Tuesday 7/12/2004

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Diary and Notes

My German is slowly getting a little better, probably at the rate of a word a day. Yesterday I learnt a new word which at first I believed didn't actually exist. When I tested out this new word on a few German friends, they were incapeable of stopping themselves from bursting out into laughter. I deduced that the word really exists, though is probably not the thing you'll find in any dictionary. (Though you could perhaps type the word into a search engine and see what you get.) The fact that the Germans have a single word for such a thing (which could never happen in England) allows us to understand them better and is a useful insight into their culture and habits.

They tried to convince me that it can be a very useful word. If someone is being aggressive in a bar, for instance, instead of asking him outside for a fight, you just shout "Schwanzvergleich!" as a challenge and see what happens. The contest is soon over and nobody has a black eye (unless one of the protagonists is VERY big). So lets all give a cheer for Schwanzvergleich and spread this interesting word around and make it ours, just like those other odd sounding German words; Schadenfreude and Gestalt.

So what has all this to do with today's dinner, you are probably asking.

Well, it's all about sausage really and in particular, comparing one sausage to another. I was planning to make the Spanish dish, gabanzos, for dinner. This is a stew made from tomatoes and chick peas. I thought I'd give it some extra taste by adding some pork and chorizo sausage. However, I couldn't find any chorizo and bought some excellent Göttinger sausage instead. But Göttinger is nothing like chorizo and has a very East European taste, more like a soft kabanos. (Try typing sausage and Polish, into a search engine as well, go on, it will be fun and might get you sacked.) So instead of making something Spanish tasting, I made something with a much more Eastern European feel. I'm not sure how many chick peas are eaten in Poland, but if chick peas were their thing, then I like to think this is what they'd do with them.

So today's dinner was a good and hearty; chick pea, sausage and bacon stew. I had some of the potato bake left over from yesterday as well, but it wasn't very good the day after. I did have some excellent black bread, sour cream and salad though and with a glass of wine today's feast was good enough for Boleslaw The Bold, everyone's favourite Polish King (ruled 1058-1072). And I bet with a name like Boleslaw The Bold he could have held his own in almost any Schwanzvergleich you care to mention.

Cake Blog

Lebkuchen: There's a shop opened up, just for christmas, that sells nothing but lebkuchen. It seems to be the very stuff of christmas here. To us it's just gingerbread. The lebkuchen I had was quite moist and gingery.


  • Chick Pea and Sausage Stew.
  • Salad,
  • Black Bread,
  • Sour Cream.


  • Stew: Vegetable Oil, Onions, Garlic, Chilli, Bacon, Mild Paprika, Black Pepper, Chick Peas, Sausage (Göttinger), Tomato Puree, Tomato Ketchup, White Wine.
  • Salad: Lambs Lettuce, Cucumber, Tomato, Walnut Oil, Red Wine Vinegar (Raspberry Flavour).


  • Gently fry some chopped onion and garlic in a little oil. When softened, add some chunks of smoked bacon, paprika and a little chopped chilli and fry a little longer. Chop the sausage into 1cm cubes, add the sausage, some tomato puree, ketchup and enough water to make a soup consistency. Grind in some black pepper, add the chick peas, put on a lid and allow to simmer gently for at least an hour. Stir in a dash of white wine, a minute or two before serving.