December 20, 2010

Do you like this?

When I first arrived in Germany (back in the olden days), I didn't know that you were meant to eat sausage and mashed potato for Christmas dinner.

I worked in a primary school in Wilmersdorf, and actually deep-down inside, I was fully aware that I was teaching a bunch of rich kids. Their clothes were better than mine, teilweise. Actually scrap that teilweise. Their clothes were better than mine, full-stop.

After the holidays were over I was given the job of making up a chart where I recorded what all the kids had eaten for Christmas dinner.

Thing is, when I thought of Christmas dinner I was thinking of CHRISTMAS dinner: turkey, sprouts, carrots, parsnips, roast potatoes (boiled potatoes, too), plus Yorkshire puddings and tiny sausages in bacon. But I was open-minded. I knew that foreigners might be into goose and shit.

But what I was SPECIFICALLY not prepared for was Würstschen und Kartoffelbrei. Würstchen und Kartoffelbrei! Bangers and fucking mash. Do me a favour! So whenever a kid said: "Würstchen und Kartoffelbrei", what I heard was: "Sozialfall."  Würstchen und Kartoffelbrei! Bangers and mash!

It ended up being approximately a THIRD of the class who filled in the bangers and mash section of my Christmas dinner chart. I was really shocked and traumatized. I did my best to style it out, though, and said: "Mmmmm, yummy, yummy, lecker, mmmmmmm, how nice of your mummy to cook that yummy Christmas dinner for you, you lucky thing!"

Secretly I was thinking: you poor bastards, hoffentlich, merkt ihr gar nicht, dass ihr euch für eure Armut schämen solltet. BAD ENOUGH that you didn't get any Christmas dinner. What were they gonna say next? Fish fingers and baked beans?

And then ist es TATSÄCHLICH passiert – somebody said the only thing I could imagine that could be even slightly worse than bangers and mash: Kartoffelsalat. Oh my Gawd, I thought. And when the kids in Wilmersdorf are getting fed bangers and mash and potato salad, what's happening in the Problemvierteln? Toast mit Philadelphia-Käse oder was?

Mittlerweile, I've grown accustomed to the German Christmas. You get bangers and mash on Christmas Eve, and a bit of goose on Christmas Day. But one thing I've never got used to – WE NEED CHRISTMAS CRACKERS MAN! All food – even bangers and mash or potato salad - tastes a thousand times better with a paper crown on your head.


December 20, 2010

Comments (7)

Comment Feed

I can't believe you're a teacher! (just like I can't believe it's not butter, but worse)

This is possibly the most poorly written article I've ever read here: firstly, "goose and shit" and do you not know how to use italics? Caps lock is not a substitute.

shiny flu more than 3 years ago

Würstchen etc.

Actually, Würstchen (but usually Wiener, not bangers which would be closer to Bratwurst imo) + Kartoffelsalat isn't Christmas dinner but rather a quick fix for Christmas *Eve* because Heiligabend is the most important part of the holidays here what with Stille Nacht and pressies but the 24th used to be a normal working day, so there wasn't much time to cook anything complicated, and Kartoffelsalat could be prepared a day ahead.
That's the explanation I got when I asked. (I never heard of the variation with Kartoffelbrei.)
Also, German Christmas is serious and feierlich business, I'll have you know, not the carnival-like bacchanalia you lot apparently indulge in.

TokenGerman more than 3 years ago

Bangers and Mash

Way to go, Form Leader 3. From excoriating the fact of institutional racism - the cause, as it were - you now move onto the much more sensitive subject of effect. What kind of kids does a country end up with if it constantly presents the other - other people, other ways of doing things, other ways of thinking and being - as problematic and inferior? Needy, clingy, fearful kids, who can't conceptualise to save their life, that's what it ends up with. Impoverished thinkers. (Rotten cooks, too.)

The Germans don't care if you call them racist. (They think that deep down everyone is.) But boy do they care when you call them POOR, or unimaginative.


PS. I love sausages and mash. Just not on Christmas Day.

Dead Soul more than 3 years ago

I've only ever had goose in restaurants

And bloody delicious it was, too.

Jacinta more than 3 years ago

A proper Goose

Don't go for the goose - once the goose has migrated thousands of miles, it's very tough. Well the goose breast I bought from a wellknown(in the UK) German discount supermarket (described as "Luxury") was and so was the "luxury" frozen lobster bought at the same time, even though I followed the instructions on the box to the letter, and then had to cook them for much longer. You can't really go wrong with a nice sausage and I know somebody who actually does have sausage but with green salad (think eating disorder) for her big treat. If this snow doesn't let up I may have to eat my own leg. I would put goose low on the birdy rank- worse than guinea fowl! Go for the chicken or the turkey or a nice bit of beef
Happy Christmas and New Year to eveybody except my neighbours.

Amok's old teacher more than 3 years ago


Have you ever had a proper goose, German style, then? Is it good? and where does it rank next to turkey? more than 3 years ago


Würstchen und Kartoffelsalat in my privileged home, too! We Germans are slightly crazy, but I think it has to do with the pressure of having to do the Bescherung x-mas eve. Christmas Day you have more time for cooking!

Änne Troester more than 3 years ago

Recent Posts

Blog Categories