Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Open Mind Festival

Hello Everybody,

Well I’m definitely starting to feel antsy. The weather around here has been all doom and gloom, I thought Portland weather was harsh, but compared to this weather, it’s cake walk. There’s been nothing but grey washing over everything, though it makes the surrounding area look quite vivid for pictures, it is also damp and muggy. A reminder that Fall has arrived, as I was reminded yesterday at the post office, speaking of which.

Yesterday while at the post office, I found out that the postman is Brazilian. We had a fairly good conversation in Spanish, which made everyone at the store stare at me just a little more, as if the beard wasn’t enough right.

Apparently, his mother married a German and later moved back to this Herzo village where his father grew up. He is the second local German I have met that has lived outside of Germany for more then ten years and has returned to his homeland. I’m starting to wonder, and this may sound silly and showing my lack of further investigation, but from walking around town and meeting these two individual, I have begun to get a sense that the “tribe feeling” I have read about in my German cultural books is true. That their is a shared sense of awareness among the people of the village, a sense of belonging to each other, well not simplify it, because it’s more complicated than that. Thus when one leaves and returns, she/he can pick up right where they left off. Although I should ask the Brazilin German if he feels like he’s part of the larger cultural community of Herzo. Anyway, long story short…

As he was helping me send off my mail, he noticed my name and said, “Where is your family from?” I said, “Well, the U.S., but we have roots in Mexico, France and perhaps South America. He said, “Oh, Spanish. You are a little too tall to be all Mexican.” I said,“We come in all shapes and sizes.” Any way after he found out I could speak Spanish, which is not quite like Portuguese, he began talking to me in a Spanish/Portuguese mix, it felt good talking to a person in a language where we both understood each other. He was a nice guy, he even gave me a discount, as he put it, for being one of his people.


We went to another festival, this time it was called, Open Mind Festival in Grafenberg a quaint dorf near Forcheim. The people seemed a lot cooler that the peeps around here and I would say that the villages are about the same size. I should figure out which place is older and what do the demographics of the population say. We ventured to this new land to see a friend of ours, who happens to also be a drummer and performing that evening, it made me a little jealous. The festival was small, but the food was great and the music was good. Sorry no pictures. I am upset at my camera at the moment, well the batteries. Something about my camera just sucks the life out of batteries. I need to figure out what is happening to my camera. I did contemplate buying a video camera…we’ll see, also German electronics are expensive, plus I have to figure out how to use it back in the U.S.

We also made it into their on line newspaper check it out here:

While Stanley went with us to the festival, he stayed in the car. He was still quite tired from our previous adventure. Plus he’s getting ready for our Turkey adventure.



This time I made spare ribs with scalloped potatoes and the whole time I kept thinking how proud Cindy (my sister) would be of Rene had she been here to watch her eat up all the ribs. I have quite fond memories of visiting home and watching my sister chow down about 16 spare ribs, ok that’s a bit excessive, but it was quite a bit. At that time, I would say she could probably out eat my brother-in-law, and anyone who has met him knows he can put away some food. I hope I don’t embarrass them, but I do hold these memories near my heart. OK…moving on.

The Ribs:

Slow cooked and glazed in the oven at about 325 degrees for about 2 or 2 and 1/2 hours. Flipping over and glazing every 10 to 12 minutes.

Glazing: (quite easy, I cheated a bit because I didn’t want to take the time to mix the molasses and every thing else needed to make a time)

Take some Worcestershire Sauce and mix in, garlic powder, pepper and salt and lastly, honey. I tend not to measure because I go with my gut feeling, mix the ingredients until the shire sauce is quite viscous, thick. Taste it, if it’s not sweet enough add some more honey, the same goes for the garlic. Not too much, you want a right balance of sweet and tart. When it taste to your liking it’s ready for the ribs. Also you need enough glaze to last a least an hour and half. So if I have to measure the amount, I would say about 3/4 cup of glaze. You want the glaze to be thick on the pig, so I suggest the more the merrier. Don’t forget that you are pulling out the ribs glazing and flipping them every 10 to 12 minutes for 1 hour and 45 minutes and then let them cook rib side down for the last 15 minutes. I bet it would taste better cooked even longer, I’ll have to try that, you just have to be careful because we’re not make jerky. I suggest if you have an outdoor grill, even better, do it on the grill over mesquite briquettes…man I miss having mesquite.

Which reminds me, you are only allowed to bar-be-queue. something like three or four times a year. You’ll get a fine if someone turns you in for using your outdoor grill to often…lame. Back to the ribs.

You should end up with something like I made and it’s quite easy. This was my first attempt at cooking glazed spareribs, so if I can do it, anyone can.

As a side, I also made scalloped potatoes. I’m still working on that, can’t quite figure out how to make it stay all together. I followed a James Beard recipe and still it wasn’t quite right. If anyone has a suggestion let me know.

We’ll I guess this is all for now. IF you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting on a consistent basis, it’s because I’m trying to post twice a week. I think it makes things more interesting that way. I can’t keep writing what we did the night before everyday. I think it would get boring. Plus, do you all really want to know how often I shower?

Ok then, here’s a picture to keep you laughing for a while.

ImageCheck Spelling

Missing yous,


P.S. A Belated Happy Anniversary to the Noodles.


Barbara said...

Yes, yes.. Ralph can eat.. but he cut back a lot. He can't be a fatty and pass fitness tests in the Marshals. Love the pics you weirdo! :) You should have Stanley grow a beard with you.

Martin said...

I did think about making different version of Stanley. Oh yeah, you're the weirdo, I just have a beard.

Amy said...

Thanks for the laughs Marteen. I have what I think is a great scalloped potato recipe - lots of onions - I'll send it along later today when I'm at home. Love to you both!