The weekend

July 16, 2012

Inspired by my recent revelations about life and taking advantage of what we do have, we decided to make the most of the weekend and try some new things. First off, I attempted a new bang braid (adapted from this tutorial) which miraculously looked OK after the first go-round. Usually anything new with my hair requires several attempts, accompanied by much swearing, so this was a big win for me (yes, I'm 32 years old and am just now figuring out how to do my hair properly). We first headed to the Frankfurt Kleinmarkthalle for a stop at the "Asia-Latino" booth for our usual Mexican food making stuffs - white corn flour for tortillas, chipotles in adobo sauce for anywhere/everywhere we want to add some spice, the best tortilla chips we've found in Germany, made, of all places, in Czech Republic - but finally brought our camera along and took our time really looking around. We took in the colorful produce, some of the best-smelling mint ever and discovered a little Italian shop on the top level we had never noticed before, complete with beautifully labeled wines in the window.

The Kleinmarkthalle is a close-quartered market full of more diversity and chatter than you will see on an average day in Germany. The closest you will get to this much interaction in a German grocery is someone trying to cut in front of you in line. Here, people are constantly asking you to try their delicacies or asking what you are looking for. People are proud of the things they are selling and want you to appreciate them. I tend to stay in the middle, with vast array of fruits, vegetables and spices one would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. The meat shops along the side, with their callously-splayed bunny carcasses and whole chickens and pigs that stare back at me frankly turn my stomach and make me momentarily consider vegetarianism. Though there was a charming old man at one of these store fronts I genuinely regret not pulling my camera out in time to capture. He was at the counter, gripping his newly purchased sausage in his fist - no Brötchen  or other accoutrements - and smiling ear to ear, eating with the excitement of a kid with an ice cream cone. Ahh, Germans and their Wurst....  

Wanting a little post-shopping drink, and since our little French wine stand in the Halle was closed, we decided to see what all the crowds were about at the wine tents just outside. The wine did not disappoint and the crowd was a low-key mix of swanky adults, with a couple little old ladies and one or two children playing quietly by themselves. In the fashion of true German weather, we got both a few drops of rain as well as some blindingly bright sunshine while we hung out. The wine was good enough to inspire a couple of bottles to make their way home with us as well. It was one of my favorite kinds of afternoons - filled with food, wine and whatever sunshine Germany can muster. 

Furthering our sense of adventure, we decided to take advantage of a recommendation from a reader for good Chinese food in Frankfurt. While we regularly eat Thai, Chinese is something it appeared we had left behind in the States, much like good burgers and American-style breakfasts. Now I've never been anywhere in Asia, let alone China, so for my worldly readers who are looking at this going "who the hell does she think she is? that is NOT Chinese food!" - I'm sorry. This was authentic Chinese to me the way that a good burrito is Mexican (read: not Mexican at all) - it's the take-out comfort food I'm used to from America. It was tasty, full of just the right amount of MSG and we ate a whole table's worth of food for a steal. Huge thanks for the recommendation on this place - we will most definitely be back!

Not ones to stop while we're ahead (especially where food is concerned), we pushed on, full bellies and all, to try the gelato also recommended by this dear reader. Once again, we wondered had taken us so long to get there. Thrilled to find mint ice cream (what is with German's aversion to mint..?), I coupled it, naturally, with bittersweet chocolate and tiramisu flavors. Heavenly. Not quite as good as real-Italian-in-Italy-gelato, but light years ahead of the shops in our town. I may even be so inclined as to take the train in on my own, just for a cup of this stuff.   

Eis Christina
Eckenheimer Ldstr. 78
60318 Frankfurt am Main
(go, now)

Considering we (ahem, I) spent Sunday mostly in front of my computer and not showering till, oh, 3pm, I'm rather happy we had an all-out, proper weekend excursion on Saturday. Until next weekend... (weather-permitting, of course)

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische