Sunday, September 23, 2012


Yesterday was a cause for much celebration. As the first day of fall came upon us the boys were invited to their first ever birthday party.

The Wombats Ready For The Party

This resulted in what is probably my new favorite picture of the two of them. Elliott is clearly saying, "Awwww, yeah!" While Martin is says, "Yeah, that's right. Birthday party."

I'm assuming they must have inherited this love of parties from their mother. When they are older if they enjoy staying indoors and meticulously cataloging and organizing their toys then we'll know they got that from me.

As it was the first day of fall it was also the first day of Oktoberfest! I know, in America we like to think that Oktoberfest is simply a celebration of the month of October but that's not entirely the case. In fact, it's not even partially the case. Oktoberfest is actually a German celebration which is held each year to celebrate one's ability to drink mugs of beer the size of one's torso and to generate enormous amount of garbage which are cleaned up at great expense to the tax payers of Munich.

Pretzel Dumplings with SweetSmoothHot Mustard and Cornichons

This year I decided to try something a little new and made these pretzel dumplings. I was really weary of trying this as I'd never made anything like this before but the end result was amazing and far more delicious than I'd imagined. I started by buying a soft pretzel last week and letting it grow stale for seven days. Then I chopped it up, sauteed some onion and parsley in butter, combined the two, then topped with just enough scalding milk and beer to soften. I let that sit for a bit and cool then added an egg, mashed it all together, rolled it up in plastic wrap then a layer of aluminum foil to create a tube. I boiled it in a pot of water for 30 minutes then let it sit before cutting it into slices and serving it with mustard and cornichons.

I will definitely be trying this again as it was fantastic.

Beer Brats with Stewed Cabbage and Kielbasa

For the main course I cooked down some onion and a head each of green cabbage and red cabbage from the farm.

Stewed Cabbage and Kielbasa with Ayinger Marzen

I had purchased a couple of bottles of Ayinger Märzen to have an authentic accompaniment for dinner then realized we'd had this during last year's Oktoberfest. It would be crazy to think you could have the same beer twice! Instead I used this to cook down the cabbage and later the brats which I seared in a pan first.

Beck's Oktoberfest

For beer I had this Oktoberfest lager from Beck's. I don't think I've ever had their Oktoberfest before and it was actually pretty good. I'm always leery of Märzens as they sometimes tend to have a slightly sour taste and smell of wet dog. This particular Märzen was easy drinking and didn't make me think of a soggy canine even once during our meal!

And that, my friends, is the key to any successful Oktoberfest meal: no wet dogs!

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