Tag Archives: advent

Der Winter ist Da !

Winter road.
(Ein Winter-Gedicht von Dieter Kermas)

Der Winter ist da,

es schneit, hurra!

Die Schule ist aus,

jetzt aber raus.

Es wird gerangelt und gelacht,

auf zur großen Schneeballschlacht.

Ein Schneeball trifft zuerst den Paul,

dieser wirft drauf gar nicht faul,

den nächsten Ball schon auf Hermine,

doch die verzieht nicht eine Miene

und Hermine ist nicht fein,

reibt den Paul mit Schnee nun ein.

Es geht laut zu, mit Geschrei,

jeder ist mit Spaß dabei.

Bald sind alle durchgefroren,

von den Füßen bis zu den Ohren.

Und die Mädchen und die Buben,

eilen heim in warmen Stuben.

© Dieter Kermas
Dieter KermasDieter  Kermas, CaliforniaGermans Guest Author and a true Berliner, turned to writing after he retired from his profession as an engineer. Family and friends urged him to document his many experiences during his childhood in wartime Germany. This made for a collection of various essays which have been published here at CaliforniaGermans. Apart form his childhood memories he is also sharing some of his short stories and poems on CaliforniaGermans.  Dieter Kermas, who loves to write, is currently working on his first novel. Some of his work has been included in anthologies.
To get in touch with Dieter Kermas, please send an email with subject line “Dieter Kermas”  to: californiagermans@gmail.com

Happy First Advent !



This year First Advent falls on to the 1st of December .

So light the first candle on your Advent wreath tomorrow, and don’t forget to open also the first door on your Advent Calendar !

Frohe Adventszeit ! – Happy Advent Season !


Gluehwein – Mulled Wine : A Christkindl Market Tradition


Did our previous post showcasing German Christkindel Markets get you in the mood of some real traditional ‘Glühwein’ (mulled red wine)?

Then check out our new recipe for this Christkindel Market tradition, by our guest writer GabrieleUtz . Just imagine walking through the fresh snow with a nice hot cup of ‘Glühwein’  and a handful of warm chestnuts! Those are some delicious winter holiday memories…

Happy Third of Advent!


Authentic German ‘Gluehwein’ or Mulled Wine


2 liter red wine
3/4 l brown rum, 40% –  optional
sugar as needed
1-2 orange, organic, blood oranges are good too
1-2 lemons, organic
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean
5 cloves and 1 star anise

Cooking Instructions
– Heat the wine in a big pot but don’t bring it to a boil; heat it on low temperature.
– Remove seeds from lemons and oranges.
– Cut the orange and lemon with the peel in slices or quarters, add them to the wine with the cloves. Keep it on low temperature and let it simmer.
– Cut vanilla bean open and add the seeds to the wine.
– Add 2/3 of the rum – the rum adds a  nice taste to the wine but also makes it stronger, so you can add just a little bit or don’t add it at all.
– Let it simmer until the oranges and lemons are getting very soft- for about 1-1.5 hours; take out a piece of lemon and check if you can take it off the peel. The wine should color it red until to the peel.
– Stir frequently.
– Wash some bottles with hot water.
– Take out the fruit and cloves or pour it through a strainer.
– Press remaining juice out of the fruit and add it to the wine. If you like your can puree the fruit without the peel and add it to the wine aswell, that makes it thicker.
– Heat it again and add remaining rum and sugar – don’t bring it to a boil!
– Fill it hot in bottles and close it right away, or keep it warm for your guests.
The wine can be kept for several months in the bottles if well closed.

—————————————————————————————————————–        ABOUT

MyBestGermanRecipes.comMyBestGermanRecipes is the creation of Gabriele Utz. Interested in cooking and baking ever since she can think of she now has turned her passion into reality, and has started an online cookbook with authentic German recipes in 2010. The website offers more than 300 original German recipes.
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Christmas Bakery – Peffernüsse, a German Christmas Recipe

English: Christmas cookies and decoration.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The First Advent Sunday is today and Christmas season has officially started. Traditionally the four weeks of Advent are represented by four candles on an Advent wreath. The first one will get lit today and then it’s only four more weeks until Christmas eve is here!

Christmas cookies are a must for this festive holiday season. So we thought of starting you out with a scrumptious recipe for traditional “Peffernüsse” by our guest author Gabriele Utz of MyBestGermanRecipes. She  will share with us one of her favorite recipes on each of the four Advent Sundays plus a special one for New Year‘s Eve. Give it a try and fill your home with the sweet scents of gingerbread spices!

Happy First of Advent!


(by Gabriele Utz, MyBestGermanRecipes.com)

This is an authentic German Pfeffernusse recipe as you would find in Germany. German Pfeffernusse are traditional Christmas cookies and very popular. You can find them in any bakery or supermarket in Germany. Get some German tradition into your home with this recipe. The ingredient Hirschhornsalz, in English Hartshorn or Ammonium Carbonate, is a traditional Gingerbread (Lebkuchen) ingredient since hundreds of years and was originally taken from deer’s antlers. It makes the dough raise but not in height, it makes it wider. Happy Baking!


Ingredients (20 pieces) German Pfeffernusse
125 honey
50 g sugar
2 tbsp butter
250 g flour (whole grain if you like)
1/2 tsp Hirschhornsalz (Ammonium Carbonate) – Find here the German original or an American product:
Ammonium Carbonate (Baker’s Ammonia) 2.7 oz
1 egg
2 tsp ginger bread spice – Edora Lebkuchen Gewurz (Gingerbread Spices) 1 – .05oz Package
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 pinch salt
125 g powdered sugar
1 tbsp rum

Baking Instructions German Pfeffernusse 
– Heat butter, honey and sugar and melt it.
– Mix flour, egg, Hirschhornsalz and spices, add honey dough and knead it  thoroughly with knead hooks.
– Form balls out of the dough and bake them on 190 C or 375 F for 12 minutes; bake the next portion only for 10 minutes.
– Make the glaze out of powdered sugar and rum and a bit of water.
– Spread glaze over the cooled off cookies and let them dry.
– Keep them at least 2 days in a tin box with a piece of bread or a piece of apple, so they get soft.
If you like you can make  a dark chocolate glaze and spread it on half of the cookies, and have the other half white.

Recipe Article Source:


MyBestGermanRecipes.comMyBestGermanRecipes is the creation of Gabriele Utz. Interested in cooking and baking ever since she can think of she now has turned her passion into reality, and has started an online cookbook with authentic German recipes in 2010. The website offers more than 300 original German recipes. 
website | Twitter | Facebook

‘Adventzeit’ and Christmas Season

die-schoensten-Christkindlm1Christmas Season officially starts on the First Advent in Germany. Since this year that day is actually on December 2nd,  children will also have already opened their second door on their Advent Calendars, a beloved holiday tradition that marks down the days to the highly anticipated Christmas Eve (Heiligabend).

The First Advent, when in November,  often marks also the first day of the Christmas Markets (Christkindlmarkt) which are then open until December 24, the ‘Heiligabend’. For the next few weeks visitors will enjoy hot and scented  Gluehwein, warm roasted chestnuts and all kinds of Lebkuchen (a variety of Gingerbreads ) while listening to festive Advent music and walking along little booths selling a great variety of Christmas decorations,  the real attraction for young and old.  Beautifully handcrafted wooden manger scenes (Holzkrippen) are usually also on display at bigger Christkindl Markets, and Saint Nikolaus is walking the streets to great little children.

Delicious Christmas Favorites for the Holidays

To ring in the holidays for everyone here in California, and fill your home with the delicious fragrance of freshly baked Christmas cookies, we have invited guest author Gabriele Utz, founder of MyBestGermanRecipe.com, to share some of her favorite German holiday recipes with us.

Gabriele, born and raised in Germany, lives with her family in Los Angeles and has always been interested in cooking and baking. After her move to L.A. she thoroughly missed German food, and thinking that other fellow ex-pats might feel the same, she founded MyBestGermanRecipes.com in 2010. The website has now more then 300 original recipes for German food lovers!

Look out for a new holiday recipe on each Advent Sunday. A special  “Silvester Rezept” will await you for New Year’s eve!

Christmas Markets and Events around California

Some German Christmas events around California are happening tomorrow (December 1st) to welcome the holiday season. Check out our Event Calendar for location and time.

christmas ornament on treeHave a wonderful Holiday Season !


Additional Reading: