Monday, May 6, 2019

German Childhood: Mornings

In just about 40 days, my 2 oldest children and I will be in GERMANY!  In anticipation of the trip, my mind is stirring up so many wonderful memories of my childhood summers in Germany, the years we lived there with the Army, and the trips since.  As I get older, the nostalgia for my grandparents grows stronger.  Sometimes I think I miss them more now than I ever have, just realizing how very much they did to ensure my time with them was the very best (and it was!). 

My youngest daughter is 9 years old right now.   While I started spending every summer with my grandparents when I was 7, it was more after 9 or 10 years old that I remember the details much more vividly.  What was a day like when I was 9 in Germany?

Well, I woke up wrapped in my comforter (feather beds for winter, a lighter insert for summer) and wandered down the hall to find my Oma, who was almost always in the kitchen.  She might be drinking coffee or doing a crossword puzzle, maybe prepping a few things for lunch time already. 

Proper Eierbecher (egg cups) -

Sometimes she would go to the bakery and bring me soft, fresh Brötchen for my breakfast, or if she had done that the day before, she'd warm one up for me in the oven (aufbacken).  I preferred Nutella on my Brötchen - but sometimes also had real butter and Marmelade or honey.  Occasionally, I'd have a slice of my Oma's ever-present, favorite Streuselkuchen (crumb cake) instead.  Very occasoinally, I'd have a boiled egg, always served in an egg cup (Eierbecher - see above pic) 

Recipe for Brötchen:  The Kitchen Project

Source of picture & Recipe for Streuselkuchen:  Essen & Trinken
(German recipe with translation option)

On days where we had no plans, breakfast was a lingering affair.  There was a radio/cassette player on my Oma's little table in the kitchen where I sat.  I would listen to children's stories on tape:  Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, a children's opera by Mozart, or the silly adventures of Räuber Hotzenplotz (the robber named Hotzenplotz) based on stories written by Otfried Preussler.  As I grew older, my grandparents got me other tapes such as the stories of famous composers or folk music, children's songs, and fairy tales.  I listened to those tapes over and over and over again. 

And finally, it was time to get dressed and brush teeth and hair.  By then, my Opa was probably ready to take a walk to his garden, or sometimes we'd get the bicycles out from the cellar.  On the way, we'd pick dandelions to take as a treat for his rabbits.  Sometimes we'd ride our bikes by the nearby Nidda, a small tributary of the Main River.  And we'd probably be out until time to come home for lunch. 

But more about that another day ...

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