Chapter Nine

Merry Christmas!
December, 1999

On Christmas Day, I learned the world is truly a small place. Nine time zones and several hundred miles from anywhere I had spent Christmas before, Ian and I had a holiday that was some of our German present and some of our American past. The knowledge that nearly everyone else we knew was celebrating Christmas at roughly the same time we were brought us all closer together, despite all the distances between us.

The usual shuffle of equipment among the members of our group had arranged for the bequeathing of a digital camera to Ian. The instant gratification factor of the camera, the ability to download into the computer, look at a picture, and begin to edit it within minutes of taking it, launched a new project. We would document our Christmas Day and post the pictures before we went to bed, a special webpage-Christmas card for our families.

So the camera woke up shortly after we did. And Christmas Day became one of our most well-memorialized days.

Getting the day off to a healthy, well-fed start. . . Funny how these holidays revolve around food. Try it with two cooking fanatics in the house, and then shrink the kitchen . . .

Hot spiced cider, a staple in holidays past, and a rare commodity in these parts. Finding whole cinnamon sticks is darn near impossible. The apple juice, on the other hand, was easy; when it's not producing wine, the Ahr valley puts its energy into apples.

The Feast . . . Part One. This coffee cake was a tradition in my family when I was growing up. If I'm making it all on my own, does this make me a grown-up now?

Wonder of wonders - Santa found us all the way over here! Or maybe these just fell off the sleigh as he went by?

Self-Portraits, 101

Let's see: homemade caramels, candles, a candle-making kit, cookies, tea and tea pot, cards . . . Everything we need to keep us warm now that it's an official, Solstice-endorsed, winter.

A taste of Christmas around the world: Osceola, Missouri; Tui Community, New Zealand; Boulder Creek, California; Sequim, Washington. A global holiday.

The glory of a kitchen(ette) at Christmastime. . . every burner filled. . . and then some!

The Feast . . . Part Two: mashed potatoes, turkey-less stuffing, peas, roasted sweet potatoes (purchased at an African foods specialty shop), and more cider. We've noticed that since we've come to Germany, our cooking projects tend to be a bit more mono-chromatic . . .

Fat and Happy.

"And God bless us, every one!"

Chapter Ten

Ian Gilman / Germany Journal
DolciDeleria / Germany Journal
Copyright 1998-2013, Ian Gilman & Christina Willott