I have a rather strict “no Christmas until after Thanksgiving” rule. I take open offense at stores which start trying to hawk their Christmas wares before I’ve gotten my first bite of turkey (a losing battle, I know) and I’m downright grinchy if anyone tries to ask if I’ve started my Christmas shopping before the calendar flips to December. My personal view is that Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving Day is a sign of the apocalypse, and that Black Friday may well prove to be humanity’s downfall, but now I’m just getting morose, so I’ll move on.
After all of that you’re probably thinking that I’m worse than the Grinch, but the truth is that I still truly enjoy Christmas, in its natural time and place, which is December! I love decorating the tree, I love baking cookies, I love watching the same movies year after year, I love finding the perfect gift for a loved one and picking out pretty paper to wrap it in, and I love my first trip to the Christmas market for a warming mug of glühwein. The Christmas markets are truly one of the great advantages of living in Germany and I know that I’d miss them like crazy if I ever moved away. Every decent sized town and city has its own market, a collection of assorted wooden stands selling glühwein (warmed mulled wine) with or without a shot of something stronger, kinderpunsch (non-alcoholic version), roasted chestnuts in paper cones, food, food, so much food, Christmas decorations (some beautifully handcrafted, some… less so), and more. The Frankfurt Christmas market is huge and spans several market places and the connecting city blocks, but the oldest and most beautiful part of the market is just a 5 minute walk from my flat and therefore we tend to visit at least a few times each holiday season. Even when it’s freezing cold outside, a steaming mug of glühwein with a shot of rum (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it) goes a long way towards keeping you warm and toasty.
We’ll be visiting one last time this weekend and then flying to the States before we get another change! In the midst of all the pomp, pageantry, and preparations of the past few weeks, I somehow managed to knock out all of the December recipes, so now let’s see if I can keep up with posting them. So far, so good. This week’s recipe, Lamb & Apricot Tagine, is probably my husband’s favorite of the month. I think he’s enjoyed most of Dorie’s stews and would be hard pressed to name a favorite. This one was a heady mix of sweet apricots and savory spices and the smell while cooking was almost, dare I say it, christmasy:-)
I’m absolutely going to miss German Christmas markets next year, when we’re back in the states. They’re one of my very favorite experiences that I’ve had in Europe (apart from the fact that my kid hates to be cold and is AWFUL when he’s outside for more than an hour). I don’t think you’re grinchy. I think you’re right, though I do admit to listening to christmas carols before thanksgiving. There’s not enough time to get my fill just in December. Have fun in the states!
I hope I get a chance to check out the German Christmas markets one day. Good for you getting all of December’s dishes made…I was just grateful that next week is easy! Safe travels!!!
The Christmas markets in Frankfurt sound wonderful. The Northern Europeans really know how to make the holiday beautiful. Many years ago I visited Denmark and Sweden in late November/early December. I was surprised by how dark it was, but the holiday decorations and markets lightened everything up beautifully! I’m glad you enjoyed the stew. Me too! Enjoy being “home” for the holidays! I think you’ll be in New England, so it will be nice to know you are nearby. If your travels take you to the Boston area, please get in touch. I’d love to meet!
I would love to meet you too Betsy. But we will be in the mid West this year for the holidays. When we visit family in New England we do tend to fly through Boston, so I will definitely let you know when our travels take us back there.
I’d love to spend some time in Europe over the holidays. It seems to be a truly magical place. So happy you guys are enjoying the Frankfurt Christmas market. Maybe you can share your own recipe of the mulled wine with that shot of rum.
I am on your soap box! I hate the fact the we rush the season, and it’s not even in a good way…Black friday and shopping on Thanksgiving are becoming an American holiday…It’s shameful!
Now about your tagine…it looks wonderfully mouthwatering! I hope to get mine made tomorrow! I would love to visit one of those Christmas markets…they sound so old world and fabulous!
Safe travels, Rose!
Jim and I have spent New Years in Rome, Paris, and London and I am so disappointed that we never made it to the German Christmas Markets. We have been to Bavaria, Munich and such
but at different times of the year. As Adriana said, so magical, I hope I still have the opportunity
to do this. BTW, your tagine looks fantastic. We loved it.
Because of you and Andrea and Ei, I realize that I must, must, must experience Germany’s Christmas markets. I’d heard about them, of course, but you three made them real through your Posts. The only major European city I still have left to see and want to see badly is Berlin. So, I need to plan my trip to do both. Your tagine has that deliciously yummy look and I am glad you both enjoyed it. Enjoy your Christmas in the States. I know it will be wonderful to be home for the holidays.
The Christmas markets do sound lovely – although, I am with you on not wanting to see Christmas decorations prior to Thanksgiving (the people down the road from me put up their Christmas lights Halloween weekend and have had them lit ever since — too soon!)
A cup of mulled wine sounds pretty good right now 🙂
I’m in complete agreement about Christmas preparations in your first paragraph! As for the Christmas markets, I’ve only been to the one in Strasbourg (FR) 7 years ago when I was wrapping up some research in Paris. It was delightful and so festive! I can imagine the ones in Germany are equally, if not more, wonderful! Glad you enjoyed the stew! I may have to make some mulled wine myself!
We have enjoyed what stews we have made so far in AMFT and this one was no exception. I hope you enjoy your visit to the states.
Definitely Christmasy – but it’s ok because it’s December now, right? 🙂
😦 I used to be the same way until I married my husband and he has never been home for the holidays in the right season mostly. We’ve celebrated Christmas in November, February, July and sometimes not at all. I think we’ve been apart for all but two of our anniversaries and two Christmases on the actual dates. We are so flexible with the holidays in our family but work makes it that way, so while you might cringe at Christmas before November is over, there are years where I’m grateful to find that stuff at odd times of the year! 🙂
At least you enjoyed your visit to the States! Did you load up on stuff you missed?