More Lost in Translation

In my twenties food was simply not important. Food was fuel nothing more. I had no appreciation and would at my parents house just head straight to the fridge and stare blankly inside. I was never taught to cook as I think my Mum just couldn’t be doing with the mess so my cooking skills were limited. Once, some friend’s came over and sat politely crunching a pasta dish. Processed food and sugar were my go to.

When I became a mother it changed and through everyone’s mate Jamie Oliver I learnt new skills and flavours and began to at last appreciate good food. Although Jamie need not worry Id steal his crown I was a good home cook. and rarely now undercooked pasta.

So the time was always going to come as the eldest child when it was my turn to host Christmas.

We had moved house a year before and although the house was large it would be cozy with 6 adults, 4 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Yep there was a lot of expectation riding on this but I was up to the challenge.

My love of Christmas has like most increased since having children. I love the build up,the excitement and anticipation. The house transforms into a mass of fairy lights. No tinsel, but tasteful sprigs of holly dotted around.

I had the all important pinterest board, I knew how to make the best gravy from Jamie. Nigella’s Christmas cookbook was pride of place on the kitchen worktop. The sherry was out (any excuse) and the Christmas playlist was banging out of Alexia. All this by the end of November…. You can never have enough Sinatra or Buble.

Planning the menu was easy. Not from a family of gourmets keeping it traditional was key. Anything slightly different would be noticed so turkey, roast potatoes the usual veg would go down a treat. Nothing fancy.

Used to just buying from the supermarket my friend recommended a butchers just over the river in Germany. It had just opened also boasting a coffee shop and was very popular and reasonably priced plus locally sourced. Bonus.

So the decision was made Id get all the Christmas meat from there. Knowing that they probably wouldn’t speak english I turned to my friend Google Translate. Sat in the car outside the butchers I practiced my question, and their anticipated response. So I sat and listened and practiced until deep breath I was ready.

The windows of the butchers were steamy as the doorbell rang announcing my entry. It was busy, BUGGER. I had hoped that it was quiet. The coffee shop was full of noise and the smell of pastry’s and coffee. The atmosphere was light people queued patiently to be served at the butchers side chatting and laughing. I took a ticket and quietly waited my turn all the while practicing in my head my question.

“kann ich Ihnen helfen?” The lady asked smiling at me. At that moment my mind went blank. I stumbled over my question pronouncing everything wrong. She looks at me blankly, I felt like the whole shop was looking at me. I am stood there grinning apologetically like an idiot. I can feel my cheeks burning with embarrassment.

I repeat the question again. “Englisch.” She asks. I nod miserably now mortified. She calls for a colleage to come over. Now the whole blooming place is looking. Hi i say. Id like to get a turkey please and maybe some pork for 10 people please? In a heavy accent she asks “Have you ordered?”

What the fudge!!! Nobody mentioned anything about ordering. Nein, I reply. Well she says with a flash of her eyes you’ll never get one now…..

Its blooming hot in here. I wish i hadn’t worn my ugg’s. My top lip is sweaty. Omg I think what am I going to do!! Ive got a Christmas Pinterest board! My mother-in-law is coming.

I explain I just need meat to feed 10 people. Ok she says I can help.

“Is this ok?” She points at a slab of something. “Yes thats fine.” I reply with a hint of hysteria in my voice imagining my family’s faces as I serve nut roast on Christmas day.

“And this?” She says pointing to another slab of bloody meat. Yes I nod now relieved that Christmas would be saved. Ok no turkey but hey at least my house of carnivores will be happy. With a nod and now a smile she wraps both up and pops them in a bag. Getting my purse out I nearly choke on the amount. WTF!!! She is still staring at me waiting so with a shaky hand I pass over my card. The amount is like €250 more than I expected to spend. Still smiling she calls “ Wiedersehen”

I sit in the car still in shock thinking how that happened. Then I realize I had bought beef and pork tenderloin.

Christmas that year was a success. Grandparents successfully medicated with baileys and IPA. Children running riot and more potatoes peeled than I can ever remember.

And everyone remarked on how amazing the meat was and how it melted in their mouths. And so it should……… x

One response to “More Lost in Translation”

  1. Janine Petty Avatar
    Janine Petty

    Funny read I can just imagine your face dropping at the price! I bet you bought the best meat in the shop!!

    Liked by 1 person

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