Wednesday, September 11, 2013

German Food and the Oktoberfest

When I first started this post, I was only looking at Wednesday, not that it was Sept. 11th. 9/11
Not wanting to seem insensitive or make others think I don't care, I care very much. I have close friends who lost loved ones on that tragic day. I full well remember where I was, what I was doing and how I felt watching it all unfold.
To all those lost, to those left behind, prayers, peace and thank you for your sacrifice. May we never forget and GOD Bless America ... Stand Proud!
Now on to a happier place. Germany. We, the "Three Musketeers" are at it again. Today we are talking about Oktoberfest, Germany and food!
If you're new and don't know who I'm talking about: Cynthia over at Feeding Big, whose mother is German. Jutta from Hungry Little Girl is German and myself. I lived there and have German ancestors.
From time to time we like to "link up" with one another and share recipes, stories, traditions , holidays and post. So if you stop by their blogs today, links above, you can see what delicious recipes they are sharing and possibly a story or two.

You will find this lovely at Hungry Little Girl:

Oktoberfest is a festival held in Munich, Germany. Large beer tents, rides, food, beer, people,lots of people. I read that 6 million people have gone through the festival. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 in October of course. These days it starts in September for practical reasons, weather. It is no fun freezing your bum off and the rides shut down. (this year it is from Sept. 21 until Oct. 6th)

Here are a few photos from when I was there. In the top right corner, this was taken from top the Ferris wheel, not even 1/2 of the festival is seen here. It is HUGE.
The middle photos are of beer. Have you picked up on a theme yet?
The bottom two are the gates. Entering and of course exiting.

Some of the things I loved about Germany was the people, the sites and of course the food. Much like anywhere else, the food varies from region to region. I lived in Bavaria, in the South of what was then West Germany. This was before the wall came down. It actually came down shortly after I left.
Each person who has been to or lived in Germany has their own recipe for potato salad. This one is how I ate it when I lived there. So it is what I associate as "Bavarian" style. I have seen a ton of recipes, all vary slightly and everyone argues over whose is right. lol

Bavarian Potato Salad
6-8 red potatoes, cut in large chunks skin on
1/2 large red onion, diced finely
2 tsp grainy mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until done, but not mushy. Firm. Drain well and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dice your onion and mix all the other ingredients. Pour over your potatoes and mix well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I wanted to serve red cabbage/ Rotkohl BlauKraut RotKraut but could not FIND a red cabbage anywhere. I settled for steaming a green cabbage as our side.

Rouladen with gravy
thin sliced beef, I used sirloin chuck steak 1 lb
salt and pepper to taste
grainy mustard
dill pickles, I used baby kosher dills cut into quarters
Cross cut your steak, but not through, this will allow the meat to cook and tenderize. Spread mustard on the steak, place a 1/4 of the dill inside and roll. Wrap a slice of bacon around the steak and pin with a toothpick. Place in a nonstick dry skillet. No oil needed as the bacon will cook down and add the oil needed. Turn as the rolls cook.
Top with gravy and serve with spatzle, cabbage or whatever other side you prefer. 

I'm not very good at making spatzle so I did not make them. My husband was disappointed. He was not however disappointed in the meal. He said and I quote "tell them I can't say what it looks like because when I took a bite my eyes rolled back in my head it's so good". I guess he liked it. He had never eaten rouladen before and my potato salad was not what he was used to eating.
See he used to do handy work for an elderly German lady who fed him like a Thanksgiving day turkey the week before the butchering. Her food was different than mine because she grew up in a different region.
I could have made several different desserts that I love from Germany but wanted to share a common, normal, everyday meal instead. 
Hope you enjoyed this! I did!!

PS: here is a great spelt pilaf from Cynthia at Feeding Big. 

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