Munich’s Christmas Tram + Egg Nog Recipe

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It even has a section for no-cook/no-bake recipes.
This book makes a wonderful gift for the cook on your gift list!
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Continuing the blog’s feature: Throwback Tuesday Post (TBTP)!

Every Tuesday, I re-post a past blog I think is relevant and that you might enjoy seeing again.

This post was originally published on December 10, 2014, and updated on December 11, 2018.

The Christmas season is in full swing here in Munich. As you can see from my recent FB post, my husband and I have been visiting the many Christmas markets around town. In addition to the main, crowded, can’t-bear-to-go-down-there-ever-again one on Marienplatz, we’ve discovered the city has 17 more markets! Of course, none of them are as big as Marienplatz, but they all have their charms.

Last Friday night we also rode the Christmas Tram and met St. Nickolaus himself. Yeah, this guy:

There is no Santa Claus in Germany, Virginia; at least not in the way we know him in the States. The closest thing is St. Nickolaus, who actually shows up on December 6 to see which children have been naughty and nice. If they’ve been nice, they get a small present, but nothing on the scale of the haul Santa brings kids in the States. Then, on Christmas Day, the Christkind (“Christ child”) brings additional gifts. This usually means that one of the kids of the family is designated as the Christkind and that child hands out the wrapped presents from under the tree from one family member to another.

The other thing you need to know about St. Nickolaus is that, when he opens his bag, it’s either to give you a treat because you’ve been good or to stuff you in the bag if you’ve been bad, never to be heard from again. They usually blame the kidnappings on a guy named Knecht Ruprecht because St. Nick would never do that! Nick is also accompanied by various other characters, depending on where you live.

So the Munich Christmas Tram is an annual thing wherein they get some vintage 1960s tram cars out of storage and spruce them up with evergreens and ribbons. It leaves from the Sendlinger Tor transportation hub, which is the former location of a city gate from the olden days.

We bought our tram tickets at the temporary ticket booth from a guy wearing an interesting Santa hat:

And since we had an hour to pass before we could board the tram, we visited Sendlinger Tor’s Christmas market:

Notice the sign says Christkindlmarkt, which means “Christ Child Market”. In other areas of Germany the markets are called Weihnachtsmarkt, or “Christmas Market” but here in Bavaria they go with “Christ Child”.

Another shot of the market with the old city gate in the background (it’s actually been rebuilt several times, most recently after WWII):

Presently our Christmas Tram arrived, festooned for the season:

It’s blown out in these photos, but the lighted sign on the front of the tram says ChristkindlTram.

We climbed aboard and enjoyed about 25 minutes of sightseeing on slightly bumpy wooden seats. Passengers drank hot, mulled wine (Gluhwein) and ate gingerbread cookies (Lebkuchen) and other goodies. By the way, you can find excellent recipes for both the wine and the cookies in my book!

The photos I got through the tram windows were not great because of the condensation and reflections. But the city streets are wonderfully decorated right now and I plan to take my tripod down there and get some real good shots for you soon.

St. Nick boarded our tram car about halfway through the ride and made his way around to all the children. BTW, St. Nick does not “ho-ho-ho” over here, but he does ask the kids if they’ve been naughty or nice.

Since he had a few minutes leftover at the end, he addressed the adults. There was a tense moment when he got to me and opened the bag. I wasn’t sure if he’d stuff me in there or give me a treat. But here’s the result:

Whew!

So, happy holidays to all of you! Enjoy this wonderful season! If you are still with me, I will share my famous homemade egg nog recipe with you. Since you can’t buy it over here, I’ve made two batches so far!

Print Recipe
Egg Nog
SO much better than store-bought!
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine eggs, sugar, milk and salt in the top of a double boiler with simmering water.
  2. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the spoon.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in the cream, vanilla and nutmeg.
  4. Chill overnight and serve cold. Garnish each cup with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Spike with brandy or whiskey, if desired.
Recipe Notes

If you overcook the egg nog and it isn't completely smooth, just use a stick blender to smooth it out. It won't affect the taste.

It's important to chill the egg nog for several hours before serving it. The flavors really come together and taste like the real deal. It's good right off the stove, but so much better after a few hours in the fridge.

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Merry Christmas and Frohe Weihnachten!

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