New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 2, 1994, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, Feb. 2,1994
Q U 0 T A
“Most rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.”
• ften* Zspps mustang, 1970
San Antonio : looks ahead
Efforts in the works to curb use of Water amid warnings of drought
! With another hot summer approaching in the very near future, the attention of many local officials and environmentalists will again be placed on the condition of the Edwards Aquifer.
; Last summer, the area underwent a period of 65 days without rainfall and rainfall since that time has not been Up to normal standards. In fact, it has been well below the average for this tune of the year.
: The rainfall we're not receiving is what normally Replenishes the water levels of the Edwards Aquifer and Helps maintain a safe level through the summa1 months, elven during periods of heavy drought A little forsightedness goes a long way in dealing with the Aquifer. That was displayed by members of the San Antonio Water System staff atalYiesday board meeting where a new rate structure was unveiled that will cause drought measures to go into effect earlier and heavy water users would face higher bills in the coming year.
The plan comes amid warnings that a lack of rainfall soon could allow the Aquifer to drop to a level hazardous to an endangered species.
; Further, the plan calls for higher rates from July through October, when discretionary water use is high, as ifcell as other measures that will help curtail heavy water use at an inopportune time.
: These plans are not final. And they only affect the city bf San Antonio and residents.
; But it is evidence to everyone that San Antonio officials are looking ahead and planning for what could be some trying times for the area's primary water source.
; (Today's editorial was written by Mark Lyon, Managing Editor for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.)
• • •
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German tradition a huge hit here!
I am not German. I've never even been to Germany. But after being introduced to a German custom by New Braunfels resident Walter Braun, I fed I’ve not only been there, but have also been a part of something really special right here in New Braunfels.
It is a tradition known as Caffee Klatsch and is treated with the same reverence and Lyon faithfulness that many Amer-icans do with everyday lunch.
Instead of calling a friend and asking "hey, lets do lunch today," you would hear "hey, lets do caffee klatsch today."
But with Braun, it is much, much mom than that
Braun, who resides near Seele Elementary, moved to New Braunfels from Germany some nine years ago. A retired master pastry chef, Braun used his talents and skills of baking incredible creations to serve as a bridge across a language barrier (he speaks little English) and soon became friends with many of his neighbors.
My interview with him was quite unique. With his limited abilities with the English language and my own with German, we were forced to communicate through an interpreter, Edda Buchner, who once worked for the Herald-Zeitung and was gracious enough to help us both through. Even still, there were several instances during my visit where I could tell he wanted so badly to come right out and talk to me and I shared that frustration with him.
It all began nine years ago and continues even today. He invites a handful of friends each Wednesday for a 3 pjn. caffee klatsch. They get together aid share jokes, tales and any interesting events of the day. Tm convinced this sort of thing is a grert stress reliever, because you can kick back, relax, enjoy some great food and coffee, and share small talk while putting the worries away for awhile.
This, however, is no ordinary caffre klatsch, a tradition in Germany where people break around 3 pjn. each day for coffee and pastries.
Braun's invitation is special
At 85 years-old, he still possesses a magic in baking that is rarely, if ever, equaled. Friends of Braun say that even his peers are in awe of his works and that he is looked upon in high regard, even in the United States. He still offers recipes lo a German magazine in Chicago which eagerly publishes them without hesitation.
He makes everything from scratch. Not just scratch, but the scratchiest of scratches. He special orders lemon itiines from Germany because the
Photo by EDDA BUCHNER Waltsr Braun (lait), Mark Lyon and Garda Kail anjoy a catso klatsch, a Gorman tradition atm practiced by Braun and many of his neighbors.
ones available here have pesticide residue on the, even after scrubbing them in hot water, he said. He finds that unacceptable and is able to obtain pesticide-free rhines in his home country. He also orders almonds without their skins, something he is unable to find here. He even is health-minded in his ingredients and buys large amounts of unbleached flour when he is able to find it locally. He is quite picky about his ingredients, following the belief that each and every ingredient is important to the end result.
And his results are of masterpiece caliber.
The primary differences in his creations in comparison with die American variety is less sugar. A cheesecake prepared by Braun on this day contained very little sugar when compared with the finest cheesecakes found here in the U.S. They are quite low in fig and tarted great. I went into our interview having never liked cheesecake. IVe never been able to stand the rich, sweet taste that is so overwhelming. Throw away the cream cheese and at kart half the sugar. Replace it with cottage cheese and several other special touches and all of the sudden, I LIKE CHEESECAKE!
He also prepared some cookies made (my favorite) with chocolate and also a nut bread cake that was simply outstanding.
What's more, Braun and other German pastry chefs pay as much attention to presentation as they do to taste. His creations looked wonderful, to the point where I wanted to take pictures of than before we began eating.
He is a third-generation master pastry chef, having lived and worked through two world wars
where his homeland became a battleground. A favorite hobby of his, stamp collecting, enabled him to survive through the tough financial times of two depressions in Germany. His stamps retained value while currency went to kaput Later, his stamps were sold and provided him with the funds he needed to keep his business alive.
His love for creating, for preparing special things for people and for giving inspired him and cffried him through those hard times. They have taken him to where he is today, surrounded by many friends despite not knowing how to communicate with them very well He speaks with them much as he spoke to me - not in any language but in smiles and gestures. And in that way lie is deer-ly understood to be a gentle man with a huge heart.
There is no one to carry on the baking tradition carried on by Braun. When asked, he said that no one has expressed an interest in baking the way he does. I find that incredibly hard to believe in one way, but very easy to understood in another. His would be difficult shoes to step in.
But I can't help but wonder if, without Walter Braun, the world will really remember what food like this is really like.
For now, there are many folks in New Braunfels who do know, but more importantly, they know what a pleasure it is to know Waller Braun.
I am thankful to be one of those people.
(Mark Lyon is Managing Editor for the Herald-Zeitung. Out <& About is a column about things to do and places to go in the Comal County area and appears each Wednesday.)
ACK TOTttE FUTURE]Today In history
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 1994. There are 332 days left in the yew.
Today's Highlight rn History:
On Feb. 2,1943, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a angor victory for the Soviets in World War IL On this dale:
la 1536, the Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.
la 1653, New Amsterdam, now New York City, was incorporated la 1848, the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War, was signed.
la 1870, the so-called Cardiff Giant, supposedly the petrified remains of a human discovered on a form in Cardiff, N.Y., was revealed lobe nothing more thai carved gypsum.
In 1876, the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs was Conned in New York.
In 1882, Irish poet and novelist James Joyce was bom near Dublin.
In 1961, the 600 passengers of a hijacked Portuguese ocean liner, the Santa Maria, were allowed to disembark in Brazil.
In 1971, Idi Amin assumed power in Uganda, following a coup that ousted President Milton Obote.
In 1987, the While House announced the resignation of CIA director William Casey, who was hospitalized and had undergone brain surgery.
In 1990, in a dramatic concession lo South Africa’s black majority, President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.
Ten years ago: President Reagan released his annual Economic Report, in which he said that projected budget deficits for the rest of the decade were “totally unacceptable” to him.
Five years ago: President Bush met at the White House with Japanese Prime Minister
Noboru Takeshita, after which both leaden sounded upbeat about U.S.-Japanese relations.
One year ago: In a speech to the National Governors’ Association, President Clinton pledged lo transform welfare into a "hand up, not a handout" by giving recipients training and then requiring them to wok.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Gale Gordon is 88. Broadway composer Burton Lane is 82. Actor Robert Mandan is 62. Comedian Tom Smothers is 57. Singer-guitarist Graham Nash is 52. Actor Bo Hopkins is 52. Actress Farrell Fawcett is 47. Model Christie Brinkley is 41.
Thought for Today:
“It was naive of the 19th century optimists to expect paradise from technology and it is equally naive of the 20th century pessimists to make technology the scapegoat for such old shortcomings as man's blindness, cruelty, immaturity, greecknd sinful pride.** — Peter F. Drucker, American government official