Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oktoberfest, nay, Picklefest!

Last night I tried to keep with the Oktoberfest theme of the previous five days. Admittedly this theme has been very loose and has even included a linguine dish, however, I've been very loosely trying to hold it all together. Mostly with beer.

Sausage and Potato Stew with Rainbow Chard

I had a few leftover sausages so I cooked up some garlic, onion, and potato with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. After they'd cooked for 15-20 minutes I removed the sausage meat from the casing and cooked it down, finishing this stew off with some rainbow chard. This was kind of like German version of beef and potato stew I made from my favorite episode of Iron Chef.

Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen

To accompany the stew I had this Oktoberfest Marzen from Paulaner, one of my favorite German breweries. I really liked this beer but -- and this might sound weird -- it sort of had a scent of wet dog toward the end. I know this is not a good characteristic in a beer, and I know it's odd that I'm saying this even though I liked it but there you have it. I've encountered this characteristic in beer before but I'm not sure if I'm just an oddball or if this is somehow normal with certain brews.

Plum and Pear Strudel with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts

Jen was really excited when she got home and saw this. She imagined it to be some sort of "cheesy bread" and couldn't wait to eat it. I asked her if she thought I'd make a giant cheesy bread as well as sausage stew. She confirmed that this was her belief. Unfortunately, for her, she was in for the world's greatest disappointment.

Plum and Pear Strudel with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts

What this actually was was a strudel I'd made with some of the Bartlett and Seckel pears as well as plums. I tossed them all together with the leftover Mascarpone and hazelnut stuffing from last week's poached pears, wrapped it in puff pastry, gave it a quick egg was, and baked it in the oven until you get what looks like (to Jen, anyway) a "cheesy bread."

The resulting dessert, served warm, was pretty tasty. More importantly it used up a healthy amount of the fruit which has been hiding out in our fridge for the last week to escape the wrath of the post-flood fruit flies.

Sanitizing Jars

Jen had intended to use last night to make pickles in anticipation of our upcoming annual Canadian Thanksgiving celebration. She had also intended to get home earlier than 9:30 PM. The result: a late night pickling extravaganza!

Nate Saves The Mustard Pickles

Highlight: When I saved a nearly ruined mustard mixture from lumpization, a word I'm trying to get into the Oxford English Dictionary.

Lowlight: I fell asleep around 1:00 AM and Jen stayed up until 2:00 AM to finish everything up.

Jen's Pickles

The end result was waking up this morning to an apartment full of pickles. Unfortunately this also comes with the stench of vinegar.

Come Canadian Thanksgiving we'll be glad we did this. Well, we'll be glad Jen did this. I wasn't much help sleeping in the other room.

Happy Oktoberfest, Everyone!


Debbie said...

Mmm, I love cheesy bread.

Jen said...

I love cheesy bread too! Hence my excitement!

But Nate overplays my disappointment. I really like strudel, too.

Unknown said...

Hence your excitement, and your sadness.