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.

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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 five, 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)

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Bone Marrow Dumplings (Markklöβchen)

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Savoy Cabbage (Wirsing)

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Brisket with Horseradish Sauce (Suppenfleisch mit Meerrettichsoβe)

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Chocolate Pudding with Vanilla Sauce (Schokoladenpudding mit Vanillesoβe)

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Apple Cake on a Sheet (Apfelkuchen auf dem Blech)

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German Cheese Cake (Käsekuchen)

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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. 

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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!

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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…

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Easy German Apple Cake Recipe

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

 

 

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

Where it started

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 official “O zapft is” cry—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!

Yours,

Oma

 

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GERMAN OKTOBERFEST APPETIZERS:

Emmenthaler with Salt and Pepper

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Obatzda (spiced chess-butter-spread)

Obatzda Cheese Butter Spread

GERMAN OKTOBERFEST PARTY MAIN DISHES:

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

Pork Roast with Gravy

German Pork Roast Recipe

Bratwurst

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Sauerkraut

Frikadellen – German Meatball Patties

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GERMAN OKTOBERFEST PARTY SIDE DISHES:

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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Coleslaw

German Coleslaw Recipe

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

GERMAN OKTOBERFEST PARTY DESSERT:

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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GERMAN AND GERMAN-INSPIRED OKTOBERFEST BEERS:

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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GERMAN OKTOBERFEST MUSIC:

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

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 29 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 11 minutes 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!

Halloween Traditions at Oma's house        postcard_191 actual

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  three children went trick or treating together (My fourth child was born three years later). 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.

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.

Split Pea Soup Recipe                     Sweet Braided Bread Allerheiligenzopf

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.

Halloween Cupcakes

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 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 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

Martin’s Goose – Martinsgans

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Martin’s Men – Weckmänner, Stutenkerle

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Lanterns – Laterne

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German Schokokuss Sweets

German Schokokuss Sweets

German Schokokuss Sweets

The German Schokokuss Sweets are made with beaten egg whites and sugar syrup, covered with dark chocolate. The Schokokuss is also known as Schaumkuss or Topkuss in Germany.

Ingredients for German Schokokuss Sweets:

  • 100 g (3.52 oz) of pasteurized egg whites (available at grocery stores)
  • 200 g (7.05 oz) of sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of the gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon of water for the gelatin
  • 3 ½ tablespoons of water for the sugar
  • 12 ice cream cups OR very thin round cookies OR plain water crackers without flavor OR Backoblaten (waffles) round 5 cm available here (I prefer the Backoblaten)
  • 140 g – 200 g (4.93 oz – 7.05 oz) of bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate (depending on what waffle or cookies are used)
  • 1 teaspoon of shortening OR coconut oil

Ingredients German Schokokuss Sweets

Preparation of German Schokokuss Sweets:

Mix the gelatin with 1 tablespoon of water in a container and let it soak for about 5 minutes. Beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer until stiff. In a saucepan mix 3 ½ tablespoons of water with the sugar and place it on the stove. Bring it to a boil, while constantly stirring with a cooking spoon. Let it boil for about 1-2minutes, until the syrup is clear or has reached the temperature of 120°C – 130°C (248°F – 266°F). Slowly add the hot syrup to the beaten egg whites while constantly stirring until creamy. Place the gelatin with the container in a saucepan with water (bain-marie) and heat it up until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the gelatin to the egg/sugar mixture and beat.

      

Fill the egg mixture into a decoration bag using a tip with a large hole. Let it cool in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

If you are using the ice cream cups, melt the chocolate with the shortening or coconut oil in a bain-marie until it has melted. Cover the inside of the ice cream waffles with the melted chocolate and let it harden. Fill the waffles with the egg mix about 2 ½ cm (1 in) above the edge of the waffles. Dip the filled waffles in the melted chocolate and let them dry.

                     

If you are using thin cookies, crackers or Backoblaten (waffles), place them on baking paper and press the egg cream onto the Backoblaten as shown in the picture below. Let them harden for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Melt the chocolate and shortening or coconut oil in a bain-marie until the chocolate has melted. Cover the cream with the melted chocolate using a spoon.

Preparation of German Schokokuss Sweets                     

Store the German Schokokuss Sweets in the refrigerator. To try the Original German Schneenockerl Snowballs Recipe click here or the Original Macaroons Recipe click here.

German Schokuss Sweets

 

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 musicthe old musicand cult musicIt also includes classic hitsand some of today’s modern musicAlways 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

#SongArtistAlbumGenre
1Bayerischer DefiliermarschMuenchner OktoberfestBlasmusik vomRegional Music
MusikantenMuenchner Oktoberfest
2AnneliesePeter AlexanderAus Böhmen kommt die Mu..German Folk
3Wendelstoiner SchuhplattlerDie Muenchner BlaskapelleFroehliches OktoberfestGerman Folk
4Mussinan-MarschMuenchner OktoberfestBlasmusik vomRegional Music
MusikantenMuenchner Oktoberfest
5Bubi bubi Noch EinmalDie KaltensteinerEuropean MastersTraditional
Bayrisch
6Unter Der Bavaria (Marsch)Muenchner OktoberfestBlasmusik vomRegional Music
MusikantenMuenchner Oktoberfest
7Trompeten EchoFroehliche Blasmusikanten200 Jahre OktoberfestRock
8Toelzer SchuetzenmarschMuenchner OktoberfestBlasmusik vomRegional Music
MusikantenMuenchner Oktoberfest
9Tiroler HolzhackerbuamKeferloher Musikanten200 Jahre OktoberfestRock
10Auf und NiederZillertaler SchuerzenjaegerZum FeiernGerman Folk
11Oktoberfest-LaendlerMuenchner OktoberfestBlasmusik vomRegional Music
MusikantenMuenchner Oktoberfest
12SchuetzenlieslOktoberfestkapelle Ernst HanischOktoberfest SouvenirTraditional
13Muenchner Kindl-MarschMuenchner OktoberfestBlasmusik vomRegional Music
MusikantenMuenchner Oktoberfest
14Der Klarinetten-MucklVarious ArtistsOktoberfestRegional Music
15SchneewalzerGitty und ErikaJubilaeumsausgabe 44 JahreTraditional
16Erzherzog Johann JodlerHelga ReichelErzherzog Johann JodlerRegional Music
Blasmusik
17In Muenchen Steht Ein BayernkapelleAuf Zum OktoberfestTraditional
Hofbraeuhaus
18Alte KameradenLuftwaffenmusikkorps 3Die schoensten MaerscheTraditional
19Steirerman San Very GoodDas Stoakogier TrioTz Oktoberfest HitsOther
20Herz-Schmerz PolkaEddie und FreundeOktoberfestGerman Folk
21Wiesseer WatschentanzVarious ArtistsOktoberfestTraditional
22Der Klarinetten-MucklMuenchner OktoberfestBlasmusik vomRegional Music
MusikantenMuenchner Oktoberfest
23Zillertaler HochzeitsmarschZillertaler SchuerzenjaegerOktoberfest Hits Disc1Holiday
24Muenchner SchuetzenmarschDie Keferloher Musikanten200 Jahre OktoberfestRock
25Haushamer PlattlerAdi StahuberEin Klingendes SouvenirGerman Folk
aus Bayern
26Solang der alte PeterLustige MusikantenEin Prosit der Gemuetlichk…German Folk
27SchaefflertanzFranzl Obermeier undOktoberfestTraditional
seine Blasmusik
28Heckenroeschen PolkaDie RosenholzerOktoberfest Munich 2010German Folk
Blasmusik
29Jubel, Trubel, BlasmusikTirolerbuamO’zapft isTraditional
30Geliebtes MuenchenVarious ArtistsFroehliches OktoberfestGerman Folk
31Von der TannMuenchner OktoberfestBlasmusik Vom MuenchnerGerman Folk
MusikantenOktoberfest
32KaiserjaegermarschFroehliche BlasmusikantenSchaetze Der MarschmusikGerman Folk
33Muenchner Kindl WalzerDie Linzer BuamFroehliches OktoberfestTraditional
34Echt Bayrisch PolkaDie Muenchner BlaskapelleFroehliches OktoberfestGerman Folk
35Liebelei am IsarstrandDie Linzer BuamFroehliches OktoberfestGerman Folk

 

Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes. Thanksgiving Traditions and Tips you’ll be truly thankful for.

Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

When I arrived in America, twenty-nine years ago, I didn’t know much about Thanksgiving or a meal prepared with traditional Thanksgiving recipes. Long before the days of Google, I looked up the translation of Thanksgiving the old fashion way, and understood it as a “thank you” but didn’t really know much about who gave and who received. I found a comparison to Erntedankfest—a religious harvest celebration in Germany which takes place in October.

Throughout the years, I’ve learned that this special American holiday dates back to 1620 when the Pilgrims from England arrived on the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth Rock—about 40 miles away from Boston, Massachusetts. They met the Wampanoag Indians, and with their help, learned to survive their first cold Winter. A year later, in 1621, the success of the harvest led to a three-day festivity called Thanksgiving, which they celebrated together.

Two hundred years later, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. So, the fourth Thursday in November it is! Lincoln also made the “Big Bird” the main meal for Thanksgiving. And today, the turkey tradition continues all across this great country.

Every year, I cherish Thanksgiving and honor the tradition and true meaning of this very special holiday. It’s really about family and friends coming together to share a meal prepared with traditional Thanksgiving recipes—and appreciating all that they have in their lives. Although it’s not a religious holiday, people are thankful in their prayers, in their words, and in their actions, for the food (the harvest) for which they are about to share. In the end, it doesn’t matter the time or day, what heritage or what culture, all that matters is that we live in the moment—conscious and thankful of our good fortune—surrounded by those we love.

Scroll down to the traditional Thanksgiving recipes.

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Oma’s Favorite Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes to celebrate:

Butternut Squash Soup

Pumpkin Soup 12

Pickled Sweet and Sour Butternut Squash

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Homemade Corn Bread

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Sweet Potatoes with Apples in Maple Syrup

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Stuffed Thanksgiving Turkey

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Green Beans with Mushrooms and Corn

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Cinnamon Pears Topped with Cranberry Sauce

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Danube Waves Cake

Danube Wave Cake Recipe

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

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Fruit-Filled Shortbread Cookies

German Butter Cookies Recipe

Your Thanksgiving planning. It starts now.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, you know there’s a lot to do. The more you can prepare ahead of time, the more time you have to enjoy with your family. So, on that note, here are some time-saving tips that are sure to pay dividends when loved ones start filing up around your kitchen.

1. Figure how many guest you will have.

2. Write down which traditional Thanksgiving recipes you want to try and write down the ingredients you’ll need.

3. Make a list and go shopping.

4. Start baking/cooking what can easily be stored ahead of time. Think freezer, refrigerator, and even tin boxes. Some recipes can be completed and stored. Others can be started and brought out at the last minute for quick touch up before serving.

Making a Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes Shortcuts.

Having made all my recommendations for the traditional Thanksgiving recipes, I know some are more time consuming and labor intensive than others. Nevertheless, they’re all worth it. Especially when your guests ask for seconds. And you have these secrets up your sleeve.

Green beans with Mushrooms and corn | Complete and freeze. Microwave when ready.

Butternut Squash Soup | Freezes nicely. Just add fresh whipped cream and home-made croutons before serving.

Pickled Sweet & Sour Butternut Squash | Complete ahead of time and refrigerate. The marinade makes it taste even better with time.

Cinnamon Pears Topped with Cranberry Sauce | Refrigerate pears with the water you cooked them in. The cranberry sauce can be kept covered and refrigerated. Or, in a pinch, use canned fruit and prepare on Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving Cupcakes | Prepare. Decorate. And freeze. When ready, thaw and serve.

Danube Waves Cake | Freezes and thaws just fine. Just add the final decorations before presentation.

Fruit-Filled Shortbread Cookies | Stores well in a tin box. However, this is a great recipe to make with children. Have them assist you while you share the story of the pilgrims and Indians. Make it a great memory and a yearly tradition.

Turkey Stuffing | If you wish to add turkey liver to your recipe, you won’t be able to get to it until your frozen turkey is thawed. Try store-bought chicken liver and make your stuffing ahead of time and freeze.

Serving Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

If you take advantage of these recommendations, you’ll be way ahead of schedule. All that’s left to do on Thanksgiving is make the sweet potatoes, fix the turkey, and set the table with the good stuff—your fine china and silver. And don’t be afraid to delegate responsibilities. In my house, my daughter-in-law cleans the silver and prepares the sweet potatoes, and my oldest son is in charge of the bird. All the other work is divided amongst the family. And as far as I’m concerned, my work is done. With smart planning, I get to enjoy more time with my grandchildren. And for that I’m thankful.

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Thanksgiving decoration ideas. Simple but beautiful.

Carved potatoes and apples with tea light candles inside. Click for instructions.

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At Oma’s, you always save room for dessert.

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Wine is fine. Cider is finer.

I love wine. Especially the reds. However, if you want to mix things up for  Thanksgiving, why not offer hard apple cider instead of the traditional white wines that usually accompany poultry. Here are three of my favorites: Woodchuck, Johnny Appleseed, and Cidre by Stella Artois. Most are available locally. Serve cold and enjoy!

BONUS: Click for Oma’s favorite white wines and martzen-style beers for fall and winter.

German After-Dinner Drinks:

Berentzen Apple Corn (serve cold) & Jaegermeister (serve extra chilled)

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A Fun Thanksgiving Activity: Create a Matchbox Advent Calendar.

With advent starting on Sunday, November 29th this year (and ending on Thursday, December 24th), Thanksgiving is the perfect time to keep the kids (and some adults) busy with a project they’ll love to hang on the wall. This advent calendar, made from empty matchboxes, is great countdown to Christmas. Click here for instructions.

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 Happy Thanksgiving 2018

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With many blessings, your Oma

German American Thanksgiving

German American Thanksgiving. Add these delicious popular German recipes to your Thanksgiving menu.

German American Thanksgiving

German American Thanksgiving in Oma’s house. Give your traditional Thanksgiving meal this year an Oma twist while adding or combining the following recipes. I picked Classic German Recipes which I was taught by my mother, and she was taught by her mother. A traditional German menu for holidays, celebrations and festivities. Try it out.

Instead of turkey, consider a beef roast with gravy. Replace stuffing or mashed potatoes with my dumplings. And try substituting green beans with red cabbage. Of course, Thanksgiving purest would never deviate from the traditional menu. That’s why these recipes—including my tomato soup with freshly baked baguette—also make great additions!

In my family, I keep everyone deliciously guessing. Some years it’s the bird. Others it’s the roast. And sometimes, depending on the number of guests, it’s both! Mixing and matching the traditional American feast with my “Germerican” alternatives keeps everyone happy and well fed. Pumpkin pie? Sure. But add my black forest cake plus Red Berry Compote with Vanilla Sauce, and it’s sure to be a Thanksgiving no one will forget.

Regardless of what menu you put together, Thanksgiving is all about getting together with family and being grateful for what we have. It’s in this spirit that I wish you and your loved ones a very blessed holiday. And hope you enjoy these tasty alternatives. As always, let me know what you think.

Yours, Oma

PS: For my traditional Thanksgiving menu, click here. (You’ll also find short cuts, holiday traditions, and unique table decorations.)

Mix and match Oma’s Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes with Classic German recipes.

German American Thanksgiving dishes:

Tomato Soup

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Baguette

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German Yeast Dumplings

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Red Cabbage

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Beef Roast with Gravy

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Red Berry Compote with Vanilla sauce

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Black Forest Cake

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