The Feuerzangenbowle With The Thedens Kicks Off Our Christmas Season
Did You Know? - Feuerzangenbowle is a traditional German alcoholic drink for which a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine. It is often part of a Christmas or New Year's Eve tradition. The name translates literally to fire-tongs punch.
The popularity of the drink has been boosted by the 1944 film comedy Die Feuerzangenbowle. It is a traditional drink of some German fraternities, who also call it Krambambuli, as the red colour is reminiscent of a cherry liqueur of that name which was manufactured by the distillery Der Lachs zu Danzig (in Gdańsk).
Where Do People Congregate? Duh, The Kitchen!
Geri and Kathy are re-introduced...
Kerstin - The most gracious hostess surrounded by Ed and John
Jan and Sue share wine impressions
Hans had "Wine Glass Markers" so Jan got hers custom made
(Search Amazon for "wine glass marker pen")
"Enough with the wine... Where is the beer?"
John, Sharon, and Kirk are the official wine watchers.... We are in trouble
We met Bruce and Karen - Long time friends of Hans
Meanwhile the Feuerzangenbowle utensils are being prepared for the lighting
"Yes... The Sugar Cone seems to fit and
Yes... I will remember to remove the plastic this year!"
Did You Know? - Feuerzangenbowle is prepared in a bowl, similar to a fondue set, which usually is suspended over a small burner (rechaud). The bowl is filled with heated dry red wine spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and orange peel, similar to mulled wine. The Feuerzange was originally a pair of tongs, but nowadays it is common for a purpose-designed metal grate mounted on top of the bowl to hold the Zuckerhut (sugarloaf or literally "sugar hat"), a sugar cone around seven inches long.
Ready to receive the mulled wine
The Zuckerhut or sugar cone is resting for its performance
We regret we have but one life to give to our Feuerzangenbowle
Extra sugar is available should the drinker need more...
Meanwhile Back In The Kitchen Dinner Preparations Are Underway
We took notice of the sign in the kitchen!
Hans explains something.... He is not even sure!
Wine is made to disappear The kitchen is so special...
Great smells... Great friends.... Great wine
Donna and Sue compare notes
Bob, Ed, and Kathy watch the preparations carefully
Rice is ready and the "Fish Stew" is ready....
Lookout... It is time to eat!
The rice is ready... Best way to soak up the Fish Stew Juices!
We have been busy in the kitchen
Archie's nose was working overtime!
"I smells sumpin good"
Ready and looking wonderful.... Come and get it!
The contents disappeared before our eyes
The crowd gets quiet!
Chef Hans did a masterful job in preparing dinner!
The stew disappeared instantly! Many trips are made to the kitchen!
Visiting with friends... Makes the holidays special!
"More stew anybody?"
"Is everybody ready for the finale?"
"First to carefully unwrap the sugar cone so it does not crumble"
Remove the plastic and place the cone in the tray over the mulled wine
Did You Know? - Mullen wine dates back to the Romans. Wine was first recorded as spiced and heated in Rome during the 2nd century. The Romans travelled all across Europe, conquering much of it and trading with the rest. The legions brought wine and viticulture with them up to the Rhine and Danube rivers and to the Scottish border bringing their recipes with them.
... and Geri and Kirk are watching this carefully
"I need a drink" says the sugar cone....
Little does he know!
The hot mulled wine is removed from the stove
Kerstin is going to try her new firestick!
"Dang! Works on the first click!
BTW, it also works as a welder!""
Blue flame... Perfect!"
"Should we dance a polka as the flames jump up?"
Did You Know? - The sugar is soaked with rum and set alight, melting and caramelizing. The rum should have at least 54% alcohol per volume and be at room temperature in order to burn properly. More rum is poured with a ladle until all the sugar has melted and mixed with the wine. The resulting punch is served in mugs while the burner keeps the bowl warm.
Notice how white the cone is now
Sue and Jan admire Han's procedure and finesse
The sugar soaks up the liquor and turns slightly brown
The indicator on the end of the cone reveals how full it is
Just a little more and we are off to the races
Number one is lit and on its way!
Hans fuels up number two
Two at a time!
The audience is amazed... Trance-like
OK... Who yelled "Where are the marshmallows?"
It is beginning to drip liquid sugar into the bowl below
Adding fuel to the fire
The flames were viewable in Catalina
Hans prepares to reload....
See the ladle in the flames?
It's the closest thing to a fireworks show that we know!
Many eyebrows were singed this evening
One pour for man.... One more pour for mankind!
We all departed with a sunburn after this pyrotechnic display
One more for the far end of the table
S-h-h-h-h Does anyone hear fire trucks?
"Oh No... Back to the Thedens again"
The sugar has indeed melted and is dripping into the wine
Hans gives the left overs a little push
We declare victory... It is ready to pour...
The smell is so wonderful!
Hans uses his best crystal!
Cheers to great friends and wonderful hosts
Down the hatch
Prost! - Prosit! - Zum Wohl! - Auf uns! - Auf dich!
The wine also disappeared quickly.... Hats off to pur wonderful hosts!
Now Comes Desert...
Wow... Life doesn't get better than this!
All the calories are in the cherries... Beware
Stollen to die for