As the daughter of a home economics teacher, (Hauswirtschaftsleiterin) cooking has always been a part of my life. My mother would always narrate every meal that she would fix. Much to her dismay, by the time I left home, she thought that I had not learned to cook despite all her efforts. I did listen to her instructions, but felt no need to experiment, fearing that it would be added to my list of chores. But this secret grew into a passion and I find that I very much enjoy cooking.
I find it sometimes challenging and sometimes exciting to cook in a whole other country. Germany, as I like to call it "the land of bread and potatoes", while it may hold some similarities to the States, offers products quite different than I am used to and leaves behind many with which I am familiar. This has forced me to abandon many of my favorite recipes and caused me to create whole new concoctions. For me it has almost been a reinventing of sorts.
My other big challenge in Germany is to simply find water without bubbles and with ice cubes. Most Americans would find this absence absurd, while most Germans find the presence of it equally so. I love these sweet water glasses that I brought with me from the States. I knew that my newly formed acquaintance, who later became one of my best friends, was truly a kindred spirit when she offered me water out of the same glasses that I had at home in my own cabinets. She gave me her remaining 5 glasses to match my set when she got married, which often makes me think of her.
...But my husband has been the lucky recipient of all my "Americanized" experiments (including the ice), and despite his slender built, he makes sure that all that I fix is sampled to the full. My mother quite amusingly says that keeping my husband well feed is like "job security"... let's just say that his thorough enjoyment of my cooking has already revealed the way to his heart.