As the Emcee in Cabaret says, “Welcome to…Berlin.”
I was excited (and scared) about this weekend. Once we decided to do a weekend themed after every pavillion in EPCOT World Showcase, I kept putting off Germany. I am an American Jew with some deep Holocaust issues, so I knew I would especially have to be careful around the entertainment we chose for a Germany themed weekend.
We cooked (and ate) a lot of delicious food, and we had fun finding films set in Germany that were not set around World War II.
The first things that I thought of when I thought of German cuisine were bratwurst, sauerkraut, and pretzels.
I had some fun exploring Whole Foods, and discovered that they had German mustard, chicken bratwurst, sauerkraut, and pretzel buns. We had a feast, and it was delicious. I was a little wary of sauerkraut, but it tasted like pickles, which I love. The tangy mustard was a nice contrast to the saltiness of the sausage. We also served it with a salad with a mustard salad dressing.
I remembered eating German Apple Pancake growing up, and I found the recipe in Joy of Cooking. The recipe was a little unusual as it didn’t have any flour, but I couldn’t really tell. The oven baked pancake was butter and crispy, and the inside was deliciously custardy. While I didn’t serve it with apples, it was delicious with jam and marmalade. This is a similar recipe to the one we used.
Of course, schnitzel is another staple of German cuisine. While not necessarily the most traditional recipe, we made Molly Yeh’s Za’atar Schnitzel. If you’ve never cooked with za’atar, I 10/10 recommend it. It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend that is earthy, acidic, and nutty. This was not the first time I’ve made this recipe, and it certainly won’t be the last.
EPCOT’s Germany pavillion has the most delicious soft pretzels, and it felt appropriate to make some soft pretzels. We made the King Arthur Sourdough Pretzel recipe, and they turned out perfectly brown and doughy. We served them with German mustard, which was delicious.
My husband and I are watching through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it so happened that our next film was Captain America: Civil War. There is a major fight scene that happens in a German airport, so it seemed like the perfect time to watch it.
Of course, every week, I’ve thought about which rides and characters are in each EPCOT pavillion. I remembered that Rapunzel is from a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, so it seemed like the perfect reason to watch Tangled. The visuals in “I See the Light” are Disney as its best. Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi also give incredible performances as Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.
Six is one of my favorite musicals, of course, it features Henry VIII’s fourth wife, the German Anne of Cleves. One of my favorite songs in the show, “Haus of Holbein” introduces her and is Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’ tribute to German house music. The song is so much fun, and we of course, listened to it this week.
Cabaret is another favorite in our household. While we ran out of time to watch the movie this weekend, I did listen to the 1998 revival cast album. Cabaret is a look at Berlin in the last days before Hitler came to power. I’ve seen high school, college, and Broadway productions of the show…and it is always powerful. Fosse/Verdon also gives a great look at the making of the 1972 film.