Monday, August 31, 2009

Essen, Bier und Katze

Jean-Luc die Katze

Hello everybody,

Everything is going according to plan, the bier is in storage, the katze is fattin’ up, and I'm ramping up the cooking.
The winter bandito has arrived to town a week early and started to scare off the ducks that hang out in the pond and summer sure is in a hurry to make its exit. I do hear around these parts that winter starts early September.
And I believe it, because it's starting to get colder in the mornings and the evenings are no longer humid.
With that said, the sunsets have been gorgeous these last couple of days, but are suspiciously looking like Indian Summer Nights.
I dare say I put these German sunsets right up there with the skies of Texas, Oregon and Shelton. I’ll try to take pictures this evening.

We headed for Munich this past weekend to the King Tutankhamen Exhibit…quite the sight. I did not take my camera or I would have had pictures to share. I figure cameras would not be allowed, but to my surprise people had their cameras and, can you believe, were using their flashes. I was shocked. I was standing in front of King Tut’s funeral mask and couldn’t really have a good look because all the camera flashes were reflecting of the mask and blinding me. Camera flashes...what the crap.

The immensity of the whole thing was quite a surprise and only 40% of the artifacts were recovered upon discovery, the rest was looted. I really enjoyed looking at his daily use chairs and his coffin. His coffin was enclosed within two other coffins which were made of 296 pounds of gold. Then they were encased in five other larger golden boxes/coffins, the last box covering the all the boxes, something like 18ft tall, 25ft long, and 16 ft wide and it was considered small.
His coffins were set up kind of like the way Russian dolls work, a small doll within a larger one, with in a larger one and so on and these gold leaf boxes are huge (I’m calling them boxes because at the moment what they are really called escapes my mind, as silly as I might be, it might be coffins).
I highly recommend visiting the exhibit when it hits town again. It went through Portland a year ago and we didn’t get a chance to go.


This is an Arugula, Ricotta, and Bulgur Wheat pie. This is my first attempt at a winter dish. The other little meat things are of my own creation borrowed from a local dish called, Rouladen. I marinated what I believe was thin cut skirt steak with red wine, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for about two-three hours or longer if you like. I then wrapped them around slices of orange bell pepper with mustard and cooked the whole thing in the oven at 325 degrees until they looked ready, probably removed from oven slightly under cooked, because you don’t want to be eating beef jerky.
If I had the time I would brown them on a pan, then cook them in the oven and make a brown sauce to pour over the meat to help with dryness . . . next time.

The cantaloupe is from Italy and it is so good!!! I didn’t think I can save any in the freezer, because it just won’t taste the same. Unless I make ice cream out of it…hmmmm...Eis


Kapuziner Weissbier

So far one of my favorite Weissen biers. Mir Lieblings-Bier ist Kapuziner. No lemon for this guy, it would just ruin the beer. As one can see from the picture, I have learned to pour a Weissbier to Germland standards I so, if I could only drum as good as these beers.

Oh yeah, I am walking with out a brace now and I played my drums for the first time last week...I mean really played them. I also got to take a ten mile bike ride last week. Ankle is doing okay and that's all I'll say, don't want to jinks myself.

until next time,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weetabix and Fast Driving

Hello Everybody,

We've just returned from the Herzo Polizei Department with Rene's Purse.

Doesn't she look thrilled!

Thank the heavens~

Just in case you didn't know...

This purse is a sacred artifact...really. This purse comes from the Drummucus God, Martzequatl the Kleine and was given to Rene as a gift...really.

Many moons ago, on the morn of a chilly March day, Martzequalt traveled to a distant land (this was when he was mortal, so the legend goes). When he arrived to his destination he traveled far and near, high and low. He traveled as far as he could, until he heard a tale of a known place where magic lavished the streets abound.

Needless to say, he journeyed to this most sacred of places and upon his arrival he was consumed with much joy, because he had found the greatest place on this mortal earth.
To his surprise the place was a fortress with walls built of crystal. While wandering through the city, because this is what he did, he wandered and wondered until his heart was pleased, he stumbled upon a rare emerald purse, the kind fairytales are weaved from.

He was enthralled by such beauty, for there were many other purses, but this purse had a siren song that rang true in his ears. It was as though this object sang just to him, he was posessed by the object, for he knows what needed to be done. The purse needed a rightful owner.
So he prepared and surveyed the landscape, when he was ready, he did battle with the gatekeepers and when he was done he was no longer mortal, but a King among Kings, for he had seized the greatest gift known to man.

And because he was merciful, he paid the gatekeepers with trinkets of silver for his time and walked through the crystal made labyrinth.

When the day came to depart, he lifted anchor and boarded the flying vessel that floated across the sea to find the one and only sanctified being that was blessed to poses such a purse.
And on the hollow grounds among the rolling hills of St. John a gift was given and received. And for years the gift remained untouched…or so the story goes…until.

On an humid July evening, when the stars were hidden behind clouds that threaten of rain, the wolves ventured into the streets from their caves and there they prowled and struck silently on an innocent unaware.

On discovery of her lost gem, the White Princess was quite aware that she did declare that her purse was no where…no where to be found that is.

For many nights she would talk to Martzequalt the Kleine, and wished her purse back and unknown to the wolves, was that the White Princes had contacted her CFCU Minions and had now guarded herself from such events, voodoo some would say.

Misfortune was doubly for the wolves, for when the purse was acquired, many moons ago of course, a magical spell was placed upon the purse which, as legend goes said, any who tried to wield the purse without being true of heart would never own the purse, for the purse had a way of finding its true owner.

But what of the voodoo you ask, well it is a kind of white magic woman voodoo, only known by the owner of the purse.

As a precaution, the items in the purse were said to be hexed with a voodoo spell so powerful that even the Gods themselves were afraid to take the purse from the White She Devil and as a result, the wolves are no where to be seen…or so the stories goes.

The End...of this story.

Rothenberg Tower 1

We tried visiting Rothenberg this past weekend, but the place is a tourist magnet, including us. So we went with our original plan and went down Romantich Strasse or Romantic Road. Not to be confused with the feelings or sentiments of being, it is more about the romantic period as I was so corrected. The Romantic Road stretches south from, Wurzberg to Munich. We traveled from the middle northward towards Wurzberg. A great road tour of the country side, beautiful. But everyone drives so fast.


This is my new favorite cereal!!!

Will try to post more,


As of 10 minutes ago, my historical research assistant brought to my attention that the romantische strasse was a major north-south trade route during the middle ages.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blaut Drachenblut

Hello Everybody...

I am glad to report that Rene's purse thieves have been caught and are now enjoying a nice time in a German prison... The purse still has yet to make it home. It was being held for finger-printing. We're not holding our breath.

Herzo Chruch Bells

I've been doing some recon and found out the history of our church bells, which were established sometime circa 1000 c.e. The way the story goes is...during WWI the German army needed iron to make cannons and went removing all the church bells from Bamberg to Herzo. The army removed the local church bells traveled them down to a dorf near Munich, but here's the rub, when the army arrived they realizied they didn't have enough coal to melt down the bells, so they ended up putting all the church bells in a cellar built into a hill and stayed there until after WW2. The clergy traveled down during the rebuilding of many of cities in Germany and searched for their church bells. To their discovery they found their bells and had them returned back to the city. So the bells you heard in the video are bells that are over 900 years old.


Here is the new beer review:

The Bier:

Zimbus' Drachenblut Das Ritterbier

Many hugs,


Monday, August 10, 2009

Catch and Release

Hello all,

Sorry for such a long wait between posts, I am trying to recover from my sprained ankle. Last Monday I went on an EXTREME MOUNTAIN BIKE not really, went into the forest and the trails happen to have tree roots that stick out like knuckles from under the foliage and in all that jostling I re-injured my tendon. Thus, no real filming has taken place, I did try to record a "How to Cook" segment but in reviewing the footage, about half was not recorded. I don't know what went wrong, but I'll try again.

I am starting to look grizzly.
Lets take a vote: Shave or no shave.
Leave your vote in the comment area.

In other news:

Rene got her purse stolen this weekend in Nuerenbreg, I'm not even going to check the spelling of Neurenburg, Nyonburg, Nienberg, because I'm still a little upset. We were having a pleasant evening with Rene and her coworkers, sort of like a team building/birthday party/deciphering Brit talk gathering. When the time came to settle up, the purse was gone! No where to be seen. We all scrambled to look for the purse, we went outside, walked around the building, etc..., nothing.
A friend called the Popo and within five minutes, poof, they were writing down all our info and such. The Germ police were quite helpful, they let us know what usually happens when a purse is stolen. We were told that in the best case, the purse would be found with everything except any paper money, worst being, we wouldn't see the thing again, sounds about right.
We were in shock, particularly Rene, because she has never had a purse stolen, me on the other hand have had many of my favorite purses stolen, I sure miss my fuzzy teal one. But to have thievery in Germland! Where that sort of thing is verboten and would be seen as a cowardly act, ist nein, nein, nein.
On the plus side, I received a call yesterday that the purse had been recovered with all the important items, minus the money and best of all the Germ Police mailed to our house. The purse should arrive today or tomorrow. I thought that was way nice, plus it would save us a trip into Noberg the land of Thieves, just kidding I still like the place. I mean come on it was completely flattened during WW2 and rebuild. Walking around the Altstad and seeing where all the destruction once took place and seeing first hand the cobblestone streets and sandstone buildings that survived the bombing is impressive.

Now for some fun in Skypeland.
Sorry, no one was spared.

Mr. Noodle eating A's hand.

The real Hall and Oats, can you guess who's who?

Grosse Stilwell and Kleine Stilwell


The NoPo Connection

Can you hear me yet?

I know it's only been two months since we left but, seeing these pictures puts a tear in my bier

I have no idea how these pictures made into the blog.


Look at me back here, I'm John Oats.

Little Noodle

Big Noodle

More Noodles

Rene scaring Little Noodle

I know I forgot some peeps, Mrs. Stilwell lucked out and we have not skyped with the Shelton Duo, Clan Marcy, or B&C yet, but fear not there will be more to come.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bamberg Smoked Beer


That's right, smoked beer.

The video:

While I found the beer to be fairly OK, Renee thought it was excellent, but would maybe stick to drinking just one, perhaps two, depending on the food or mood she is in. I'm OK with just one. I didn't wake up feeling like I had been around a camp fire, could be because I only had one. Everyone I've spoken with mentions the side effects of being smilar to those when one has been around a camp fire all night, and awakes feeling like ones lungs have caved in, I believe it is partly due to the amount consumed. Perhaps I need more testing.

Other than that I believe you all would appreciate the brew. It is quite unique, but I feel like I have had something similar back in Portland, I just can't remember which beer it was. I've been slowly taking notes and have begun to collect beer in our basement for future taste testing. I just need testers...anyone interested???

Unitl next time,


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Everyday Mittelalter Living

(To be read in a German accent..)

Hallo alle,

Guten Morgen, Guten Tag, und Guten Abend, depending on when you read this blog. Alles gut und we went out this weekend to two Festivals. One in Nuernberg and the other in our own little village. I have to say that all 25,000 people that lie in the village were out and about Sonntag. Both festivals were quite fun. The bigger festival was in Nuernberg called, Bardentreffen, which was unbelievable. I thought the SWMusic Festival in Austin was big, no way.
The bigger of the two festival was held in the Nuernberg Altstadt, or downtown Nuernberg. From what I've read and heard around here, the Altstadt was 90% destroyed during WW2 and 40,000 people survived the bombing raids because the city had underground tunnels and kellers(cellars) that housed beer. Thus, I've heard beer saved Nuernberg. I'm planning on visiting the museums and visit these underground tunnels in person. I'll make sure I have my camera like a good tourist.

Here you'll see some pictures of the Medieval Festival here in Herzo. We awoke fairly early and went to the village center and rubbed elbows with the natives...sort of. Quite enjoyable. You'll see in the video a picture of us having an espresso mit grappa and a hot chocolate. Also a treat, because as you've seen in other videos I've been drinking instant coffee which is good but not great.

Friday night while Renee was in Nuernberg with a coworker I got to take an hour and half bike ride through the forest to a Beer garden at a local dorf (smaller village). The mountain bike trails are awesome, I can't wait to take those of you who would like to go mountain biking through the trails. Oh yeah, don't bring yellow clothes, for some strange reason, that I haven't figure out the bugs around here are fond of the color yellow and will make close friends with anyone wearing the color. The farmers use these yellow pieces of plastic coverd with glue to attract bugs away from their berries. Anyway, remember no yellow. Plus you'll stand out as a foreigner.
Ok well here is some video footage of the Medieval festival. Oh yes, for those of you that like beer, I have aquired a most unique beer brewed from smoked hops from the city of Bamberg. I will be tasting this beer quite soon, in fact in a matter of hours now. I will post my results, until then keep on trucking.

Wir vermissen Dich,