My adventure this week is making one of my favorite German meals – sauerbraten. I am using the recipe from my Betty Crocker International Cookbook, which I think is an excellent cookbook. I got my book out to make my marinade and noticed that I have to have gingersnaps. I had forgotten that. I decided to make homemade ginger snaps. I have been trying to avoid preprocessed packaged food as much as possible.
I got my gingersnap recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook as the international one didn’t have a recipe. I put them together and threw in some real grated ginger root. I also didn’t have shortening on hand so I used some butter and lard. (Well I had it on hand.)
The cookies came out delicious but sort of melted too much. Second batch I made a little thicker. Lesson learned. Next time I will break down and go get the shortening. The house smells fantastic and the meat is marinating in the fridge. I marinate it for three days. The regular cookbook calls to marinate it for two hours. That is so very wrong.
The reason for the sauerbraten is that we are invited to an Octoberfest on Sunday and I wanted to bring the sauerbraten as I am sure of lot of my friends have not tried it before. I think most people order generic German food if dining at a German restaurant.
I also picked up one of my favorite wines to take to the party. It is Zeller Swarze Katz (Black Cat) and it is so delicious. I don’t buy it often so it will be an especially wonderful treat.
And it is now Sunday and the day of the Octoberfest. The roast came out wonderful. I made the gravy and had a heck of a time with those gingersnaps. I first tried them in a ziplock bag and rolling pen. Then I tried my heavy duty meat pounding tool. The hubster said to use the food processor but I really didn’t want to wash it. I own the Food Processer that will not die. That is another blog sometime.
Got out the food processor and again it work a charm. After about three minutes on high there was still a piece of cookie. I ate it -- after I dipped it in the gravy makings. It was great! So I am adding my flour and water and brown sugar and I am wondering who in the heck thought up this recipe.
This is my theory. This nice German wife was pissed off at her husband. She decided that Sunday she would cook his favorite pot roast but she would spice it up and he was never going to eat it again. She thought to herself, “I will start by marinating it in vinegar for one, no two, no three days! I’ll put in all these seasonings and just leave it for three days. After which I will take the vinegar and make gravy and I will put in a banana. No cookies. Yes, I’ll put in cookies. This is going to be so much fun.”
And the German wife made the roast and the husband loved it so much he made love to the German wife so well that she forgave him entirely for whatever had pissed her off to begin with. And they lived happily ever after and had sauerbraten for dinner every Sunday.
I realize that while I have been daydreaming, the gravy is starting to thicken, quickly. I have a teaspoon in my hand and that is all I have to stir with. I hurriedly try to find my whisk and the hubster comes to my rescue with a bigger spoon. He has dried the whisk and put it in the wrong place and I want to kick him but he saved my gravy so I resist the urge.
The roast is cut up and warming in the crock pot for the party today. I cannot wait. My good friend, Nancy, is making German potato salad and this meal is going to be great!
Meanwhile back at the ranch. The party was so much fun. There were at least five kinds of sauerkraut dishes. My sauerbraten went over well. Nancy didn’t show but friend, Lauri, made the German potato salad and it was marvelous.
I saw so many friends and got to talk and catch up with them. Even friends, Lorraine and Vicky, who are usually working, came and relaxed and had a great time.
We had a fire going in the fireplace and I kept it rolling. Love me a good fire! We mostly sat at a picnic table in front of the fire. We sampled a couple of kinds of German wine. And we ate on and off.
The guitars were brought out and the singing began. Friend Gary who we NEVER see out and about sang first. He is getting forgetful and forgot some lyrics but friends sitting next to him kept him on track.
Friend, Lauri, got the guitar and did a couple of her tunes that she wrote. Joe Clark, as always, kept the songs going. He has a song book that is three ring binder and it is full of old tunes. We sang Garden Party by Ricky Nelson which is one of my favorites. He played Anticipation and had me sing it.
Unfortunately, the hubster wasn’t feeling his best and we left around 4:30. But I am so thrilled that I got to spend some quality time with a lot of my very best friends.
Life is good.