Wednesday, February 27, 2013

KUKA Tour and Swiss Cheese

Monday, Feb. 25, 2013

Today we went to pick up a few groceries.  Since stores close for the weekend at 8pm Saturday night, we needed some stuff!

Grammy and Grampy went and looked around Augsburg a bit.

We had plans at about 4pm to tour the KUKA facility where they build the robots.  Brad works at another location so this would be new.  Soeren, our official tour guide, was unable to give us the tour at the last minute.  So Brad called his colleague and friend Markus who stepped in.  We were (unfortunately!!!) unable to take photos.  I guess they don't want their secrets leaked out, LOL!  But it was very interesting and a cool thing to see.  I was expecting a more "Motor City" type of plant.  But it's quite small, not very loud (although I believe it was 2nd shift and not staffed fully) and all done by people.  I literally thought there would be robots building the robots.  (Hey, it's a valid expectation!)  I do wish we could have taken pics.  The only one I took was outside, after Soeren met up with us to finish our tour.
No hats today, Boys?
Lainie got picked up later by Anja and they went to the movies to see Warm Bodies.  I really want to see it but we had dinner plans!  Lainie stayed the night there and went to Antonia's Kindergarten in the morning.  In Germany, Kindergarten is preschool.  Lainie had a great time reading books in English to the little ones!!

The rest of us met back up with Markus and his wife Manuela (Manu for short) at their apartment.  Manu is a hotel manager and their apartment is inside the hotel.  They were having us over for Raclette!  Remember Raclette?  We did it the German way on New Year's Eve with the Schaefer's.  Here is a flashback:
You can grill stuff on top.  See the little pans?  You put ham, veggies, potatoes, whatever in there, then top with cheese.  Then put the pan under the broiler thing and it melts.  Delish!
Now this way, above, is the German way to do Raclette.  The Hirschmann's prefer the "real" way, the Swiss way!
A giant block of cheese being grilled from the top!
So here is the original Swiss way.  You take this block of Raclette cheese and secure it in that base.  The top black part has a heating element in it.  The cheese gets bubbly and brown, then you scrape it off onto the plate.

OK I gotta tell ya, the cheese, especially when warming, smelled SO DISGUSTING!!  I did not like it at all.  AT ALL!!  But it didn't taste very strong and was really good!  Funny!

So you have your ploop of melty cheese and then you add to it whatever you want: they had ham, bacon and onion bits, mushrooms and peppers.  Plus bread and potatoes.
Quite a spread!
It was really good!  Which one do I prefer?  I will never tell.  They were both very fun and very tasty!
I want some Raclette!
 Their doggie, Boots, was VERY excited to see us :)

In 2011, Markus and Manu took a 6 month sabbatical from their jobs to help their friends build a resort in Mozambique!  How jungle-rific!!  They showed us a slide show of their time there.  Very beautiful and exotic!  It was a great evening.  We missed Lainie, but she had fun with Anja!

Good times, Good times :)

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