Linda’s Christmas Dinner

Linda and Immo decided to treat us (Jason, Mike, Sara, Ma Ying, Steffi, and I) to a delicious, what I thought to be elaborate, but for Linda, quite easy, German Christmas dinner. We had dinner on the earlier side so that we could partake in other festivities happening later on in the evening (see my next post for further explanation). Linda cooked this meal entirely of her own accord, with a little knife action from me, and a bit of assistance from Immo, but as I said it was really her thing. It’s amazing how she is able to whip up food rather quickly. 
I also happily opened gifts from Tine (brought from Germany by Immo), Linda, and Ma Ying. 
Linda put up some decorations to give the apartment a bit of a festive atmosphere. These were Christmas cards she received from friends and family back home. 
My table setting. The one really significant contribution I made to our meal, in addition to helping Linda clean and cut vegetables. 
Linda’s meal: vegetables with a very light herb sauce, pork roast with a mushroom cream sauce, Chinese noodles called ma shi (I don’t know the characters), which were a substitution for a German potato noodle dish (see clarification below), and green beans with pork fat (a rendition of green beans and bacon). 


Some clarification about the noodles we ate, via Linda: 
The “noodles” (actually we don’t call them noodles, but they are kind of, because they are made out of flour, eggs and water-dough) are called “Spätzle” or “Knöpfle” and they are from the South of Germany, where Steffi is from and my parents and grandparents.
The ma shi we ate look more like Knöpfle:

Spätzle are normally longer and thinner:

The dough for Spätzle and Knöpfle is the same, just the way you prepare it is different.

What I wanted to say: There is NO potato inside. What you meant is Gnocchi, they are made with a potato-dough .. but Spätzle consists only of flour, egg, water; nothing else.


Everything was delicious and I was very grateful to have leftovers for the next couple of days. 
Dessert: Red wine cake and Chocolate Mousse. 
Reading Tine’s card. 
For Tine! Posing with our beautifully handcrafted cards. 
Gifts from Tine: A beautiful bracelet and face moisturizer from Lush. 
Linda’s gift: earrings! Funny story… I had complimented Linda on the earrings she was wearing several days before Christmas and her and Immo shared a glance, because Linda was in fact wearing the same earrings I received, just in a different color. 
Linda’s apple! This was a gag gift of sorts. As I explained in my last entry, Chinese give their friends or boyfriend/girlfriend an apple. It came in that very “cute” box. 
Linda’s earrings I bought for her. She complained I bought her too many Christmas presents, three to be exact, but in fact I mentioned all the presents she has bought for me over this term, so I felt it fair. In fact, it was comical because one of her friends, who visited from Beijing, just sent her a package. It was a datebook, in which he wrote various things. One thing he mentioned was that if Linda wasn’t impressed with the datebook, she could always give it to me. He couldn’t forget that during his visit Linda was always on the lookout for things to buy for me! 
Ma Ying’s gift. One for me and one for Jason. The pink bunny is Jason’s! Can’t wait to see his reaction when I give it to him tomorrow, although Chinese men don’t have such aversions to the color pink like most American men. 
My spoils. 

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