Tag Archives: German

SPARMASSNAHMEN

 Sparmaßnahmen

(Ein Drabble* von Merrill Lyew Emanuel)
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Beim kalifornischen DMV windet sich die Kundenreihe um das Gebäude herum, wie eine dahinkriechende Schlange. Die Beamtin Mary müht sich lustlos hinter dem Tresen ab. Bei jedem Klienten überprüft sie, ob das richtige Formular vorliegt, ob es vollständig ausgefüllt ist, ob der Antrag auf Führerschein rechtens ist. Sie heftet Akten ab, lichtet Passbilder ab, nimmt Fingerdrucke ab.

Apathisch quält sie sich durch die Minuten des Tages, dabei macht sie einen Patzer nach dem anderen. Aufgrund der Sparmassnahmen im Staatshaushalt sind die Planstellen halbiert worden, leere Stellen verbleiben leer. Die Gescheiten finden anderswo leicht einen Job, nur Mary bleibt beim DMV.

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©Merrill Lyew 2016
Image: Pixabay.com
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* WHAT IS a Drabble?  – A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words.
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Merrill Lyew EmanuelAs a recent retiree, Merrill Lyew Emanuel now has time for his old and new hobbies. Within his hobbies are writing fan fiction in German, solving chess puzzles, repairing things at home that are not broken, doing a little bit of social media, reading every and anything that looks like a book, traveling a little, and taking snapshots with his mirrorless camera.

Having lived in Germany, Costa Rica and the USA, he is fluent in the languages of these countries. As a professional geographer he traveled profusely throughout Latin America. He is living in Southern California for over thirty years. Find more of his work at http://www.merrillius.net

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German Cuisine – Defined by Sausage, Pretzel and Beer?

What’s Up with German Cuisine in California?

German restaurants and German food trucks seem to be in high season these days. I feel there are so many new ones. But do they offer anything new?

I just heard of a new German restaurant in Orange County in SoCal, “Stadtgarten LA“. It sounded promising, I thought. Curious about what kind of German cuisine they would offer I went to check out their website.

I am met with the the restaurant’s name Stadtgarten written in an interesting font, that reminds me of a neighborhood German beer pub from the 60ties. Then I read the “story”: Stadtgarten is a “gourmet hub” in a historic landmark in Fullerton. The experience apparently “highlights bold tradition with every speciality item offered” .

Wow, I am eager to find out more! Did I finally discover some authentic German restaurant that will surprise me with some tasty Schweinebraten (roast pork) with a crunchy crust or a Berliner Eisbein? Perhaps the authentic northern specialty, Matjes, or a juicy Jägerschnitzel, or even just tasty Käsespätzle or Maultaschen?

My excitement to see the menu is put to a worried stop after my eyes are met by the headline “Artisanal Wurst & Bier”.

Seriously!!  Yes…, all I see is sausages galore!

Come on! Pleaseeee!!

I scroll back to the “story” that claims that I will experience the “storied taste of Germany, spanning decades of specialty quality and selection”, “with recipes  spanning decades brought directly from Germany.”

Am I not being promised a “gourmet authentic cuisine” here? I start feeling a bit offended about what I am actually being offered on the menu posted online.

– The Sausage and its Rise to Power –

Is the Stadtgarten LA seriously claiming that only sausages are making up the storied taste of Germany ? I honestly believe the German Wurst has never been that popular ever (!) than since it’s been pushed to its limits here in the USA. – Sozusagen ‘ausgezuzelt’ (ausgesaugt) bis auf’s Letzte. –

And, I m not even sure if the Wurst frenzy is in fact even happening in Germany itself. The last thing I recently read was that it was now really hip over there to get Eggs Benedict instead of a simple, fried egg… But Wurst!!?

Besides, anyone ever heard of the Vegan Mexican Chipotle sausage or Chicken Habanero & Tequila sausage being part of the German Wurst staple?

I guess I must have missed something growing up in Germany or I’m just getting old….

For me, ‘Wurst’ used to be a fast food served at stands at Christkindlmarkets and other little town fairs. It certainly was present at ALL kids birthday parties, so much so that I couldn’t face a ‘Wienerwurst’ or any ‘Wurst’ for years without slight shudders… until I fell in love with the ‘Käsekrainer’ in Vienna! Since then my sausage taste has been very selective to say the least.

But to call ‘Wurst’, no matter what kind, gourmet food!? That is for sure a social rise for Wurst & Co.

To all the Würstel Dudes (sausages dudes) out there. German cuisine has so much more to offer than only pretzels, beer, and sausages!

It’s not enough to just give a restaurant a German name and slap some German sounding words onto the menu like “share das good times“. Please check your German, otherwise it gives you away as not being very authentic at all!

Having said all that… Stadtgarten LA appears to have a hip, modern and inviting interior (unlike its restaurant name lettering would suggest). It apparently has also created a nice outside beer garden atmosphere, which indeed is hard to find in OC.

Stadtgarten LA may in fact position itself more as a specialty beer pub than a restaurant, if you consider the immense selection of beer that “… can be intimidating to a beer layman” as Edwin Goei puts it in his 2016 article in OC Weekly.

…Nix für ungut!


Author’s note: This article is solely based on the business’ website and its information posted there.

Sponsored by Adolesco.org 

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Happy Easter! – Frohe Ostern!

– Fohes Ostereiersuchen! –

Apparently every fourth German loves to look for Easter eggs according to a survey (Süddeutsche Zeitung) . Be part of it! 🙂


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The 2017 German Language Summer Camp Guide for California

Summer is approaching faster than we all would like to acknowledge it. And here we are, once again, trying to find the perfect camp and other summer activities that will save our kids from ‘extensive boredom syndrome’ during these hot summer days…

If you were planning on having your son or daughter attend a camp that will provide not only fun but will also stimulate their intellect – A foreign language immersion camp might just be the perfect pick!

In the following find a compilation of some German Language Camps up and down the coast of California. They all offer a great variety of fun activities along with German language immersion.

GERMAN LANGUAGE SUMMER CAMPS 2017

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STEM Summer Day Camp 2017 at GermanSchoolCampus in Newport Beach

Back by popular request is the STEM science camp in Newport Beach at the beautiful location at the Newport Seabase right along the waters of the Newport Bay. Children will enjoy a whole week of fun learning about “Feuer-Wasser-Erde-Luft” (Fire-Water-Earth-Air) while taking full advantage of the beautiful location and undertaking an excursion on a pontoon boat and trying out little motorboats. Fun is the top priority at the GermanSchoolCampus summer camp at the sea!

Classes are open to all children 6-17 years of age. Children can be pure beginners of the German language since all parts of the camp will be conducted bilingually and the German language is introduced throughout in a playful way.

Camp Dates : One week ONLY – Monday July 3 – Saturday July 8, 2017 from 8:30-4:30 (with no class on 4th of July)

No prior knowledge of the German language is necessary!

Contact: 949-285-0829 – Frau Schoeneich- School Director

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Camera, Lights, Action – Summer Camps for kids at GPSSD in San Diego

GPSSD San Diego offers four fun weeks of German language summer camps with themes like Zeitreisen (Time Travel), Camera, Lights, Action…, Trolls and Tournaments. The camps are open to all children 4-14 years of age.

Camp Dates: June 26 -July 21, 2017 from 9am-3pm (extended care possible)

Contact: (858) 461-9118 or germanpacificschool@gmail.com

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SUMMER IMMERSION CAMP 2017 at GISSV MOUNTAIN VIEW (NorCal)

German language classes + art, music, science, sports, cooking and more!

The GISSV Saturday School is excited to once again offer a German Immersion Summer Camp. Our combination of morning language classes and engaging afternoon activities offers a unique opportunity for kids to learn and play in German!

The German Immersion Summer Camp is for children ages 6-16. Prior knowledge of German is not required. Langauge classes are offered each day of camp from 9am-noon. Afternoons are packed with interesting, fun and physical activities ranging from art to soccer to science, cooking, yoga and music. Responding to popular request, we will also offer a KinderCamp for ages 4-5. KinderCamp will follow its own curriculum in our Kindergarten classrooms. Prior knowledge of German is not required.

Camp Dates: June 19 – July 14, 2017 , from 9am-4pm (Extended care is available for a maximum day from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm)

Contact: office@gissv.org or (650) 254-0748

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“Stein, Schere, Papier” – German Summer Camp 2017 at Bay Area Kinderstube in Berkeley (NorCal)

Bay Area Kinderstube offers four weeks of a full-immersion German summer camp at Berkwood Hedge campus, 1809 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (one block west of Berkeley High). Beautiful Berkwood Hedge campus in Berkeley has spacious classrooms and a great outdoor space. The camp is for children ages 3-13.

The curriculum is hands-on and includes singing, playing, acting, history, music, cooking, arts and crafts, field trips and many outdoor activities. Each age group is led by a native German teacher with experience in instructing various levels. The teachers will be supported by assistants, many of whom are former campers themselves. Because our camp is full immersion, it is best-suited for children with at least basic understanding skills in German. Counselor-in-Training program for 8th grade and up.

Camp Dates: July 17–August 11, Mon-Fri 9am-3pm (Extended care available form 3pm-6pm)

Contact: Heike Feltes at sommerschule@kinderstube.org or at (510)525-1310

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Nature, Creativity, Language – Summer Camp at WAnderKindSchool in Glendale 

Two amazing summer camps are scheduled for this summer. In June we will do two weeks of FORREST SCHOOL CAMP packed with outdoor fun and adventure. In July you can sign up for GERMAN LANGUAGE IMMERSION CAMP to playfully learn and improve a second language. Preschoolers join us in the mornings and Elementary Student (up to age 9) come in the afternoon.

Camp Dates:  June 19-23 & 26-30 “Forrest School Camp”,  and July 10-14 & July 17-21 “German Langauge Immersion Camp” (extended care is available upon request) Different Times for Preschoolers & elementary students.

Contact: wanderkindschool@gmail.com or 415-812-6675

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Summer Camp with GASA (SOCAL)

GASA will host their yearly overnight camp at the
beautiful Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center.
Swimming, hiking, zip-lining. A 136 ft. water slide, ‘smores by
the campfire, singing and dancing as well as fishing, baking, sports,
games and crafts, plus a special visit to a nearby zoo will be part of the fun! All activities will be conducted in German.

Camp Dates: June 25 – June 30, 2017

Contact: 562-693-0223 or office@gasaschool.org

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Summer Camp at GASPA (NorCal)

GASPA will offer a 4-week German summer camp for children at the location of Alto International School Campus (formerly GAIS) at 475 Pope Street, Menlo Park 94025. The camp is open to all children from ages 3-12 & 12-14. There is no prior German language knowledge required.

Camp Dates: June 19th – July14th 2017  from 9am-2pm (extended care is available) No Camp on Tuesday, July 4th

Contact: 650.520.3646 or contact@gaspa-ca.org

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Image: Courtesy of GermanSchoolCampus.com


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Weihnachtsbäckerei – Part 5: Butterplätzchen

butterweihnachtsplatzchenpixabay

Butterplätzchen – Butter Cookies

A classic in German Christmas baking is the Butterplätzchen (butter cookie). It’s a favorite for baking with children. They love using cookie cutters in all kinds of shapes to make these most classic Christmas cookie of all and decorate them later. The difference between American and German Christmas butter cookies might not only be the recipe but also the size. Usually the German variation is thinner and much smaller in size than its US counterpart.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 250 g – flour
  • 200g – butter
  • 100g – Baker’s sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp – rum
  • grated skin of one lemon

Ingredients for the decoration:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • for decorating: chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar sprinkles or pearls, smarties , coarse sugar, etc.

Prepare a shortcrust pastry ( Knetteig) by sifting the flour on a board, adding the sugar and the butter cut in little flakes on top. Make a little depression in the middle of the heap of the flour mixture and add the egg yolk, rum and grated lemon.

Blend the ingredients by first chopping them with a large knife, then kneading them to a smooth dough with your hands.

Form a big round ball out of the dough, wrap it in parchment paper and let it rest for about 30 min in the refrigerator.

Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to about 3mm weihnachtsbackereibutterkekspixabaythin. Cut out different forms with your cookie cutters. Place the various cookie shapes on a lined baking sheet, and bake them for about 356-392 Fahrenheit in the pre-heated oven for about 8-10 minutes. They should look golden brown.

Before you start decorating your cookies, place the cookies on a cooling rack. Then whisk the egg yolk used for decorating with the 1 tbsp milk and brush the cookies with a thin layer. Decorate them with chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar pearls or coarse sugar.

…and you are ready to enjoy one of the most traditional German Christmas Cookies!

Happy Forth Sunday of Advent!

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Let us know your favorite German Christmas Cookie Recipe and send it to CaliforniaGermans(at)gmail.com !

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com


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