Spoonfuls of Germany


Looking east


If there is one thing I regret I did not do while I was still living in Germany, it is that I did not see more of the world behind the Iron Curtain that opened up after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. I spent a good amount of time in Berlin in 1991, and I am glad I did because at least I got a glimpse how East Berlin had looked under communist rule. Continue reading



High time for poppy seeds

Poppy Seed Bread Pudding I

“Can poppy seeds get you high?”, is a question that pops up a lot when you search for poppy seeds on the Internet. In fact, consuming only three poppy seed bagels can lead to false positives in over-the-counter drug tests, as demonstrated in a 2003 episode of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters.

Walk into any well-assorted pastry shop in Germany and you will likely find sheet cake, streusel cake, or poppy seed roll with a generous poppy seed filling. Continue reading


All about quark (the food, that is)

Schmand und Glumse

After my book signing last weekend, one of my gardening buddies sent me an email telling me how much she enjoyed the book, and ending with, “Quark? Really? How did it get that name?” This made me think that I need to set things straight about my favorite dairy product, which, alas, is hard to find in the United States. Continue reading