On Saturday, I hopped on a USO group tour to experience Rhine Aflame. Basically, tons of people get on these boats in the early evening and after going up and down for a spell, past the area most populated with castles on earth, eat and drink until it is dark enough for the fun to begin. Fun meaning, FIRE. The Castles glow this smoky red hue and then each town propels fireworks into the night in attempts to outshine each other as the boats pass on by. There were some not so great moments about the tour… For instance…wine tasting with pals and enjoying many different selections of vintage and new “ice wines.” These wonderful samples have opened up a new appreciation for white wine…dry, of course, but given my humor, in the summer, they hit the spot.
And some not so many aspects of the tour. HOT! BOATED DELAYED 3 HOURS, SUDDEN RAIN, BAD GERMAN LIVE MUSIC WITH THIS 70 YEAR OLD SINGING COVER TUNES OF the “CLASSICS” But then, when the colors go off and the sounds explode, the visual “VOOOOUUUUNDERBAR!” of the display, well, it just made me feel like a 7 year old in awe again. And shocked me…I LIVE IN GERMANY. Strange. And Overwhelming.
Who doesn’t like a BBQ this time of year?Well, I am definitely a gal that likes to have an excuse to eat drink and be merry, and thus, celebrated my American Heritage by breaking in the new charcoal grill. Yep, this lady never once BBQed on her own, and thought, hey, it’s about time to get the coal on. So, picked up some steaks, but really, was looking for a good marinade to showcase some chicken tenderloins.. Beginning on 48 hours in advance, thigh tenderloins nestled in a nice little bath of 1:1 Pastis and Olive Oil. Remember Pastis? It is a phenemonally potent French anise liquor popular in Provanence. Since I am traveling there next weekend, I considered it a sign. Cooking + Alcohol + Briquettes = Experience to remember.
On the side, I served up some wonderful Belgium style bread with Nutella, Homemade Olive Oil Herbs, Brie Cheese, and a tomato red pepper mixed I roasted. slivered, and marinated in pomegranite red wine vinegar and salt…(what would be your accompainment of choice?)
Plus, I wanted to try out a new peach chocolate tart recipe I’ve had my eyes on for a while now. Peach and Chocolate don’t seem to be natural sisters in the concoction department, more like Benny and Joon. I am a fan of featuring new combos, though, and this one did not disappoint. The dry ingredients: 1.5 Cups Flour (I used 1/4 whole wheat),1/3 Cup Cocoa Power 1/3 tsp baking powder, 1/4 baking soda , 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 salt. Then , The Wet Ones: a 6 ounce carton of yogurt, blended with 1/4 Cup Agave…fold in 1/4 applesauce, 1 tsp vanilla extract. Blend these babies together, pour into a pie/tart pan, and add in slices peaches/nectarines… then bake until done. Once cooled, drizzle agave and sea salt over tart and then shake nutmeg on it. I think it would have liked shaved almonds on top of this as well.
I celebrated my true independence today (the day off of work today) in a beer hall…No pictures, because I was too busy soaking the sun and drinking a refreshing Radler….
Independence from expectations, from responsibilities, from some one else (or that voice in my head!) enforcing compliance…that IS what it means to be American, no?