shopify analytics


By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.


A Matter of Size

IMG_0867.JPGWithout warning our refrigerator in the kitchen quit working. I noticed it Sunday morning, when I started preparing breakfast. The incident, while not a tragedy, forced me to think about a commonplace appliance that I usually don't waste a thought on.

I remembered hearing about a recent study that revealed one unexpected possible reason for the obesity epidemic in the US: Barry Popkin, a professor in the school of public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, notes that the growing scale of home appliances enables families to stockpile convenience foods that minimize their time in the kitchen. The trend breads a culture of excess in which we buy more, eat more, and waste more, than ever before.

My refrigerator in Germany was huge, for German standards: 12 ft.³
My parents have a more reasonable one in their house: 7 ft.³ is considered a normal size for two people in Germany. The one that we just bought is the same size that we had: 21.7 ft.³ which is the current average in the US.

Just for a little while, until the new refrigerator is delivered, I'll have to exercise modesty and see how much food can be stored in the 4.4 ft.³ that we have in our bar in the basement.


The Lesser Evil

MexicanCoke.jpgIf you are concerned about your health and watch what you eat or drink, pop is off limits. Since today's selection of softdrinks doesn't even taste as good as it did when I was young, I find it easy to resist.

I don't like the artificial, chemical, gross aftertaste of Coke and similar beverages. The only reason why I would sometimes buy Coke is for medicinal purposes. The acid in it helps an occasional upset stomach, so you want to have some on hand just in case.

Today we found this rare treasure in the international section of our grocery store: Coke made in Mexico, without corn syrup! This stuff comes in half liter glass (!) bottles with a pry-off cap, and it says "sugar" on the label. One bottle costs $1.69 and it's worth every penny of that. I might have to fake an upset stomach here pretty soon. 


100 Days of Soup

Most years I don't have a specific resolution to change anything - because I like everything the way it is. This year is different. When you have to hold your breath to be able to zip up your pants, it's time to lose some weight.
I don't know if it is due to my age, or the country I live in, but lately I'm holding my breath way too often.Suppe.jpg

So here is my official New Year's Resolution for 2012:

By April 10th I will weigh 10 lbs. less than on January 1st. The diet I will use to reach this goal has to be very easy to follow.
I have absolutely no extra time for complicated shopping lists and special designer recipes.

My plan is simple. Breakfast will stay as it is with yoghurt, fruit, Müsli, and coffee. Lunch will be a bowl of this awesome soup made with lean meat and lots of vegetables. Supper will be soup again, or maybe a whey protein shake. I will keep up my current exercise routine and cut down drastically on snacks between meals.


Winter is definitely here!



It started yesterday with over two inches of rain that turned our road into a river. As the day went on the rain became hail, sleet, slush, then snow. 





Over five inches of that resulted in chaotic traffic conditions, fallen trees, power outages, and a 32 hour shift for Tom and his colleagues.


3, 2, 1 - Gone!

Dirndl.jpgOnline auctions are my favorite way of shopping. If you know how to do it right you can find really good deals on fancy stuff that nobody else has - and it isn't made in China either.

When I look for interesting items I search for auctions ending within 48 hours, with less than 10 bids posted, and at a price that I consider a bargain. Then I bookmark that item and set myself an alarm for 10 minutes before the auction ends.

At that time I check the listing to see if the price is still reasonable, and if it is I just sit there watching the timer count down. When the count-down falls below 2 minutes I type my absolutely highest maximum price in, but I don't bid yet.

As soon as the timer shows less than 1 minute I click 'bid' and then 'confirm' right away. This will post my bid within 30 seconds of the auction's end - too late for anybody else to bid again.