Hessen, markets

Eating for the sake of educating…

Bill is taking a few days off work because he worked so many hours earlier this month. We had thought that maybe we might go somewhere for the weekend, but then decided against it, due to the big trip we have planned for next month. Yesterday happened to be the day of our weekly market in our village of Breckenheim, and Bill’s daughter, who lives in Utah and has never been abroad, had asked Bill about German sausages. Her mother had told her about them, but she couldn’t really picture them.

In the interest of educating Bill’s daughter about Brats (the non-human kind, anyway), we decided to go to the market to have sausages, since there are always Bratwursts available at the local events. I had originally intended to have a Bratwurst, too, but then I noticed the Middle Eastern Feinkost had what appeared to be a delicious falafel and hummus sandwich available. So I had that, instead of a Bratwurst, then enjoyed my very first “spaghetti Eis” for dessert. Spaghetti Eis is vanilla ice cream that looks like spaghetti and is served with strawberry sauce. I had never had it before yesterday. The ice cream truck had somewhat limited choices. 😉

We also brought home some other fresh goodies from the market, including a couple of pieces of different cakes that were made by local ladies. I look forward to trying those today.

Here is a video and a few photos of yesterday’s haul. We really had a great time, and the weather could not have been better! We love the weekly market, although we don’t always go, because by the time Bill gets home from work, it’s about over. It only runs from 1:00 until 6:00, and Bill usually gets home right after 5:00 PM. Noyzi is getting somewhat better at going to these events. It helped that the market isn’t as crowded in the early afternoon as the wine stands usually are. There is a wine stand tonight, and if we’re home, we’ll probably attend.

And here’s a hastily produced video of our adventures… The food was so delicious yesterday! I probably should have enjoyed more of that than the wine… 😉

I hope that sandwich hasn’t disintegrated!

It looks like we have similarly nice weather in store for today. Maybe we’ll get out of the house and do something fun. Or maybe not… 😀


Our third Hello Fresh meal

Last night, we finally got around to trying our third Hello Fresh meal.  All of the fresh ingredients that were sent to us were still in good condition, with the exception of the fresh basil, which was a bit dried out.  It was supposed to be used as a garnish for last night’s meal of pasta with mascarpone cheese, tomatoes, and mozzarella.  It’s not Hello Fresh’s fault that the basil was dried.  We just didn’t prepare the meal promptly enough after our tasting box was delivered.

I am happy to report that last night’s dish was my favorite of the three and we ended up deciding to subscribe.  Unfortunately, we had a problem with the Web site’s payment system.  I tried to pay three or four times before the payment finally went through… and then when I checked USAA, I saw that we have pending charges for those seemingly failed payments.  I sent Hello Fresh an email last night and will report when they respond.

Since I had a 20 euro coupon, we also ordered a small fruit box (regularly 14.99 euros for 12 pieces of fruit).  I doubt we’ll be doing that regularly, but I am curious to see what the fruit boxes are like.  The total charge with the 20 euro coupon for our next delivery (provided we’re only charged once) was about 35 euros.  Without the coupon, we would have paid about 55 euros for the classic box (3 meals for 2 people) and the fruit box.  Regular price for the small classic box subscription is 39.99 euros per box.  I only have to purchase two boxes for the subscription; then I can cancel whenever I want.

I also got a phone call from a Hello Fresh representative yesterday.  She wanted to know how we liked the product and tried to get me to subscribe.  I told her we wanted to try the third meal before committing.  She asked if she could call back and I said she could.  When she does call back, I will talk to her about our issues with payment and make sure we only get and pay for one classic box and fruit box next week.   I also told her that there are a lot of Americans in the Stuttgart area who, if they subscribed to Hello Fresh, would likely appreciate it if they could get the recipes in English.  Maybe she’ll pass that info along to someone who can help with that.  I did tell her I was working hard on my German and trying to decipher recipes is a good way to do that.  But one of Hello Fresh’s major selling points is being able to save time.  If I have to translate recipes, I am not saving time.

Anyway, on with last night’s meal…

Bill lays out the ingredients: spiral pasta, three tomatoes, an onion, mascarpone cheese, fresh mozzarella, garlic, and fresh basil (which was a little dry last night, but got to us fresh).

Bill starts chopping tomatoes.

Bill consults the recipe.  This one was simple enough that he didn’t need to translate it.

Onions being chopped, along with some garlic…

Sautéing the onions and garlic in a little olive oil…  We supplied the oil.

Fresh tomatoes are added to the onions and garlic.  Bill also added some ground oregano, which was also supplied.

Bill slices the fresh mozzarella into small pieces.

Cooked pasta is added to the tomatoes.  We only used half of a 500 gram bag, so there’s pasta leftover for another dish.  In the pot next to the skillet, Bill stirs mascarpone cheese.  He only used 50 grams of a 250 gram container.

Cheese is added to pasta and tomatoes.

Next, the mixture is placed in a baking dish and a layer of mozzarella is added.

Second layer of mozzarella cheese and pasta.

Our dried out fresh basil.  Will have to use it quicker next time.

Bill cleans while the pasta bakes.  By this point, our house was smelling awesome.

Table is set…

The finished product, fresh out of the oven!

It turned out great!

Guten Appetit!


We were really happy with this simple dish.  Naturally, it was the most fattening of the three, coming in at about 750 calories.  We still had enough leftover for my lunch today.  Believe me, I’m looking forward to it!  And, while I’m at it, I want to praise my sweet husband Bill for being such an awesome cook and cleaning up after himself!


It’s amazing how restorative good food can be…

Because the hotel was pretty full yesterday, I didn’t end up having lunch.  That’s because I was waiting for the housekeepers to clean the room so I could get the dogs out.  They didn’t show up until just before 3:00, which was kind of too late for eating.  I figured Bill would be back soon enough.  He didn’t get back until about 6:30pm.  By then, I was really hungry and decidedly irritable.

We left the hotel room and the dogs immediately started howling.  Bill went back and faked them out by sticking his key in the lock.  That shut them up for some reason.  Then we went to the first of four restaurants, hoping to have dinner.  We sat down in the bar area of this place and were ignored.  Actually, I think the staff’s attention was entirely focused on the very busy biergarten.  I would have liked to have sat out there too, but it was crowded and smokey.

We went to an Italian place, but it appeared to be really packed and I didn’t want to wait for a table.  Then we went to a German gasthaus, but nothing on the menu appealed to me.  What I really wanted was a nice glass of red wine and some fresh Italian food.  Fortunately, Il Cappuccino Feinkost on Filderbahnstrasse in Mohringen was ready to deliver, because by the time Bill and I sat down, I was near tears from stress, frustration, and hunger.

Really nice Napoli wine…  

The wait staff at this restaurant was wonderful.  We sat down and looked at the menu and the waiter helped Bill pick out an excellent and reasonably priced bottle of wine from Naples.  We enjoyed our wine and some bread as we decided what to order.  I originally asked for swordfish, but because the restaurant is about to close for holidays (typical in August among restaurant owners in Germany), they didn’t have it.  I got grilled shrimp and a salad instead.

Delightful shrimp!

And a tasty, colorful salad… I felt good about eating this.

Bill ordered a salmon and pasta dish.  I’m not sure if the pasta was homemade, but it was definitely excellent and it tasted homemade.  The grilled shrimp dish was also good, but I was especially impressed by the huge salad made with greens, ruby red tomatoes, corn, and kidney beans.  I don’t usually like salad that much, but I ate most of it, and not just because I was really hungry.  I loved that the food was served with style and pride, too.  I could tell the staff was enthusiastic about their product.

By the time we were finished with dinner, my mood was vastly improved and I felt much better.  We had dessert– Bill had lemon sorbet and I had a tartufo, which was basically two balls of chocolate and vanilla ice cream dusted with cocoa.  Then we had espresso and grappa.  As we enjoyed dessert, I realized how happy I am to be back in Germany and why I need to focus on what it’ll be like when we have our own space again.


All told, the bill was 88 euros.  Bill gave 100, which made the very kind and attentive staff happy.  I should mention that that was a very generous tip; in Europe, wait staff gets paid a living wage and, in general, they don’t expect such extravagance.  But they really did me a solid yesterday because I really needed a good meal and some excellent wine.

If you need a good Italian place in Mohringen, I would definitely recommend Il Cappuccino Feinkost.  I hope we’ll get to go there again sometime soon.  They also have a small deli in the restaurant.