Monday, August 31, 2009

Good 'ol Red, White, and Blue

It doesn't take long, living in another country, to realize that " You can take the girl out of America, but you just can't take the American out of the girl."

Sunday we attended a pot-luck dinner. For those not familiar with the term, this just means that everyone brings a dish, with no particular menu planned... they really are the best. In preparation for what I was bringing, I flipped through my cookbooks trying to find what would be the perfect, easy to transport, outside picnic snack. When I proudly finish
ed my dish, and stood back to admire my handiwork, I thought... wow, does that ever look American!

But the thing is that I bought everything at a normal German grocery store, and with the exception of the tortilla shells found in the international section, all pretty regular foods... but how they were combined sends out a red beacon to the locals that this is not the usual German party dish... just subtly different.

Two years ago we had a birthday party and invited a bunch of our friends. One of our friends, who had lived the States for a few years, came rushing into the dining room quickly scanning the buffet table. I thought he just must have been really hungry, but later realized that he had been scanning the table to see if the ever popular American party platter of veggies and dip were present. "Yep, he exclaimed triumphantly, I knew it would be here!" What!?! Don't Germans eat veggies too? Yeah, but not usually in this way. Even when I go grocery shopping, my mother-in-law notices that the items in my shopping cart look different than the items in hers. Hmmmm... filled with things like bacon and eggs, cheddar cheese, taco ingredients, green asparagus, and everything else except for sandwich stuff.

Want to make Confetti Tortilla Spirals too?

Just mix 8 oz. of cream cheese (they have real Philadelphia cream cheese here and I couldn't be happier!) with 2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Add 1/4 cup of finely shredded zucchini, 1/4 cup of finely shredded carrots, and 3 chopped green onions. Mix well and evenly divide mixture onto 6 flour tortilla shells, spreading over the bottom 3/4 of the shell. Top with spinach leaves, roasted red peppers, and deli meat of your choice (I used ham, turkey, and cheddar cheese thinly sliced). Roll them up and use a serrated knife to cut them into 1 inch pieces. And there you have it... colorful, yummy, and very American... Mmmmm, enjoy!

10 comments:

  1. too funny- i had a similar situation this weekend too. I took a pie to a party and nobody took it in it's precut slices. They scooped the pie out of the pan like it was pudding! It was annoying and funny at the same time!

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  2. yum! this looks great. can you believe i can´t find cheddar cheese here? it´s my food staple when i´m in the states. i swear i can make 100 dishes with just that one ingredient... ok i´m off to catch up! sending you a big hug! besos! jane

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  3. Yeah, Allison, where ARE you getting your cheddar, girlfriend, because when I lived in HH, I could only find it at either the outdoor market on Isestrasse and it was the price of gold.

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  4. I can buy cheddar in the cheese sections of the Rewe/Tegut deli here - but it's a greasy orange British cheddar and it's not cheap. HOWEVER it kills the craving! =)

    I'm looking forward to some extra sharp Vermont white cheddar when I fly State-side at Christmas!

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  5. Jane, I had thought about you when I made a few rolls with cheddar. I am so, so, so sorry for you that you cannot find it... do you have any of the specialty English grocery shops?

    Diana, amazingly Edeka carries it. They used to have it in the regular cheese section, but now only carry it in the special cheeses section. Price of gold or not, I am willing to pay what I have to for my cheddar. Yummmmm!

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  6. Hi Juliette .. i had to laugh at this post, funny that you said "I bought everything from a normal german store" where else do you shop? I lived in Germany years ago, but I lived on a British base..so we had a shop for the British food, but most of my shopping was done in German stores.


    I never knew British cheese was Greasy and Orange!! Well that is what Juliette says!!

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  7. Anne - I think the cheddar cheese I can buy here (that has a British flag sticker on it) is greasy compared to the Vermont cheddar I'm used to - so I doubt anybody else would think it's greasy if they hadn't had the VT stuff. =)

    As for 'normal german stores' That was in Allison's original post - but at least where I am there are specialty cheese shops, so maybe that's why she differentiated. (?)

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  8. I could make them on the week..lot's of Chedder her ( I do like the very strong chedder ....yummy

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  9. Wow, had I known that cheddar cheese would be such a hot topic, I would have written about my favorite cheese before... especially extra sharp.

    Anne, What I meant by a "normal german store" is that I didn't have to go to a specialty store to find my ingredients.

    As for British cheddar cheese, I have no experience with that because the label on the cheese I buy says it comes from Ireland. I do not find it to be greasy, but satisfies my cravings quite nicely.

    Juliette, you have to eat a couple extra slices for me... yummmm! It's funny, months before I go home I dream of all the yummy food that I will eat when I get there. Let's just say that usually for the first week I am home, I eat breakfast sausage patties and Eggo waffles every morning for breakfast.

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