I drove to FD with my friend Maria this morning for a Thai massage.
A morning with promise of Spring, snow in the Rhön but
sunny and hardly a breeze.
It's a very inconspicuous corner of FD, but one of my favorites,
an international corner, where very different worlds convene-
a Turkish supermarket, a Russian supermarket, Thai massage,
a Döner restaurant, and a bakery with bread from yesterday.
In these days of wall building, I recall my highschool days where
my classmates came from every state of the world,
and I thrived on being part of the diversity.
There is a strong tendency to want to simplify or order the world
into good and bad,
good guys and bad guys
Cowboys and Indians.
We all should have overcome that decades ago.
In a similar vein are the stereotypes used to put
people and things into little boxes for better definition.
Thinking of a German person
I'm sure one trait that would hardly jump to the foreground is humor.
An Israeli friend of mine told me about a very old man she had met
on a kibbutz who escaped Germany during a definitely very bad, evil time.
Nevertheless, when she said she had been to Köln,
he was desperate for her to tell him a joke.
Laughter stronger than the Devil?
Carneval in Köln is a very serious matter. It's not just about being funny.
All of the Rheinland transforms, underlined by the colloquial dialect into a
state of humor drier than any Englishmans
Lothar grew up halfway between Cologne and Düsseldorf, and should you
get caught up in the modus, laughter is inevitable.
There's a joke Lothar has told me so many times that even he has gotten tired
of telling it to me. I break out laughing each time. The punchline is irrelevant.
Something to do with a door, and knocking on a door in a nightgown.
So as not to bother him I tried the internet and only got as far
as silk nightgowns sold by the Otto merchandise store.
There are lots of typical foods underlining the Carneval season,
for example all kinds of doughnuts.
In southern Germany they deal with these matters in their own fashion.
A small light and gently sweetened rounded doughnut spiced with vanille
and a few corinths they call Nonnenfürze- nun's farts.
Who would have thought?
Ottolenghi has a recipe for Sicilian Nonnefürze.
He calls them simply orange doughnuts.
Using the whole peel of a bio orange, cut it into thin strips.
Make a syrup with 100 grams each of water and sugar.
Add the strips for 2 minutes and then set aside.
Mix together 350 grams Quark, 3 eggs, 60 ml milk
1 Tbs mint leaves, the whole grated rind of another orange,
about 160 grams flour, 1.5 teaspoons backing powder,
50 grams sugar, a pinch of salt.
Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Fry them in hot oil and drip dry on kitchen towels.
Decorate with honey, orange peel, powdered sugar to taste.