Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!

Last Saturday, we decided to have a German party at our place : friends, food, music and movies from the Rhineland...

We had invited Tess and Daniel, our German friends, for dinner to celebrate Daniel's belated birthday. As soon as they arrived we popped the cork of a Moët & Chandon and yelled : Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag! while listening to a German album they had brought for the occasion, "Ich wollt, ich wär" by Max Raabe - He and his orchestra specialise in recreating the sound of German dance and film music of the 1920s and 1930s, amazing!


Daniel had also brought his own birthday cake (as agreed), a delicious cake which he made for the very first time. A big hit!
Here is the recipe for Schwäbischer Ofenschlupfer - literally: Swabian Oven Slipper (?!) ...don't ask:-)
Ingredients
25g raisins
1-2 tablespoons of rum or apple juice (for kiddies)
2 rolls (preferably yesterday's)
1 big sour apple (e.g. Granny Smith)
1/2 vanilla bean
100ml cream or milk
3 eggs
40g sugar
1 table spoon almond sticks
Icing sugar
A pat of butter to grease a 25cm springform pan or small individual ramekins.

1. Soak raisins in rum - cut rolls in 2cm cubes - wash apple and cut it into slices - slit the vanilla bean open lengthwise and scoop out the marrow - whisk cream, milk, eggs vanilla marrow and sugar gently.
2. Grease the baking pan and insert bread cubes, apple slices and raisins - pour over the egg-cream mixture - garnish with almond sticks - bake in preheated oven (390° - 400°) for 25-30 minutes (cover it after a while if necessary) .
Sprinkle with icing sugar as desired.

White wine sauce:
200ml white wine
1 egg
2 yolks
100g sugar
1. Gently whisk egg, yolks and sugar
2. Place bowl with mixture in a warm water bath and add wine
3. Whisk it until it's fluffy and serve it hot! (N.B: one generous spoonful on top of each slice of cake should do)

Guten Appetit!

Our night unfolded most pleasantly with inspiring conversations and listening to and even dancing to a few groovy tunes by Otis Redding such as Day Tripper ...

Otis Redding performing on stage...

After that, we were ready to watch the scene from Pretty in Pink , you know, when Duckie does this amazing entrance on Otis's Try a Little Tenderness. I thought they would love it, and they did! Tess suddenly exclaimed "Oh My God! If I were this girl, I would fall head over heels in love with a guy like him!" Well, well, well, the character actually does not...

Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald, and John Cryer as 'Duckie' in Pretty in Pink (1986)

We had nearly reached Satisfaction, when Marco said, but wait a minute, there is a video that we must watch now...Otis starts the song with an introduction thanking his good friend, Mick Jaegger, for being in the audience--sheer rhythm, sheer madness! Totally phenomenal and astonishing, it caught us completely off-guard, Marco smiled with content.


When we eventually sat down on the couch to watch the German movie they had recommended, Vier Minuten (2006), Chris Kraus's film, it was already 1 A.M.
But we did not miss out one second of this film, from the beginning to the end, we were riveted to the screen, so intense it was.

Vier Minuten...

Trust me, it was not only in the last four minutes of the film that we felt the high tension of the pianist's chords, but these last four minutes were sharp! At the end of the night, that is to say early in Sunday morning, we had one last drink in the cool air, under the porch of the house, and I asked Daniel once more about this incredible pianist he had already mentioned before. He talked passionately about Gabriela Montero, and told us her interpretations were unique just like her improvisational gifts.

I found a piece that will help me loop the loop of our German night. She here plays a humorous and powerful improvisation based on a song the audience sang back to her at the Kölner Philharmonie in October, 2007.

What a night! Gute Nacht,...stille Nacht!

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Thank you for summing up this fantastic night and for garnishing it with such beautiful pictures! Did you have the chance to watch Gabriela Montero's concert in Cologne which is still posted on her website in full length? I was in the concert hall that night and still remember what an amazing atmosphere it was. Her interaction with the crowd is very unique for a classical piano artist and the climax was reached when the whole audience sang this German folk song (a famous song from Cologne's carnival) to her and of course her improvisation afterwards. Many thanks again.

- Daniel

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...