Tag Archives: flea markets

Strange souvenirs and spiders

Does anyone else accumulate odd artefacts which gather dust and cobwebs on your walls?

I’m a flea market addict. I love browsing junk shops and bric-a-brac stalls and picking up old objects which my family of Philistines say just clutter up our home. To add to the dispute, I’m totally and completely useless at housework… and our house is the premier breeding ground for spiders in all Germany. So my flea market treasures normally have a delightful frosting of dust and some cheery swags of cobwebs festooned across them for good measure.

Here’s a picture of one part of my living room wall.

The clock came from a flea market just up the road. It still goes…as long as you remember to wind it up every day. And it has a lovely chime with deep bongs every half an hour.

The picture on the left is an icon of the Last Supper I picked up in Greece. And on the right is a French painting of some chickens which my father gave me once… I really love that one.

Under it are two moulds – also from a flea market. I’m not entirely sure what they were used for. They’re made of wax, they’re finely carved with figures in crinolines… and they man I bought them from said he got them from an old “Konditorei” (pastry shop) – though he wasn’t sure what they were used for either.

If anyone else fancies showing what they have on their wall, please do have a go! Leave a link here, and we’ll all come and have a look.

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Getting ready for Easter in Germany

I have two confessions to make.

First, I am addicted to flea markets. I love them… I spend every other weekend rummaging around other people’s cast-offs looking for wonderful treasures that I can pick up for a couple of Euros. And my house is full of them. Ignorant Philistines (most of whom I am related to) would call it junk…. but I know it’s valuable treasure.

Second, I’m a chocoholic. I love chocolate – I love everything about chocolate – from the way it melts on your tongue to the last bittersweet lingering aftertaste….

So it won’t surprise anyone that I am in posession of a modest but growing collection of old chocolate moulds gleaned over the years from the detritis of German house-clearances and yard sales. Most of these have an Easter or Spring theme because in Germany (Oh joy! Oh joy!) Easter is celebrated in chocolate.

Now, before you get all excited and think that Hausfrauen all over Germany are putting on their pinnies and stirring vats of chocolate on the stove, I should point out what Birgit informs me on this subject.

“Making your own chocolate rabbits,” according to Birgit, glaring at me as though I’ve just stepped off the boat from Estonia, “is what our grandparents had to do before there were proper chocolate rabbits on sale in the shops. If God had wanted us to make our own, He wouldn’t have given us Lindt.”

But I know Birgit is wrong on this. Making your own chocolate rabbits for the children at Easter is pure unadulterated Motherhood. It will make me an Über-Mutter… a veritable Goddess in the eyes of my children. They will stop being recalcitrant adolescents and will see me in a new light….

Anyway – time to get started. I’m using milk chocolate this time – not my personal favourite (I’m a dark-choc-with-a-hint-of-grated-orange-peel person myself) but this is a sacrifice I can make for my offspring… willingly…. just a little taste then…mmmm….

Once the chocolate has melted, you have to get it into the moulds. This sounds easy… and in some cases it is pretty straightforward. I can tell instantly which moulds were designed for the German Hausfrau with a sense of Ordnung in her kitchen….

Some of the other ones are designed specifically for the chocoholic Mum…. they are all holes and no mould, so aiming the chocolate into the rabbit-shape is nigh on impossible without it dribbling all over your fingers and ensuring that you have to lick it off. Don’t you just love hate that?

Once the chocolate is in the moulds, they go into the freezer for a short time to set, while the chef licks out the bowl….

Then it’s time to check on the results…

Now… I’d better make some for the kids next….

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Filed under German festivals, Life in Germany