ADVENTURES IN BERLIN::DAY 19, IT'S FRIDAY

Friday. The day before the big farmer's market...something I will miss back home. Sure we have farmer's markets in Austin, but it's just not the same.

I visited the coffee shop on Kurfürstendamm for the last time. Three is enough before I either find another new place or return to the one close by. I arrived too early at that coffee shop and had to walk around until they opened at 8. I could have gone to Starbucks, but am maintaining my boycott of them. The last time I visited a Starbucks was last December. I tired of the taste of the coffee, the never-changing pastry selection, and the money it cost on a weekly basis. And that could have been much more had we had coffee there more than 2 or 3 times a week.

While waiting for the Berliner Kaffeerösterei to open, I decided to browse online for other coffee shops. I found a few which caught my attention: Five Elephant and Katie's Blue Cat were among them. I hope to be able to visit them before we leave.

Back at the apartment (the one we refer to as the dungeon), the rest of the family got ready. We all walked to the Thürmann bakery to get the brötchen for breakfast at Oma's. My husband commented on how the sales lady must have sold her smile. In all my mornings visiting that bakeshop, I don't recall her ever smiling. When we returned to Oma's place, I noticed that the sales lady did not include the two sesame rolls I'd asked for...the ones I get every morning. My husband went back with me to help explain to the woman that something was missing (they gave me no receipt, like almost every morning). She simply stated that she never charged us for it. Still no smile, but I bought the brötchen anyway.

After breakfast, I went to our apartment to hand wash a few of the kids' clothes and do more research for cookie formulas. My husband stayed at his mom's place with the kids and continued work on his "new television" project. All parts ordered from Amazon had arrived and he had lots to do.

We met up later in the afternoon and walked around looking for someplace to eat. Since it was an odd hour for most people to be eating, we ended up back at the Greek restaurant by our place. My husband had the gyro lunch special while I ate sesame grilled chicken with an orange sauce. The original dish was with rice, but I requested pommes instead.

I went back to the dungeon and my husband went across the street to his mom's place. I researched places to find soft brown sugar here, but discovered that it's not sold in Germany. I did, however, find that you can easily make it with granulated sugar and molasses. So I finally found molasses at Allnatura - a health food store. It was advertised as a new product. Since I couldn't figure out whether it was unsulfured and since I didn't want to buy too many more ingredients that will be left behind, I decided that my spice cookie experiment will have to wait until I get back to Texas.

After dinner, his mom gave us an hour's time to go out without the kids. We went to the corner cafe - the Portuguese one - and had red wine and beer. After picking up the children and getting them to bed, we settled into our living room and watched some bizarre German movie where children were partying in a morgue. Only the Germans can come up with something so morbid...kind of like the original Brother Grimm stories.

Like the one we saw at the puppet theatre yesterday for my daughter's birthday. You know...the story of the turtle and the hare? Well, the original version is of a rabbit and a hedgehog. In the end, the rabbit dies of exhaustion after running the race 74 times. The hedgehog celebrates with his wife (the stand-in to the race deception) by getting drunk. I guess Disney didn't really like the original stories and decided to Americanize them. If you haven't read the original stories, go out and find a copy of the original Brother Grimm fairy tales. It's not what you grew up with!