Friday, October 23, 2009

The Crystal Bowl

My son-in-law celebrated his birthday on Monday, so I invited my daughter and her family over for dinner. My son-in-law is accustomed to good ole Southern food, but I decided to make a couple of German dishes, like Red Cabbage and German Potato Salad, and Black Forest Cherry Cake.

My mother made the best potato salad and I've tried to duplicate her recipe through trial and error, sometimes coming close, other times missing the mark entirely. Mom, like most good cooks, didn't follow a recipe. And she served her potato salad in a crystal bowl. That crystal bowl graced many holiday tables over the years.

My mother always loved pretty things. It was natural that she used a crystal bowl, as natural as using real tablecloths on her dining room table and real silverware. Mom loved china and tea pots and coffee services, a trait that all of us girls inherited. When she passed away my three sisters and I divided up eight sets of coffee and tea services, each of us ending up with two sets a piece. As for the crystal bowl? I proudly serve my potato salad in the same bowl my mother used all those years. I'm sure that I'll pass it down to one of my daughters.

"German Potato Salad"

Approx. 10 Idaho potatoes or Yukon Gold
1 stalk celery, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 pickles, chopped
1/2 lb bacon, fried and crumbled
4 boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
Approx. 1/4 cup Oil
Approx. 1/4 cup Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Boil the potatoes until you can pierce them with a fork, but do not overcook them. Cool and peel the skins. Use a large bowl and cut up the potatoes and add the remaining ingredients. I use a German vinegar, but you can use Apple Cider or Salad vinegar. Mix well and marinate until serving time.
Guten essen!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apple Strudel & More

My daughter had been begging me to make Apple Strudel, which I usually make around this time of year. Since I work full-time, I often don't have the energy to spend as much time in the kitchen as I would like. The Apple Strudel takes a little time, but is well worth it. I found the recipe in "Taste of Home" several years ago and lost it, but had made it enough in the past, that I remembered it. This time, instead of making three strudels, I used the last batch of apples and made an apple pie and took it to work.

"Apple Strudel"

2 sticks of butter, the real thing
1 8 oz. container of sour cream
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp Salt
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled & chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
2 cups sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
Raisins (optional)

Cut the butter into the flour and mix well. Add the sour cream and mix until a ball forms. The dough will be sticky. Add enough flour to form a ball. Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

Let the dough rest at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, at least 1/2 hour. Divide dough in thirds and roll out into a rectangle. In a large bowl, mix the chopped apples, bread crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Spoon the apple mixture over the dough and roll up in a strudel. Brush melted butter on top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake on a large, ungreased cookie sheet. This will make three small strudels, one to eat and two to share. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

"Apple Pie"

For the pie, roll out a pie circle from the strudel dough and place in pie plate. For the crumb topping, use a pastry cutter to mix 2/3 cup flour, 1/2 stick butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Children are a Blessing

Children are a blessing
sent from God above
A way to remind us
of his unending love

He gives us little ones
to cuddle and hug
Children are a blessing
send from God above