"The Russians have fan clubs for German biathletes."
Finn (my roommate’s boyfriend)
Eating turkey around Thanksgiving was a non-negotiable. Granted, I didn’t yet have a permanent kitchen or anything, but I wouldn’t let that stop me. Luckily, Jan’s wonderful roommate Elena, who is Italian, offered to help. That was all the excuse I needed. An email was sent, and my friends in the city were alerted to come over this past Sunday. And on Saturday, assured by Elena that a turkey could be bought at the supermarket, we made our way to Kaufland (literally, Buyland) to purchase Thanksgiving materials. She was correct, but the largest turkey we could find was all of 5 lbs. For twelve or so people, this would clearly not fly. Luckily, my patron saint of cooking, Mark Bittman, had created a wonderful braised turkey recipe (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/dining/12mini.html) that called for multiple sets of turkey. So, with three small turkeys in hand, we purchased the necessary provisions, and returned to the apartment. The next afternoon I began the lengthy process of defrosting the three turkeys in cold water, changing the water ever hour, as recommended by the Internet. I then cut up the three turkeys and begun a successful braise. I also mashed potatoes, which is probably the most non-negotiable part of Thanksgiving. Thankfully, people brought plenty of fantastic dishes. The whole evening was wonderful, the Turkey was fantastic, and the company was better. Happy Thanksgiving!
And me hard at work mashing potatoes.
Treptower Park and the Soviet Memorial:
I took these photos on my sunday visit to Treptower Park in the south east corner of Berlin. It’s a lovely park, along the river, and also contains a large war memorial built by the Soviets for their war dead. The site, which opening in 1949, is the burial ground of 5000 Red Army soliders. There are four statues in the site: Mother Russia crying for the loss of her sons, and three soliders (The Russian G.I. Joe is Misha, or Michael). Two are kneeling, holding submachine guns, and guarding the entrence to the site. The central figure, another solider, stands atop a broken swastika, sword in hand, while holding a young girl. Rough marble stones stand around the site depicting scenes of the Soviet War effort. Quotations from Stalin, in German and Russian decorate the narrow face of these stones. The reliefs were done in Soviet Realist style; Fans of WPA art will be right at home. An airplane depicted in Laguardia’s Marine Air Terminal mural is a dead ringer for the planes found in these reliefs. And why does Misha, sword in hand atop the crushed swastika, remind me of Michael the Archangel?