"Authentic German Potato Salad"

Tomorrow night, we will be having our Bon Voyage party for the upcoming trip – which also marks that we have only one week before we’re off on a too-long flight bound for Berlin!  For this party, we were encouraged to bring a dish that could possibly be served in one of the countries we are visiting (meaning Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland or France).  I must admit that when I first read this, I googled “easy German recipes” and was like, “There is NO way this is going to happen!”  I soon contemplated heading to Walmart or Kroger for a quick fix.  However, I thought some more (and Mom – who hardly ever lets me cook because I “dirty too many dishes!!”- is out of town, so when the cat’s away, the mice will play!!) and thought I would try my hand at…

Authentic German Potato Salad

Link to Recipe on AllRecipes – Thanks, SCHOOLBEE123!!
Since I don’t know the etiquette of blogging recipes if it’s not your own creation, I’ll just include some pictures (taken with my iPad and not the best – I was cooking, what can I say…) and hopefully you can get an idea of the sweet  (literally; however, I substituted Truvia in for the sugar), heavenly, and flavorful/aromatic stuff that this is!  I haven’t edited them or anything as I am in the mood to post at 11:48 at night before potentially the longest week of the summer and didn’t want to let that mood pass – so don’t judge!
I made a smaller batch first because I wasn’t sure if it would taste good, and since it’s a potluck, I didn’t think I needed to bring much.  However, I did end up liking it quite a bit and ran to the store to get provisions for a second (yet mushier) batch so I could share with family and a friend/coworker who I talked to about this adventure.
Semi-conclusion:  I haven’t had a lot of German food, even though I am part German on my mother’s side, but if the rest of their food is like this, they have a new fan – and a very curious one at that – to try more in its native land.
Las papas are resting until they are called on for action… Which will be soon! 
Why, hello, Bacon! As far as I know (morning will tell),I only splattered once, and not even on my clothes!!
Only one small finger burn, but it doesn’t hurt yet, which
I’ll take as a good sign. 
Yes, bacon deserves two pictures.  YUM!
Onions swimming in bacon grease??  Yeah, I suppose
I can handle that.  🙂
The finishing part of the first batch when everything
comes together for a little part. This was the first batch.
Second Batch – all done! Now, to cool down, throw in the fridge
so it can do it’s dancing all night long for the awaiting beasts
(OK, fellow party guests) tomorrow night!   This house

has NEVER smelled so good.

So, you’re probably wondering why this potato salad is such a big deal and why I took pictures of it…  Is it incredibly hard to make???  Well, not so much.  BUT, it is (to my recollection) the only dish I have created from a recipe that I didn’t just throw together or learn how to make from watching my mom cook.  And I did it all by myself.  I’m pretty proud of my efforts and even washed the dishes after I was done.  Mom will be proud, too.  🙂
Gut essen und “Bon voyage!!”

Getting ready and cleaning up!

Last night I began the, ummmm, “process” of cleaning through my room and sorting through a good majority of my stuff. I swear, I am a hoarder of everything and am truly surprised I haven’t been injured by “stuff” falling all over me!! There won’t be a “before” picture because, although I believe you can sometimes shame yourself into action, I am in no way prepared for that level of shame and embarrassment.  😉

With my yearly (at least, that’s the goal) summer trip to Europe just over a week away, I felt the need to go through things, find clothes, find travel stuff, etc.  I’ve already filled a 30-gallon trash bag with magazines, papers, etc., and am already filling another bag!  I’m finally letting go of some of my shoes that have been worn out and kept for far too long and am throwing away electronics boxes of things I no longer have or won’t be selling.  It’s tough, but it’s also refreshing!  I can already see the floor of my room and am so pleased about that. 🙂  I think I will have to go on a shopping spree (oh, darn!!) since I’m now in a new – smaller, thankfully – size and don’t think the rest of the clothes will work for this trip.  What a damn good excuse to go shopping!

For me, one of the toughest things about going through stuff is thinking I could sell these things at a garage sale…  But will I really be doing a garage sale, or am I just prolonging the inevitable and keeping more clutter in my life?  In all honesty, the likelihood that I will have a garage sale is slim to none given my sometimes hectic schedule and my knowledge of the worth of the things I’d want to sell and being unable to let them go for much less.  However, that being said, things need to go, and I am proud of myself for really letting go and getting rid of crap last night!  I’ve learned that simple is sometimes better, and there is no way in you-know-where that I am moving with all the stuff I have now…  It simply ain’t gonna happen.

So, I just had to share this “cleansing of clutter” with someone, and I figured my blog would be a good place since I haven’t been on here for a while. On another note, I planned on going through, processing and sharing all of my pictures from Europe last year, but that’s just too overwhelming right now…  Everything is happening so quickly:  I’m making lists, making sure I have my travel documents in order, rush-ordering everything I need but have been putting off, and making sure everything goes smoothly…  You know when you’ve had a couple nightmares about not having your passport or enough cash/no plastic while abroad that’s it’s time to start getting things put together and staying on top of things so you don’t drive yourself more crazy!

Unfortunately, I passed up going on a trip to Arkansas with my parents this weekend for a graduation (the first time in recent history I have foregone a family trip).  Since we won’t be able to attend the family reunion they have down there every summer, my parents are using this opportunity to catch up.  I have started in a new role with new responsibilities and lots of changes at work this last week and am working on several projects that I didn’t feel I could leave, plus I have to get my sh*t together and extra $$ never hurts when travel and photography are a couple of your main hobbies!!

Well, I think that about sums up my week.  I will try to update more with travel stuff as I get closer and more psyched!!  I’m excited for the almost two weeks in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland… but most especially for my beloved Paris!  It will be a wonderful trip and I have a very good feeling about it and think it will have a more independent spin than the last.  We’ll be joining another group from Iowa and I’m actually quite excited to meet some new people and travel with some of my favorite friends.

There’s a reason I love Paris and look so
happy in this picture – I love this place so
much and really feel at home there!  GORGEOUS!

If you have managed to make it through my novel to this point of my post, have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Perched by Luke A. Bunker
Perched, a photo by Luke A. Bunker on Flickr.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on my blog, so I suppose a picture is a good a way as any to get back in the swing of things!

Classes for the year are over and I’m taking the summer off from school to work and do a bit of traveling. Hopefully, being in the land I love will help inspire me and get me back to posting! I hope to make some great memories and take some great photos, which I also hope to do a better job of sharing.

This photo was taken in our front yard. The neighbors probably thought I was crazy chasing butterflies for a good fifteen minutes!

Here’s to a great summer of travel and photography!