Astrid spent the rest of the week close to home. Friday night, she had dinner with the Bundersmith family next door. Aunt Gerta baked a Schweinshaxe, a ham leg with a crunchy brown crust. It was moist and delicious on the inside. It was served with brown gravy and knödel, a type of boiled dumpling, that while delicious, Toby’s great-aunt seemed almost apologetic about serving.
“It’s not German, strictly speaking,” said Aunt Gerta, “but the boys like them.”
Both Toby and his father nodded.
“I’ve eaten your wonderful apple pies,” replied Astrid. “They may not be German, but they’re pretty fantastic.”
“Not tonight. We’re having Dampfnudel.”
Astrid turned her head to look at Toby.
“It’s like a cinnamon roll,” he said.
“There’s no cinnamon in it!” called Aunt Gerta over her shoulder, as she popped into the kitchen to bring out the dessert.
There might not have been any cinnamon, but it was quite like a sweet roll, filled with sugar and fruits, and topped with vanilla custard. As was usually the case when dining with the Bundersmiths, the girl inventor was very full when she returned home. Toby walked her to her front step and looked like he was going to bend over and kiss her, when Agent Toulson opened her front door.