Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jäger Lunch

When we moved to Germany a couple of months ago, I found a place for us to stay on airbnb. (If you've never used airbnb, I highly recommend it as I've used it a bunch like when we went to Italy last year and when my family came to Barcelona for the wedding.) It was supposed to be a one-to-two week stay until I could find something more permanent. Well, that two weeks ended up being more long-term as we got along swell with our host so much so that Berat invited us to be his roommates.

The house we're living in is very nice and in a quiet, suburban-style neighborhood located about a 10 minute ride on the metro to the center of Stuttgart. Sometimes it can be a little too quiet in "da' hood" but overall it's great. One of the things that I noticed right away was that one of our new-to-us neighbors had some antlers mounted on the front and side of their house.

I asked a couple of people what it was about but no one could really tell me as they just didn't know. The best they could come up with was that he was probably some kind of hunter or something. It intrigued me as  I've seen them inside of buildings but never outside. I figured that I'd see the guy one day and ask him once my German got better.

About a month after we moved in, Diana was outside our neighbor's house, the one with the antlers, talking with the guy who lives there and petting his dog. Over the next week or so, we made friends with him (our first neighbor friend here in Germany!) to the point that we invited him to come over for lunch one Sunday afternoon. He turned out to be a very interesting guy. He's around 77 or so, speaks a little broken English (like my broken German), used to be a horse-mounted policeman in Stuttgart, and has always been an avid hunter, or "Jäger" in German. Yep, we lived next to a Jägermeister!

You've probably heard the word Jäger at some point, most likely related to a bad run in with Jägermeister alcohol. The word Jägermeister, which means "master of the hunt" or "gamekeeper", is a title that was first given to Herman Göring, an important member of a "certain political party" that "came to power" in the 1930s in Germany. Now, it's use is pretty much associated with college students getting drunk and/or fringe groups.

He later invited us over to his house on another Sunday where we got to hear about his exploits and check out his hunting booty:

We brought the local wine aber er hat bier getrunken (but he drank beer). The spread:

The Jäger prepared a venison he had hunted in the Black Forest (!!!), Kartoffelklösse (German potato dumpling), and Rotkohl (red cabbage). The meat had zero fat and was delish! The potato dumplings are slightly chewy and taste like...a potato...but good. I happen to love sauerkraut so I was excited to try the red version. Let's just leave it at I like the white kind better.

He's got an amazing collection that he's put together over the years. I liked this photo of him with a rack, his hunting outfit, and his trusty sidekick Waldie:

He's turned one room of his house into his hunting trophy room. There were probably more than 100 different trophies on display along with lots of photos and mementos. After lunch and our tour, I mostly got out of helping clean up by busying myself with Waldie. He's super cute and we had fun playing fetch together.

Thanks to our very own Jäger for having us over for lunch. It was interesting, delicious, and memorable!

I think it's our turn again. Maybe some burgers on the grill if it ever gets warm enough here!

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