About Geli and the Wine-Rhine Valley
Hi! I am Geli, also known as Angelika Regina Heimann. I am German and most people call me by my German short name “Geli” (plus non German speakers usually make a dog’s dinner out of pronouncing my name …. smile). This collection of foods and drinks features German recipes as well as flavours from various parts of the world. Should I say, I am a Cosmopolitan German, loving my country of origin, but at home anywhere in the world (well, nearly anywhere, I suffer and whither in cold climates ….. )
Having lived in a number of different countries as well as Germany, certain family favourites will be featured here.
I am passionate about strong culinary flavours, fresh herbs, quality exotic spices, freshly caught fish, game (when I can get it), just picked vegetables and exotic fruit that were allowed to ripen on location and not on airplanes and packing halls.
A point of warning, though: I tend to be very heavy-handed with spices and garlic – I go for the ‘over-the-top’ heavy flavours. Usually when you eat my foods your taste buds will have a wild rave party. It is rare for me to keep to delicate natural flavours. Why use one clove of garlic when you can use the entire bulb of garlic??!!
You’ll find a right mix of recipes and styles … and nutritious values. There are times when I am Miss Super-Healthy, totally green-living, semi-raw cuisine health and wellness conscious …… and then I hit a naughty sensuous streak with calorific bliss delights …. and then there are those sensible home cooking recipes.
I have a huge amount of recipes which I will add if and when I have the time to do so. As I said this is a family recipe collection mainly posted here to share with my grown kids …. it saves the phone call: “Mum, how do you cook xyz ?”
From time to time, my daughter Charis features as a guest chef here. She loves cupcakes!
My Food and Wine Heritage
I may have been born in Hannover, the more northern hemisphere of Germany because my father worked in Hannover as a scientist (phytopathologist) at the university, but my food and wine passion come from the South of Germany.
Both my mother and grandmother were born in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) and the lineage goes beyond Bavaria. Interestingly enough, I have more Spanish relatives, cousins, uncles and aunts living in Spain than in Germany.
My Bavarian grandmother knew how to cook well and enjoy her food and drink. Whereas other folk might have a coffee mid morning, she would sip her glass of champagne. What a lady! She happily lived into her 90’s.
I am the proud owner of some of her and my mother’s cook books, so, I feel it’s about time for me to translate all the good stuff into English so that part of the family heritage will not be lost.
Unfortunately my adult ‘kids’ do not speak German sufficiently well enough to follow some of the recipes. For years I have been a creative hobby cook but most of the time did not bother to even take notes, let alone take pictures of the process of my cooking. This has now changed, I have made a start, and bit by bit the collection of German and International recipes will increase.
Certainly there is an International appeal to my food enjoyment. I have lived in Germany, England, Holland, Hong Kong and now plan to live in Australia to close the geographical distance to my son and his beautiful Malaysian wife. The countries I have visited are Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Lichtenstein, Italy, Spain, Greece, Austria, Wales, USA, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia (both West and East), and Thailand. I am hoping to visit many more countries and sample their indigenous cuisines.
Currently I live in London, England, and since 1988 have made friends with Africans and Caribbeans living here in London. Clearly I sampled their cooking and asked for their recipes. Some of them have become family favourites.
with its hills embedding the river Rhine and vineyards creeping up at rather steep angles almost wherever your eye took you.
Here are some pictures of the very house, “Villa Gutenberg”, I grew up in, surrounded by vineyards. It was, and still is a superb place.
From our kitchen window I saw every day the vineyards sloping up to Chateau Johannisberg, and from the living room and my bedroom I looked out over vineyards running down towards the river Rhine.
Originally the island in the middle of the river which had a farm with a few cows all belonged to the house. Including the small river island the Rhine was about 1 km wide. There are loads of these little islands dotted around that part of the Rhine.
Today the Villa is owned by the vintner family Nägler and anyone can visit to sample their exquitie wines: www.villa-gutenberg.de/
(pls. click to enlarge)
Some more childhood memories:
The big house I grew up in was spectacular, especially during the summer time, but during the wet cold winter season, being located about 3 km away from the nearest village, anywhich direction, it was not that great to just have muddy vineyards around.
Come spring time, things became more interesting to me as a kid. I loved horses and was more of a tomboy that a pretty little girl, no matter how my mother tried. So off I went with my lederhosen (way more durable than jeans) and begged myself up onto the vintner’s horse ploughing the vineyards. My elegant mother was not too impressed when I returned ‘stinking’ of sweaty horse with the sticky short light bown horse hair everywhere on and in my clothes (who thought of sitting in a saddle, eh?!!)
Inbetween the house I grew up in and the vinyards, there was a narrow path. Every day, during certain times, a shepherd would lead his sheep along there. It was quite common for sheep to be led around rather than just having one specific pasture.
Here is a view down from Chateau Johannisberg towards the house. You can see that farm where the sheep resided when not being led through the vineyards. Clearly I spent a lot of my time there as a kid. Afterall, what do you do when you’re an only child with no kids anywhere until the next villages? You seek out animals!
Most of my growing up years I spent in the Rheingau, but then my parents moved again to our family property in Wiesbaden on the Weinbergstrasse Nr. 28 (Vineyard street) at the pretty Nerotal/Neroberg. This was one of the many houses owned by my maternal grandfather and his family which spread into Barcelona, Spain during a time when it was not good to live in Germany ….. Yes there were vineyards just up above the houses!
Here are a couple of video clips from around our Wiesbaden house at the Nerotal / Neroberg:
The vinyards above the Wiesbaden House.
Below please find some video clips I collected from YouTube just to give you a little idea of this amazing wine area.
Booo! They goofed up! The Rhine’s tributaries flow into the North Sea at Rotterdam and not Amsterdam!
Some Sillyness for Folk familiar with German Dialects
…Und am 8.Tag erschuf Gott die
Alle Völkchen waren glücklich.
Der Berliner sagte:”Icke hab nen
Der Hanseate sagte:”Min Dialekt ist
Der Kölner sagte:”Hey, du Jeck, mit
Kölsch feiert man Karneval!”
Der Bayer sagte:”Jo mei, is des a
Der Sachse sagte:”Ja nu freilisch is äs
Nur für den Hessen war kein Dialekt übrig.
Da wurde der Hesse traurig…..
Irgendwann sagte dann Gott:
“Resch Disch net uff, dann babbelste
halt wie isch!!!”