Saturday, October 07, 2006

Onions and Epiphanies

Last night we had an Alsatian dinner party...meaning, of course, one with specialties of the region around Strasbourg, not one with large furry guests. That meant serving Federweiss, pretty much alchoholic grape juice which is still fermenting so rapidly that it is bottled uncorked with only the foil wrapping over the top. Otherwise the whole thing would explode.

I love it.

Traditionally this is served with Flammkuchen and Zwiebelkuchen, both absolutely delicious but requiring insane amounts of onions. I managed to solve the first problem presented by this by wearing swimming goggles in the kitchen while cutting them up. It may sound stupid, it certainly looked it, but it gets the DrJ Official Double Thumbs Up for Good Thinking, Mate.

Unfortunately the second problem could only be solved by opening the bedroom windows wide.

That was also compounded by the after-dinner cheese platter, following the crepe Suzette, with plenty of delicious but stinky french cheeses.

During all this indulgence I had an epiphany.

We´ve got, like most people I guess, the good china, the good glasses, the good cutlery. So far we pull them out only very rarely (especially as the 2-year long distance relationship put a bit of a damper on our hosting abilities). So the guests get the shiny knives, the sparkling wine glasses, the funky china. (Pretty china is not my style. Go the funk. We even have a set of black china, designed by Hundertwasser and it is SE-XY. That was my mother-in-law being extremely insightful.)

We, meanwhile, eat off, with and out of IKEA.

Well, bugger that.

Today I emptied the kitchen drawers of the rusting IKEA cutlery and in went the WMF. The ugly champagne glasses have been shoved to the depths of the bar for parties requiring extras, and the beautiful ones are out. Hundertwasser is on display and ready to be used.

Why have I not surrounded myself with the best we have before? Why were occasional guests considered better than I? Why have I not indulged in my own mealtimes?

Nope, from now on, every meal will be a masterpiece.


Susan said...

Good on ya!

kilowatthour said...

next alsatian party, i'm inviting myself.

Dr J. said...

and you´d be very welcome.

Anonymous said...

Crepe Suzette, I'm more than impressed...... I'm very proud!!!!!I look forward to dining at your table on my next trip to Berlin.

Robert said...

We had Federweissen and Zwiebelkuchen on Saturday (will will probably have some more when our Aussie friend Anna visits us in Berlin from Cambridge in two weeks). As we found out the tears don't get much worse after the first onion so the swimming goggles are not really needed. And if you allow me some nitpicking, ideally you would wear scuba goggles as most of the stuff which makes you cry come through the nose.

Robert said...

Let me also mention that we had some troubles finding Federweisser in Berlin which was not just some supermarket industrial product. Eventually, we found some decent stuff in a wine shop inside Westend S-Bahn station.

Dr J. said...

We were surprised but Getränke Hoffman actually had some reasonable Federweissen, although we had to go to 2 different branches to get enough. Also I know there´s a shop selling it on the corner of Mehringdamm and Bergmann Str.