So we weren’t anywhere near where that pictures was taken, but we had a pretty rockin’ Silvester in Unterhaching. We were hosted by one of PC’s teammates for a night of raclette, feuerzangenbowle, and fireworks.
Now I have had fondue on many occasions, but this was my first raclette encounter. While the meal still revolves around ooey gooey cheese, the preparation is different. You load up a flat spatula/trowel tool with slices of potato, ham, onions, corn whatever floats your boat. Then you layer on a thick slice of cheese, and put your trowel under the heating element of a raclette grill (you can see it below). Wait (if you have that kind of willpower) until the cheese is a sort of magma blanket over your potatoes and such, scrape it onto your plate and feast on that baby. Delicious.
In the way of beverages, we met the love child of glühwein and flaming rum punch: Feuerzangenbowle. You begin with red wine, orange slices, cinnamon, various other spices, and place it in a pot over a heating element. Then the fun begins. You balance a cone of sugar over the warm wine, and begin to saturate the cone with heaping ladelfuls of high proof rum. If that fails to impress you, the next step involves setting the cone on fire.
For any of you daring enough to make this blue-flaming libation. There’s a recipe here.
Midnight found us outside, tapping further into our pyromaniac potential. The fireworks were out. of. control. Coming from California and Australia where a warmer climate limits the availability and legality of shooting off fireworks, we were stunned by the display. Every man woman and child took part in the hours long spectacle. Rockets that one would normally have to procure from Mexico, were in the hands of every yokel. There seemed to be no authority or public entity organizing the free for all. Thank God we weren’t in Munich. Unterhaching is a sleepy, baby-filled family town, and the fireworks were pretty impressive. I can’t imagine the prospect of standing shoulder to shoulder with a mass of humans in Marienplatz who all intend to simultaneously unleash their explosives. From the stories I’ve heard, it’s legitimately dangerous. Anyways…here’s a taste of what we experienced in Unterhaching.
Perhaps I’m lame, but once it’s midnight and there’s been a proper amount of hooting and hollering, I’m ready for bed. Apparently here, people stay up well into the morning hours. We learned this the hard way as we unintentionally hurt our host’s feelings for heading home at 2:30 am. We lived, we learned, we set stuff on fire. It was a good night.
With a new year came new snow. PC and I took a walk to the park to see all of the families testing out their sleds on the fresh blanketing. It was one of those “ahhh” moments watching exuberant little faces zooming down the hills on their sleds, smiling and waving at their happy parents. Of course I’m a terrible person and laughed every time someone ate it.