Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Visit from Germany

The third week in  August my Nephew Joachim, his wife Britta, their daughter Alina and Alina’s boyfriend Fynn arrived at my doorstep for a stay of three weeks off and on. It had been 17 years since I saw Joachim, my brother Manfred’s son. Manfred passed away almost three years ago. This visit was a great surprise.

Britta and Alina are new to the family so, needless to say I never met them before - everyone was nervous about how this visit would play out. They were on the road for 34 hours or more traveling from Germany via Copenhagen Chicago and finally San Francisco, renting a car and arriving in Healdsburg tired and hungry.

I had set up a buffet with Gazpacho and cheese boards with crudities and different breads as well Champagne. It was just the right thing to do. A sit down dinner would have been disastrous, especially since they arrived about 2 hours late.

The first day here they explored Healdsburg and Joe and I talked a lot about our families. The second day they went exploring in Napa and Sonoma wineries. Onto San Francisco the next day which included a side trip to the Oakland A’s stadium to take in a baseball game between the A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays (just for the record, they did tell my daughter Heidi that they wanted to go to a Giants game but they were playing out of town). Joachim and Fynn are big fans of baseball. There is no baseball in Germany however, they follow baseball via the internet in Germany. Britta and Alina had no choice in the matter, ha, ha.

Dinner became a challenge, as did breakfast. I had not cooked or set up breakfast for more than myself for years except when my kids and families have been here – even then one of my kids usually makes breakfast.

After four days they left for Santa Cruz to spend some time with Heidi and Bill. From there they went to LA and stayed for few days in Venice Beach, then onto Las Vegas and back up North to Sacramento to spend time with Rodmond and finally back to Healdsburg. We spent one day visiting various Tasting Rooms here in Healdsburg, and bought some wine of course. We had dinner at Bravas - one of my favorite places to go. The last evening my friend Josie came for our Soup Supper, “chili and an empty the fridge Vegetable Soup”. Josie brought Tooey her dog instead of Kim her husband (who was to be here but had some work to do - I am still bummed about that, not about Tooey, I love that dog, but about Kim, ha, ha).

 The Chili recipe is in a previous Blog. The Vegetable Soup is up to you how you proceed. The most important cooking advice about cooking Vegetable Soup is to sauté all of your vegetables including at least one medium size onion. Add the spices you like to use and sauté for about 15 minutes until all the veggies are limp, not browned, and still firm. Then fill up with Chicken or Vegetable Broth, cubes can be used. The veggies need to be crunchy if you do not want to puree the soup. I like to puree my soup and serve with sour cream, grated cheese, chopped hard boiled eggs and parsley. Good luck! If you have questions send a note via Facebook or put a notification on the blog.

This has to be the most boring blog ever written!! Ha, ha!