Host Your Own Oktoberfest

 

The past couple of weeks may have been pretty busy for many of us; Thanksgiving was last weekend, the Run or Walk to Cure Cancer just concluded, and there are a number of food celebrations to keep us occupied this harvest season. And of course, Halloween is right around the corner. So if you happened to miss out on the Oktoberfest celebrations this year, fret not; why not host your own Oktoberfest party, or Oktoberfest themed supper?

6ca4ac7d4c580fbc39f9d8709cf98c48

 

Oktoberfest in Munich is one of the largest fairs in the world, a sixteen-day festival that started in October of 1810 to celebrate the impending nuptuals of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildeburghehausen. Since that time the celebrations have grown to include horse races (later dropped), agricultural exhibitions, amusement park rides, feasting and dancing and of course the drinking of vast quantities of Oktoberfest beer.

vintage_german_oktoberfest_invitation-r894cdfc998d5460bbaf1de59e5579bd9_imtq1_8byvr_512

Holding your own mini Oktoberfest can be a simple affair; all you really need is some great music, some good German beer and some traditional fare, like maybe a beer and potato Soup,  maybe some beer bratwurst and auerkraut , Weiner Schnitzel and apple strudel for dessert. And a rowdy group of friends ready to celebrate.

No matter what you cook up, don’t forget the potato salad. Potato salad is a must for an Oktoberfest celebration, and this recipe for German potato salad is a great way to get things rockin’!

If you find yourself in Prince Edward County next Sunday, drop by the Drake Devonshire Inn in Wellington for sausages, sauerkraut & Muskoka beer – all complimentary – as the Drake celebrates its very own Octoberfest.

Prost!

potato-salad-4

German Potato Salad

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the salad

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 3-1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3/4 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup onion, small dice
  • 3/4 cup dill pickles, small dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

Make the dressing

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until combined. Whisk in the caraway seeds.

Make the salad

Combine the vinegar and 2 tsp. salt in a large bowl and set aside. Boil the potatoes whole, you’ll skin and cut them once they’re cooked.

Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes by scraping off the skin with a paring knife. Cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch chunks. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the vinegar and stir to coat.

Add the bacon, onions, pickles and parsley into the potatoes. Whisk the vinaigrette and dress the salad, enough to coat, you won’t need all of the dressing). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve while still slightly warm, or at room temperature.



Fun With Tofu

Delicious pumpkin seed crusted tofu with a poached egg.

Delicious pumpkin seed crusted tofu with a poached egg.

 

We could all stand to eat a lot less meat, poultry and fish on a day to day basis. One of the problems with being omnivorous is that meat, poultry and fish make you lazy – they are the stars of the plate, just demanding a few simple sides to round out a meal that will be filling enough that you won’t be staring at the fridge hungrily in a few hours. See, if you don’t cook vegetarian all that often it can be difficult to prepare a filling meal that will stick with you, it is just so much easier to fry up a steak.

Enter tofu, the bland block of coagulated soy milk you have never learned to love. Today we’re going to change all that. Here we present a collection of the most delicious tofu recipes on the web. You’ll never have to worry about Meatless Monday menu planning again. Continue »



Home Smoking Basics

IMG_6272

 

Have you ever made your own smoked fish at home? What about smoked turkey? Or pork? Or duck breast? With the new book Home Smoking Basics by Maria Sartor you can learn to smoke anything.

“Smoking food has a millennial-old tradition; yet, during all that time, the process itself has not changed. Today, however, we no longer smoke food to preserve it, but rather to enrich it and make it taste better. What was once a way to preserve food has now become a method to prepare ‘delicacies’. Smoking food also has a nostaglic quality: it has something that, in our highly technological world, takes us back to our roots.” – Home Smoking Basics intro

Continue »



Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes

OldDesignShop_ThanksgivingTurkeyPC

 

Technically speaking Thanksgiving is a relatively new statutory holiday, having been proclaimed so by Parliament in 1957. But it has caught on, in a big way. One of the enduring images of Thanksgiving is that of the cornucopia, the “horn of plenty”, overflowing with ears of corn, shiny red apples, yellow, green and even blue squash, dusky grapes…a celebration of all good things from the fields. One of the most enduring of these is that unmistakable image of autumn, the pumpkin. Continue »



Time to Harvest Your Mint

DSC00993   If you haven’t harvested the mint that has been growing like gangbusters all summer, now is a good time to do it; once the temperature dips towards zero it will be too late, and it seems like a bit of  a waste to let the bounty of this perennial herb go to waste. Even if you have been harvesting leaves all summer, chances are there’s still a lot of foliage left for you to collect and process into jellies, sauces and pestos that you can have in your larder or freezer all winter. Continue »