Bringing Europe Home

Traditions and Tidbits from the Continent to the States

I’m not the first person to be seduced by Europe.  There’s something about the place—it’s simple, yet sensuous at the same time.  As a college student, I spent a summer living with an Italian family on the mainland outside Venice, working as a “babysitter” (though I liked to think of myself as a “governess,” like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, and I did occasionally burst into song).  I then spent the fall semester living and studying in Casa Artom, a grand home on the Grand Canal that is owned by Wake Forest University.  So, I learned a bit of the Italian language and food and customs, and of course, I traveled while I was there…and I’ve been smitten with Europe ever since.  Many, many, (many!) years later, my family of six moved to Munich,Germany.  And, we learned a bit of the German language and food and customs, and of course, we traveled while we were there…and, I was re-smitten.

Not that I don’t love this great country of ours!  I am a believer, though, that we can all learn a little something from each other, even if we live on opposite sides of the ocean.  When my family moved from Bavaria back to the fast pace and heavy traffic of Atlanta, I wanted to bring some of that simplicity and that sensuality back with us.  My efforts are not that monumental, which makes them very attainable.  I can’t walk out my door, climb a snow-capped alp and picnic on a fabulous loaf of fresh bread and cheese.  But, I can walk with a wicker basket over my arm to my neighborhood farmer’s market and buy a fabulous loaf of fresh bread and cheese—and I can savor the simple pleasure of that and share it with my family.

So, to those who have backpacked across Europe in your vigorous youth, sleeping on trains and living on five bucks a day; to those who are ex-pats or relocated Europeans and reminisce about the life-style that you grew to love; to those whose parents or grandparents have European backgrounds and brought their customs into your homes; to those who simply want to experience a bit of Europe with none of the jet lag–this blog is for you!  I will post traditions and tidbits, some recipes, some recommendations, and some ruminations.  Initially, my focus will be on what I’ve gleaned from Italy and Germany, since that is my background, but as I continue the blog, I will include traditions, tidbits, and recipes from other European countries, as well.  Some of these, you will already know or will have already thought of—and that’s fine!  Some of you will have your own recipes and memories to share—and please do!  I imagine that this blog, like anything in life, will be evolving, but for now, I intend to post a theme a week.

Most of all, I hope you will find something that inspires you to bring a little European flavor into your life.

So for now, ciao bella, and tchüss.

 

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