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Kaffe und Kuchen

Posted Aug 30 2011 12:00am

With me being German, it is obviously very important to us that Liana and Amaya don't simply learn the German language, but also learn about German customs and traditions that were part of my family life growing up.

One such tradition is what we call "Kaffe und Kuchen" - or "coffee and cake." Kaffe und Kuchen is a mid-afternoon meal consisting of just that - coffee and cake. What is there not to like?! Many Germans take a daily afternoon coffee break that is usually accompanied by some sort of sweet treat. On the weekends, however, the affair becomes a little more elaborate with one or several homemade German cakes. Growing up, there was never a weekend when my Grandma, my mom, (or later on myself) wouldn't bake a home-made German cake from scratch for Sunday's "coffee and cake." It is an important time to gather as a family and socialize - and it is probably also the most common meal to invite friends and relative to ... more common even than lunch or dinner.

So when we moved in to our own house last spring (which also conincided with the girls getting to an age where I could actually start thinking about baking a cake for fun!), I instilled "Kaffee and Kuchen" in our house. Sometimes all I had time for was a batch of cookies, but it was the the tradition of sitting down with a mug of coffee mid-afternoon that counted. Ever since we came back from Germany this year, however, I've made it a real point to actually bake a German home-made cake every weekend - and it's been so much fun! I usually bake it on Fridays, so Bjorn and I can enjoy a couple of "Kaffee and Kuchen" meals over the course of the weekend. The girls are getting really good about helping me bake, too, which is a lot of fun.

Recently I realized (with a bit of pride and joy, I must admit) that this tradition has now sunk in with my two 2-year old daughters. On Sunday, Bjorn and I decided to enjoy our coffee and cake outside since the weather was so nice. And as soon as I stepped out of the house with a tray full of 2 mugs of coffee, and plates with cake for Bjorn, myself and the girls, Liana and Amaya independently looked at it me and said: "Kaffe und Kuchen?" They knew :)!

On a different afternoon last week, the girls were playing with their tea set and I thought it would be cute to actually serve them some milk and cake in the (rinsed!) plastic cubs. As soon as I set it down in front of them, they immediately pretended to have "Kaffee und Kuchen" and absolutely loved it! See for yourself:

Liana left, Amaya right

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