Living

Andrea Yeager: Bring on the flavors of October

All things that are October are here: fall festivals, apples, pumpkins, oranges, browns, Halloween and, yes, Oktoberfest.

Fall truly begins this month. Yes, I know fall started in September, but all the joys of fall seem to start in October. We've already been to a fall festival, and the mornings are cooler when I walk the dogs.

My granddaughter loves apples, so we usually have those on hand for eating out of hand or for applesauce, apple butter, pies or harvest apple cake, which is my favorite.

One thing I do miss on the Coast is Oktoberfest. Years ago, Keppner's restaurant was on U.S. 90 in Biloxi and, of course, celebrated a month of Oktoberfest with German food, beer and wines. Not being one who likes beer, I enjoyed the rouladen, Wiener schnitzel and potato pancakes with applesauce.

Cities in surrounding states celebrate Oktoberfest with events, dancing, oom-pah bands and dining on German foods. My home state of Texas is big on Oktoberfest, due to all the German communities there. Kemah, Texas, which is near my hometown, is hosting a big festival this weekend that I would love to attend, but work won't allow it.

Indulge me a bit today as I share some of my favorite German recipes. These are family tested and taste great. Readers, please feel free to share your favorites, too.

Some of these dishes would be good for potlucks or at any fall dinner. Just tune in a polka on the cell phone and enjoy!

This salad is an authentic German salad that I found in "Lone Star Legacy" some 20-plus years ago.

GUMBER SALAD

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1/2 head lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

1 small onion, sliced

1 hard-cooked egg, chopped, optional

2 cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon salt

Pepper to taste

Toss cucumber, lettuce, onion and egg; cover with buttermilk. Add salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

-- From "Lone Star Legacy"

BRAISED RED CABBAGE, APPLES AND GERMAN SAUSAGE

4 tablespoons bacon drippings

2 tablespoons sugar

1 small onion, chopped

4 cups red cabbage, shredded

2 tart apples, sliced

2 tablespoons mild vinegar

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

6 links German sausage

Water, stock or red wine, optional

Heat drippings in a large skillet; add sugar and stir until brown. Add onion and cook slowly until golden. Add remaining ingredients, laying sausage on cabbage. Cook slowly 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add a little water, stock or red wine as necessary to keep from sticking. Serves 6.

Note: If using green cabbage, use1/4 cup sugar and only 1 tablespoon vinegar.

These are an easy-does-it version of potato pancakes.

BLENDER POTATO PANCAKES

2 eggs

2 small onions, sliced

1- 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 of 1 carrot

2 cups raw potatoes, cubed

1 tablespoon to1/4 cup matzo meal or cracker meal

2 tablespoons flour

Put eggs in a blender; add onion, salt, carrot and 1/2 of the potatoes. Blend on high for 5 seconds. Add meal and remaining potatoes, stir to blend; blend 3 more seconds. Fry 8 minutes on each side until brown. Serve with applesauce, homemade or store-bought.

-- From "Lone Star Legacy"

I have been making this applesauce since my daughter was in kindergarten, and she's 23. We did it as a class project. I brought my apple peeler to the class, and all the kids took turns peeling the apple with the rotary peeler. We put all the ingredients in the slow cooker, turned it on and let it cook for about 3- 1/2 hours. They got to have the applesauce with their lunch.

SLOW-COOKER APPLESAUCE

4 pounds of Granny Smith or Gala apples (our favorites)

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Core and peel apples. An apple peeler works great. Place in bottom of slow cooker. Add sugar, spice, water and lemon juice; stir. Turn setting to high. Takes about 3- 1/2 hours to cook.

For a light entrée, this rouladen works well. It is low in calories and has no added fat.

ROULADEN - LOW CALORIE

1- 1/2 pounds flank steak or thin-cut round steak

Mustard

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped dill pickles

Salt and pepper to taste

Spread mustard on one side of meat, place chopped onions and pickles on top. Roll meat up and secure with twine.

Salt and pepper meat, if desired. Brown meat in nonstick vegetable spray on all sides. Place meat in shallow dish in oven (or skillet on stovetop). Cover meat with water. Bake covered at 350 degrees (or simmer on stovetop) for 45 minutes. Watch water. Do not let it cook out.

Slice across the grain (1-inch thick). Serve with gravy for those not on diet. Serves 2 or 3.

-- From "Hush Puppies and Other Gourmet Delights"

SAUERBRATEN

Rub 5-6 pound boneless beef roast with salt and pepper. Insert slivered garlic into slits in the meat. Put in covered earthenware bowl and cover with slices of onion, 1 quart of water,1/4 cup vinegar, 4 peppercorns, 2 slices seeded lemon, 2 whole cloves and 1 bay leaf. Marinate meat at least 24 hours, covered, in refrigerator.

Then, sauté 2 onions. Drain meat and reserve marinade. Rub meat with flour, sear on all sides, add to the onions along with 2 tablespoons tomatoes, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 small carrot, chopped, a dash of paprika and 2 cups reserved marinade. Cover and set in oven 3- 1/2 to 4 hours at 325 to 350 degrees, depending on how oven cooks.

When done, transfer to a heated platter, and test sauce for seasonings. If not thickened enough, add 1 tablespoon of flour dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water or you may crumble 6 or 8 small gingersnaps into the sauce and cook over low heat till thickened.

Note: I like adding the gingersnaps to the sauce.

-- From "Hushpuppies and other Gourmet Delights"

On the Lookout

Terri Jones asked for a seven-cheese crabmeat casserole that she said Lookout Steakhouse used to serve.

Owner Rob Stinson said that the restaurant used to serve a lobster au gratin, but doesn't recall the dish Jones remembers. I hope he does share the lobster au gratin recipe. How could that be anything but good?

If anyone has a seven-cheese crabmeat casserole, please share the recipe.

If you have a favorite restaurant recipe that you, too, would like to make at home, send me an e-mail or note and I will try to find it.

Fall weather on way

Please send me your favorite pumpkin, squash or apple recipe to share with your fellow readers. It's October, so hurry and get those recipes in so other readers have some new recipes for those fall festivals, carnivals and even at the dinner table.

Andrea Yeager, can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net and takes requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.

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