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Summer heat takes a backseat

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This summer seemed to play a game of hide-and-seek with us, providing only a brief appearance of high temperatures. Instead, most days were characterized by gloomy skies, strong winds, and sporadic rainfall. This unfortunate weather put a damper on our outdoor plans, including using the new pool at Opa and Oma’s house, where we spent a delightful two weeks.

Despite the weather setback, we found a silver lining in the form of a pleasant visit to Neuwied Zoo. As a long-standing tradition, we celebrated Becca’s 8th birthday with a trip to the zoo, accompanied by some friends. The 1.5-hour drive was well worth it, as we were met with a delightful surprise – sloths! One of these charming creatures gracefully moved around its enclosure, thrilling everyone present. I was particularly captivated by the sight of the sloth, not wanting to leave its enclosure, but eventually, it entered one of its boxes for a midday nap.

However, the zoo visit took a slight detour for Sarah and me when she insisted on feeding the goats. While the rest of the group continued exploring, Sarah’s fascination with the goats led her on a goat-feeding adventure. We purchased pellets from the zoo shop before entering the goat enclosure. Her joy knew no bounds as she happily offered handfuls of pellets to the friendly creatures, hopping from one goat to another. For Sarah, it was a dream come true, as goats are her current favorite animals.

Becca with me and the sloth; right, Sarah and Becca*
Chicken Schnitzel; right, Sarah and the goats*

Amidst the amusing goat-feeding episode, a humorous thought crossed my mind – could we possibly have a future goat farmer in our midst? Sarah’s sheer enthusiasm and genuine connection with the goats hinted at a potential career as a goat farmer, playfully suggesting that she might even supply the family with delicious goat cheese someday.

Eventually, Becca returned with Tobi and our friends and regaled us with stories of the red panda climbing up and down a tree, a tiny weasel in its cage, and the deer in their enclosure.

Though the summer heat took a backseat this year, our adventure at Neuwied Zoo brought moments of joy and laughter, proving that any day can be special with the right company and a bit of enthusiasm, even when the weather doesn’t quite cooperate.

During our two-week stay with my in-laws, I still prepared a few meals, as Oma gets frustrated with the girls’ pickiness. One of the dishes I made this time was chicken schnitzel, which we had with risotto. Schnitzel (pronounced shhhnit-tsel) is a German dish that I have fully embraced. It satisfies a craving for fried chicken without being too complicated to make.

Chicken Schnitzel

This is more a guideline on how to make schnitzel than a recipe.

For a delectable chicken schnitzel, follow these easy steps. Begin with thinly sliced chicken breast, though pork or veal may also be used. To easily achieve a ¼ inch thickness, place the meat between plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet.

Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper, and set it aside.

Next, prepare three wide shallow bowls:

  1. In the first bowl, place about 2 tbsp of flour, adding more as needed.
  2. In the second bowl, crack an egg and beat it. Keep an extra egg ready in case you require more coating.
  3. In the third bowl, pour around ½ cup of breadcrumbs (avoid panko unless you intend to make tonkatsu).

Heat enough oil in a frying pan to coat the bottom for shallow-frying.

Now comes the breading process:

  1. Take one piece of chicken and dip it in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Dip both sides of the chicken into the beaten egg.
  3. Finally, coat the chicken with breadcrumbs, but avoid pressing them too firmly onto the meat; a light coating will suffice.

Fry the breaded chicken for approximately 3 to 4 minutes on each side until it turns a delightful golden brown. After frying, place the schnitzels on paper towels to drain any excess oil. If serving to kids, consider slicing the schnitzel for easy handling.

To enhance the flavors, serve the chicken schnitzel with a refreshing lemon wedge. Enjoy this delicious dish with your preferred side dishes and salads. Happy cooking!*


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September 2023

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