Feuerzangenbowle - Flaming Fire Tongs Punch

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.  ~Janice Maeditere

12/20/2013 Partying With The Thedens Is An Adventure In Fun And Friendship

We were blessed when we met Kerstin and Hans several years ago.  We dance and party, laugh and giggle and form great friendships!  Tonight Bob and Donna joined us along with Brian & Jan, Dori & Roy, Jeri & Curt McGinty and Sharon & John Schneider... and of course, the star of the evening... Archie the wonder pooch!

 

Tonight we are being treated to a German tradition of Feuerzangenbowle ("flaming fire tongs punch").  Lots of giggling will occur!  Merry Christmas and please join the fun!

 

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
An Unpronounceable German Holiday Tradition


Great friends.... Great traditions...

Did You Know? - Feuerzangenbowle (pron. FOY-er-TSANGEN-bow-luh)

In addition to champagne or Sekt (German sparkling wine), wine, or beer, Feuerzangenbowle ("flaming fire tongs punch") is a popular traditional German New Year's drink. The only drawback for this tasty punch is that it is more complicated to prepare than a normal bottled or canned beverage.

Part of the popularity of Feuerzangenbowle is based on a classic novel of the same name by Heinrich Spoerl (1887-1955) and the 1944 film version starring the popular German actor Heinz Rühmann.

The hot punch drink's main ingredients are Rotwein, Rum, Orangen, Zitronen, Zimt und Gewürznelken (red wine, rum, oranges, lemons, cinnamon and cloves).

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The Finch's have been sampling the various German "adult beverages" before
we arrived... Giggling was well underway!

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"Hans... You can use this to clean greasy auto parts!"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
John brings in the cake.... And the Zuckerhut pot!
You can get one from GermanDeli.com

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Ah... A baby

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Hans has a surprise up his sleeve....
Guaranteed to take the chrome of a bumper hitch

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Hans show us the latest in kitchen technology

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
We are all amazed.... Self sealing ice cube bags!

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Bob is getting an internal cleaning...
Drink it fast before the bottom falls out of the glass

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The kitchen seems to be the meeting place....

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Good friends are a special thing in life

Remember - You can always tell a real friend:  when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job.  ~Laurence J. Peter

Time To Fire Up The Wine

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Did You Know? - Mulled wine is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various spices and raisins. It is served hot or warm and may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. It is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween.

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"I am not supposed to touch it with my fingers??  Now you tell me!"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Sugar "cubed"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The cone is in position....   The wine is ready... We just need a brave fireman

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
It looks so peaceful just laying there but in a few moments...

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
151 proof rum????

Did You Know? - Alcohol proof is a measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in an alcoholic beverage. The term was originally used in the United Kingdom and was defined as 7/4 times the alcohol by volume (ABV). The UK now uses the ABV standard instead of alcohol proof. In the United States, alcoholic proof is defined as twice the percentage of ABV.

The measurement of alcohol content and the statement of this content on the bottle labels of alcoholic beverages is regulated by law in many countries. The purpose of the regulation is to provide pertinent information to the consumer.

In the United States, alcohol content is measured in terms of the percentage of alcohol by volume. The Code of Federal Regulations (27 CFR [4-1-03 Edition] §5.37 Alcohol content) requires that liquor labels must state the percentage of ABV. The regulation permits, but does not require, a statement of the proof provided that it is printed close to the ABV number.

For bottled spirits over 100 ml containing no solids, actual alcohol content is allowed to vary within 0.15% of ABV stated on the label.

Alcohol proof in the United States is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. Consequently, 100-proof whiskey contains 50% alcohol by volume; 86-proof whiskey contains 43% alcohol.

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
It has to be done very very carefully.... Splish-Splash

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Note: Hans has a halo around his head!
Hans is "The Star Of The Show!"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Sugar cones are getting a bath in 151 proof rum....
He is drowning the little suckers!

Did You Know? - Bacardi 151 is a brand of highly alcoholic rum made by Bacardi Limited of Hamilton, Bermuda. It is named for its alcohol proof level of 151, that is, 75.5% alcohol by volume. This is much higher than typical rum at 35%–40%. Bacardi 151 has been sold in the US since at least 1981.

As with all high-alcohol beverages, Bacardi 151 is flammable. Bacardi 151 has multiple warnings on the label of the bottle stating that it should not be ignited or exposed to an open flame.

Bottles are also equipped with a stainless steel flame arrester crimped onto to the neck of the bottle to prevent the rum from igniting, in case a consumer or bartender ignores the warnings and applies the rum to a source of ignition (e.g. a flaming pan or dish, a flambé).

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The sugar cone lays down so innocently..... 
It's so soaked with rum it can't stand up!

The Match Begins The Magic

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Did You Know? - Pyromania is an impulse control disorder in which individuals repeatedly fail to resist impulses to deliberately start fires, in order to relieve tension or for instant gratification.

The term pyromania comes from the Greek word πῦρ ('pyr', fire). Pyromania and pyromaniacs are distinct from arson, the pursuit of personal, monetary or political gain. It is multiple, deliberate and purposeful fire setting rather than accidental.

Pyromaniacs start fires to induce euphoria, and often fixate on institutions of fire control like fire stations and firefighters.

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The fire begins to melt the sugar....

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Hans keeps the 151 proof fuel on the sugar cone

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
New meaning to the term "Fire Bug"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The halo looks good

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"So, do we know where the fire extinguisher is??"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"I can reach the ceiling!  I know I can"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
It's a science project gone bad... Donna gets an excellent view of melting sugar

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"What am I doing in a house that Hans is attempting to burn down?"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens Christmas celebration with the Thedens Christmas celebration with the Thedens Christmas celebration with the Thedens Christmas celebration with the Thedens Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
It was magical... To watch AND to drink

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Hans got the flames too high and John came to the rescue
by moving the air in front of the smoke detector

Did You Know? - The first automatic electric fire alarm was invented in 1890 by Francis Robbins Upton (U.S. patent no. 436,961). Upton was an associate of Thomas Edison, but there is no evidence that Edison contributed to this project.

The first truly affordable home smoke detector was invented by Duane D. Pearsall in 1965, featuring an individual battery powered unit that could be easily installed and replaced. The first units for mass production came from Duane Pearsall’s company, Statitrol Corporation, in Lakewood, Colorado. These first units were made from strong fire resistant steel and shaped much like a bee's hive.

The need for a quick replace battery didn't take long to show itself and the rechargeable was replaced with a pair of AA batteries along with a plastic shell encasing the detector.

The small assembly line sent close to 500 units per day before Statitrol sold its invention to Emerson Electric in 1980 and Sears’s retailers picked up full distribution of the 'now required in every home' smoke detector.

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Hans decided to do it on the cheap...
Just hang it on the wall.... If you hear popping.... Run!!!

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
He is singing.... Listen carefully...
"Merrily I set a fire, set a fire, set a fire...."

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The sugar cone has given its life just for us!

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Simply beautiful and famous... It has it's own movie!!!

Did You Know? - Die Feuerzangenbowle ("The Fire-Tongs Bowl" or "The Punch Bowl") is a 1944 German film, directed by Helmut Weiss and is based on the book of the same name. It follows the book closely as its author, Heinrich Spoerl, also wrote the script for the movie.

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Both tell the story of a famous writer going undercover as a student at a small town secondary school after his friends tell him that he missed out on the best part of growing up by being educated at home.

The story in the book takes place during the time of the Wilhelmine Empire in Germany.

The movie was produced and released in Germany during the last years of World War II and has been called a "masterpiece of timeless, cheerful escapism."

The movie stars Heinz Rühmann in the role of the student Hans Pfeiffer, which is remarkable as Rühmann was already 42 years old at that time.

 

 

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The star lit the way to the wine!

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
A magical time to friends

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"OK enough with the flames... Let's drink!!"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
One last stare at the cone....

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
You did an excellent job....

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Our fantastic hosts for this wonderful evening.... Kerstin and Hans

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Dori and Roy

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Donna and Bob

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Sue and Paul

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Sharon and Curt

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
John... Sticking to his Vodka

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Miss Jeri... World famous smile

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
And fresh from London England (where it is snowing and 10 degrees)...
Jan and Brian Finch

Brian Had A Joke To Tell.....

Paddy and Mick were walking along a street in London . Paddy looked in one of the shop windows and saw a sign that caught his eye.

The sign read, "Suits £5.00 each, Shirts £2.00 each, trousers £2.50 per pair".

Paddy said to his pal, "Mick look at the prices! We could buy a whole lot of clothes and when we get back to Ireland we could make a fortune.

Now when we go in you stay quiet, okay? Let me do all da talking ‘cause if they hear our accents, they might think we’re thicko’s from Ireland

and try to screw us.. I'll put on my best English accent.”

“Roight y'are Paddy, I'll keep me mouth shut, so I will. You do all da business” said Mick.

They go in and Paddy said in a posh voice, "Hello my good man. I'll take 50 suits at £5.00 each,100 shirts at £2..00 each, and 50 pairs of trousers

at £2.50 each. I'll back up me truck ready to load ‘em on, so I will."

The owner of the shop said quietly, "You're from Ireland , aren't you?"

"Well yes," said a surprised Paddy. "What gave it away?"

The owner replied, "This is a dry-cleaners."

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Donna has her big glass and Bob has his little one

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Hans is still pouring ... Donna has the right idea

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"So Donna... Why do I get the small glass and you get the bog one???"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"OK... You can have the big glass, I will take the bottle!"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The cake be cut

Did You Know? - The Bundt cake derives in part from a European brioche-like fruit cake called Gugelhupf which was popular among Jewish communities in parts of Germany, Austria and Poland. In the north of Germany Gugelhupf is traditionally known as Bundkuchen (German pronunciation: [ˈbʊntkuːxn]), a name formed by joining the two words Kuchen (cake) and Bund.

Opinions differ as to the significance of the word Bund. One possibility is that it means "bunch" or "bundle", and refers to the way the dough is bundled around the tubed center of the pan.

Another source suggests that it describes the banded appearance given to the cake by the fluted sides of the pan, similar to a tied sheaf or bundle of wheat.

Some authors have suggested that Bund instead refers to a group of people, and that Bundkuchen is so called because of its suitability for parties and gatherings.

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Just asking....

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Jeri cuts the cake, Sharon, Curt swigs the wine, and John "mulls" it over

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Our host is working too hard....

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Our hostess with the mostess

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Dori and Roy.... Ahhhhhhh

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Sue and Paul

Remember - Die beste Art der Freund ist der, man könnte auf einer Veranda mit sitzen, nie ein Wort zu sagen, und gehen weg wie das Gefühl, dass war die beste Unterhaltung, die man hatte. ~ Autor unbekannt

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Curt.... John does not need rabbit ears....

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Antenna retracted.... Courtesy of Hans

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The baby was wonderful this evening... Archie is a good boy

Did You Know? - The term pit bull is a generic term used to describe dogs with similar physical characteristics.

Usually a "pit bull" is considered one of several breeds including the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier or any mix thereof.

In some parts of the world, the American Bulldog and Dogo Argentino are also classified as a "Pit Bull-type" dog, despite major genetic differences.

Any dog that is mixed with a "bully breed" may also be called a "pit bull" including those that are descended from the English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier and Cane Corso.

The pit bull is not a distinct breed which may make it difficult for experts to identify, and while mixed breed dogs are often labelled a "pit bull" if they have certain physical characteristics such as a square shaped head or bulky body type

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
"The Feuerzangenbowle was fantastic!!"

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Story telling time

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
The cake has seemed to disappear from in front of Curt and John

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
We have some remaining which will soon disappear also

Christmas celebration with the Thedens
Archie pays a visit to see what remains of dinner

Christmas celebration with the Thedens

The Song - All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
Just For Kerstin & Hans

"All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" is a novelty Christmas song written in 1944 by Donald Yetter Gardner (1913-2004) while teaching music at public schools in Smithtown, New York.

He asked his second grade class what they wanted for Christmas, and noticed that almost all of the students had at least one front tooth missing as they answered in a lisp.

Gardner wrote the song in 30 minutes. In a 1995 interview, Gardner said, "I was amazed at the way that silly little song was picked up by the whole country."

The song was published in 1948 after an employee of Witmark music company heard Gardner sing it at a music teachers conference.

The song was originally recorded by Spike Jones & His City Slickers on December 6, 1947, with lead vocal by George Rock. That version reached the top of the pop charts in 1948, and again in 1949.