Everywhere Is Backwards

I’ve been here quite a while now (Over a year) and I’ve made a few notes on the strange ways the Germans live and I wanted to share them with you. It would be interesting to see what they think is strange/weird/different coming to the US. But until someone decides to write about it…I’m writing my side!

A Tissue, Please

No matter where I am, no matter what time of year or time of day, people here are constantly using tissues. I think growing up my mom always had a tissue in her purse or a napkin in the car glove box for emergencies like spilling my drink all over me or cutting my finger off but usually not for the reason the tissue was invented for. Here, in good old Deutschland, these boogers are using tissues religiously. Even dudes carry around their own little handy pack in their back pockets.  It could be the hottest day in summer and they are using them!

I can’t really put it into words how often these people use them. In fact, when I get asked for one and I don’t have a pack in my purse, it’s like the devil horns grew out of my head and poked people they are so shocked! It’s ok…I’m here to help…put down the tissues. First step is admitting you have an addiction!

Thumb To One:

I realize this may actually qualify towards a few people in the US but they don’t count. When counting I’ve noticed that many Deutsch peeps use their thumb as the number “one.” In the US we usually use our pointer finger and thumb as a last resort. Am I wrong?? But here, the thumb is king. It’s the big, fat, and juicy part of the hand. Why not be number one, right? No. Not ok.

Thats just weird. I always get confused when they start counting and I see them use their thumb. Like when they are trying to show me “2” it looks like they are making the “Loser” sign or maybe the “pistol.” Either way, it’s awkward.

Text Me Later, Baby!:

Nowadays, since I have a working cell phone and can speak enough German to get me by, texting is once again an easier form of communication for me. This isn’t weird so much as it is endearing. When someone texts you they always say, “Hallo Spice…” and they end their texts with “LG *NAME*” The “LG” stands for “Lieber Grusse” which is translated to “Lovely Greetings.” Or something strange like that. I guess it means “Sincerely” to us Ami’s. (That’s the short word for Americans.) What strikes me as weird is that it’s like writing a formal letter to each other. I can go back and forth via text for days without actually greeting someone with a “hello” or a “Have a nice day.” Here, for every single text you get whether you’re in a conversation or not, they end it with “Sincerely, Spice.” But in German obviously. Are you following me? Anyways, they are just so polite and formal with each other. I can’t get the hang of it. My texts usually go something like, “Hey Bitch, bring me food. NOW.”  Any one notice I used quotation marks wayyyyyy too much in this bit?

Don’t Text, Facebook Me:

We all know that in America social networks rule our lives. We invented them, why wouldn’t they be.  So Twitter, Facebook, MySpace (now very lame), and whatever else you can think of literally keeps me up late at night checking and refreshing until my brain shuts off. It actually drives me crazy when I ask people if they have Facebook and they tell me “No.”  What? NO? Are you a cave man? One of those weird hippy people that live off the earth?? Get yourself together and advance into the future, folks! Anyways, I notice this a lot with the Germs. They shorten their names or abbreviate them? For instance, if I was to do this with my blog name it would look like so: Dia Sug Spi.  I suppose they don’t want people to find them? There are privacy options for that first of all. I mean, isn’t the whole purpose of facebook or any social network for that matter is so that you can stay in contact with your friends/schoolmates that are all over the world? Ok…the real reason is so we can stalk our ex’s and people we hated in school and in life but that doesn’t matter.

The Apple Of My Eye:

I’m not sure any of you know this but I hate apples. Like unbaked, straight from the market apples. Can’t STAND them. If they are squishy and in a pie or cooked in someway, I’ll eat them. The texture of them fresh and straight off the tree is making my teeth cringe at this very moment. Disgusting.

Anywho, Toblerone eats them and I often pack those in his lunch every morning. (Yes, I’m an awesome Frauy. Wifey = Frauy) However, Every single time I have to wash them off vigorously because there is this wax-like coating on them to preserve them. That’s extra gross to me. It’s like grabbing an apple covered in vasoline. Ok, maybe not that extreme but for me – the average apple hater, it’s pure torture.

Walking In A Construction Wonderland

I’ve told you before that the Germs love walking. They do it all day every day and do nothing else. In fact, they don’t work. They only walk. Just kidding. The great thing about Germany is the incredible amounts of space to walk or go hiking. There are trails that lead you to each town and into the next. In fact, usually my day with Harley begins with me checking out how many people are out walking around to limit his “attacks” to at least 2-3 a day.

Recently behind our house they started constructing a new road and places for housing along those roads. This has been going on since October or so of last year and is still continuing. I was shocked yesterday when I was out with Harley for our walk and there were two older yet fit ladies walking through the construction site on this “road” as if there were no bulldozers working around them. Um, I’m pretty sure if we did that in the US we would be screamed at and our chances of death would be quite high. Who does that?! 

That’s where the ladies were walking yesterday (I took this today) and I was absolutely floored. There are plenty of places to walk (see where I’m standing) that avoid this area. People are so RUDE! Oh and check out that ugly yellow house. YIKES! They just built it and when they put that color on it…ruined the whole thing. Gross.

Anywho, I love these Germans…I do, but sometimes they do strange things! Well strange because it’s not what I grew up with! Have you ever been to another country or state even and noticed they do things a little bit different? Like going to the south and they put so much sugar in their ice tea!! In the North or how I was raised, no sugar! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Smothered Pork Chops Only At 243 Calories!!!

We’ve been doing good eating better and so far so good! Toblerone loves being my guinea pig of sorts. Actually, I think he doesn’t mind as long as his belly is full!

Tonight I made smothered pork chops with apples, onions, and cheese from Rocco Dispirito’s book, “Now Eat This!” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this guy is a genius…and hot. Of course I didn’t have the exact ingredients so I improvised with what Germany has to offer me but it’s do-able, in all countries people! NO EXCUSES! EAT BETTER!

I’m not big on apples to begin with but the mustardy oniony appley taste is different and paired up perfectly with the pork meat. Guten Appetit!

Normal Smothered Pork Chops:                                                                    Calories 500                    Fat  15 grams

Revised by Rocco:                                                                                                  Calories 243                   Fat  6.5 grams

What you will need:

Nonstick cooking spray

1 Large red onion cut into 1/2 inch thick slices/rings OR 2 small white onions

3 Large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 6 or more wedges each (less sugar than the typical applesauce used)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup low fat, low sodium chicken broth

Four 4 ounce portions of lean pork loin (1 1/2 inches thick) trimmed of all visible fat. For this I used minute pork chops, very thin just cooks quicker. 

2 Tablespoons coarse-grain Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (or I just used dried basil because it’s what I had on hand.)

1/2 cup shredded 50% reduced-fat cheddar cheese such as Cabot. (Germans don’t know what cheddar is so I used the closest I could find.)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. or 230 C. Spray a large foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Separate the onion rings. Lay the onions and apples on the baking sheet in a single layer. For me, my oven is made for ants so I had to squish a bit. Yours should be more spread out. Spray lightly with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast the apples and onions until the apples are tender and start to brown on the edges. Should take about 20 mins.

For those who don’t know (I didn’t, I had to look it up!) “Roasting” means to cook/bake at a higher temperature. Just make sure your oven is preheated to the correct temp!

3. Turn the broiler on high. Broil the apples and onions until they are slightly charred – about 3 minutes. The pieces of onions around the edges of the pan charred a lot more than the rest and the apples looked like they were about to explode but that’s probably more because I don’t now what the options on my oven are telling me. I just pick one at random and enjoy the show! 🙂

4. Put about 3/4 cup of the apple-onion mixture in a blender and add the chicken broth. Puree until the mixture is smooth and put the rest of the apple-onion aside. For this, I don’t have a blender but the apples and onions are both so tender and mushy you can easily just smush and whisk with a fork or so. Doesn’t need to be perfect.

5. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper to taste. When pan is hot, spray with cooking spray and add the pork (careful of splattering!) Sautee until brown on both sides and cooked through ( about 3 minutes or so.) Transfer pork to a plate and cover.

6. Reduce heat of the skillet to low and add the pureed apple-onion mixture. Add the mustard and whisk. Once stirred together, add in the rest of the apples and onions you set aside from earlier and the tarragon if you have it. Be sure to cover the added apples and onions evenly with the sauce.

7. Remove skillet from heat and add salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture over the pork chops and sprinkle with cheese. Serve Immediately.

VOILA! Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo