Friday, December 28, 2007
A Good Kind Of Burning
Instructions for a Feuerzangenbowle party: 1) make large bowl of punch from dry, red wine, cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon, and orange peels 2) heat up punch over flame 3) extinguish flame with lid from a pot to avoid melting table, measure out smaller amount of kerosene, and relight 4) soak large cone of processed sugar with 108 proof rum and place on slotted metal platform over punchbowl 4) ignite rummed up sugar with a match and admire ensuing flames 5) serve punch to your friends and don't be stingy 6) watch movie Die Feuerzangenbowle 7) wake up following morning with headache.
Katie and I completed our first Feuerzangenbowle party at our friends' apartment in early December. Seven of us assembled around the living room table and cheered Marcus on as he ceremoniously prepared the punch and ladled it out. After a few cups of the fiery brew, I felt an irresistable desire to know more about the German electoral system, which Fabian kindly detailed for me. Once we exhausted the subject it was time to watch the movie. Die Feuerzangenbowle is a black-and-white about a fictitious author Dr. Pfeiffer who poses as teenage high schooler to prank teachers and perform other zany hijinks. The movie is alarmingly lighthearted for having been made in Germany in 1944, but one should never underestimate mankind's tendency toward escapism. After the movie and punch were finished we hopped on our bikes and sped home. Let me tell you, the two things that you want the most after a Feuerzangenbowle party are a large glass of water and your bed. Better keep a couple of advil on the nightstand too. Just in case.