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Last year, we started participating in the EDGE program on Fort Richardson. Now that Ft. Rich and Elmendorf have been merged into JBER, the program is being marketed to all military and DoD families. Each day of the week has a different theme with participants signing up for particular packages for the month. Several of the ones the past few months as they got it back up and running were offered for free. Therefore, I really encourage the boys to participate.
In January, Friday afternoons had them learning a little about the German language and culture. The instructor works on base and grew up in Germany. While the boys did not walk away with any real command of the language, they enjoyed the experience.
To wrap up the month, the class participants worked together to prepare a German ‘feast’ featuring different foods you would find on the dinner table. Brats, sauerkraut, open faced meat sandwiches, and tossed green salad all made an appearance. I loved the salad which was tossed with a homemade dressing containing just vinegar, water, oil and a little sugar. My meat loving boys enjoyed the Brats the most, although P was adventuresome enough to try the liverwurst open faced sandwich. None of them tried the sauerkraut. German pickles were enjoyed by Little J the most. For that something sweet, we had Nutella spread on bread slices as well as mint tea with sugar cubes.
When setting the table, the kids were instructed that the plate should be right at the edge of the table. That’s definitely different from how we’ve set our table. But, seeing how much food seems to find its way onto the table, I am considering a change of arrangement. Part of the reason for this placement is that manners in Germany dictate that your arms stay close to your side. She shared that as children they learned this by holding papers under each arm. You were expected to keep the papers against your body for the entire meal. A few of the other kids tried it and found you really have a short span for reaching items.