Tuesday, October 21, 2008

German Night

We've started a new tradition at our home of having a culture night once a month. Our first culture night was China back when the Summer Olympics were being held, and for this month we did Germany because of Oktoberfest. I was so pleased to find everything I needed for my recipes right at our local supermarket. They have a whole section of German foods/products! Who knew!? I may have went a little overboard purchasing all the German brand label items. I probably could have been more frugal by getting store brand sauerkraut and bratwurst, and by using American mustard. BUT, it was so much fun to splurge and get these special things, and it's only one night a month right?

Look at all this wonderful food!

These are potato dumplings straight from Germany! I was a little concerned when we got home because the directions were in German too, but then I noticed a small label on the side that had English directions. Phew.
Here's my attempt at making pierogies. The recipe called for some special dough, but I was not about to make ALL that. SO, I improvised and substituted the dough for Pillsbury biscuits.
I just lined the bottom of a muffin pan with the biscuit, and then layered on sauerkraut, smoked Bavarian cheese and grilled bratwurst. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes on 350. Mmmm, they were so good!

Next Emily and I made homemade pretzels. I've only ever made homemade dough before so this was new territory for me.

Seriously, if you've never made homemade pretzels before you've really got to try it. They are delicious!!!

So once Stew got home we started the evening. We began with some facts about Germany and some trivia on certain influential people born in Germany. I had little index cards with facts on them and Emily went around on sort of a scavenger hunt with them. We learned about Mozart, Gutenberg, and Martin Luther. Later on in the evening we also learned how to say hello, good-bye, and thank you in German.

So, here is the dinner spread, doesn't it look delicious!?

For dinner we had pickled red cabbage, pork loin roast seasoned with German jam (I can't remember the name), and potato dumplings along with our carnival food (pierogies and pretzels).

After dinner we played some carnival games. Bowling was one of them, played the original German way, 9 pins in a diamond.

Sarah kept flipping out any time that we bowled the ball. By the time we got the video of her she had calmed down a bit, but here's a taste of how that went. We thought it was pretty funny.

This game was just another carnival type game I set up. Emily won both games and we had a prize for her after each win. It was a fun night!

This is what I found for dessert, which I really thought was quite a purchase because Stew's grandmother's maiden name is Ritter!

So, that was that. It was a fun night. Emily seems to really enjoy it and I really like being able to plan a special family night and also to cook something different once a month. Emily was such a trooper trying the new foods. I really thought there would be more resistance to the sauerkraut and bratwurst, but she really liked it all. She was a great help in the kitchen too while we were getting things set up. Next month we'll be hosting Thanksgiving so I'm excited to take that on. Well, that's about it, now I'm hungry for those pierogies again!


Mrs.W said...

Amy your the coolest Wife, Mom-Chick going....
love ya

Mary said...

How fun! Next time Jay sees Emily, you'll have to get him to speak German to her. He did an exchange there for a whole year. He's made spaezle (sp?) for us that he learned over there and I have the gadget to do it. That is a great family night idea!!!