One of the highlights of our time in Germany was a day trip we made back into the Alsace region of France to visit a distant cousin of Tom's. They had never met in person but had emailed several times and traded information on family ancestry. She was an amazing tour guide, greeting us at the train station waving a small American flag, chauffeuring us all over the countryside and treating us to a home cooked meal.
One of the stops along the way was to the house in Hirtzfelden where their shared ancestor, a great-grandfather, had his home and blacksmith shop. The house now sits abandoned and we were granted access to roam freely through it. Inside held relics of the life lived there and the blacksmith shop that had once provided its occupants with their livelihood.
Our home cooked meal was also a quite a treat. It consisted of an onion tart, broccoli casserole and fresh garden salad with two bottles of local wine and four kinds of cheeses and bread. Then... we had a custard topped with fresh wild strawberries picked from the yard. Then... we had a caked baked with apples and raisins and topped with powdered sugar. So delicious!