I got here on a Wednesday afternoon, after over 30 hours of traveling which ended in a 45 minute delay of my train to the confusion of my teacher who was supposed to pick me up but couldn’t reach me. My host’s house is in a cute village to the west of the city, and the view from there is amazing. Immediately, he mentions we’ll walk the dog, but on floating an idea of mountain biking with him, we switch ideas immediately. An hour later, we’re getting on our bikes, with full knee and hand padding, to climb a 1,700ft mountain and race down it in 10 minutes. It’s so nice to be racing through the fresh Black Forest air after days in sterile airports.
Back, we go to the Griestal-Strauße, which is a 5-minute drive through random wine trails behind his house. A Strauße is an amazing German concept where a winery is allowed to serve food and drinks for 4 months of the year to 40 people or less without a restaurant permit. While this particular locale is a bit bigger now, it still serves fresh food and wine grown on the grapes we were driving through.
As tempted as I was to think that Michael preferred going out to cooking (based on the fact that we did that our first night), I was wrong. Our first night in the kitchen we made what seemed like a simple salad, but only used fresh, local ingredients.
The next night, homemade pasta with homemade pesto dressing: pan-seared pine nuts with basil I just picked from the terrace, oil, garlic, pecorino, and pepper.
Mornings were even better, I made myself Müsli with some more great ingredients: bananas, banana chips, peaches, figs, nuts, local honey, yogurt, and of course flakes.
The farmer pictured who has owned the fields and this stand for years reacted to Dagmar (Michael’s sister) complimenting the redness and freshness of the strawberries, to which the stallkeeper joked that she just painted them this morning. Apparently not everyone understands that these strawberries are not, in fact, painted red; they’re just fresh and in season. I found it striking how ingrained in the culture it was to buy fresh local produce; this stand being just off the roadway to the city. Michael, the day before, refused to buy a €2,99 mango because that was €-,50 more than he was used to, not because he is stingy (though that’s valid) but because that meant it wasn’t quite in season yet. In Kindergarten I was always fed healthy lunches with lots of vegetables, but at some of them in Freiburg they take it one step further by taking the kindergarteners out to the market, buying the produce, preparing and cooking it, and then eating it. That’s how you raise a kid to eat healthy.