Friday, 27 February 2015

What Did I Do?: Ueberraschung!

Well, I feel like I'm finally getting caught up on things I was behind on and moving ahead. I must say I have been feeling a little computer illiterate trying to adjust to this new piece of technology. As you will no doubt notice, when I'm busy, I'm not very creative with new ideas. It's made even more difficult when I'm left without a computer to research anything on. I also lost part of my idea list, so I have to try to remember some of my ideas.

February 19: I won! 

On Thursday, I won an interesting Facebook challenge posted by my friend Kevin Abell. The prize? This Monroe thermometer. I don't think I've ever won a Facebook conversation before and it's also my first picture with Kevin.

 February 20: According to Knowledge Nuts, people have a false idea of how many rats there are in the world, particularly in big cities. News sources have exaggerated the numbers, saying there are twice as many rats in New York City as there are people, but it's not true. Personally, I think I only ever saw one rat while in NYC, that was running along the subway track. I admit I got pretty excited about it. Maybe it's because of signs like this one that I didn't see more.  Yep, I had to take a picture of one.

February 21: On Saturday, I learned about bed bugs, how to detect them, and identify bed bug bites. I had a bit of a freak out on the weekend, but now I can rest assured I don't have bed bugs.

February 22: On Sunday, I tried eating a kiwi with the skin. I really like kiwi when it's ripe and sweet and I've heard of people eating the whole thing, but the fuzzy skin has never appealed to me. Well, I determined to try it, especially after watching my nephew munch through the skin and explain how healthy it was. I looked at the kiwi before eating it with more contempt than a piece of raw fish. I managed one crunchy sour bite, then sliced it in half and scooped the inside out with a spoon. But now I can say I've tried it. If it had been a little riper, it might have not been so bad.

February 23: I can't wait for the day I can go to the pool in a T-shirt or even a sweater. It's way too cold. But to another swim class I did go, and it was rather grueling. I hadn't been to the pool in two weeks and not having exercised since my last class didn't help. I'm still learning not to drink pool water when I sink. When I came up coughing and sputtering to no end, people stared at me like I almost drowned or something. It reminded me of a similar experience I had a few years ago in the Atlantic Ocean. It was a little traumatic.

I also learned some interesting things about James Dole, "the Pineapple King" who turned the whole Hawaiian island of Lana'i into the world's biggest pineapple plantation. In 1927, he offered a $35,000 cash prize for the winner of an airplane race from California to Hawaii. The conditions were very dangerous. Add that airplanes weren't exactly what they are today and that nobody had ever flown to Hawaii before. Many entered the race but only two actually finished it. Ten people died trying. In the end, the winner shared the prize money with the second contestant to finish, but alas, they weren't the first people to fly to Hawaii. Two army pilots got there before the race started.

So that was tragic and James Dole felt really bad, for good reason. But back in 1913, his company made a machine that peeled 100 pineapples a minute. That's pretty cool. It would take me entirely too long to just peel one. I'm afraid though I might feel a little guilty from now on when I buy Dole pineapples. Not fair.

February 24: You know those annoying parking meters? Well, I found out who came up with that idea. Carl Magee, a U.S. reporter invented the parking meter. He was an interesting man who exposed corruption. However, he also shot and killed a bystander when he got into a fight with a corrupt judge he had just berated in his newspaper. The judge didn't get shot as intended, but someone else did. He was acquitted, however, and when he moved to Oklahoma City, he came up with the idea of the parking meter in 1932, in order to resolve the city's massive parking problem.

February 25: What I'm about to share next should be taken with a grain of salt. I apologize to my readership who won't be able to understand much of what I will share next, and to my Mennonite, Low German speaking readership, I apologize for my horrible spelling. I never did become proficient in reading or writing my mother tongue. Also, I can't use an umlaut, so I have to improvise. And I'm definitely about to become less serious.

I learned a number of new things through an afternoon of browsing a Mennonite cookbook compiled in Mexico. I must say it provided a fair share of amusement to me, a Mennonite born and raised in Canada. Although my roots are in Mexico, I've only been there to visit a handful of times. What made this cookbook particularly interesting was the different German words they use for things. It seems to have a wealth of great recipes if you can figure out how to read and understand them. In all likelihood, this cook book is correct in the German it uses, and the Low German language I'm used to is just so far removed.

Something I have often noticed is that our Low German vocabulary is rather small. We don't seem to have words for a lot of things, or we just take English words and pronounce them to sound German. And there are things that are just different between German and Low German. Well, to understand this cookbook, I think you needed to be proficient in German, Low German, English, Spanish and possess some imagination. It also seemed they have some food products in Mexcio that we don't have in Canada, or perhaps we just couldn't understand them. There were a number of canned milks that showed up in recipes, but we could only figure out evaporated milk for certain.

My favourite word I learned was ueberraschung, which means surprise. This was through a recipe for Schokoladenueberraschung. To learn that ueberraschung meant surprise was a surprise! I didn't know we had a word for surprise! Maybe if someone had thrown me an "ueberraschung geburtstag fest" when I was a kid, I would know this stuff! I also think the word sounds an awful lot like our Low German word for "backwards", but maybe that's just me.

We figured out that plaetzchen are cookies and kuchen is cake. To me, kuchen means cookies and cake is cake. And we figured out that kekse are cupcakes. Karrotten Kuchen is carrot cake, but I say "gelmehren." We eventually determined zimt meant cinnamon, since it was in with recipes for Cinnamon Rolls. At home, that's still just koernel rollen to me. When providing instructions for icing cookies or cakes, it uses the word "streiche", oba ekj do kuchen beschmeiren. Schokoladenschnitzel are chocolate chips. I get the chocolate part, but to me schnitzel is milanesa.

One of the ones that had us stumped for awhile was Schlagsahne, which we finally concluded was whipping cream, or whipped cream. To me, cream is Schmaunt, and if I'm reading a German recipe, it's Rahm. This made me wonder, if whipping cream is Schlagsahne, then what do they call Schmauntfaht? There are a lot more examples, but I simply can't write about them all.

Ah, yes, we Mennonites are a unique people with a unique language, and we could argue with no end about words and pronunciations! With this cookbook, the nice thing is if you need clarification on a recipe, it not only provides the name of the woman who submitted the recipe, but also her Campo number, phone number, and husband's name if applicable.

In the end, what is my conclusion to this matter? Dit es bloss nicht wo wie dat gelieht han!

And for the song I was singing constantly this week.

"If you wanna know how far My love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see how much you mean to Me
Look at My hands, look at My side
If you could count the times I'd say you are forgiven
It's more than the drops in the ocean." --"Drops in the Ocean" by Hawk Nelson

1 comment:

  1. Hello Margaret Neufield. So good to know you through your profile on the blogger. Iam also so glad to stop by your blog post and go through it I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 35yrs in the great city of Mumbai, India a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We also encourage young people and adults from the West to come to Mumbai on a short / long term missions trip to work with us in the slums of Mumbai during their vacation time. We would love to have you come with your friends to work with us during your vacation time. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. My email id :dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you.