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10 posts from November 2012

Kutmühle Villingen (Constance)

  Constancebakery5

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Constancebakery1

In Constance, I loved a bakery and a lake. The bakery was tucked into one of the shopping streets that wind through the old town: the window display of flours with the winning old-fashioned packaging caught my eye on my first afternoon there. On the shelves within were pillowy Quark pretzels and braided meter-long Mohnstollen and Nußstollen, which the women behind the counter would slice to order, revealing melting layers of poppy seeds or coarse walnuts embedded in succulent marzipan. Small packets of dry goods included a grain risotto of barley, lentils, rye and wild rice. Sheets of A4 paper were pinned to the wall and printed in Times Roman 12 type, explaining in plain poetry that their bread was bread: flour, water, salt and nothing else. 

I returned there the next morning after I walked around the lake. The tiny cafe in the front was full. Resisting the urge to buy kilograms of spaetzle flour, I took home a cotton bag emblazoned with their royal blue logo and a slice of still-warm chocolate cake for the train ride home.

Kutmühle Villingen, old-fashioned bakery with a small cafe, Wessenbergstr. 23, Konstanz-Altstadt (map). The bakery is one of a tiny chain in Baden-Württemberg.

On a pub window

Investyourmoney

"Invest your money in alcohol ! Where else will you get 38%?"


Lake Constance, Dawn

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I had timed my departure for the dawn, but sunrise was only a bluing of the air.

 

What little light there is

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Far south today, and nostalgic for the light that pools on our living room wall in the late morning.

 

PS: Thanksgiving is almost here. Is there anywhere or anything I should add to this list?

Balikci Ergün (Fish in Berlin)

Tiergarten approach

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Fish restaurant

Continue reading "Balikci Ergün (Fish in Berlin)" »

Greenery & cobblestones

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A few moments of autumn light to brighten this misty day. (The berries are wizened now.)

Thanksgiving Berlin old

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Hi there! I'm updating this post for 2012 at the moment. Suggestions of where to celebrate Thanksgiving or find that perfect turkey? Do leave a comment or drop me a line at hello [at] berlinreified.com .


But now that the autumn leaves are gathered, let’s talk turkey! Buoyed by the turkey-themed magazines on the newsstands here I’ve begun dreaming about this year’s Thanksgiving spread. I know from previous years that November 25th will be here in a flash. In a fit of industry I spoke with various butchers, shops and chefs, and I've written up a few notes to help my fellow Berliners plan your Thanksgiving feast. This is very much a work in progress, so do let me know what to add.

The Turkey

Update 2012: Forgive me but I haven't managed to call around to the butchers and update the ordering details.
Germans eat turkey for Christmas, if at all, so it's good to organize your bird in advance, particularly if you want an organic turkey. Plan on 500 grams per person when ordering, more if you're fond of leftovers.

Friends have recommended the following local butchers. Be sure to clarify the giblet situation in advance: A few butchers include the traditional heart, stomach and livers. Others ask you to buy these items in advance, and you sometimes need to ask for them separately.

Of course, most Fleischereien will be able to sort a bird out if you give them a week's notice, and the poultry man at the venerable KaDeWe says he has a generous supply of turkeys in stock for the spontaneous. Do let me know if you have a butcher in an unlisted district to recommend!

Charlottenburg
Rogacki, Wilmersdorfer Str.145/46, Berlin-Charlottenburg (map)
M-W 9am-6pm Th 9am-7pm, Fr 8am-7pm, Sa 8am-4pm
Tel. 030 3438250
"Ganz normale" battery turkey are available for 6.95/kg. Giblets are included for no additional charge. Order by November 22 for a Thanksgiving pick-up. Update 2012: Leslie says they've got turkeys on offer even when not ordered in advance.

Friedrichshain
Fleischerei Domke, Warschauer Str. 64, Berlin-Friedrichshain (map)
M-F 6:30am-10pm, Sa 7:30am-10pm, Su 10am-10pm
Tel. 030 2917635
No details on their turkey prices yet (tell me if you know?) but their birds and sides are said to be amazing.

Prenzlauer Berg
Fleischerei Gottschlich, Prenzlauer Allee 219, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg (map)
Not only does Mr. Gottschlich sell turkeys, he's also accommodated requests for turducken and short ribs. He says his English isn't so good but he was charm itself in German.

Schöneberg
Albrecht: Wild & Geflügel seit 1927, Akazienstraße 4, Berlin-Schöneberg (map)
Tel. 030/782 13 81
Open M 10am-6pm, Tu-Fr 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-2pm
The friendly butcher explained that his organic turkey aren't slaughtered til December, but conventional turkey is available for 8.39/kg. He sells turkey liver for gravy; all other parts need to be ordered separately. Order by November 19th to pick up your turkey on Thanksgiving.

Kaufhauf des Westens (KaDeWe), Tauentzienstraße 21, Berlin-Schöneberg (map)
Tel. 030/21212415 (poultry counter)
Open M-Th 9.30am-8pm, Fr-Sat 9.30am-9pm
The garrulous head of the poultry country told me Thanksgiving in Berlin hasn't been the same since the American military families left, but the KaDeWe keeps a range of birds in stock up to the big day. Battery turkeys are 6.98/kg, organic ones are 13/kg (update: but it seems even these are not free-range). He sells giblets for 5.98/kg. Order by the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Wedding
Fleischerei Uwe Bünger, Müllerstr. 156, Berlin-Wedding (map)
This bustling local butcher sells free-range Neuland turkeys whose living conditions are carefully monitored. 14.90/kg, giblets (heart, liver, neck) are included for free. Order by the 19th for a Thanksgiving pick-up.

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The stuffing/dressing
Since you can't turn to admittedly-terrifying bags of stuffing mix, you'll want a sturdy white bread that won't fall to bits nor stay too stodgy. Let me suggest cubing Soluna's La Boule or else what's called französisches Landbrot and sold at many of the organic bakeries (you'll find a photo here). Vacuum-packed chestnuts are easy to find in Berlin grocery stores and often more affordable than in the States, so I'm fond of them as an addition.

The mashed potatoes
Adretta potatoes have always worked well for my garlicky mash. Look out for potatoes described as mehlig or mehligkochend (ie floury potatoes): they're the best substitute for russets.

The pies
I've never been such a fan of canned pumpkin, so I can't say it's something I hanker for, though you can find it at the KaDeWe and Broken English. In Berlin, I turn to the hokkaido for pumpkin pie filling (to make see this detailed tutorial). Lately, I've abandoned spices altogether, savoring the plain flavor of the squash itself, but if I were in the market for that mix of cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg, I would visit Pot & Pepper. And if you want apple pie, well, most Cox and Elstar apples are great for baking, keeping their shape and striking a balance between sweet and sharp. Most organic shops stock pecans. You'll have to buy your pie pan on Amazon though, or does someone know a source in Berlin? Or see a special offer for homemade organic pies below...

The sweet potatoes
Süßkartoffel are sold at most organic shops in the city, including the Bio Company chain. Broken English carries bags of marshmallows for 2.70 a pop at all their locations.

The cranberry sauce
Cranberries can be found at Kaiser's grocery stores and most organic shops, though as Daniel warns you, shop early to avoid disappointment. Update: German-grown cranberries are on sale this week at the viv BioFrischeMarkt organic shops for 3.49 for 200 grams.

Odds & Ends
Where to buy vanilla extract is a perpetual question. Here's a wonderful recipe to make your own, or you can buckle in and pay a lot for it. Goldhahn & Sampson carries organic fairtrade vanilla by Steenbergs (100 ml for 12 EUR) and the KaDeWe has McCormick's the last time I checked.

Turkey on the town

Update 2012: Kitchensurfing is organizing a Thanksgiving feast to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. 30 EUR includes all the trimmings. November 22nd, Lausitzer Str. 10, Berlin-Kreuzberg.  

Update 2012: Sadly Becca is no longer doing private catering. If you're celebrating at home, Rebecca Cole of Everyday Catering Berlin will take care of your sweets and sides, including all-organic pumpkin, apple and chocolate pecan pie, sweet potato casserole and homemade cranberry sauce. I tried her pumpkin pie last year and it was scrumptious. Find her complete Thanksgiving specials here. 10% off if you mention Berlin Reified.

Update 2012: The Speak Easy supper club, run by an artist and a chef, is doing a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, November 24th. 37 EUR for three courses; book by November 22nd.

Suzy Fracassa of Fortuna's Feast is hosting four nights of Thanksgiving goodness (Update 2012: November 22 only, 20 EUR for turkey and all the trimmings, 28.50 EUR will get you soup and dessert too) at her much-beloved supper club. Reading the line-up -- spiced roasted carrots, homemade rum cranberry sauce -- my mouth began to water. There are also meatless options for vegetarians. Book early! feast [at] fortunastable dot de .

RosaCaleta is doing a Jamaican Thanksgiving with jerk turkey, pineapple and clove-roasted pork, sweet potato souffle and more. Vegetarian subs are available, and dinner is a steal at 24 EUR (Update 2012:  29 EUR). Reserve your spot at info [at] rosacaleta dot de . 

Kevin Avery of Little Otik tells me that while he isn't planning anything specific for Thanksgiving, they will have pumpkin pie and some Thanksgiving-inspired dishes around the 25th. He says "I think Americans looking for their Thanksgiving fix would be happy with a meal at Little Otik!" and I'm sure he's right.

The Midtown Grill, a Potsdamer Platz steakhouse, has a Thanksgiving buffet including drinks for 49 EUR per person (Update 2012: 69 EUR per person) on Thursday November 22nd (6:30pm-11pm). (I'm not sure it's a good sign that this information is only available in German.) (Update 2012: In English now.)

The American Church in Berlin is hosting their 8th annual Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, November 27th. I haven't heard the best things about the food served, but the atmosphere is said to be warm and welcoming. Update 2012: The 10th edition now; do reserve in advance.

What else?
Do leave a comment with your own suggestions or questions so that this guide may evolve!