Friday, July 17, 2009

Cooking with Chemists

Even though I cooked simple meals both by myself and with friends on the trip, my favorite kitchen time was spend with two chemists in Göttingen. Cooking itself is a sort of chemistry, but I often forget that when I am doing things other than baking. Outside of the kitchen, Göttingen itself was a quaint little place. It was most definitely a university town, so, if you don't happen to have any friends to visit there, you might not spend more than a day there. The altstadt was nice, and I managed to buy several books at used book stores which required me to mail them home at almost a higher price than the books themselves!

I was visiting fellow students, and of course we can be ever so resourceful when it comes to cooking on the cheap. My friend had only about six weeks left before he was to return to the States, so he was happy for suggestions on how to whittle down what was in his pantry. As soon as I saw the red lentils and curry powder, I knew we had to make a dahl. With eggplant, tomatoes, and the surprisingly tasty addition of carrots, we had the perfect simple meal to serve with rice and soy yoghurt.

The next night made use of his angel hair pasta. A very veggie filled pasta dish is easy to make and delicious. This one contained mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, and basil tofu. The secret to the great sauce was using white wine and some spicy flakes. (Don't you love the plates of my friend's friend? I thought they were absolutely adorable.)

Dorky moments can abound when you spend time with fellow chemists, and we had plenty of those. Above, was such a moment when we stood there for five minutes postulating why the salt in the pasta water left the marks at the bottom of the pan... Other moments included talking about Bier's Law when drinking beer (translation: the size of a container can effect how light reflects/travels through the container's contents), and the discovery that a gin and tonic faintly glows blue under a black light.

I'm going to look back fondly on my time in Göttingen. It was also pleasant rediscovering to realize that cooking with seldom seen friends can be great fun and give you some interesting memories to take with you after you leave.


Mihl said...

I'm glad you liked Göttingen. I lived there for several years and I'll be there again this weekend to meet up with a study group. I am also looking forward to the bookstores very much. I miss them a lot here in Dresden.

Mary said...

I love your top photo. Those red German roofs are so beautiful.