Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I'm finding out that my blog assistant (granddaughter) is fearless and adventuresome.  We took a break the other day and went to the park.  We had been brainstorming ideas for future blogs and needed some down time.  She absolutely loves the swing.  This park had 3 different styles but only 2 that would work for her.  The first was a big chair type but couldn't go too high or fast.  It was alright for a few minutes but as soon as the other swing opened up, she was all over it.  This one would go high and fast.  And that is what she kept saying to me -"High" and high she went.  We did take a couple of breaks from that swing to go down 2 different slides.  The tallest of 3 different slides.  I think she could be base-jumping before her uncle can get her started on snow skiing.  She has no fear!  Of the hour we spent there, 40 minutes had to have been in this swing.  She went above my head front and back on the swing and wanted more.

The original "Oktoberfest" started in Munich, Germany in 1810.  It was a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) that happened on October 17th.  From there it grew grow. Over the years it has expanded to a 16 day festival (17 days if the first Sunday in October is the 1st or 2nd) at the Munich site.  It had started in October in the beginning but because of weather was moved to start in September.  The last day of the festival is now the first Sunday in October.

Oktoberfest has now become a world wide event or celebration.  Bars and Restaurants have developed it to help increase sales.  Oktoberfest is all about the different beers and great German food.  I'll pass on talking about the beers.  You can all do your own research on which beer is your favorite at this time of the year. The micro-breweries put out some great tasting fall beers.  So if you desire, do your homework and drink up.

I'm going to talk a little about German food and have two recipes this week that are traditional German recipes.  The first one is "Meat & Vegetable Goulash" and is a good hearty dish with lots of favor.  The Thursday recipe is a side dish using a popular ingredient of Germans, cabbage.  This one is "Red Cabbage (or Blue Kraut)" and again is delicious.

Germany is a country that is geographically much smaller than the USA.  But similar to the USA they have all the different terrain throughout the country.  Also like the USA, Germany has different dialects or accents in the various regions of the country.  Much of the Midwest of the USA is like Germany in that we are meat and potato eaters too.

Germany's cuisine has been influenced by those countries that border it.  Not necessarily the whole country but each region.  Similar again in how the food in the Southwest region of the USA was influenced by their neighbor, Mexico.

These influences make for great eating throughout the country of Germany.  However, many people won't be able to take a trip to Germany to enjoy all of these wonders the country offers.  You can take advantage in the USA by visiting good German restaurants.  If you are in or pass through the state of Iowa, try stopping at the Amana Colonies just west of Iowa City and just off Interstate 80.   If you're in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, try the German restaurant, the Bavarian Inn Lodge & Restaurant.  I know there are many more great German restaurants in the USA, but these I've eaten at personally and highly recommend.

Be sure to try these recipes this week.  I get nothing but rave reviews on the Goulash one.  Only complaint I receive on the red cabbage is a usual with cooking any cabbage, there is an odor in the house of cabbage. The vinegar in the recipe helps with that odor.  So "Happy Cooking" until next week.

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