Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top Nana’s Very Own Oktoberfest Party…with the Kinder Folk in Mind!

Oktoberfest originated in Munich, Germany, attracts as many as 6 million thirsty, pretzel-loving fans per year and is celebrated in the last weeks of September—presenting its grand and spectacular finish the first Sunday of October. Historically, we owe it all to the Bavarian crown prince, who threw an UNFORGETTABLE wedding party in 1810, the likes of which German citizenry couldn’t wait to see again! By 1819 they established Oktoberfest. Cities worldwide give some lee-way to the traditional party dates; however, if you have a taste for great German food and culture, it’s a good idea to get your “enten”—I mean “ducks”—in a row by September!

Some of my friends were surprised to learn that many Oktoberfest celebrations came and went already. But don’t despair! If you missed your chance to hear quality Alpine music and yodel for a big second helping of decadent Black Forest Cake, Top Nana did some checking around and discovered that, Oktoberfest parties—booked at HUGE venues with mile long itinerary of dancing, stein clinking and schnitzel—are still available in US cities for yet another couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’m appealing to those of you who want to host a Bavarian style party at home.

Bookmark the links in this post, as they’re part of, what I like to call:

The “Make your own Oktoberfest” checklist
--Shop online for plastic beer steins that can be filled with G-rated lemonade or apple juice for the grandkids. For the adults, stock your cooler with an American staple for this event: Samuel Adams Oktoberfest brew; though deep amber-colored beers are more prominent for Oktoberfest celebrations in the States, my research tells me that blonde, sweet and malty brews are favored in Germany.

--Screen a “Film der Woche”—or “movie of the week” to occupy the kids while you ready the bier garten! Click here to see what Top Nana’s Got on the Reel. (Hint: This movie makes for a Brothers Grimm-Fairy Tale-enriched Sleepover at Nana’s—a great idea all 12 months of the year!)

--Dress up your kinder folk in adorable lederhosen for sale—it’s less expensive than you think.

What’s on Nana’s Oktoberfest Menu:
Well, before I introduce what’s on tap for this special October feast, I must begin by saying that this cherished annual event is a meat lover’s dream come true! Plates full of meatie delights—pork, chicken, sausages and more, are as common a sight at Oktoberfest as the oompah bands. When that savory salty taste of it all, elevates to a heavenly level with the sodium lover in us all, Top Nana’s kicking into high gear with:

Brined Pork Roast Stuffed with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with Roasted Lemon and Rosemary Sauce
Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Garbanzo Beans
Grandma’s Black Forest Cake with Bavarian whipped Frosting

You’ll note that the dessert I’ve chosen plays on a classic German favorite, traditionally made with cherries between each layer. The grandkids can help you decorate the top of the cake with cherries galore! (I’m working my way backward here, until I get to my savory briny, pork loin star that tastes so excellent with beer.) My Oktoberfest Potato Salad is a mouthwatering twist on plain potato salad because it’s soaked in a homemade vinaigrette.

And now, what we’ve all been waiting for….a tender, juicy pork loin stuffed with lemony herbs and veggies—who said you couldn’t have vegetables at Oktoberfest?

You don’t have to be Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghusen, bride of the pirnce who started it all, in 1810…raise your stein of applejuice, sparkling water or real beer (if you are old enough!) and join me in celebrating 200 year’s worth of Ocktoberfests this Fall!


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