As you know, I recently married a British nutter and relocated to Germany, where I assume we both will remain for a significant period of time. Like most newlyweds, we wish to start our own traditions for the holidays, but since our possessions have not arrived yet, we are living in a nearly empty flat.
No seriously: our flat is nearly empty. For example, in Germany, when people move into their own flat, it is empty of all furnishings — including the entire kitchen. Most Germans design and purchase their kitchen before moving in — refrigerator, stove, range top, microwave, dishwasher, counters, cabinets and lighting ..
Currently, our kitchen consists of white tile walls and floor, nine outlets (one specifically for the stove), one water fixture (split into two so half of the water can be sent through a small water heater wall unit — which is sitting on the floor at the moment), and one large drainpipe with paper stuffed into it.
After a lot of agonizing, lots of trips to appliance stores, and meetings with several experts, my spouse and I finally managed to design and order our kitchen from IKEA, and now we are waiting for it to arrive and be installed. Originally, it was supposed to be delivered and installed on the afternoon of 30 December, so of course, we would be without a full kitchen for the holidays. (We did purchase a beautiful, super-energy efficient refrigerator ten days ago, and a microwave that also works as a small convection oven). So we were making plans for that unfortunate situation, but this morning, IKEA called and asked if we would like our kitchen to be delivered and installed tomorrow morning!
So it looks like my spouse and I will have a brand-new fully-functional kitchen in time for Christmas! This past weekend, we reserved a hen duck that we will cook for our Christmas meal (it will be small enough to fit into our microwave/oven) but now it looks like we will be able to do more cooking than that. All we have to do is clean the space that will be our kitchen (I refer to it as “the hole in the wall” because it is long and narrow and dark and not perfectly square) and tomorrow, it will be magically transformed from a dark, narrow alcove into a bright, functional kitchen. Already, I am planning to photograph the kitchen before, during and after the installation, so I can share it with you.
As we prepare to finally have our own kitchen, I am thinking of all the foods we can now prepare ourselves. I am very interested to know which foods you especially enjoy during your Christmas/holiday celebrations. If you have favorite recipes to share, I’d be most grateful, and I will probably end up preparing at least some of these foods. I have only a few days to find all the ingredients (stores close early in Germany), so I need to get started with purchasing ingredients immediately.
There are two things on the menu so far: roast duck stuffed with a mango-based dressing, and a fruit salad consisting of a variety of tropical fruits, and perhaps some cooked and mashed sweet potatoes with pineapple chunks mixed in, but I am certainly interested in any recipes you have that you would like to share. If you have a recipe for duck with mango dressing, I’d sure appreciate it if you share that, since I’ve never prepared duck before (my cookbooks and recipes are all in transit, so the best I can do is Google a recipe and modify it as I prepare it).
I am interested in a recipe for hot buttered rum, eggnog and Glühwein, if you have favorites for those drinks that you’d like to share.