Mittags Buffee

I’ve never particularly liked lunch as a concept. At school, it always meant the difficult decision of who to sit with and something from a brown paper bag, hastily packed in the morning. On weekends, it usually meant leftovers and time spent not doing whatever I wanted. Now that I’m working, I really actually enjoy my lunch break. A time to reenergize for the second half of the day. I have adapted well to the German habit of a later lunch (even though this is often inconvenient in the village where I work because half the shops all go on lunch break either from 1-2 or from 1-3, so a visit to the post office or bank means I need to take my break from 12:30 to 1:30 instead). What I have not adapted well to is packing my own lunch. I haven’t been in the habit of doing that over the last nine years partly due to dining halls in college and living close enough to grad school to walk home and make my lunch fresh. The few times over the last couple of months that I’ve thought ahead, I usually manage to forget at home whatever it was I packed up the night before and put in the fridge. Oh well, that was dinner already done!

My mother has an impressive cycle of foods. If we ate spaghetti with meat sauce on Monday night, we knew that the meat sauce would get some spices and be reincarnated as either chili or tacos or both on Tuesday and/or Wednesday. A roast chicken’s leftover bones and meat would mean Potpie soup broth. A pot roast’s leftover vegetables would show up in a vegetable soup. Somehow, this clever scheme has not rubbed off on me. I like to experiment and rarely make the same thing twice. I might have the same basic thing over and over, but each time, I see some new thing lying around and think “Oooh, that might taste good with that”. Generally, it’s passable, sometimes it really does taste terrible. Generally, because I’m experimenting and am not entirely sure that it will actually be tasty, I make enough for one meal.

My goal this week then, will be to aim to make it work for two meals (lunch the next day) and to also remember to take it with me. You can’t take it with you if you can remember you have it? Bad pun. Sorry.

In other news, I have recently taken over the main tenancy of the my apartment from my previous flatmate. I have acquired a subletter and am now trying to systematically (but mostly erratically) replacing the things that disappeared in the move. This week, after several tries, I managed to get a floor rug (large) and laundry detergent (I was down to the Christmas-themed socks…). Those were my goals last week. Along the way, I may also have acquired some cleaning supplies, a cutting board, an extra hand towel, and a casserole dish. This week, my goal is for some pillows to sit on in the living room, some cushy stools (I already know what and where, but will not get them until next Saturday because that store closes at 7pm during the week. I work until 6 and by the time I got to the store they’ll either be closed or shooing customers out the door.), and something to hang coats on. My goal for November is a couch bed. But that is a ways out, hence the pillows. I’m contemplating actually making the pillows myself, but I think I might just stick with pillowcases and leave the pillow making to people who are better at it/have experience.

The title of the post is something I saw on the window of a local Chinese restaurant. The correct way to write it would be “Mittagsbuffet.” As it is, they can still capitalize on their error by putting a picture of a fairy on the window. “Fee” means fairy in German. Magic fairy provides your lunch for you? I’m probably going to have to be my own magic fairy for a while…