There are certain laments you hear amongst American expat communities the world over. “I miss peanut butter!” “Why is there no good Mexican food here?” “Where can I find canned pumpkin?” After several years out of the country, most of us learn to adapt to these grueling hardships one way or another. There are expats who lug giant suitcases full of ranch dressing and jello back from every visit to the US. There are those who just fill the peanut-butter-cup-shaped hole in their lives with exotic local sweets (Cadbury Egg, anyone?). And then there are those of us who use such deprivation as an excuse to expand our skill sets. Which is why I know how to make pumpkin pies without using canned pumpkin. Continue reading
Happy New Year! Where did you ring in 2014? We seem to start out each year somewhere different (in our five years in Munich, I think we were only there for its warzone-like Sylvester once). This year we had the pleasure of being invited to join some friends at their log cabin on a lake in a remote part of Finland. We’d lapped up their stories of snowy snowy New Year’s Eves past and could not wait to experience it ourselves. Continue reading
This year of doctors and hospitals has distracted us from all the fun that is usually involved in one’s first year as an expat in a new country. Years have various flows in different cultures, with different events and celebrations punctuating the passage of time. Now that Scott is healthy and about to return to work, we were able to exhale and look around us and enjoy our first Christmas in the UK. Continue reading
While on an artist’s residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle, I’m getting to know the town of Assisi a little bit more. December seems to be a lovely time of year to do this. Continue reading
I was off to Austria again this past week. This time around we had only fleeting glimpses of snow; most of the trip was spent in Burgenland, the southeastern part of the country full of gently rolling hills. Our first stop was Stinatz, a tiny village known for its hand-scratched Easter eggs.
The women (there are only four or five of them left) of Stinatz who make these eggs belong to a Croatian minority which settled here long ago. We visited one of the women in her home, Continue reading
And now for something completely different.
Tiring of our glamorous European lifestyle, we decided to hop across the pond for Christmas in the Deep South. It’s possible that our decision was swayed by the generous invitation of my parents to join them there, but in the end we found Charleston to be a most pleasant place to spend a few days (lack of appropriate Christmas weather notwithstanding). Continue reading
It’s time for my annual I-love-Christmas-in-Germany post. The Christmas markets opened last week, looking much as they do every year. I’ve noticed a couple new stands here and there, but for the most part everything is in its place. Now if we could just have some snow to make them even cuter, I’d be in heaven.
I’ve written several posts about the markets over the years, such as this one about the best Munich Christmas markets for pretty much everything (or you could just view all my posts about Christmas markets). One stop I haven’t talked about yet (but is worth a mention) is the Alpen Wahn, a cozy little stand outside Der Pschorr serving red and white glühwein until 11pm each night (which is later than most of the other markets are open). Look for it at the north end of the Schrannenhalle, just off the Viktualienmarkt. Continue reading
Last night we decided to be true to our American roots and got creative with a pumpkin. When I first moved to Europe in the 90s, Halloween-style pumpkins were nowhere to be found, but this year we were able to pick up one at our local farmers market for only €3 (it was even labeled as a “Halloween-Kürbis”). Continue reading
Greetings from Prague! Continue reading
This year we kicked of the Christmas market season in Berlin, where I fell in love with the market in front of the Rotes Rathaus. Continue reading