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Celebrate Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is one of my favorite celebrations. This is definitely not light food fare, but it is full of flavor and steeped in tradition. You don’t have to be German to enjoy the tasty food offered at these music and fun-packed events. Now you can have your own Oktoberfest celebration at home.

HOT SLAW
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
1/2 cup vinegar
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Colman’s hot dried mustard
1 small head thinly sliced red cabbage

Fry bacon until crisp and pour off all fat except 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup of fat add vinegar, sugar, salt, and Colman’s mustard. Pour hot dressing over cabbage before serving. Toss and top with crumbled bacon. Serves 6.

BRAISED CABBAGE
1/2 cup butter
3 lbs. green cabbage, cored and coarsely
chopped
1 cup dry white wine (or substitute chicken
broth with 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon tarragon
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In large skillet, melt butter and add cabbage. Toss to coat with butter. Cook about 15 minutes until cabbage is wilted. Add wine, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and lower heat, cover, and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove cover and let juice reduce, stirring occasionally. Serves 6.

LAYERED SAUERKRAUT AND NEFFLES
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup ice water
6 slices bacon
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 (16-oz.) bag fresh sauerkraut, drained
Salt and pepper

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add oil, egg, and cold water. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls into boiling water. Cook, uncovered, approximately 15 minutes over medium heat. Drain and set aside. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove and drain; when cooled, crumble into small pieces. Sauté onions in bacon fat until clear. In another saucepan heat sauerkraut thoroughly. In 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish, layer half the sauerkraut, half the dumplings, half the crumbled bacon, and half the onions. Repeat layers, then salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

HOT GERMAN POTATO SALAD
5 or 6 medium potatoes, boiled
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
5 or 6 slices bacon
1 Tablespoon flour
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice boiled potatoes into thin slices. Fry bacon and onions until bacon is crisp and onions are wilted. Drain. Add flour to bacon drippings along with vinegar, water, and sugar. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Pour over hot potatoes and add celery seed, crumbled bacon, and salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Toss lightly. Serves 6.

LINZERTORTE
2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups blanched almonds, finely ground
2/3 cup raspberry preserves
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325°. Cream butter and sugar together until light. Add zest and eggs and mix well. Sift flour, spices, and salt together. Add flour mixture and almonds to butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Pat half of mixture evenly into bottom of a tart pan. Spread preserves to within 1/2-inch of sides. Transfer remaining dough to a pastry bag and form a ring around the edge. Squeeze out a lattice-like crust on top and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake 50 minutes or until lattice is evenly browned and mixture is bubbling. Remove from heat. When ready to serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serves 8.

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