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I’m WAY behind here, but that seems to be the story of my life these days. We hosted our second annual Oktoberfest/Loving South Africa party to raise funds for our participation with Team LSA. This year, we had beer from Barley Island, Flat12 Bierwerks, and a beer tasting VERY generously donated from Indy’s newest brewery, TwoDeep Brewing. We had a great turnout, the weather couldn’t have been better, and we raised lots of money and awareness for LSA. I cooked all week in preparation for the big shindig, and plenty of friends and family chipped in too. I thought I would share my recipes here in case you’re planning a German feast anytime soon.


Potato pancakes (I think I quadrupled this recipe and still have tons leftover in the freezer. Fortunately, Jas loves them!)
Venison klops (German meatballs)
Homemade pretzels with Local Folks Food’s stone ground mustard
Beer cheese fondue
German tomato salad (I subbed the basil for green onions)
German PW’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

Several friends and family members brought other delicious items, so I’ll have to get with them for all of their recipes!

The recipes that I linked to directly above, I made according to the recipes. The recipes below I modified a bit or made up on my own.

Venison Klops
Adapted from here


Two pounds ground venison
1 large onion
2 tbsp butter
5 slices dry bread
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2-3 eggs, beaten
1 cup white wine
1  cup water
2 tbsp dried parsley (more if you have it fresh)
1 lemon, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Soak bread slices in milk while you cook onions in butter. Saute until tender.  Mix together first eight ingredients with your hands, blending thoroughly, then form into meatballs.  I learned this little trick from Cook’s Illustrated for meatballs, and it makes for the BEST meatballs. Place a cooling rack on top of baking sheet. Place the meatballs on the cooling rack, and then place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until browned. CI says to rotate the trays about halfway through the cooking time to ensure the meatballs are browned all the way around, but I usually forget and they turn out fine.

Straight out of the oven, this was the best tasting venison I’ve ever had. Usually, venison is a little gamey for me, but the meat is so inexpensive and about as free-range as you can get so I deal with it. I’ve since used the ingredients above to make these for spaghetti and meatballs, which were delicious. For next year’s Oktoberfest, I’ll probably just make the meatballs and skip the sauce…

Place wine, water and spices in covered dutch oven and cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Blend flour and water and stir into liquid in dutch oven.  Add parsley, lemon, salt and meatballs. Transfer to slow cooker to keep warm all evening.

Beer Cheese Fondue
Sara Original

My mom and I love fondue. We have the same birthday, and we always used to pick The Melting Pot for our birthday dinner. They have this fiesta cheese fondue that I could eat on just about anything. This is my attempt at recreating it at home.


6 – 12 ounces beer, preferably an ale or amber
2/3 cup salsa
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound colby jack cheese, shredded
Sliced jalepenos to taste
Items for dipping – bread, apples, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc.


This is best made and served in a fondue pot because fondue pots have a low heat setting, but you can also keep it warm in a slow cooker on the lowest setting. Mine just seems to get to hot, even on the lowest setting. Combine the cheese and salsa and begin to stir. As the cheese begins to melt, begin adding the beer slowly. You want a fairly thick consistency, so add beer accordingly. I would guess that I typically use about eight ounces and drink the rest.

Serve warm alongside assorted breads, veggies and apples for dipping. This has become a football staple at our house (which means we haven’t made it once this year outside of Oktoberfest!).

Thanks to our friends and family, we had another successful evening raising funds and awareness for Loving South Africa – and having fun too of course!


But one’s real duty to the future is to do as you should do now. Make the best choices, do the best work, fulfill your obligations in the best way you can, and work on a scale that’s appropriately small. Make plans that are appropriately small. If you do those things, then the future will take care of itself. But if you don’t do those things, then you build up a debt against the future, which is what we’re doing now.

Wendell Berry, in a speech in 1993

I planted radishes and kale for our fall garden this year. The kale is a bit stubby, but the radishes have been going crazy. They’ve been a bit spicier than usual too because of these warmer fall temps we’ve been having. I created this little salad as an easy way to use up lots of radishes – hope you enjoy!

Radish Salad
Sara Original

Several radishes, sliced
1 apple, diced
1 tbsp mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
Juice of half a lemon
Dash of raw honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine dressing, pour over radishes and apples. Let sit for ten minutes or so and serve.

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November 2011
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