Saturday, March 13, 2010

4 Expat Kitchen tours!!! New edition

In an attempt to add my final blog video to my last post I accidentally wiped out the first four sections of my blog post so it is redone here:(

I was super excited when Sonya over at Home cooking with Sonya invited me to take part in a collaborative blog with four fellow expats taking a look at our kitchens. Make sure you check out the other bloggers kitchens I will include links at the bottom :)

First off a typical Saturday in terms of cooking

The weekend is the only time that we cook and eat all meals together. On saturdays we have a traditional American breakfast and on sundays a german continental breakfast with rolls seved with meats and cheeses. We usually have a light lunch and then a heavy dinner. Traditionally in Germany, the meal pattern is a light breakfast and dinner with a heavy lunch. However due to work schedule, and my American desire to have a heavy dinner, we agreed to have lighter lunches and heavier american style dinners. Every Sunday afternoon we sit down for coffee and cake.

A look inside my fridge and pantry

As you can see the german fridges are itsy bitsy. Shopping is generally done for one a few days at a time. It is very hard to shop for the whole week here, not just due to the lack of fridge space, but also the shorter shelf life of foods. I often find myself having to freeze foods just to get them to last through the week. 

Kitchen Tour

Most apartments in Germany do not come with kitchens installed. They are actually liek empty shells, no ligt fixtures nothing. In some cases a built in kitchen is included in an apartment, as seen in our case. This is generally treated as a unit rented from the landlord and results in higher rent costs. We do have our own kitchen from our last apartment which is stored away. I do love having a in built kitchen with wall mounted cupboards. 

As you can see in our case our kitchen is on unit along the wall including cupboards, counter space, a sink, dishwasher, oven and stove. It actually has a fridge built in as well, but as you see in the video we use our own. On the other side of the kitchen I have a small table, a crate for drinks and our personal fridge. While the counterspace is very limited in our kitchen we are some of the lucky few who have two sections of counterspace, many modern german kitchens have only one. But it does suely take some getting used to after becoming accustomed to our oversized American kitchens. 

I hope to later buy a small freezer so that I can stock up and freeze foods in addition to a small standing cupboard that can be used as a pantry. 

Grocery shopping in Germany

Now in terms of grocery shopping Germany had a variety of options. From discount chains such as Aldi and Lidl to megastores liek Kaufland or Rewe. Personally, I like to buy as much as I can from the discount chains and only buy from other stores when items are on sale or only availible there, such as ethnic or specialty items. The discount chains often have weely specials on all shorts of things inclduing household goods, but one thing you should know, unlike the US, there is no replenishing of stock and surely no rain checks. The weekly sale items are often special added to the general stock only for one week and one they are gone they are gone. I was really bumbed out a few weeks back when they had a sewing machine on sale for 55 euro. It sold out within 3 hours on the first day of the sale. We even serached every location within a 2 hour radius to no avail. So in terms of the discount chains if you ever see a good deal on something you want or need make sure you pick it up right away. 

We ended up doing a quick grocery run today and I wanted to share what we got with you. I thought it would give you guys a general overview of food costs in Germany. I will note which prices were reduced or sale prices :)

Normal Groceries:
Paper towels 1,45
Toilet paper 1,95
cinnamon rolls 1,99 (on sale left over from french week)
whole wheat rolls 1,12
lettucs ,89 (sale)
turkey breast cold cuts ,99
cheese slice mixed flavors ,99
olive oil 750 ml 2,59
flour ,25 (sale price)
liquid cooking butter ,99 (sale)
kidney beans ,35 (sale)
ice tea ,59
herring fish 1,39
pineapple juice 1,29 (sale)
cookies ,85
6 pack water 1,14 plus 1,50 deposit
6 pack pepsi 3,30 plus 1,50 deposit

Special one time items:
Cardboard magazine holders 5 pack ,99 (cearence from last weeks sale)
Bathtub mat and pillow set 5,99 (specialty item this week)
water saving shower head 8,99 (special this week)
tabacco 5,95

Note that here we are charges ,09 per plastic grocery bag, so most people bring them themselves. It is not uncommen to see people use bags or woven baskets in the grocery store instead of carts. No worries, no one will attack you and accuse you of stealing :)

As you can see I like to pick up the items that are on sale. This is a great way to cut down on yoru food costs. Even better buy a few everytime yoru staple items go on sale. It just saves you buying them later at a full price. 

Well I hope you enjoyed a peek into my expat kitchen. Please do stop by and check out the other lovely ladies kitchens. 

And while you are here don't forget to stop by and enter my first blog giveaway for your chance to win a cope of "The New German Cookbook. Open internationally. Check it out here.

And make sure you check out the other expats kitchens!!!

1. Sonya, over at Home cooking with Sonya, is an American expat in the Netherlands

2. Candee, over at Amongst the Tulips, is a Canadian expat in the Netherlands

3. Lytha, over at A Horse Crazy American in Germany, a fellow American expat in Germany


Anonymous said...

How're all housewifey and stuff. :) I think it's great. I miss you and love you lots!

Anonymous said...

hummm posted a comment and it didn't show up. I love you and miss you and I love all the cooking stuff. It's all wonderful and housewifey. :)

lytha said...

i really enjoyed your kitchen tour, and i was kind of freaking out when i saw that you have so much of what i recently scavenged from lidl at british days. "she has my cheeeeeese! and she put it in a ziplock like i did, it looks like she reached into my fridge and taped with mine!" and you have my worchestershire sauce! and maybe even the steak pies, i'm not sure, but those things run 8 thousand calories each. yah, 8 thousand!

then i got all nostalgic cuz you made biscuits and gravy, and i miss that so. i never tried to make it here cuz i'm so fixed on my home recipe of jimmy dean, cream of mushroom soup, garlic, over toast. (which technically is called "SOS" - "s*** on a shingle", which is army food, when served like this.) i'm not sure i can do that here. (but i did learn to make my own jimmy dean!)

so you inspired me and this morning we had an american breakfast. i made pancakes from scratch, with maple syrup, and eggs. my man eats his pancakes with *nothing* on them. it is wrong! but oh well, he's not american: )

i wish other people who read my blog would have read about your kitchen too. i forgot to mention so many things that you remembered.

someone commented to me how huge the eggs are here, and i said, "oops, no, they just look huge inside such a tiny fridge!"


Lost in Translation said...

Lol. I love that cheese. Next time I am going to buy a bunch more. I really want to get a freezer so I can stock up during american and british weeks.

I did buy one of those steak pies, I liked it but my husband thought they were gross, so I guess I got my 8000 calories worth aha.

But my favs were the shortbread cookies.

lytha said...

oh yah i got those shortbread cookies too! i was so excited cuz i'd been trying to find out if they exist here, what they are called, and if my man had ever had them before. no answers. so i bought them at lidl and forced my man to eat one. he had never had shortbread before. aha, another first for him: ) i used to have a great shortbread recipe, hm.

p.s. when i first found that cheddar cheese at lidl, i was so excited cuz i'd missed "sharp" cheddar so much, i ripped it open and started eating it like you would eat a candy bar, right in the parking lot of lidl. it was so tasty, i got my wallet and went back in and bought all the rest of them. i admit what i did was not classy, and if i had known i would have brought a knife and plate but what can you do...

Anne said...

This post is such a clever idea!

The differences in kitchens and shopping habits is always one of the most interesting topics when explaining to people life in Europe. I really enjoyed your take on it, with videos

Anne said...

What a clever post!

The differences in kitchens and shopping habits is always one of the most interesting to friends who don't live in Europe. I really enjoyed your take on it, especially with the videos


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