottesalat, and I swear, we were transported back to that little walled town.
I can't wait to revisit some other parts of Germany. We'll be going to Berlin, Rothenberg, and Kitzingen, so stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Did you have to learn any languages to travel to all these places?

Your food is awesome. We need an international pot luck get together!

Love! xox

Bethany said...

Hi Savannah! When I moved to Germany, I didn't speak more than a few words of German. I studied French in school! I learned a bit of German while I was there, but I didn't become anything close to fluent. I'd like to learn it! And I think an international pot luck would be FUN!!