Mom-daughter crochet project & some thoughts

Hi everyone,

Almost three months completed in Erlangen, yippeeee....
Though coming here had its positives ,it has also had its drawbacks.My daughter has no friends to play with and of course there's the language issue. She's hooked to her iPad for hours altogether which irritates me to no end. Just to wean her away from that device,I started crocheting a hat for her and asked her to help me.We studied the pattern together and she did her little share of single crochets and double crochets.

First when I completed it, it looked like a beanie. Princess was not happy with it,since she thinks beanie spoils her style .She said -"Mom, you yourself wear it". It was partly frogged and then attempted again. In the second attempt,it turned out to be oversized. Sigh...
Finally,after a bit of subtraction and division it ended up decent enough to wear.  Here's the completed hat.

She's happy. That's all that matters...

Meanwhile, Easter preparations are on full swing in my little town . I can see "bunte Eier" (colorful eggs) in all supermarkets. On Easter monday, our Deutsch friends have invited us for a brunch and then promised to take us around for a tour of the town to show us the decorations . I am looking forward to both since I've neither tasted European cuisine nor have been part of a European Easter.

When I walk around in the evenings through the silent streets of this town ,I sometimes catch a glimpse of women cooking in the kitchen or in some cases both the partners. I have often wondered what do they cook,what's their daily cuisine like? I do know that there's a lot of bread being eaten...and several varieties too. What do people do with all those "new to me" vegetables and leaves in the supermarket? All eaten raw as salads?  I am curious. Just like Indian cuisine is not just limited to Butter Chicken or Chicken tikka,German cuisine may not be just bread and sausage...

Fifteen years ago, when I entered the kitchen as a newly wed,every day was a learning experience. You could say - I burnt and I learnt .In those days, if help was needed in cooking a dish, a phone call to mother would suffice.

Fast forward to now, the situation is almost same - but the location has changed .( the age too... [smile] )
The super market here is a treasury of veggies - but many of them unfamiliar. The very first visit to the store yielded some onions,potatoes,beans ,carrots and tomatoes.The second visit saw some salad cucumber, bell peppers and broccoli added to the list. Nothing else was familiar. Boredom began to set in by the third long can one eat potato fry,potato boiled,potato masala or carrot & beans?? I called my home and bawled...there's nothing here to eat...

Where were the brinjals,lady's fingers,bitter-gourds ,cucumbers and bottle-gourds??? And where are the green CHILLIES??? A visit to the Indian store yielded the answer. You'll get some of the Indian veggies there but they are pricey.

The only solution.. adapt to the food habits of the land.So, the learning has started again.This time,its not mom who's helping me-it's Google. Google helps me find the difference between a red and white onion, it tells me what to do with pretty pink radishes,how to cook Brussels sprouts,parsnips and a lot more. But the curiosity remains.

Well, there's something new to learn everyday..

Happy Easter and happy Holi!!!!

Love,luck and sunshine,


  1. Hope you enjoy the new dishes and foods. May you and yours have a Blessed Easter. Have fun.

  2. the hat looks really good, so interesting reading about your change of life now in Germany, it must all seem very strange and such a shame your daughter has not made friends yet I do hope she is able to make frinds soon. Parsnips are my favourite vegetable, roasted and also they make wonderful soup happy cooking

  3. another thought, do you follow Anneliese, she is in Germany and speaks excellent English, will email her email address if you want it, she is a member of stitchin fingers and we have become good friends

  4. Hi Deepa. I feel for you so much. I moved to the far west corner of northern France from UK which was easy - all the food things almost the same as I was used to! The thing I miss most is good Indian food which we can get easily in UK but almost impossible here. Luckily, in the past I was taught to cook Indian family food by a wonderful lady and her daughter so that keeps me going. I stock up on my spices when I visit UK. I wish we were nearer, I would happily teach you how to cook European food!!
    All the best,

  5. Hi Deepa,

    I love the hat, it's really pretty. I hope your daughter will wear it now! Maybe your German friends will be able to tell you more about their country's food habits so that you won't just have to rely on Google!

    It's funny how you say the streets are silent at night, I expect you could mostly say that about English suburbs, compared to India, apart from towns where the bars and clubs are open so late!

    Hope you, your husband and daughter have a lovely Easter, Deepa.

    Hugs, Barbara xx

  6. Hello Deepa, Margaret gave you the link to my blog - and this is me (the Stitching Lady) and I would like to welcome you in Germany. I am living near Karlsruhe which is in the Rhine Valley, in the state Baden-W├╝rttemberg. Don't hesitate to ask me any questions which would occur in your new life and I will answer if I can with pleasure at any time.
    I hope we will all have sunny Easter days.

  7. love to hear your adventures!keep them coming.

  8. Hi Deepa, good to hear from you again, I've been wondering how you've been getting on and hoping things have been OK for you all. Sounds as though the change has been challenging at times. I'm sure your daughter will pick up the language soon and make new friends. Probably easier without the infernal iPad to distract, but hey, we have to live in the modern world don't we? I wonder if there are any good children's activities tha might engage her in the town? I'm sure you've investigated already, (there's saying in English about "teacing granny to suck eggs", meaning telling someone something they know already!!) I do know as an only child myself that it can be very easy to retreat into your own world when isolated. Perhaps you've discovered this store

    The hat looks lovely on her and I'm sure was fun to make for both of you. Perhaps she and hubby should have some cooking lessons as well!!! :-)

    Good to see "love luck and sunshine" again. Have a lovely Easter

  9. I think you have many hours of kitchen experiments ahead of you - I hope you enjoy them!

  10. I do like the hat! As for settling in - would there be any cooking classes in your area that you and your daughter could take together? Perhaps the local library might have some programs that you/she could sign up for. Barring that, perhaps you could find different recipes online and you both could cook something as a surprise for your husband? Making it a 'surprise' project, might pique her interest and get her away from the ipad. Perhaps she could make something sweet from her previous home and take that to school to share at lunch with the other students? Don't know if any of this might be the least bit helpful, but hopefully you can find something to help her find friends there.

  11. Deepa, nice to know that you are settling down. I faced similar situation when I went to Nuremberg near to Erlangen. Try few Turkish store for vegetables like palak, coriander etc. I was so homesick that I wanted to immediately return to India. However few Indian friends made my one year stay in Germany memorable.

  12. Deepa, I hope your move will soon prove to be a happy, memorable adventure for your family. Since pre-teens and young teens tend to be cliquey, it may take your daughter awhile to find friendships. Hopefully there is some community gathering place which you and she can explore together. Maybe there are some classes you could take together in which mothers and daughters participate. Look for them at bead stores, knitting and other needlework stores, for example. Good luck on the food search! Adapting to a new cuisine or learning to cook with just the unfamiliar must be an interesting adventure.

    I haven't seen your stitching blog lately, and I've missed it.

    Sarah in the southeastern USA


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