The first meeting of each month our Elk's Lodge has a social hour and this month's theme is Oktoberfest! Each one of brings a dish to share with the group. My fathers grandparents were both born in Germany and passed along some of the food traditions that they grew up with and of course getting these recipes out of my grandmother and aunt was like pulling teeth! I will never understand why people don't want to share the wealth but perhaps it is that little part of the world they have cornered and they don't want anyone else treading on it!
There are a few things that take me back to my childhood, one of them is poppy seed rolls (the aunt never did share this recipe) and the other is Sauerbraten mit Gaduflglasen (roughly translated sour meat with potato balls) which she did share.
My mother (who had not a lick of German in her) made a mean Sauerbraten and would always serve it while I was pregnant the day before I had to go to the Ob/Gyn for my monthly weigh in. This is far from a light meal but it is absolutely delicious (even though it sounds yucky). You marinade the beef roast for three days in vinegar and spices than simmer it and make a killer gravy using ginger snaps to thicken the sauce. The potato balls are a bit trickier..you need just the right type of potatoes or the balls commit potato-acide in the boiling water...even with the right moisture level in the tater I honestly think you need to have a certain amount of starch (also known as potato balls) in the water before the rest decide it's okay to cook and then rise to the top where you carefully scoop them out. All this is even better as left overs...and you all know how much I love gravy. Mom would cut the potato balls in half, fry them in butter and serve them up with the meat, gravy and pickled red cabbage...can you say delicious???
So the long and the short of this story (I bet you were wondering) is what do I make for Tuesday night and non-experimental, boring eating Elks? Someone else has taken the easy way out and is doing the brats...that doesn't leave much other than German Potato Salad, Apple Strudel or what ever else I can find on the Internet....