“Man muß die Feste feiern, wie sie fallen.” – There is a German saying that you have to celebrate the occasions as they fall – in other words, if there’s a reason to party, let’s do it! For Germans, the last weekend in May is typically not a special BBQing weekend, but while Memorial Day weekend officially starts grilling season here in the US, Germans are quite the BBQing people as well. We love our grills just the same. So, while M-Day may not be something we are used to, we embrace it pretty much as soon as we settle into this country.
We had a Memorial Day barbeque planned when I got the acceptance email for my “24×24” proposal from Foodbuzz. That was the additional push to make me go all out!
The menu was simple, but plentiful. We had a nice cross-section of what you would typically find at such an event in Germany, or a picnic with friends:
- German currywurst
- German bratwursts of all kinds and steak
- herbed quark dip and Frankfurter Grüne Soße (Frankfurt-style Herb Dip)
- Vienna schnitzel with German mustard Straßburg-style bologna salad with aged Swiss cheese, raw onions and pickles
- German crunchy vegetable salad with fennel, carrots, endive and apples
- German potato salad with bacon and apples
- pan-fried potatoes and salt-boiled potatoes
- cucumber salad with dill and yogurt
- Turkish “shepherd’s salad” with tomatoes, cucumber and raw onion
- German cheesecake
- German egg liqueur cake with almonds and semolina
- German sourdough “mixed” bread and whole wheat bread
- German pretzels and pretzel rolls
- … and of course, (German) BEER
As party planning goes, some things turned out differently than expected. Instead of about 10 guests, we had over 20, not counting the kids. Instead of games for the kids that I had lined up, they swarmed around the neighbor’s play set and pretty much weren’t heard from for a few hours. One thing that worked out as expected: we had people there from three countries – Germany, Turkey and the US – and I tortured them with some German music.
I took Wednesday last week off to go shopping. The issue with living where we do is that if you want specialized foods, you basically have to hop in the car and drive. I did a round through Cleveland/OH, starting at the Westside Market, and returned home after a 6-hour shopping marathon with a trunk full of yummies.
There is a German-style butcher there who sells really nice brats, and I left with a pile of Nürnberger brats, cooked and raw bratwurst. I also procured some veal cutlets for the Schnitzel and beef steaks, along with fresh produce and herbs for the dips. The last stop was Trader Joe’s, primarily for reasonably-priced German beer (they also sell German-style beer for a very low price under their own brand name).
Friday afternoon and Saturday morning were spent baking and cooking. As a matter of fact, I haven’t cooked for THIS many people since we closed our store, which was exciting. When it was all said and done, I had churned out a variety of salads, breads, and cakes. My husband is quite the grill master, who cooked all those brats and steaks to perfection… You can tell by the photographs that fun was had by all!
As there was so much food, I am going to divide subsequent recipes and posts up into the following sections:
- 5/28/12: Meats, including a recipe for Wiener Schnitzel (Vienna Schnitzel)
- 5/29/12: Potato dishes, including recipes for German potato salad, pan-fried potatoes and salt-boiled potatoes
- 5/30/12 & 5/31/12: Salads, including recipes for Turkish shepherd’s salad and cucumber salad
- 6/1/12: Dips, including a recipe for Frankfurt-style herb dip
- 6/2/12: Breads, including a recipe for German “mixed” sourdough bread
- 6/3/12 & 6/4/2012: Desserts, including recipes for classic German cheesecake and egg liqueur cake
Links to the related posts will go live as soon as the post is up and can be interlinked.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed making all the food!!