Monday, October 25, 2010

Fliegenpilze

A few weekends ago, I decided instead of a lonely weekend home alone, that I would pack the little one up and we would travel to be with my husband while he was working. Following him lead us out into the country, where the land is flat and one finds little more than fields and forests. Somehow the air is fresher, the quiet is more still, and one can sink into a deeper sense of awareness and reflection. Sometimes the simple way of life in the country can be an adventure for me... especially in a country that I have only called "home" for just a few years.

Sunday afternoon, with it's clear and crisp fall weather, lured us into the forest for a mushroom hunt. Wicker baskets in hand and stroller in tote, four generations set out to scour the forest floor for a few tasty treats for our evening meal. I would probably have to say that mushroom hunting is not so common for families in the States, but for many who call the countryside home in Germany, it is a wonderful yearly fall tradition.

For my husband it is the wide open flat fields filled with grains as far as the eye can see that speaks to the most inner part of his soul, but for me it is the forests that remind me of home. Somehow canopies of lush trees that fill the air with hearty, wooded aromas bring me to a place of inner peace. The tall pines were almost speaking, welcoming us as they creaked from swaying back and forth ever so slightly with the soft wind. Birds and other creatures create their own music and one is ever anticipating that glimpse of some great creature making it's way through the forest.

We even stumbled onto a big patch of "Fliegenpilze" (flying mushrooms) with their vibrant red caps that warn, that despite their beauty, of the danger that could follow should their enticing offerings be consumed. I have seen these funny little mushrooms, known for their red caps and white dots, over all here, certain that they were linked to some kind of folklore or fairytale that is well known in Germany. I really would really love to hear more stories about them! (Hint, hint...)

There is something so absolutely fulfilling from gathering from the land that which nature has provided and using it to sustain life... and oh, what a tasty treat it was!

What fall traditions are especially close to your heart?

5 comments:

  1. So nice reading your post! I love mushroom-hunting, too. I always went with my father-in-law; what are your favorite mushroom recipes?

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  2. I love to put sauces on mushrooms, and sometimes quite simply... teriyaki is quite tasty and I love a good peanut sauce too. My favorite mushroom is portabella, but I can't seem to find them anywhere here... they make a really delicious sandwich...mmmmm!

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  3. lovely! A woman from our church goes mushroom hunting and has made some tasty sauces with them. The only story I know about the Fliegenpilze is that my mother-in-law dressed up as one as a teenager one year (for Karnival?). I, too, would be interested in hearing more about them!

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  4. I am not a huge mushroom fan, but I do love them with sausage in a cream sauce served over noodles. Yummy! Fall Tradition is carving pumpkins, going for walks in the forest and hot apple cider. So on the German speaking. Our intention was to speak only German to our children since they would hear English through family, friends, and school. However, My German is ok. My Grammer is not so, but people are very kind to me. I am sure I sound like the eqivalant of a red neck or someone speaking getto. I can read it, but I can't write it anymore. So, I speak both German and English to my children while my husband only speaks German. They have been going to German school on Saturdays for the last 7 years. It is 2 1/2 hours long and goes throughout the school year. There are a few of these schools around the states. I would speak both to your child -he will figure it out. I would suggest that the next time you are in the states buying by a ton of English speaking books that you can read to your child. We also have an international DVD player that the children use to watch German movies. You can just use the English setting, the internet is great for getting free programing like Nick Jr, Disney, and PBS kids. Computer games in the language are great too. Also, when my oldest was little we belonged to a German speaking play group that meet once a week. I don't know if there are very many English speaking parents your area, but it is worth a try. Currently, we have one who is completely fluent and can switch back and forth, the second one can read it and understands but has to think about it before he speaks. He is going to his Oma's in May to go to school in Germany until the July break. The littlest is just learning words and can say things like Wie geht's and Ich liebe dich! Good luck!

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  5. Our quilt guild did a challenge using Michael Miller fabric that has gnomes and mushrooms on it. We could make anything we wanted, but it had to come with a story about our gnomes. It was great fun. Take a look at his collection at this link: http://www.michaelmillerfabrics.com/MMF/Swatch.cfm?&Kwds=gnomes

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