Takeout Easter from Little Italy of Wiesbaden!

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When Bill and I first discovered Wiesbaden in 2018, we found Little Italy, which is a tiny Italian place in the downtown area. From our first visit, in October 2018, we were warmly welcomed at this place, which has a very friendly manager who speaks perfect English. Before COVID-19 struck, we were semi regulars at this restaurant, especially on Sundays at lunchtime.

Unfortunately, vaccine rollout has been very slow in Germany. We’re still kind of on lockdown. Fortunately, we were spared the “hard lockdown” Chancellor Angela Merkle wanted to impose over the Easter holiday, but things are still pretty much closed all over the place. It really sucks and I’m tired of it. But at least I’m not sick.

Anyway, the other day, Bill noticed that Little Italy was offering a special holiday menu for Easter. Since it’s been months since we last visited this restaurant, we decided to order for Easter. It wasn’t really for the holiday, per se. Bill and I are not very religious at all. But this was a good excuse to have some professionally prepared food. Below is a screenshot of Little Italy’s Easter menu, priced at 45,90 euros per person.

Bill loves lamb. I don’t care for it, so I was happy to see they were offering a filet of sole roulade. We both like duck, so the duck carpaccio antipasto was a hit. I am also a fan of profiteroles. He sent off an email order to the manager, who confirmed quickly.

This afternoon, when Bill went to downtown Wiesbaden to pick up our order, he encountered pretty tough parking… It seems that despite the lockdown and Mrs. Merkle’s pleas for everyone to stay home, a lot of people were walking around the city center. Consequently, parking was in short supply. Luckily, the folks at Little Italy had everything packed up nicely. Bill said when he went into the restaurant to get our food, the manager had his phone and was glad to see him. I think he was getting ready to call Bill to see if/when he was coming!

Below are some photos from our Easter repast, which was a very nice and welcome change of pace. The dogs thought so, too… I only wish we could have enjoyed it in person. But Bill broke out the wedding china and silverware and all was lovely, even if the Beastie Boys were playing over the HomePod at one point.

The duck carpaccio was surprisingly good. It was served chilled, with a sundried tomato chutney that married beautifully with the duck breast. The duck was sliced thin, making it easy to enjoy. The portion size was generous. I think of the three courses, I liked the duck carpaccio the most.

Bill loved his lamb. I didn’t try it because I don’t care for lamb. But he also mentioned loving the potatoes, and he has some left for tomorrow’s lunch. Likewise, I managed two of the filet of sole roulades, generously stuffed with spinach cooked to perfection with almonds and Parmesan cheese. I enjoyed the way this was presented, with the garlic risotto and cherry tomatoes. It was excellent. Little Italy also sent along some homemade bread, but Bill forgot to put out the bread plates.

I love profiteroles. This dessert was good, but it could have been better. For one thing, I’m pretty sure the chocolate sauce was good old Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. I remember it well from my childhood. The pastry was tasty, but nothing extraordinary. I have had better… but for the price and convenience, I’m not complaining. I know if we were dining at the restaurant itself, we would have probably had something that doesn’t travel so easily, yet was a bit more impressive.

I’m really hoping that COVID-19 restrictions will loosen up soon. I am so tired of being locked down. I want to get out and do things again. But today’s Easter meal was a nice reminder of what’s to come when the virus is finally beaten into submission… and trust me, it will be. This isn’t the first pandemic. It just feels like it to us.

Anyway, many thanks to Little Italy for yet another nice Sunday meal, and to Bill for ordering it, paying for it, and picking it up. He even did the plating. I found myself a real keeper… And I hope that soon, we can go back to enjoying restaurants in person instead of just at home.

For us, Easter will always be meaningful, not just because it’s the day Christ rose from the grave, but also because it’s the day his ex wife delivered divorce papers while they were visiting Bill’s dad’s house in 2000. She wasn’t expecting Bill would agree to the split, but he did… and twenty-one years later, he’s living a sweet life. So Happy Easter, everybody! I hope you had a great day!

German Christmas #9

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I just counted the number of Christmases Bill and I have spent together in Germany. We’re now up to nine. That’s 2007, 2008, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and now, 2020. Bill spent a few more Bavarian Christmases here before we knew each other, when he was a lieutenant in the Army. Technically, we were in France last year for Christmas, but we still put up the tree at home and opened presents in Germany… so I count that as a German Christmas, too.

Yesterday’s Christmas was very nice. The best part of it was the lack of drama, which is a feature in almost all of the holidays I’ve spent with Bill. We really get along well, so being together on Christmas is a pleasure. There’s no fighting. Bill and I have both experienced enough holiday fights to last us the rest of our lives.

Anyway, our day went like this. Arran woke us up at 5:30am, as he always does, to go out for a pee and have his breakfast. Bill came back to bed and Arran snuggled into my arms. I slept until about 8:30am; these days, that is unheard of for either of us. We got up and had breakfast, then opened presents. I always get Bill more presents than he gets for me, so our gift exchange is always lopsided. This year, I decided to get him some really silly things. Here are a few photos.

There were other gifts, of course. I got Bill new shirts, a singing bowl (got one for myself, too), an Anova vacuum sealer and bags for his sous vide (a gift from several years ago that he uses a lot), and a really cool puzzle from Thailand made of wooden shapes. Bill got me a guitar repair kit, a couple of music books, a couple of t-shirts from Prairie Artisan Ales (in Oklahoma), and a guitar amp, which he gave me earlier this month to use with my new guitar.

My mother-in-law sent me a digital picture frame for the computer and, for both of us, a very interesting looking cookbook by a TV chef from eastern North Carolina. I was not familiar with the chef, but the pictures in her book make me think we’ll have a lot of fun with her southern recipes. We got so many new books that I am going to have to buy a new bookshelf.

My favorite gift of all, though, was a video Bill had sent to me by Vartoush Tota– otherwise known as Mary Basmadjian. Mary Basmadjian is the “Funny Armenian Girl”, and her videos are all over Facebook. I happen to love her comedy because I lived in Armenia for two years in the 1990s, teaching English as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I haven’t been back there since 1997, but I’ve been wanting to go. So Bill requested a video shout out from her, including a script that he wrote. It was a total surprise and I loved it! I didn’t think I would get such a kick out of a “shout out” video, but I totally did!

This was my FAVORITE gift!

After we opened gifts, Bill went to one of our favorite local restaurants, Villa Im Tal, and picked up our Christmas dinner. We usually like to cook for holidays, but since COVID-19 has impacted restaurants so much, we’ve ordered food for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. I’m not sure what we’ll do for New Year’s, though. Maybe that holiday will be a bit low key.

Anyway, this was our fabulous meal… Bill broke out the china and fancy silverware for it, too.

I’m not sure why Bill ordered duck for me. I think I would have loved the prime rib just as much. I did taste it, and it was sinful! I liked the duck too, and we do have leftovers for today. The biggest surprise for me, though, was the soup. I didn’t find the color of it very appetizing. I have a weird thing against beige foods, I guess. But– after the first spoonful, I was eager to finish the rich, velvety soup. The croutons were surprising. Some of them managed to stay crunchy even though they were saturated. There was also salmon in the soup, which balanced the base. It was delicious. I’d love to have it when it’s not take out. I also liked the dessert very much– cubes of chocolate cake artfully arranged with fruits and cream. God, I miss dining out, but this was a nice compromise. I think Bill said it cost about $160.

Villa Im Tal is also offering a New Year’s Eve dinner, but the choices for that don’t look quite as appealing. They involve a lot of liver and caviar. If we did order one (and I guess they still have availability, since they included an ad for it in our order yesterday), we’d probably go for the middle choice.

We finished off the evening by watching a few Rankin & Bass children’s specials from our childhoods. These were classic Christmas shows that came on TV every year. They probably still do…

If you were an American kid in the 70s and 80s, you’ve probably seen this.

We watched three specials, but had to quit after the third… There’s only so much Rankin & Bass I can take in one sitting. I switched to reading more of John Bolton’s book, which I hope to have finished very soon. I’m ready to start a new book that has nothing to do with politics.

All in all, it was a great Christmas. Noyzi and Arran had fun, too. Especially at dinner time! Bonus– I also got some housework done, so I don’t have to do it today.

One last thing… I made a music video the other day. It’s a pretty Christmas song that Olivia Newton-John did for the collaboration effort, Liv On, with Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky. I thought it was a moving and unusual holiday choice, so I decided to cover it. I used photos and video from our 2016 Ireland trip… Wish I could be there now.

Hope you had a nice holiday, too!

Thanksgiving 2020…

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A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Cem Klein Mediterrané, a local restaurant, was offering a takeout Thanksgiving deal. Bill and I were lucky enough to get to try Cem Klein in July of last year, before they changed locations. They used to be located in the Sonnenberg area of Wiesbaden. They are now at the Rheinblick German/American golf course. I guess, since they are now dealing with Americans all the time, they were prompted to offer a special pandemic deal for our Thanksgiving holiday. I noticed in their Facebook ad that they were willing to accept dollars or euros and, in fact, would not charge Americans tax on the meal.

Bill and I like to cook, but there are only two of us and we only have so much refrigerator space. We decided to try the restaurant’s deal, which included turkey, stuffing, yams, green beans wrapped in bacon, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and cranberry gravy. The price was $55 for enough food for two, and it was super easy to order, pick up and clean up afterwards. We also have leftovers. Here are some photos:

Cem Klein did a fine job on this meal and the price was right! If we’re still here in 2021 and they offer another Thanksgiving deal, we may have to order it again. It was nice not to have a huge mess to clean up.

The dogs enjoyed hanging out with us all day, listening to music and drinking wine… especially Noyzi, who is slowly getting used to being a pet and being friends with Bill. Every day, more and more of his personality comes out. Yesterday, Arran decided to play fetch with his new toys. He left one unattended while he ran around the house being silly. Noyzi casually got up from his bed, picked up the toy, and put it in his bed, then snuggled up next to it. It’s such an endearing habit, watching him hoard toys as if they’re his buddies.

I really do miss getting to travel and enjoy Europe, but the weather has been pretty gloomy lately. Yesterday, it was foggy, damp, and cold all day. Bill said when he picked up our food, there were people playing golf. I don’t know how or why. It was pea soup thick yesterday! I kind of like this weather in November, though. It’s weird seeing people back home wearing shorts and t-shirts. It didn’t used to be that way, even in the South. The warmer temperatures worry me.

My German friend, Susanne, asked us if we’d ever used a Romertopf, which is a German version of a Tajine (clay pot). I had, but Bill had, and he used to own a Romertopf when he was in Germany back in the 1980s. I decided to get us a new one so we can try our hands at clay pot cooking. It arrived yesterday.

Anyway… that’s our Thanksgiving. It was low key and pleasant. Bill will work this morning, then take the rest of the day off. Then it’s time to prepare for Christmas, which means I’ll be shopping online. Whoopee!

“Be welcome here…”

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Tomorrow, Bill and I will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. Normally, we travel for our anniversary. This year, we can’t go anywhere, thanks to COVID-19. I decided to buy a few new attachments for the air fryer I purchased at the beginning of the pandemic. We don’t use it very often, in part, because the noise from it seems to bother Arran somewhat. But we have discovered that we can use it in the laundry room and Arran doesn’t mind.

Last night, Bill made air fryer brownies that turned out great. This morning, we had a sausage, egg, spinach, sun dried tomato and cheese casserole made in the air fryer. Noyzi is getting braver and now hovers near me at mealtimes, hoping I’ll share with him. I don’t mind doing that because he’s so polite, and it does help him be less fearful.

After breakfast and starting another load of laundry, Bill and I put leashes on Arran and Noyzi and started on our walk. The sun is shining and the temperature is mild. It’s the perfect day to enjoy fall weather. As we were heading down the “Weg” to the main drag, a tall, slim, older German woman approached. She was wearing black slacks, a purple blouse, and a big black sweater. I noticed she also wore black gloves. Bill and I had just been talking about how Germans seem to bundle up a lot more than we do, even when the weather is nice.

I noticed the woman’s face as she looked at Noyzi, who is a very handsome and striking specimen. Noyzi was shying away from her noticeably. He was nervous enough that he dropped a single nugget of poop, but then he calmed down while Arran hung nearby, eager to keep walking. I fought the urge to pick up the poop as the German woman started talking to Bill. She quickly ascertained that we weren’t German when Bill opened his mouth to speak. She switched to careful, halting English, asking if we were the “new Americans”. It so happened that we were standing right next to a house that reportedly contains Americans. I guess native Breckenheimers talk about who’s who, and who’s new.

Bill explained that no, we weren’t “new” here. We moved to Breckenheim in late November 2018, and we live at the top of the hill. The woman wore no makeup. Her straight, silver hair was pulled into a ponytail. I don’t know how old she is. She appeared to be older than we are by some years, but she was very fit looking. In her hand, she held a bundle of some type of herb– perhaps thyme. I’m not sure, because I stood farther away from her than Bill did.

The woman didn’t wear a face mask. Neither did we. It’s probably a good thing, as she was very soft-spoken and I’m not sure we would have been as able to hear and understand her. She was very intent on sharing a message with us. She told Bill that today is a special worldwide holiday. She didn’t know how to say it in English. Bill thought maybe she meant it was like Remembrance Day, but having looked up holidays for November 15th, I don’t think so. I have no idea what she was talking about. She said it was a worldwide holiday, but is especially recognized in Europe. It was the first I’d heard of it after living here for several years.

Edited to add: My German friend Susanne tells me that today is Volkstrauertag (people’s day of mourning), and the lady was probably on her way to the cemetery or church, both of which we have in our area. I kept thinking maybe she was referring to Advent, but it’s a bit early for that. Volkstrauertag happens two weeks before Advent starts, and it commemorates members of the armed forces of all nations and civilians who died in armed conflicts, to include victims of violent oppression..

Regardless, of what the actual holiday is today (now I know– Volkstrauertag), she seemed very keen to talk to us about world peace. She spoke about how there’s no such thing as an enemy. We’re all people and we all deserve peace. Bill told her that he’d been to Iraq. I heard her say, “And you survived.”

She went on some more about having regard for our fellow man, avoiding war, and remembering those who died at war. And then, as she started to walk away, she said “Be welcome here.”

Bill turned to me and I could see the tears in his eyes. He was clearly moved. He said, “Well… that was a message.”

It’s not the first time we’ve run into someone who has imparted a message to us in an unusual way. Five years ago, I was stunned into peace and calm by a Buddhist monk we happened to run into at an Italian restaurant near Munich. It turned out he was a famous Japanese peace crusader named Toyoshige Sekiguchi. He was traveling the world, promoting peace and nuclear disarmament. I didn’t even speak to him, and yet he had a profound effect on me just by being who he is and being in my presence.

We lost Bill’s father a week ago and, naturally, Bill wasn’t able to attend his dad’s funeral on Friday. He was emotional about that last night. We spent some time talking and I was doing what I could to assuage his guilt and soothe his grief. He was still pensive and a little moody this morning. Perhaps that’s why got our special message as we walked the dog.

Bill is normally a very approachable person, but he was especially open-hearted today, which may have been why that woman felt the need to speak to us. Or maybe she stops everyone to talk about peace and loving everyone. It was a good message, though, and seemed kind of appropriate under the circumstances. Maybe she wanted to tell us her message because we represent Americans and most Americans around here are with the military. She might have thought Bill was a war monger, although he’s definitely not your stereotypical military man. In fact, I’d say Bill is not even like the typical guy. He’s unusually in touch with his feelings about most things. Maybe she figured we support Trump, though we definitely don’t.

I think a lot of people, with good reason, think that everyone in or affiliated with the military is a war monger. Most servicemembers I know want war less than anyone does. And anyone who knows Bill knows that he’s a gentle, caring, considerate, and kind man. I, on the other hand, graduate of social work and public health master’s programs and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, tend to be a bit feisty. Go figure that!

Anyway, we had a good walk. Noyzi has really come to love the daily walks. He still won’t let Bill put his leash on him, but he will let Bill walk him. And today, since I came along, I got a special treat in the form of butts. As I was putting on my shoes, Noyzi came up behind me and stuck his big nose right in my ass, as if he was greeting a new canine friend. Then, he came around as I was tying my laces, stuck his butt in my face, and backed up, swinging it side to side as if he wanted to use my nose to scratch his behind. He didn’t actually reach my nose, thank goodness, but he did seem to offer me his butt for sniffing. I guess he’s getting more comfortable here. I may have to teach him not to goose me in the ass when I’m tying my shoes, though.

A couple of nights ago, we ordered Greek takeout from Akropolis Restaurant in nearby Delkenheim. Bill wasn’t feeling like cooking, probably because he’d lost his dad and couldn’t go to the funeral. I was tickled because they sent him away with a small bottle of ouzo! I’ve had better gyros, but the rest of the food was pretty good. We had plenty leftover for lunch yesterday, too.

I wore my favorite dog walking shirt today. On the back, it says in German “Life is too short to drink shitty beer.” I was kind of glad it was covered up with a sweater today, after talking to that very deep and spiritual lady.

Mr. Bill gets rare Indian food on his birthday…

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Slow news day here in Wiesbaden? Perhaps…

Yesterday was Bill’s birthday. He wanted Indian food for his birthday dinner. I don’t eat Indian food, as a general rule. A lot of it is too spicy for me, plus there’s a lot of cilantro and cardamom used. Cilantro tastes a little soapy to me. Still, there are some things I can eat, and I trust Bill to know what I like. So he ordered some Indian food from Tandoorian, which is a restaurant located in Wiesbaden Mitte, right across from the Nassauer Hof. Bill visited there with his mom a few months ago, when she visited us. I needed some time to myself, so they went out for lunch together. They were raving about it when they got back home. Little did we know in January that we’d be locked down for weeks on end…

Actually, we could have gone out last night. Germany’s doing alright in terms of the virus. I keep reading news from my American friends and it makes me feel depressed and panicky, even though we’re fortunate enough to live in a place where the sickness isn’t so widespread. God bless Angela Merkel for her excellent handling of the pandemic. She’s been an excellent leader throughout this mess. I wish America could boast similarly good leadership.

Anyway, Bill ordered Tandoori Chicken for me, which is pretty basic grilled chicken pieces that have been marinated for twenty-four hours in yogurt and spices. For himself, he ordered Dhal Makhni, a vegetarian dish made with Indian lentils with butter, fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cream and fine spices. We also had naan and Garlic Kulcha, which was basically garlic flatbread. Lots of sauces accompanied this feast. I have to admit, it was very good and an interesting change of pace. It wasn’t too expensive, and it was delivered right to our door. We washed it down with a fine Armenian red wine.

Here are some pictures…

I really enjoyed the chicken. The spices were delightful, perhaps because they went so well with being grilled and they were novel to my tastebuds. Like I said, I don’t eat Indian food very often. I have to hand it to Bill… he’s introduced me to all sorts of foods I never ate before we met… stuff like sushi and guacamole and Chinese food. Seriously, I grew up on a bland southern cuisine diet, with a lot of stuff coming from cans and boxes. I got to be a pretty good cook as I came of age and even when I was single, I didn’t use a lot of boxes and cans. But my parents never took me to places with different cuisines, even though they were kind of adventurous themselves. I was a picky eater when I was a kid. I still am, to some extent.

Anyway, Bill had a nice birthday. He worked at home, and besides getting a lot of birthday wishes from his friends, he also got them from a lot of my friends. I think he’s pretty popular among my friends. He kind of balances me out a bit.

Perhaps we’ll pay a visit to Tandoorian sometime soon and try their cuisine in house. It’s getting easier to do that, thanks to “Mutti”. On another note, it’s weird to be an American in the European Union, as Americans are not currently welcome to visit. We are living in very strange times.

Trip forthcoming?

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Saturday is my birthday. Bill wants to go somewhere. Germany opened up yesterday, as did much of the rest of Europe, although we are still forbidden to leave the country under General Order #1… or whatever they’re calling it now. We are allowed to do overnights, though, and we can go anywhere in Germany. I suspect we won’t go far, since Bill is only planning two nights. I’m kind of dreading/looking forward to it, if that makes sense. I mean, I want to go somewhere, but I dread the hassle of life in a pandemic.

I wrote in my main blog about the new hobby I picked up in May. I’ve been playing guitar. Bill wants to learn too, so I’ve ordered two new guitars. One new one for me, because I wanted one with steel strings, and one for Bill. I hope they get to us before the weekend. I can hardly wait to try the new instrument, although I have been enjoying my Ortega guitar, too. It’s just that it’s a classical guitar with nylon strings and I want something a little edgier.

And finally, while we didn’t go anywhere on Sunday, we did order some food. Bill had to go on post to pick up something on Sunday, so he decided to stop by the Bamboo Asian Restaurant, which is located on the installation in Wiesbaden, meaning that it mostly caters to Americans. They do delivery on post, but I doubt they’d come all the way out to where we live. He wanted Thai food. It was the first time we’d ever had anything from there, although I was kind of curious about it.

He got me duck with peanut sauce, and he had crispy fish in red curry, which was supposed to be spicy. I didn’t try the crispy fish. The sauce was loaded with mushrooms. However, I did notice that they packaged everything separately, so if I had wanted to try the fish by itself, I could have. I liked that a lot. I enjoyed the duck with peanut sauce, too. In fact, l like peanut sauce very much, because I never see it loaded with mushrooms.

He also got some appetizers– Japanese dumplings, pork spring rolls, and shrimp sticks. They came with a sweet and sour sauce that was very gingery. I think there was a little too much ginger for my taste, although I liked the appetizers. They were nice and fried, which suits me fine! Here are a few photos:

I think Bill is going to keep our trip a secret… we could just end up in Frankfurt, which would be alright with me. I still don’t really feel like dealing with the world due to the coronavirus mess. But it would be good to get a change of scenery, I guess. And it would definitely wake up my sleepy travel blog.

It’s amazing. Every day, I look at photos from years past and remember all the fun we had, and took for granted. I hope this mess will be behind us at some point soon. But I’m not holding my breath.

Asian food from Jit’s Thai Kitchen in Bierstadt…

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Yesterday was Whit (or Pentecost) Monday, a religious holiday in Germany. Consequently, all of the grocery stores were closed. We didn’t have anything good for dinner, and Bill didn’t want to visit the commissary. We ended up ordering takeout from Jit’s Thai Kitchen in Bierstadt, and had it delivered to us. I kind of giggle when I hear the name “Jit”, since it has kind of a slang meaning in English vernacular. The whole order was done contactless. Bill paid online and the driver brought it and left it for us on our front step. I think the coronavirus might finally make Germans less cash obsessed.

Bill ordered crispy sweet and sour duck and a “kitchen special plate” for two people, which included spring rolls, chicken skewers, spare ribs, wontons, and chicken wings. The duck came with pineapples and carrots. We also had a big container of rice. Bill ordered the special plate because it was kind of similar to the ever popular pu pu platter one can easily find in American Asian restaurants. The only thing missing was the crab rangoons, which I have yet to see in Germany.

The weather was glorious last night, so we sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine and perfect temperatures. This time of year is nice in Germany. As usual, I looked up at the houses on the other side of our big, tall fence, and saw that the big bird was back. That bird, which I photographed for my last post, has a habit of hanging out on my neighbor’s roof. It usually shows up in the evenings and perches over the neighborhood. I was curious as to what kind of bird it was, so I got my digital camera with a long range lens and zoomed in…

Jit’s Thai Kitchen has a very nice looking dining room. Maybe when the coronavirus is less threatening, we’ll venture there for a meal. As for now, we liked what we had last night fine. My only complaint was that one of the spare ribs was very tough. I ended up giving part of it to Arran. We also probably should have gotten a dish with something green in it. Maybe we would have preferred their Thai food rather than generic Chinese. Anyway, it’s been awhile since we last had Asian food, so it was a nice change. We’d order from them again.

Maybe this weekend, we’ll go find something fun to do outdoors. I’m getting tired of staying at home all the time.

More takeout from La Fonte

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Here’s another quick post during our self-imposed lockdown. Things have loosened up a bit here in Wiesbaden. We’re now allowed day trips in Germany, but I’m still not really wanting to venture out. Instead, I’ve been playing my new guitar every day, building up calluses on my fingers. I’ve made some progress, although I’m nowhere near ready for anyone other than Bill to hear me play. I made one music video this week. Singing well is a lot easier for me than guitar playing is. Bill says he might like to pick up guitar himself… if he does, I think I’ll get myself a Fender for my birthday.

Anyway, we did get some takeout last night. Bill had a frustrating week, mostly spent working from home. We decided to call on our neighborhood Italian restaurant, La Fonte, which we’ve only dined in at one time. They have good food. Lots of pizza and pasta on the takeout menu, but I remember when we ate in the restaurant, they had other stuff. I seem to remember having salmon the first time we ate there. It was Christmas time and they gave us a pannetone, which was really yummy!

Last night, I had black tortelloni with scallops, sugar snap peas, and baby shrimp. I think there were four tortellonis, and Bill and I each had one. It was plenty. Bill also got a pizza with ham and pepperoni wurst. Pepperoni in Germany is a pepper, but you can get pepperoni wurst, which is the sausage we Americans know so well. I’m slowly getting used to German style pizza made by Italians… it’s only taken six years. Bill butchered his German as he called in the order, but they all speak English at La Fonte anyway.

By the way, we learned last night that there’s a difference between tortelloni and tortellini. Tortelloni is bigger and sealed somewhat differently, although they’re both basically the same thing.

Here are a couple of photos.

The weather has been really pleasant lately, although we could really use some rain. Our rain barrel is almost totally depleted. Bill’s vegetables are growing and some might even survive long enough for harvesting.

I don’t know what we’ll do today. We probably could go out and do something fun… but I’ve kind of lost my mojo lately. It would probably do me some good to go out and see the world again. Maybe later.

Take out from Villa Im Tal…

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Bill and I love a good fine dining experience. Alas, the coronavirus is cramping our style. Restaurants are opening up in Germany, but there are still a lot of restrictions and some risks involving with eating in restaurants. We decided to order take out from our favorite fine dining restaurant in the Wiesbaden area yesterday, just to see how feasible it would be.

Villa Im Tal has a special take out menu. I had wanted to order from it for Mother’s Day, but we were too late. This time, Bill emailed our order a day ahead of time. I’m not sure that was a requirement, but it worked out well. He got a confirmation and a time to pick it up– 1:30pm. He ordered us both “surf and turfs”, which were three courses for 48 euros each. The restaurant offers other choices besides this special, but Bill decided to get this because it’s a deal and because he figured I’d like it. Also, delivery service is available at 10 euros for 10km or 20 euros for 20km. If your order is more than 120 euros, delivery is free. I’m not sure if we’re in their delivery area. We’re probably not.

We decided to do our lunch the right way, with music, Georgian wine, and the good china. The only thing we didn’t do, besides dress up a bit, was light the candles. Here are some pictures of what the food looked like when Bill brought it home.

I didn’t have any of the vegetables, because they were loaded with mushrooms, which I don’t eat. However, everything else was pretty good. I have had the soup when I’ve visited the restaurant for dining in, and it was just as good at home. I’ve often told Bill I’d love to have a recipe for this soup, which I think would be good when I’m sick. It’s very comforting, yet has a lot of flavor. Tangy lemongrass, mango, and curry makes for a rich, delicious soup. This was paired with curry flavored chips.

I probably would have liked to have had a side with the surf and turf… maybe we could have requested a mushroom free version. Next time we order take out from Villa Im Tal, we’ll have to remember that. The dessert was delightful! The chocolate mousse went beautifully with the marinated red berry compote– currants and strawberries are a great match to chocolate. I loved the way they made the dessert pretty in the take out container. It was so pretty we didn’t even plate it ourselves.

Of course I would have rather enjoyed this in the restaurant, but I can’t deny that this wasn’t a bad way to have a fine meal. We could listen to music; Arran could sit with us; and I didn’t have to wear a bra. It also cost significantly less, since we weren’t having aperitifs, ordering wine in house, or tipping on service… although Bill probably did tip the lady who brought him the food. We might brave the restaurant itself soon, since they have a really lovely outdoor area and even when there is no pandemic, there are plenty of widely spaced tables. It’s also just a really lovely place to enjoy a meal. The venue itself is in the woods, where it’s quiet and peaceful… just what we need to escape the stresses of contagion.

Super fresh sushi in Breckenheim!

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We don’t get a lot of local mail, but I still check the mailbox every day. Most of the time, when we do get something in the mail, it’s a free newspaper, sales papers, or a takeout menu. The other day, we got a menu from a very local outfit called Tam’s Kitchen.

Tam’s Kitchen specializes in sushi. It just so happened that I was in the mood for sushi a couple of nights ago. I told Bill about it. He surmised that the place only does delivery and, based on what he read in the brochure, it appears that “Tam” mainly does catering and is originally from Vietnam. He finished culinary school in 1978, and doesn’t offer dine in service.

I have no idea how long Tam’s Kitchen has been in Breckenheim. We’ve been here for about 18 months, and we didn’t know about it until a couple of days ago. And last night we ordered, and BOY was it a treat! We got Bento Box #3 and chicken skewers. The chicken skewers were fresh and tender, covered in a sweet soy glaze. But the sushi was insane! The salmon was so fresh it practically melted.

This isn’t much of a post, and I apologize for that. I probably should have taken a picture of the sushi after we plated it, but it was so good that I couldn’t wait. We will definitely have to order from them again, next time the craving for sushi hits. No more grocery store sushi for us! At least for as long as we’re living in this town!

By the way… on the off chance anyone from Breckenheim is reading this, orders over 15 euros are delivered free. For orders beyond Breckenheim, the minimum is 50 euros for free delivery. Last night’s order, which was enough for Bill and me, we spent about 25 euros. I wish we’d bought more, but I’m sure we will in the future!