Monday, June 14, 2010

The World Cup 2010 Series: Deutschland v. Australia

We interupt the regularly scheduled (Georgian) series and interject with the WORLD CUP 2010 SERIES!! I like soccer/football, but to be honest, I am no more of a soccer fan than I am a basketball or (American) football fan. That is to say, I enjoy watching a good game, I have the concepts down although some of the rules I still find confusing (Offsides?? Why? I still don't get it). But I loooove the World Cup. Soccer is the world's game and the World Cup is the world's tournament in a way that kicks the Olympic's ass. If you were to walk down the street in any German town last night from 8:30 - 10:30 p.m., you would find the streets barren and the sidewalks full. Every other front yard, bar, wine shop, kiosk, municipal building etc had a TV set up in front and a makeshift row of chairs arranged before it. There is a certain commaraderie of the World Cup that happens when Germany plays here that is infectious. And it's not only when Germany plays. In the Portuguese quarter when Portugal and Brazil play, in the Italian and Greek restaurants when Italy and Greece play, at the Ghanaian church when Ghana plays. And whether you are a fan of one of these teams or not, you might head over to one of these communities when their team is playing just to be part of that atmosphere. Just to drink whatever is being passed around and scream and blow on the ubiquitous vuvuzela (love them or hate them, they are as omnipresent in Germany as they are in South Africa).

So, to kick off Germany's first game of the tournament, we filled our front yard with fans and our table with meat and salads. I have to bow to Food 52 for the salad recipes: lemony green bean salad with feta, red onions and marjoram, the asparagus and radish salad with spring herb dressing and the BLT panzanella. I also whipped up some of my own American-style potato salad (i.e. with mayo, celery, green apple, hard-boiled egg and dill) and Judith fixed some German-style potato salad (i.e. with oil and gherkin). There were also green salads and crudité. And for dessert, everyone dug into Frauke's delicious strawberry quark (thick German yogurt) and Nicola's smashing rhubarb-strawberry rote grutze and a few handfuls of black, red and yellow gummi bärchen. 

And of course the centerpiece of any bar-be-que - the grill. In addition to the various shades of würsten, Susanne made her famous (at least in our house) miso lachs spies (salmon skewers marinated in a mixture of miso, mirin, sake and brown sugar - faaaabulous).

And I threw some American-style bauch rippen or ribs on the barbie, in the parlance of the team that Germany thrashed 4-0 in their World Cup opener. The bbq sauce is a work in progress and I hope to glean insight into the subtleties and nuances of the perfect sauce when we are in the States later this summer.

Well played and well fed - Germany's first World Cup game and our first World Cup cook-out were successes on both counts. SCHLAND!!!!

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