For those of you not familiar with this now annual routine, many folk on Instagram – myself included – have got into the habit of posting a collage of our nine most popular pictures at the end of each year. I find it a rather pleasing way to reflect on my year of German food, and it’s also fun to see which of my images were the most popular. This year, I only had October-December to work with (as the first nine of the year were spent abroad), but in fact this means this collection is (mostly) a rather special collection of very happy food memories after returning home.
Top row, left to right
A slow-cooked pork knuckle with crunchy crackling, potato dumplings and fresh cabbage salad at Weihenstephaner in Wiesbaden was not just a delicious part of a festive December feast with friends, but also my favourite German meal of the year.
Having friends to stay from London is always a good excuse for a proper weekend German breakfast. We laid on some of our favourite cured and cooked meats, pâtés and cheese, plus fresh bread rolls, radishes, cornichons, boiled eggs and mustard for visitors earlier this month.
I was a bit surprised a non-food photo made it into my final nine, but apparently people love plants! These spikey succulents are apparently gooseberry cucumbers, which I fell in love with outside my local flower shop.
Middle row, left to right
After many years of steering clear of the German Christmas markets, this year I fully embraced the festivities. Here in wine country, Glühwein is often made with real wine and spices (as opposed to the sickly cheap sugary stuff that’s also available), and I was totally sold on the aromatic hot wine I shared with friends at the Mainz Christmas Market Village.
Our eight-hour night flight back to Frankfurt after a year in the US was a challenging one, but on arrival, we knew there was one last thing we could rely on to bribe our children with till we got home: fresh soft, salty Pretzels. The smell alone was a wonderful welcome home.
At the end of November, I spent 24 hours on an organic vegetable farm in Bavaria learning about growing and harvesting winter roots and shoots. These pumpkins were being stored out of the bitter cold in a beautiful messy heap.
Bottom row, left to right
The week before Christmas, I was thrilled to finally receive my German citizenship. My husband and I celebrated with a fancy, fishy Abendbrot and a bottle of Sekt from one of my favourite sparkling wine producers.
Another one of my favourite meals of the year, this Frankfurter Rippchen – cured pork – with mash and Sauerkraut, is a dinner I’ll definitely be repeating in 2018!
Are you on Instagram, too? Come say hi!