Hammershøi Light

March 17, 2013Travel, Travel Topics

My touchstone for defining lack of sunshine was always the Pacific Northwest, but places like Portland and Seattle get more sun on average than Berlin. I know. The paintings of the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi do a lovely job at capturing the winter light in this region; always experienced indoors, it is quiet and diffused. … Read More

Expat Thanksgiving #2

November 27, 2012Travel, Travel Topics

I didn’t get ANY photos of Thanksgiving Dinner, Round II, because I was too busy taking pictures of Hazel. And holding Hazel. And dying over what Ashley calls Hazel’s evil eye, which she cast upon us all as she was forced to sit on the sofa while we feasted. For proper photos of the evening, … Read More


November 23, 2012Travel, Travel Topics

We spent our Thanksgiving at a German friend’s house. It wasn’t intended to be “Thanksgiving dinner” (she’d extended the invitation without realizing the date) but that didn’t matter; it was just nice to have a meal with two wonderful people. She served creamy celeriac soup and an onion tart—a spread she described as traditional winter … Read More

Expat Kitchen: Potato Sage Pizza

September 11, 2012Travel, Travel Topics

Remember the pizza-esque dinnele we found at the Mauerpark? It was my inspiration for Saturday’s dinner, a pizza topped with garlic and sage Bratkartoffeln (pan-browned potatoes with onions) and a thick layer of Schmand as the “sauce.” For those outside of the Eastern Eurorealm, Schmand is something like sour cream—but it’s not sour. Best is … Read More

Euro 2012

July 2, 2012Travel, Travel Topics

We had high hopes for Thursday’s game against Italy, but it didn’t work out. Ah well. More important is the ritual of watching the football/soccer matches in Germany: outdoors with many strangers on summer nights when daylight stretches to 10pm. Beer gardens, restaurants, bars—even convenience stores—all put tables and chairs on the sidewalks and hook … Read More

Expat Kitchen: Homemade Hamburger Buns

June 6, 2012Travel, Travel Topics

A recent article in the New York Times about American food trucks in Paris (watch the video, too) was a timely read for me—just a few days ago, I broke down and made hamburger buns for the first time. This project was just another in a series of kitchen adventures prompted by what is not available … Read More

Four Years in Berlin

June 3, 2012Travel, Travel Topics

Today marks four (!!!) years for me in Berlin. There is a lot I could say about being an expat on a day like this. I think that anyone who has truly lived in another country would agree that it is an experience soaked in contrasts and contradictions. It seems impossible to talk about without resorting … Read More

Expat Kitchen: Tortillas

July 24, 2011Travel, Travel Topics

I can’t stop making them and then eating them with the vats of black beans that I’ve been cooking and freezing (freezing the tortillas, too, so that I can take them out one at a time and they are still fresh and chewy). Add to this avocados, limes, sour cream, rice, quinoa, eggs…it’s been weeks … Read More