German Traditional Sunday

German Traditional Sunday! Great food and a greater sense of community

German Traditional Sunday

As I look back at my life, growing up in a small town in Germany, I’m reminded how important the German traditional Sunday was in bringing the community and families together. The atmosphere; that special feeling of warmth, joy, and togetherness; was only outdone by the magic of the Christmas and Easter holidays. Nevertheless, this “day of rest” was always a time cherished by every member of the family—and the traditional Sunday meal was a big reason why. (See my traditional Sunday menu recipes below.) Preparations for the gathering started on Saturday, and everyone had responsibilities, including the children. And the reward—from the brisket and dumplings to the cakes and puddings—couldn’t be more delicious.

Meal German Traditional Sunday

Preparation of German Traditional Sunday

On Saturdays, my mother would wake up early to run errands—visiting the local butcher, bakery, and grocery store. As a young child, I always liked to join her because the butcher would give me a free sample bologna. But we had to hurry, all the stores closed at 1 pm for the rest of the weekend until Monday. And soon, my older brothers would be returning from school. That’s right, we had school on Saturdays. Luckily, kindergarteners, like myself, were spared.

Back home, mother would start cleaning the house and preparing the soup and the vegetables. She would also make two cakes for Sunday afternoon, one simple one and one that was more of a pastry. While all this was going on, my siblings and I helped with the chores and we each shared different responsibilities. It was serious work, but we knew if we did a good job, we would soon be playing outside with our friends. I loved to shoot marbles. And I was good at it, often beating the older boys in the neighborhood. The other kids would walk on stilts or buckets. Some girls played the Chinese rope or hopscotch. Many children would also gather rocks of varying colors to draw and decorate the sidewalks and streets. It was a fun time for sure.

[Click pictures to enlarge.]

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Saturday’s final task was sweeping the streets. It was a chance to chat with the neighbors during this communal activity. However, when the church bells rang (at 5:00 pm in the winter and at 6:00 pm in summer) all the children knew it was time to go home—but not before picking up the milk from the farmer who lived three houses down the road. When we arrived home, the water for the bath was heated up in a large kettle over a wood fire. (This kettle was also used to wash the laundry and to cook the sausages after butchering once a year.)

[Pictured on the right, a photo of my grandmother (in the center) picking up her milk.]

IMG_5193 Preparation German Traditional Sunday

After bathtime was dinnertime. The meal consisted of fresh bread, an assortment of cheeses, homemade pickles, fresh-picked vegetables from the garden, the ham my father painstakingly smoked, and homemade sausages (which were preserved in jars or cans from the last butchering). I didn’t care much for the sausages, but loved the fat (Schmalz) that formed on the top. When dinner was finished, it was time for bed. Bedtimes, of course, depended on our ages. Out of seven kids, I was the third youngest.

A German traditional Sunday morning began with breakfast—and the first slices of mother’s cake were served. Soon, we would have to get ready for church or Sunday school. My mother would give us a choice between the two. (My brothers and I usually picked Sunday school because we could do arts & crafts. On nice days, we even played outside.)

[A picture of two of my brothers and I at Sunday School.]

Routine German Traditional Sunday

Afterwards, we would come home and the table was already set and lunch was prepared. Out of respect, and because he was the main breadwinner, my father was served first. After lunch, we would help my mother hand-wash the dishes. My father would take a little nap on the chaise lounge that sat in the kitchen. Later,  we either go for a walk or entertain visiting relatives. I wouldn’t want to miss those times because, in addition to the coffee that was served, there was mother’s pastry. So good.

These German traditional Sunday experiences are truly memorable. It was a time when children could feel safe but also independent. The whole village would come together—sharing in responsibilities and looking out for one another. It was a community in every sense of the word. Even as children, we understood our part in helping out around the house and in the neighborhood.

Today, as a grandmother of four, I do my best to uphold the traditions and support the values that keep us all connected. It starts with the meal. So, without further ado, let’s eat!

Yours, Oma

Scroll down to click on the recipes for a traditional Sunday meal

German Traditional Sunday Food

Bone Marrow Soup (Markklöβchensuppe)


Bone Marrow Dumplings (Markklöβchen)

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Savoy Cabbage (Wirsing)


Brisket with Horseradish Sauce (Suppenfleisch mit Meerrettichsoβe)


Chocolate Pudding with Vanilla Sauce (Schokoladenpudding mit Vanillesoβe)


Apple Cake on a Sheet (Apfelkuchen auf dem Blech)


German Cheese Cake (Käsekuchen)


You’re all set for one of the typical German traditional Sunday lunch menus. Thanks to one of my grandsons who volunteered to be the taste tester. 


35 Favorite Oktoberfest Songs

35 Favorite Oktoberfest Songs not only in Germany. Listed by Oma!

35 Favorite Oktoberfest Songs!

These 35 favorite Oktoberfest songs will make sure your party is a success. They invite you to dance and sway. Add Oma’s recipes for traditional German Oktoberfest food and the right beer.

 Please scroll down, click on the title of the song below and you will be directed to a place to listen in for free.

Music plays a key part in every Oktoberfest celebration. And just like there are different courses in a traditional German meal, so are there various types music during the 16-day event. Each style of music has a special meaning and purpose.

The classics like marches, homeland music, and Oompah music mostly played during the opening of Oktoberfest, the big parade, as well as the “Fruehschoppen,” What is that you say? Oh, it’s the morning-get-together-for-a-drink time, of course.

Later on, comes the dance music, which is a mixture of homeland music, the old music, and cult music. It also includes classic hits and some of today’s modern music. Always upbeat and usually played in the evening, an orchestra will cater to young and old—playing music that is truly timeless and unquestionably German.

When it’s time for eating and drinking on the long tables and benches under the big tents, you’re sure to hear what I like to call “Jolly Music.” It doesn’t matter if you know the person next to you or not, chances are you’ll soon be locked arm in arm—swaying to the rhythm (“schunkeln”) and singing at the top of your lungs until the whole room is shaking. It’s quite a sight. And sound!

Like most things that are German, everything has structure and purpose. Soon, you’ll be able to recognize the 35 favorite Oktoberfest songs revealed and listed by Oma

# Song Artist Album Genre
1 Bayerischer Defiliermarsch Muenchner Oktoberfest Blasmusik vom Regional Music
Musikanten Muenchner Oktoberfest
2 Anneliese Helmut Hoegl Band So klingt’s auf der Wies’n German Folk
3 Wendelstoiner Schuhplattler Die Muenchner Blaskapelle Froehliches Oktoberfest German Folk
4 Mussinan-Marsch Muenchner Oktoberfest Blasmusik vom Regional Music
Musikanten Muenchner Oktoberfest
5 Bubi bubi Noch Einmal Die Kaltensteiner European Masters Traditional
6 Unter Der Bavaria (Marsch) Muenchner Oktoberfest Blasmusik vom Regional Music
Musikanten Muenchner Oktoberfest
7 Trompeten Echo Froehliche Blasmusikanten 200 Jahre Oktoberfest Rock
8 Toelzer Schuetzenmarsch Muenchner Oktoberfest Blasmusik vom Regional Music
Musikanten Muenchner Oktoberfest
9 Tiroler Holzhackerbuam Keferloher Musikanten 200 Jahre Oktoberfest Rock
10 Auf und Nieder Zillertaler Schuerzenjaeger Zum Feiern German Folk
11 Oktoberfest-Laendler Muenchner Oktoberfest Blasmusik vom Regional Music
Musikanten Muenchner Oktoberfest
12 Schuetzenliesl Marianne & Michael Die goldene Volksmusik Hit. Traditional
13 Muenchner Kindl-Marsch Muenchner Oktoberfest Blasmusik vom Regional Music
Musikanten Muenchner Oktoberfest
14 Der Klarinetten-Muckl Various Artists Oktoberfest Regional Music
15 Schneewalzer Gitty und Erika Jubilaeumsausgabe 44 Jahre Traditional
16 Erzherzog Johann Jodler Franzl Obermeier und seine So klingt Blasmusik Regional Music
17 In Muenchen Steht Ein Bayernkapelle Auf Zum Oktoberfest Traditional
18 Alte Kameraden Luftwaffenmusikkorps 3 Die schoensten Maersche Traditional
19 Steirerman San Very Good Das Stoakogier Trio Tz Oktoberfest Hits Other
20 Herz-Schmerz Polka Eddie und Freunde Oktoberfest German Folk
21 Wiesseer Watschentanz Various Artists Oktoberfest Traditional
22 Der Klarinetten-Muckl Muenchner Oktoberfest Blasmusik vom Regional Music
Musikanten Muenchner Oktoberfest
23 Zillertaler Hochzeitsmarsch Zillertaler Schuerzenjaeger Oktoberfest Hits Disc1 Holiday
24 Muenchner Schuetzenmarsch Die Keferloher Musikanten 200 Jahre Oktoberfest Rock
25 Haushamer Plattler Adi Stahuber Ein Klingendes Souvenir German Folk
aus Bayern
26 Solang der alte Peter Franzl Obermeister und seine Blasmusik Oktoberfest German Folk
27 Schaefflertanz Franzl Obermeier und Oktoberfest Traditional
seine Blasmusik
28 Heckenroeschen Polka Die Rosenholzer Oktoberfest Munich 2010 German Folk
29 Jubel, Trubel, Blasmusik Tirolerbuam O’zapft is Traditional
30 Geliebtes Muenchen Keferloher Blasmusik Froehliches Oktoberfest German Folk
31 Von der Tann Muenchner Oktoberfest Blasmusik Vom Muenchner German Folk
Musikanten Oktoberfest
32 Kaiserjaegermarsch Froehliche Blasmusikanten Schaetze Der Marschmusik German Folk
33 Muenchner Kindl Walzer Die Linzer Buam Froehliches Oktoberfest Traditional
34 Echt Bayrisch Polka Die Muenchner Blaskapelle Froehliches Oktoberfest German Folk
35 Liebelei am Isarstrand Alfons Bauer Froehliches Oktoberfest German Folk


German Mardi Gras Music

The ultimate Playlist for German Mardi Gras Music. 44 German Carnival Songs to get you moving.

German Mardi Gras Music

Can you hear it? The German Mardi Gras Music picked by Oma? That joyous, upbeat sound. It’s called carnival music (karnevalsmusik) translated to  and it’s essential for any Mardi Gras celebration. In Germany, we call this time Fasching or Fassenacht, and the peak starts the Thursday before Ash Wednesday (February 4) and lasts until Fat Tuesday (February 9) at midnight. Whether you’re at work, at home, or in the car, the loud and infectious music is inescapable. In the streets, people lineup on the sidewalks to watch the hour-long parades that come through town. Young and old clap enthusiastically to the rhythm of the typical marches—smiling and waving back at the parade participants. It’s truly a fun time for all.

Whether you call it Mardi Gras, Fasching or Fassnacht, carnival or karnival, German Mardi gras music plays such an important part in bringing people together. They gather to sing, dance, and sway to the new hits and the traditional favorites. Some are considered folk music (Volksmusik), others are called marches. One thing they all have in common is the ability to get you in the right mood. It’s happy music, so give it a listen. And let’s party!

Below you’ll find a great collection of German Mardi gras music for your Mardi Gras (Fasching) celebration. It’s a 44-song playlist that spans generations and offers a variety of styles. Simply click the titles to listen to samples, and if you wish, purchase.

Enjoy, Oma



# Song Artist Album
1 Mainzer Narhalla Marsch   Ernst Neger und Hofkapelle des M.C.V. Mainz Mainzer Narhalla Marsch
2 Am Rosenmontag bin ich geboren   Renata Rondin Karneval Party Hits
3 Mir Schenke der Ahl e Paar Bloemcher   Lotti Krekel  Mir schenke der Ahl e paar
4 Da steht ein Pferd auf dem Flur Klaus & Klaus 25 Jahre Klaus & Klaus
5 Gib Acht auf den Jahrgang Heino Gib acht auf den Jahrgang
6  Ententanz Frank Zander Ja wenn wir alle Engeln wären
7  Es gibt kein Bier auf Hawai   Paul Kuhn Schlager und Stars
8  Ui-ui-ui, Au-au-au     Weiltaler Hessenland
9 Ich hab den Vater Rhein in seinem Bett gesehn Rheinlandchor Am Rhein Beim Wein
10 Ich kauf mir lieber einen Tiroler Hut Billy Mo Deutsche Schlager
11 Herbert   Gottlieb Wendehals Gassenhauer: Stimmungskiste Folge 1
12 Schnaps das war sein letztes Wort Willy Millowitsch Schnaps das war sein letztes
13 Denn wenn et Troemmelche jeht     Die Räuber Wenn et Troemmelche jeht
14 Rut sin de Ruse De Boore Rut sin de Ruse
15 Ne Besuch Em Zoo Lotti Krekel & Willy Millowitsch Ne Besuch im Zoo
16 Der Eiermann Klaus & Klaus Stimmung Volume 1
17 Der treue Husar   Willy Millowitsch Das Koelner Dreigestirn
18 Wir kommen alle, alle in den Himmel   Jupp Schmitz J. Schmitz: Karneval wie
19 Geb’ dem Kind sein Nuddelche Ernst Neger Die grossen Erfolge
20 Polonaese Blankenese   Gottlieb Wendehals Polonaese Blankenese
21 Wer Soll Das Bezahlen?   Jupp Schmitz J. Schmitz: Karneval wie Anno
22 Heile, heile Gaensje Ernst Neger & Die Hofkapelle des M.C.V. Mainzer Narhalla-Marsch/Heile,Heile….
23 Du, du liegst mir im Herzen Lustige Musikanten & Die Bavarian Singers Oktoberfest – The German Beer
24 So ein Tag, so wunderschön wie heute Die Mainzer Hofsänger Mega 50 – Die 60er Jahre
25 Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht Drafi Deutscher Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht
26 Der schönste Platz ist immer an der Theke Steingass-Terzett Karneval Anno Dazumal:
27 Skandal im Sperrbezirk   Spider Murphy Gang 30 Jahre Rock’N’Roll
28 Et Spanien-Leed Blaeck Fooss Bei uns Doheim
29 Wahnsinn (Hoelle, Hoelle, Hoelle) Lollies Hoelle, Hoelle, Hoelle – Das
30 Wir Sind Alle Kleine Suenderlein Willy Millowitsch Wir Sind Alle Kleine
31 Jetzt Trink’ Ma Noch A Flasche Wein Karl Moik Bei uns daheim
32 Rucki Zucki Ernst Neger Die grossen Erfolge
33  Es Ist Noch Suppe Da Jupp Schmitz Karneval Party Hits CD1
34 Wir machen durch bis morgen früh De Koelsche Jecke Karneval am Rhein
35 Kornblumenblau Willy Schneider Die schoensten Schlager
36 He Amigo Spell   Koelsche Adler Wir sind wieder da
37 Pizza Wundaba Hoehner Fuer Dich/Guck’Mal
38 Humpta Taetaerae   Ernst Neger Die grosse Stimmungsparade
39 Trink mer noch e Troeppche Die Frankfurter Schoppe Blaeser Das Frankfurter Herz
40 An der Nordseeküste Klaus & Klaus 25 Jahre Klaus & Klaus
41 Trink, Trink Bruederlein Trink Die Monacos Als der Schlager laufen
42 Schnaps das war sein letztes Wort Matty Valentino Ballermann Stars – Die
43 Es wird Nacht, Seniorita   Udo Jürgens Die grossen Erfolge
44 Am Aschermittwoch ist alles vorbei Karneval Karneval Megaparty 2010
Flavored Butter Spreads Recipe

Four Appetizing Flavored Butter Spreads for your Christmas Buffet.

Flavored Butter Spreads

Flavored butter spreads are so easy to prepare. You can use them either as an appetizer or place them on the table to supplement your holiday meal. These flavored spreads may be complemented with a variety of crackers. Or, offer different types of breads—shaped into bite-sized portions with fun, seasonal cookie cutters. To add to the presentation, consider using decorative toothpicks to hold together folded or rolled slices of bread. Using skewers makes the bread easy to grab and with four delicious flavored butter spreads to choose from, this appetizer is hard to resist.

German Flavored Butter Spreads Recipes

Ingredients for Rosemary and Garlic Flavored Butter Spread:

  • 150 g (5.0 oz) of soft butter
  • 3 twigs of rosemary
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • salt


Beat the soft butter with your electric handheld mixer. Puree the washed twigs of rosemary and garlic cloves in an electric food processor/chopper. Mix butter with rosemary and garlic and season with a little salt.

Spread the butter mix in a silicone mold and place it in the freezer for about 2 hours. The silicon molds make it easier to remove the hardened butter. You can store your shaped butter in the refrigerator.

Making German Flavored Butter spreads

If you do not  have a mold, just roll the butter in parchment paper. Place it for about 30 minutes in the freezer to harden. Cut the butter roll into slices. 

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Ingredients for Bell Pepper and Paprika Flavored Butter Spread:

  • 150 g (5.0 oz) Soft Butter
  • paprika
  • salt
  • 4 heaping teaspoon of chopped bell pepper (one color or different colors)


Beat the soft butter with your electric handheld mixer.  Chop the bell pepper in an electric food processor/chopper and mix it into the beaten butter. Season with some salt and paprika.

Spread the butter mix in a silicone mold and place it in the freezer for about 2 hours. This will make it easier to remove from the mold. You can store your flavored shaped butter in the refrigerator.

If you do not  have a mold, just roll the butter in parchment paper. Place it for about 30 minutes in the freezer to harden. Cut the butter roll into slices. 

Appetizer Butter Spreads

Ingredients for Herb and Lemon Flavored Butter Spread:

  • 150 g (5.0 oz) of soft butter
  • parsley
  • chives
  • dill
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • salt


Beat the soft butter with your electric handheld mixer. Puree the parsley, chives, and dill in a food chopper and add 4 teaspoons of the mixed herbs to the butter. Add lemon peel and  juice and mix well, then season with salt.

Spread the butter mix in a silicone mold and place it in the freezer for about 2 hours. This will make it easier to remove from the mold. You can store your flavored shaped butter in the refrigerator.

If you do not  have a mold, just roll the butter in parchment paper. Place it for about 30 minutes in the freezer to harden. Cut the butter roll into slices. 

flavored butter spreads

Ingredients for Cream Cheese and Shallots Flavored Butter Spread:

  • 150 g (5.0 oz) of soft butter
  • 3 teaspoons of cream cheese
  • 2–3 teaspoons of shallots
  • salt


Beat the soft butter and cream cheese with your electric handheld mixer. Chop the shallots and place them in an electric food processor/chopper add it to cream cheese to the butter mixture. Mix well and season with a little salt.

Spread the butter mix in a silicone mold and place it in the freezer for about 2 hours. This will make it easier to remove from the mold. You can store your flavored shaped butter in the refrigerator.

If you do not  have a mold, just roll the butter in parchment paper. Place it for about 30 minutes in the freezer to harden. Cut the butter roll into slices. 

The Flavored Butter Spreads can be served with bread or crackers. They are always welcome at the buffet for a Christmas Party.

Please, by all means, help yourself.  _Oma

Making beautiful party butter spreads and serving them


Traditional German Christmas Cookies Recipes

Traditional German Christmas Cookies Recipes—all with quite a story.

Traditional German Christmas Cookies

In Germany, Christmas cookies are almost as sacred as the holiday itself. The holiday baking season begins before the First of Advent, so that these tasty treats will be ready for consumption on that most anticipated day. The ladies of the house will carefully ration, hide, and monitor the cookies in tin boxes—making sure they last until Christmas. Each week, one new kind of traditional German Christmas cookies is added to the mix. The last enticing offering is called the “Kalte Pracht,” which means “Cold Splendor.” Between thin, melt-in-you-mouth wafers is an irresistible chocolate-, rum-, and coconut-butter spread. I always had to  make it the day before Christmas Eve or else they never would have lasted.


Children are always a big part of the baking process of traditional German Christmas cookies. After all, they need to learn the recipes and skills to pass them along to their children. Just as important, is knowing when to make the cookies. Look outside. When the cold, winter days get shorter and the reddish sunset sky paints the perfect holiday backdrop, it’s time for Christkind to bake the cookies.

It’s the Christmas baking season. cookies, anyone?

Scroll down to find the traditional German Christmas cookies recipes for the most of the cookies in the picture.

Traditional German Christmas Cookies

Click here for Oma’s Vanilla Horns recipe

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I was always my mother’s assistant when it came to baking German Christmas cookies, until one year, when I was 14, I had to take over. My mother was ill, and the thought of no cookies on Christmas made everyone else feel sick, too. So, nervously, I accepted the challenge. I mean, helping was one thing but doing it all on my own was another. The cookies, however, turned out so well that I happily inherited the responsibility year after year. The transition of cookie power was approved by immediate and extended family members who always enjoyed their fair share. Every Christmas season, I would always try a new recipe. The ones I mastered made it to my binder. Throughout the years, I’ve collected many recipes. And now I couldn’t be more pleased to share the German Christmas Cookie Recipes with you and your family.

Click here for Oma’s Bulging Eye recipe

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My children also started to help baking the traditional German Christmas cookies at a young age. Since I always made the cookies from scratch—which entails grinding the nuts, shaping the decorations, and using only fresh ingredients—there was a lot to do. My oldest son had the responsibility of peeling, drying, and grinding the almonds. My older daughter was in charge of helping me to shape the cookies while my younger daughter helped to make the icing and sugar flowers. The youngest one made himself responsible for taste-testing the dough. One thing is for sure, my children and grandchildren never want to miss the cookies. My grandson just told me, “Oma, you need to hide them.” Translation: He is coming back and wants to eat some more. His sister agreed.

Click here for Oma’s Chocolate Cookie recipe


Click here for Oma’s German Spritz Cookies Recipe

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I hope you get to try some of these delicious traditional German Christmas Cookies with your family. And if you have children, put some Christmas music on and get them involved. It will be great memory for them. And for you, as well. Please share your stories. And I’ll keep sharing my recipes!

Click here for Oma’s Coconut Macaroons recipe

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Click here for Oma’s Kalter Hund – Heinerle recipe

German Recipe Kalter Hund Heinerle

Click here for Oma’s Lemon Hearts Recipe

German Lemon Hearts Recipe Christmas Cookies

Click here for Oma’s Cinnamon Stars Recipe

German Cinnamon Stars Recipe

Click here for Oma’s German Butter Cookies Recipe (Linzer Cookies filled with jam)

German Butter Cookies Recipe

Click here for Oma’s Spekulatius Recipe (Spiced Cookies)

Finishing German Spekulatius Cookie Recipe

Click here for Oma’s Gingerbread Recipe

Original German Gingerbread Recipe

Click here for Oma’s German Marzipan Cookies Recipe (Bethmaennchen)

Serving German Marzipan Cookies Bethmaennchen

 Happiest of holidays! _Oma

Traditional German Christmas Cookies Recipes

St Martins Day Lanterns

St. Martin’s Day celebrated in Germany with lanterns. Sun, Moon, and Stars.

St Martins Day Lanterns

St Martins Day Lanterns are the highlight of Martin’s day in Germany. You can find the most beautiful lanterns displayed in store windows and available for sale inside. For this special German holiday, children also create St. Martin’s Day lanterns in kindergarten and grade school. They make them at home—and with friends—in all shapes, sizes, and themes. Everything and anything goes, as long as the lantern can hold a (battery-operated) candle. On November 11, the children then proudly parade their new creations around town on a stick.

I remember making them each year with my children. One year, the school my children attended forgot to order the lanterns from Germany in time for them to arrive in time for the St. Martin’s procession at school. Not a problem. I called up my friend and she helped me to make about 52 lanterns for the kindergarten class. We also cut out the clouds for the first graders—who later finished them in class with help from their teacher. Problem solved. Children happy. That’s what St. Martin’s Day is all about. After all, St. Martin of Tours was known as “a friend of the children.”

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Material needed to make your own St Martins Day lanterns:

  • Construction paper or poster board  55.8 cm X 71.1 cm – 22″ x 28 “
  • Cellophane wrap—available in arts & craft stores and party supply stores (OR) kite paper
  • dressmakers colored tracing paper (available at Walmart sewing department, stores with sewing supplies)
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife (available in art & craft stores and office supply stores)
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Stickers
  • Battery operated candle
  • Wire
  • Lantern Stencil click the link to copy or download pattern of lantern



Use the stencil and copy it 4 times with the tracing paper onto your construction paper/posterboard. On a separate sheet, draw a square about 6″ x 6″ to be used as the base of the lantern. Cut the pieces in raw form.


Use your craft knife and first start cutting along the interior lines marked in white on the stencil. (SEE ABOVE) Once you are done, use the scissors and cut the outside lines. Make sure to not cut along the folding edge. (SEE BELOW) Once you’ve finished, use the craft knife to make an edge on the surface of the folding lines, which makes it easier to fold them. Cut out the base of the lantern and draw two diagonal lines across it.


Spread glue on the outlines of the lantern (NOT ON THE FOLDING EDGES), place the cellophane foil over top of it. After having glued the foil, immediately use your craft knife and carefully guide it over the overlapping foil. Make sure not to cut too deep. Fold the outside edges towards the inside.

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Spread the glue on the side of the folding edges and attach them to each other. Continue until four sides are glued together.

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Take your ruler and measure the sides on the bottom of your lantern. Adjust the base to the sides of your lantern. If necessary, cut the overlapping edges. Glue the folding edges on the inside of your lantern, insert the base and affix. With a darning needle make two holes on opposite sides. Use the wire to make the handle of your lantern.

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You are ready to decorate your St Martins Day lanterns. Wishing you a Happy St. Martin’s Day. Yours, Oma

Making St. Martin's Day Lanterns

Oktoberfest Party Guide, Food, Beer, Music

Oktoberfest Party Guide. The ultimate guide to hosting a real Oktoberfest party in your backyard.

Oktoberfest Party Guide

Think Oktoberfest is all about beer? Think again. Just as important as those amazing Bavarian lagers are the authentic Oktoberfest dishes that make every Oktoberfest party so special. With good food and good drinks, come good times. And you will find everything you need to host a successful Oktoberfest beer garden festival in this quick Oktoberfest Party Guide! The best traditional recipes. The top-ten beers. And the greatest Oktoberfest playlist ever. It’s all here in this Oktoberfest  party guide. So, let’s get the party started!

Please scroll down to find all recipes, drinks and music

Oktoberfest Party Guide Decoration

What started in Munich in the year of 1810, has spread across the world and is more popular today than ever. Traditionally, Oktoberfest starts in September and last until the beginning of October. The most famous Oktoberfest festival is in Munich at the Wiesn. Let’s recreate the magic of this fun-filled German beer fest celebration in a way that would make King Ludwig l proud.

Welcome your guests by decorating your home in blue and white—the traditional colors of the state of Bavaria. You can theme your surroundings with these Oktoberfest party suppliesincluding banners, table cloth, cups, napkins, and more. Keep your fine china in the cabinets and use simple and rustic seating and place settings. If the weather is accommodating, host your private beer festival outside in the garden. Maybe rent a tent for the backyard. Look for a picnic area, perhaps. Or, take it to the streets and get the whole neighborhood together for an Oktoberfest block party.

Most importantly, keep the Oktoberfest beer cold and music going. And don’t forget to launch the opening of your party with the officialO zapft iscry—which refers to tapping of the first beer keg.

I wish you a wonderful Oktoberfest party with family and friends. And as always, let me know how it goes!




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Click the links for Oma’s recipes!


Emmenthaler with Salt and Pepper

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Obatzda (spiced chess-butter-spread)

Obatzda Cheese Butter Spread


Typical Oktoberfest recipes that brings everyone to the table. So good. So flavorful. So German!

Pork Roast with Gravy

German Pork Roast Recipe


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Frikadellen – German Meatball Patties



There’s plenty of room on that plate. Complement your main dish with some of these old fashioned homemade side dishes.

Soft Pretzel

Homemade Pretzels

Mashed Potatoes

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German Coleslaw Recipe

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad


It’s not the end of the party – just the end of the course. A variety of apple cakes to choose from. Change the plate, go back to the table and load it up with one of the apple desserts to give your meal a satisfying finish.

Apple Cake with Vanilla Sauce

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Sunken Apple Cake

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Apple Streusel Cake

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You don’t have to travel all the way to Munich to find a brewery that pairs well with your Oktoberfest celebration.

Here are Oma’s Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers

10 Best Oktoberfest Beers

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No Oktoberfest Party is complete without the perfect soundtrack. From traditional to modern, folk to country, this 35-track German Oktoberfest playlist will get swaying and raising the glasses. Best of all, each track is linked to listen in. If you like it, you can download. Let’s celebrate! Just hit play.

35 Favorite Oktoberfest Songs

German Wine Festivals

German Wine Festivals! It is time for new wine! Great bottles and the Recipes to match.

German Wine Festivals

While Oktoberfest is in full swing in America, the Germans have moved on from their September celebration and are ready to commemorate the fruit from the vine. That is right, it is time for new wine and to introduce the fermented grape juice at the German Wine Festivals.

In October, the well-known wine-growing regions between the Rhine, Mosel, and Saale Rivers are starting to pick their grapes and press them into wine. Throughout this part of Germany, weekends are filled with festivals and wine-tasting events. The new wine is called “Federweisse.” Feder meaning feather and weisse meaning white. Together, Federweisse translates to: Newly pressed wine.

Whereas pretzels belong to beer, onion tart belongs to Federweisser. If you can not get this type of wine locally, you can always substitute it with any of your favorite chilled bottle of white wine. Here are some of mine.

Scroll down to find the recipes

Oma’s favorite white wines for fall:

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Germans live by the principal: “Essen und Trinken halten Leib und Seele zusammen,” which means, “Food and Drink hold body and soul together.”

Pair your white wines with these savory fall recipes:

Onion Tart (Zwiebelkuchen)

It’s really more like a quiche, but the Germans would never dare call it that!


Boston Lettuce Salad with Oma Mutti Dressing

“Oma Mutti” is what my son called his grandmother. It means “Grandmother Mommy.”

Boston Lettuce Salad Recipe

How do like them apples?

It’s peak of apple season so, naturally, you’ll find lots of desserts and drinks—including apple cider, juice, and wine—made from this deliciously versatile fruit. My Apple Streusel Cake and Homemade Apple Sauce has always been a family favorite. And hopefully, it they will become one of yours.

Apple Streusel Cake

Fresh McIntosh apples with a sweet crumble topping. Too good!

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Homemade Apple Sauce

It is so good and so easy to make, you will never buy apple sauce from a jar again.

Homemade Applesauce

And do not forget, there are other amazing apple recipes in Oma’s kitchen…


Easy German Apple Cake Recipe

Try the Apple Cake with Vanilla Sauce and the Sunken Apple Cake. They’re almost impossible to resist!



Halloween Traditions Food Recipes and Fun

Food. Fun. And Halloween Traditions. The spirit of Halloween is alive and well at Oma’s.

Halloween Traditions!

Halloween or Halloween Traditions. “What is it?” This is a question I had 26 years ago, when I first experienced this nightly celebration in the States. Of all the answers I received, the one I could identify with the most was the comparison to the peak of the German carnival season called Fasching (Mardi Gras). But that’s where the similarities ended.

Halloween is celebrated on October 31. Fasching starts on the 11th day of November at exactly 11minutes after 11am and ends at the stroke of midnight on Shroud Tuesday—often called Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday in February).

During Halloween, kids go from house to house and say, “trick or treat.” During Fasching, the children go around the neighborhood and sing to get their goodies.

Carving pumpkins is one of the  Halloween traditions. Fodder beets? That’s a Fasching tradition!

Scroll down to find the Halloween recipes

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Once I understood all the differences, I was totally onboard. Especially when I realized that the evening of October 31st was also All Saints Eve—the same religious holiday in Germany that honors the souls of the departed.

Great. Got it. Time to make the costumes for the kids. I used felt by the yard and soaked some old white bed sheets in dye to have them in the colors my children liked. I got the old pattern out, which I still had from Germany.  I started to cut and sew the costumes to turn my children into “trick or treaters“.

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In our first year in the U.S., my four children went trick or treating together. A year later, they invited some of their new friends to trek the “Halloween Mile” with them. Two years after that, my home started filling with a few costumed guests. By the third Halloween, my kids had ALL their friends over at the house. They started dressing up and adding makeup right after school. Parents of those little devils would join later in the evening.

Click on the links to get to the recipes

While the dads took their little ones around the neighborhood, the moms stayed behind and helped me disperse candy at the door. We called our group “H-TOT,” which stood for Halloween Trick or Treaters. We loved seeing all the costumes and we loved to eat. This called for my famous split pea soupwhich became a yearly tradition—along with my All Saints Braid for dessert.

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Throughout the evening, adults would enjoy their meal with a few “spirits” while the kids had juice. The teenagers were fully caffeinated and congregated in the basement for their annual LAN Party full of big computer equipment and gaming fun.

Those were all great memories, but the image that I treasure most is a packed family room with children of all ages (some 11 years apart) sorting through their goodies. There was so much candy spread across the floor that you couldn’t even see the carpet. They traded, negotiated, divided, and shared until everyone got exactly what they wanted. It was impressive, to say the least.

Looking back, we created fun and memorable Halloween traditions that lasted 14 years. And now, my grandchildren have a lot of sweet things to look forward to themselves. Starting with my Halloween Cupcakes.

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What’s your favorite Halloween story or tradition?

St. Martin's Day Tradition

Shining a light on the meaning of St. Martin’s Day Tradition in Germany with lanterns and more!

St. Martin’s Day Tradition!

St. Martin of Tours was a soldier in the roman army. One winter, he was riding on his horse and saw a beggar freezing on the side of the street. Martin took off his coat and divided it with his sword into two pieces to share with the poor man. In that night, so the legend goes, a man appeared in Martin’s dream and Martin recognized him as Jesus—wearing the other half of the coat he gave to to the beggar. Martin felt compelled to quit the army, get baptized, and later became a bishop. After his death, he was declared holy by the Pope and was canonized the patron saint of the poor and the soldiers. St. Martin’s Day tradition is celebrated every year in November.

Even though St. Martin died on the 8th of November 397, the Germans and some other European countries celebrate St. Martin’s every year on November 11tth, the date of his funeral. After sunset, children walk with a stick that holds their homemade, candle-lit lanterns on a stick through the streets following a man dressed as St. Martin on the horse. The walk usually ends at a bonfire, where the depiction of St. Martin cutting and sharing his coat comes alive.

Saint Martin’s Day Food

The Martin’s Goose is another St. Martin’s Day tradition. It’s also known as the Martinsgansessen a St. Martin’s Feast. Butchered the night before St. Martin’s Day, the goose is usually stuffed with apples, prunes, bread; and seasoned with herbs and spices. Depending on the region, bakeries offer edible Martin Men with little pipes in their mouths. They are a treat made from yeast dough.

In the links below, I’ll show you how to roast a Martin’s Goose, how to bake the Martin Men, and how to make the paper lanterns. I’ve always enjoyed celebrating the St. Martin’s Day tradition when my children were young. It’s another great memory worth keeping alive—and sharing.

Yours, Oma

(Scroll down for recipes and lantern instructions. Click titled links.)

Martin’s Goose – Martinsgans


Martin’s Men – Weckmänner, Stutenkerle


Lanterns – Laterne