Wavin’ Flag

Remember how I talked about soccer fever? That it was Euro 2012 time? And that it was time to celebrate the beginning of Euro 2012, and to cheer on Germany? Well, I didn’t quite manage to create a German food menu, instead I made carrot pancakes, a spring potato salad and a cherry, corn and fennel salad. But now, with the Olympics, I have another chance to create a ‘German fan menu.’

One option is to come up with food inspired by the German flag. The German flag is composed of stripes in yellow, red and black. Or I could do the completely lazy version and make Bratwurst and Sauerkraut. I could also make some kind of classic German cake like a Black Forest cake. There are also delicious fruit cakes in Germany, but I’d rather challenge myself. Btw, did you know that the German chocolate cake is actually German’s chocolate cake – named after the chocolate brand German’s? If you ask a German for a German chocolate cake, they’ll probably look confused and ask you what kind of chocolate cake you’d like.

three layer cake: yellow cake, red velvet cake, chocolate cake

A three layer cake: yellow cake, red velvet cake and chocolate cake

I’m not the first person to think of making a flag cake. Petite Kitchenesse made a beautiful version, with layers of yellow cake, red velvet cake and chocolate cake. I think that’s the way to go. The black flag will just have to be made of chocolate. I’m so not making a black cake, nor will I use food coloring to turn it black. Who would want to eat that? It’ll just look like a burnt cake. And the actual “black cake” which is a dark fruit cake derived from the British plum pudding – yeah, no. I was never a fan of fruit cake, so that one is a no go (I want to eat it too!).

I love all these cakes separately, but I’m not quite sure how the flavors will all go together. I mean, will the flavors meld, or will they clash???? I could also go a different direction and make a German Beer Coffee Cake. It looks interesting, but also strange. And it again has hints of fruit cake. Sigh.

The post title is inspired by K’Naan’s song “Wavin’ Flag” which is awesomely soccer themed. It’s also the song Coke used for its FIFA World Cup 2010 commercials. Don’t be turned off by that – all the big sponsors release pretty great soccer themed commercials for the big soccer tournament.

Wavin Flag Coca Cola Celebration Mix

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Soccer fever

Euro 2012 Logo

Note: I’m not ignoring the political situation in the Ukraine. There has been a lot of discussion about the imprisonment and treatment of Yulia Timoshenko, the former prime minister of the Ukraine. But apart from that, the human rights situation is deplorable as well. There are reports of police brutality and torture. Attention needs to be paid to the situation in the Ukraine not just during spotlight that the Euro 2012 shines on the country, but also beyond. Visit Amnesty International for more information.

Tomorrow is the day! Tomorrow the Euro 2012 starts! The hosts are Poland and Ukraine, and the first game is Poland vs Greece, kicking off at 6pm EST. The Euro Cup ranks just below the FIFA World Cup, at least for me. I foresee lots of soccer watching and neglecting the rest of my life. There’ll be viewing parties, at home or maybe even at work. People will have flags up, people will be wearing team jerseys and face paint, some people even decorate their cars accordingly.

Well, I have to cheer on my favorite team, Germany. It’s been a while since Germany won a Euro championship – the last time was 1996. The last time Germany won the FIFA World Cup was 1990 (Germany still played as West Germany). Which is totally contrary to Gary Lineker‘s quote: “Soccer is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball, and one referee who makes a slew of mistakes, and in the end Germany always wins.” But Germany and England do have a soccer rivalry – just think of the Wembley goal during the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

They’re toe-up, so the stripes look upside down. Note the soccer appropriate footstool!

I was in Germany during the 2006 world cup, and the atmosphere there was amazing. They had public viewing parties, the weather was awesome, and all in all the mood was great (you’ll always have a few Hooligans and others up for trouble, but all in all it was pretty peaceful). Oh, and in addition to the mood, people were pretty euphoric because Germany was doing really well. Whenever a critical game took place the roads were pretty much deserted during the game. Depending on the results people were driving around, cheering, waving flags and honking like mad. You’ll also get that during games involving Turkey’s team since there are so many Turkish people in Germany. In fact, a lot of Germans cheered for Turkey except for the Euro 2008 semis where Germany played against Turkey. But in 2006, people were so euphoric and so excited by this young team that it ended up being called “ein Sommermärchen” – a summer fairytale. There even was a documentary with that name dealing with that period during that summer.

This time I’ll once again will be in Germany for the Euro tournament. I’m hoping for lots of soccer related parties. And I’ll get the chance to wear my Germany socks (hand-knit of course!). In fact, I still need to knit more Germany socks for friends and family. The munchkins of course need German flag socks. And I know a few other people who’d love German flag colored socks. I may be starting something, though – I think a few people might want socks in the their favorite team’s colors.

Join in, and no matter what time you’re cheering for, I hope you have lots of fun! Yay for 90 minutes (or more) of watching 22 people chasing a black and white ball. Yay for soccer!

Hup Holland Hup

Hup Holland Hup means as much as Go Holland Go! Holland is actually only a part of the Netherlands, but is often used as a synonym in common language. Anyway, if you’ve ever been to a Dutch national soccer game, or seen the World Cup or something like that, you might have seen that the Dutch team usually wears orange – an eye-searing orange. It’s almost neon orange. Even though the Dutch national flag is red, white and blue, the color orange is the color of the royal house, and nowadays it basically represents national pride.

What’s the point of this? Well, I made freshly pressed orange juice today. Very very orange juice. Almost “Dutch” orange juice. I figured I’d be a bit of smartass 🙂 And by the way, and a (orange/lemon) juicer is a marvelous thing – if you’re frequently buying fresh pressed orange juice, you might want to seriously consider investing in a press. Yes it takes up a lot more space than a little hand juicer, but it’s so amazingly fast and convenient. And fresh pressed orange juice is so much better than your standard juice out of a box, or worse, one of those frozen orange juice concentrate things.

oranges

oranges

orange juice

freshly pressed orange juice