Spoonfuls of Germany


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American professor in Philadelphia adds gusto to German-American friendship

Sausage vending machine in Hanover, Germany, 1931 (Wikimedia Commons).

This is my last blog post for The Year of German-American Friendship. Over the past thirteen months I have profiled people in the US from very different backgrounds and professions: a butcher, a miller, a gingerbread baker, a candy maker, a German food truck owner, the two founders of a döner restaurant chain, a food historian, and a fruit grower – all with a link to Germany.

I am wrapping my series up with Elliott Shore, who epitomizes German-American friendship and is professor of history emeritus at Bryn Mawr College. Shore is an American academic who combines in-depth study of Germany with a strong personal connection to the country. Continue reading


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My grandmother’s Black Forest Cake is both pink and German

Black Forest Cake is traditionally snow-white and decorated with a circle of cherries. Not my grandmother’s Black Forest Cake – hers was pink. She always made it that way, and I have never baked a Black Forest Cake using any other recipe. Whether my grandmother shared my aversion to candied cherries, or they were an expensive, unnecessary and probably hard-to-find ingredient in post-War Germany, I don’t know. As she did, I decorate my Black Forest Cake with only shavings of dark chocolate. For special occasions such as a birthday, I might reach for the pastry bag and decorate the cake with whipped cream rosettes. Continue reading


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Fifth generation is a charm

Kevin Miller

Steigerwalt, Ohl, Helfrich, Zimmerman… the surnames of many of our neighbors here in Pennsylvania Dutch country are utterly familiar to my German ears. Some locals, such as my friend Todd, can trace their ancestors back to the mid-1700s when Germans first settled in our township. Continue reading