Saturday, March 28, 2015

The 6 iPhone Emojis They Forgot (according to a German)

As an iPhone user, an emoji (the ideograms or smileys used in Japanese electronic messages and now throughout the world) lover, and a German I have some thoughts on the available emojis. First lets give a shout out to apple for including these which are very useful if you are an avid texter and you're German:

#9: The Spargel - Ok fine… apparently this is a "pine decoration" but I like to use it as asparagus, a veggie Germans love and so do I (even though I make mine in the oven, not in a Spargelkocher) 

#8: The Hazelnut - During the holidays nothing says Weihnachten like some good ol' cookies with Haselnüssen

#7: The Skiis - Although for me living in the mid-west where our version of a mountain to ski on is a fake snow covered pile of dirt, this comes in handy for most ski-loving Deutsche

#6: The Fußball - No description needed

#5: The Omi und Opa - "What are you doing tonight?" "Hanging out with [insert old people emoji]"
#4: The Krampus - Always a classic

#3: The Beer and the Clinking Beer Steins - PROST!

#2: The NEIN! girl - "Can you help me move?" "[insert pink girl with hands in the NEIN!!! position]"

#1: The German Flag - just started humming the Deutschlandlied (does that not get stuck in everyone's head for hours?)
But… Apple (and/or the japanese emoji designers) missed some crucial and much needed emojis if Germans are going to have emoji filled text conversations with other Germans!

#6: The Gummibär - If I can buy Haribo at the local Michael's craft store I should be able to text a gummy bear to my besties!

#5: The Iron - Although German-American's may have adopted the American's lack of ironing love, sometimes you just need a do some bügeln via text message.

#4: The Accordion - Chances are when you are going to an event we are going to need to express some polka love via text message and what better way to do that than with a classic instrument.

#3: The Pretzel - I mean come on… its a common bar snack! No? 
#2: The Wurst - At the very least they could have included a hot dog…
#1: CHEESE - It grinds my gears on a regular basis that there is no cheese besides this Kraft American Cheese hidden in the Symbols. I mean where is the Käse love?

What do you think? Am I crazy thinking they missed these crucial emojis? Do you use an emoji in a Deutsches way amongst your friends? I would love to hear your ideas so share them on social media ( @raredirndl on Intagram and @raredirndln on Twitter) or in the comments below!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight: Alayna Whitney

Alayna Whitney - Kent, Ohio

My name is Alayna and I am 24 years old and an active member in the Akron Ohio Donauschwaben and I dance in both the Juggendgruppe and adult Tanzgruppe. While I am not of German heritage, my mother married into the culture and I grew up making it my own. 

When I am not dancing and celebrating my adoptive heritage, I find myself with my nose buried in a book or riding my horse. In these photographs, I am at the Akron German Family Society Oktoberfest which took place the second week in September of 2014. One picture is of my sister and I, one of me and my dance partner sharing a pre-performance selfie and one of me dancing in my dirndl. I love to tell people how I stumbled upon my Rare Dirndl. For about five years, I had been searching the internet and Europe for a Dirndl that matches my taste in literature, art and music as I felt my dirndl should reflect my personality, but had been unsuccessful. 

When I went to the Donauschwaben labor day competition this past year my friends took me over to look at the Rare Dirndls. To be completely honest I had never heard of Rare Dirndl, but I was immediately taken with the care and quality of the dirndls and how each one seemed to be unique. While browsing the rack, I found “The Raven” Dirndl and fell in love instantly, as Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite reads! Without a second thought, I tried one of two dresses that were there and one fit—as I imagine Cinderella’s glass slipper fit only her. So I purchased it that day. Since then I have worn the dirndl for every dancing event I get the chance to and am always receiving compliments on the dirndl. One of my favorite things about Rare Dirndl is that each and every dirndl (as you can tell many of my friends and fellow dancers own them from the one photograph) is well made and shouts whatever inner spirit the wearer wants it to reflect. For me, throwing on the sweat-heart off-shoulder blouse with a simple necklace, no knee socks and black satin bloomers with my Rare Dirndl, I feel beautiful and confident. For me, my dirndl shouts: Be Bold.

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl website and blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

True Facts about Sauerkraut

  • Sauerkraut originated approximately 2,000 years ago in China, where it is known as suan cai, with a literal translation of “sour vegetable”.
  • It wasn't until 1,000 years later that Genghis Khan plundered China and brought back this recipe for naturally fermented cabbage.

  • The Germans, who gave it the name "sauerkraut", learned to make this dish from their native European cabbage, giving us sauerkraut as we know it today.
  • In World War I and II, the slang word “kraut” was used to refer to sailors and ultimately all German soldiers because of a long history of German ships being outfitted with sauerkraut as part of daily food rations to prevent the onset of scurvy. 

  • Sauerkraut has been used in Europe for centuries to treat stomach ulcers, and its effectiveness for soothing the digestive tract has been well established by numerous studies.
  • According to Per Pickle Packers International, Americans consume 387 million pounds of sauerkraut annually, or about 1.25 pounds per person.
  • Most people immediately think to buy their sauerkraut in a jar, but for the most basic sauerkraut, all your need to make your own sauerkraut is 1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds) and 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Sauerkraut is made by a process called lacto-fermentation.
  • Lactobacillus is a type of beneficial bacteria present on the surface of the cabbage, which is the same bacteria found in yogurt. 
  • When submerged in a brine, the bacteria begin to convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid; this is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Plain sauerkraut is (to most people) not very tasty, but if you doctor it up with bacon, onions and some wine, it is delicious!
  • Plain sauerkraut is fat free!
  • There are hundreds of ways to use sauerkraut, but our favorite is the ruben sandwich and sauerkraut soup!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mader's German Restaurant: Famous for the Food?!

Last year, my mom told some people from work that she was going to Milwaukee for German Fest and she said that at least 7 people asked her if she was going to Mader's? "It's a famous German restaurant!" So we thought, huh… we should go! On Friday evening, my mom and I headed out to Milwaukee for an event on Saturday at the Mitchell Park Domes, Germany Under Glass, but first, dinner at Mader's Restaurant.

Our Server, Krystal
When we first walked in, the staff was very polite and sat us in a booth by the bar. My first thought was wow! The decor was very Old World German. Not beer garden-y, not old-german man-y, not oma-y but like 16th century German monk style. It was very impressive, but the intense decor didn't take away from the warmth. I felt welcome and comfortable.

I loved that the servers wore dirndls! It looked like they all wore their own and they were all classic and traditional style dirndls. Our server Krystal was great! She was super sweet and I later found out on Saturday that she had asked someone to get some Rare Dirndl information for her because she wants a dirndl!

The 3rd thing I noticed (1st being the decor and 2nd the dirndls) was this table stand advertising their specials… using the font Papyrus… this font needs to die. I loathe this font. Ok, moving on to the good stuff.

The menu was difficult to read because it was full of pictures of all the famous people that have eaten there. While it was cool to see who all has been there, I was really more interested in what I was going to eat.

But first… beer! I order a Weihenstephaner Vitus, a weissbock that is one of my favorites and my mom ordered, (uh… i don't remember, oops!) Anywhoo, they were both served in their 110th anniversary steins, which was kinda cool, but very heavy.

Ruben Rolls
Looking over the menu, there was 1 thing I noticed right off the bat; the entrees were expensive. Not outrageous, but definitely more than I'm used to paying for German classics like schnitzel. We started with the Ruben Rolls, because when I called to make the reservation that's what the recording recommended, and it was a great recommendation. It was essentially a Ruben inside an egg roll served with Dusseldorf mustard and boy were they tasty.

And then there was the complimentary pretzel roll. I will go back for that roll. It was fresh out of the oven, soft yet crispy, not too salty. (I may or may not be drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it.)

The best thing we ate all night!

Unfortunately that's where the salivating stops because the rest of our meal was… meh. I was so put off by the $30+ for all the German favorites that I ordered one of the "Kleinen Platten"(small plates) of Vegetarian Spaetzle, a side of Roasted Brussel Sprouts and the Friday Night Fish Fry Special with potato pancakes and sauerkraut. The Spaeztle was some veggies and Spaetzle in a bland Alfredo sauce, the fish was so thin we could barely find it amongst the breading, the potato pancakes were kinda sweet and fluffy, (like a breakfast pancake) and the sauerkraut was so sour! But, the brussel sprouts were really good and fresh.

For dessert, I had to try one of their after dinner drinks, the "Pink Squirrel: a forgotten Milwaukee favorite" It was ice cream mixed with some alcohol and raspberry something… that was a tasty treat!

Overall, I feel like I jipped myself because I didn't get any of the German food because the prices got me all nervous. I would go back again to try some actual German favorites and for the pretzel roll, but I honestly have no idea why people were so insistent that we go there. Just because Usher, William Shatner, Clark Gabel and Tim McGraw ate there?

What do you think? Did I miss something? I'll be back in Milwaukee again soon, what should I try there that you think is better then the alfredo spaetzle concoction and the heavy duty fish fry?

P.S. The suit of armor in the window was really cool too. Seriously, the decor was fantastic!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rare Dirndl: Under the Glass

This week I thought I'd test my new iPhone6's photography capacity by taking a magnifying glass style look at some of our most popular accessories that I'll be featuring at this weekend's event in Milwaukee!

Here are some of the "Under the Glass" style photos! Pretty cool huh!?

You can take an up close and personal look at all of these in Milwaukee this weekend. Rare Dirndl will be at "Germany Under Glass,” a family-friendly celebration of German culture will be presented by German-American Societies and various German clubs of Milwaukee, in partnership with the Milwaukee County Parks, Saturday, March 7 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. The Domes, “Milwaukee’s Living Landmark,” is located at 524 S. Layton Blvd.

I'm super pumped about this event, I think it will be a lot of fun. In addition to music, dance, authentic foods, and table-top displays, this year’s festival will celebrate two historic events and the recent soccer championship. Speakers will provide details of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (Nov. 9, 1989), the centennial anniversary of the start of World War I (July 28, 1914), and Germany’s winning of the 2014 World Cup.

We will have a booth set up featuring all of our favorites accessories and some of the new 2015 collection to take a look at. For more information click here for the full PDF press release about the event and follow us on Facebook and instagram (and now @raredirndl on snapchat) to see more fun pictures and behind the scenes goodies!