A Christmas Favorite – Spritzgebäck

December 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM | Posted in dessert | Leave a comment
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Traditional holiday cookie plate with green tree-shaped spritz

Traditional holiday cookie plate with green tree-shaped spritz

Spritzgebäck is a type of German Christmas biscuit made of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. When made correctly, the cookies are crisp, fragile, somewhat dry, and buttery. The German verb spritzen means to squirt in English. As the name implies, these cookies are made by extruding, or “squirting” the dough with a press fitted with patterned holes (a cookie press) or with a cake decorator to which a variety of nozzles may be fitted. In the United States, the name is often shortened to spritz.
Spritzgebäck is a common pastry in Germany and served often during Christmas season, when parents commonly spend afternoons baking with their children for one or two weeks. Traditionally, parents bake Spritzgebäck using their own special recipes, which they pass down to their children.

 

 

 

 

How to Make Spritz Cookies

Spritz cookies are created using a cookie press. Sure, nothing beats the classical chocolate chip cookies, but if you just want a break from chocolate chip, then these cookies will be great. The variety of designs adds to their appeal and makes them ideal as both holiday season treats on the table and as holiday gifts.

This recipe will prove to you that spritz cookies are quick, easy, and fun to make, and they’re ideal to make with your family or friends.

Makes 7 to 8 dozen cookies
Ingredients
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

 

Directions:
1 – Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Assemble all the ingredients and items needed to prepare the recipe.
2 – In a small bowl, combine the baking powder and flour.
3 – In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or whisk until light and fluffy.
4 – To the beaten butter mixture, add egg, milk, almond and vanilla extracts. Mix well.
5 – Slowly add the flour and baking powder mixture to the beaten mixture. Beat until well combined.
6 – Fill the cookie press with dough. Select the disk patterns you wish to use and put into place.
7 – Press the cookies onto the ungreased cookie sheet.
8 – Place in the oven when you have a tray full. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or when golden brown.
9 – Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet sitting on the cooling rack. Then remove the cookies from the sheet and leave to cool completely.
10 – Enjoy! Eat these plain or decorate them. Here are some decorating tips:
*Sprinkles: Use chocolate, rainbow or sugar sprinkles. Add sprinkles before baking the cookies. If you haven’t done so already, ice and then add them.
*Sandwich: Take two cookies and spread some chocolate or jelly between them.
*Icing: Take some cookie icing and spread it all over the cookie.
*Toppings: Add on other desired toppings such as nuts, colored sugar or chocolate chips.
11 – If giving them as a gift, place them in a pretty box. Line the box with wax or parchment paper first and add in carefully. You might like to compartmentalize if adding different spritz shapes. Finish with a pretty bow and perhaps attach the ingredients list so that the recipient can be reassured of the contents.

 

 
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Spritz-Cookies

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Hey, beer lovers! Cincinnati’s Craft Beer Oktoberfest set for Oct. 18-19

October 16, 2013 at 4:35 PM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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beeroktoberfest-cincy

 

Cincinnati’s Craft Beer Oktoberfest set for Oct. 18-19
cincinnati.com — Listermann Brewing Company will bring their regular and seasonal beers to second annual Local Beer Oktoberfest, which takes place Oct. 18-19. Participating breweries are: Blank Slate, Fifty West, Christian Morelein, Rock Bottom, Rivertown, Mt. Carmel, MadTree, Cellar Dweller, Wiedemann, Rhinegeist, Double Barrel, Triple Digit and Listermann. Only one Oktoberfest beer will be sold.

 

In addition to beer, the family- and dog-friendly event will include live music all day, food vendors and German booths, banners and parades from the German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati.

 

Friday will be “Free Food Friday” (while supplies last), with a pig roast from Parkers Blue Ash Tavern and brats and metts from Glier’s Meats from 5 p.m.-midnight. (Vegetarian options and other food will be available for purchase.)

 

Rare Beer” Saturday begins with kegs and eggs, with free Glier’s goetta starting at 9 a.m. A rare beer tapping, with all breweries tapping a rare or special brew, will take place at 10 a.m. The ceremonial keg tapping of Listermann Oktoberfest will take place at 4 p.m.

 
For more info click the link below.

 

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/icymi/2013/09/26/cincinnatis-craft-beer-oktoberfest-set-for-oct-18-19/

Gliers Goettafest Newport August 1-4, 2013

August 2, 2013 at 1:09 PM | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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Gliers Goettafest Newport Goetta Fest

 

Location
NEWPORT’S RIVERFRONT LEVEE
Newport, KY 41071

Hours
First weekend in August

Rates
Free!

More Info
Call 859-291-1800
About
August 1-4, 2013
Look for all of your favorite food booths as well as rides for the kids and game booths.
Since its creation, Glier’s Goettafest has sought to be a family fun festival, offering numerous forms of entertainment to go with a delicious and extensive food menu.

Glier’s Goettafest has consistently provided festival guests with live music and cloggers throughout the festival. Goetta games such as the Goetta Toss, Goetta Slide, and Goetta Ring Toss have given Goettafans young and old a chance to win fun prizes.

Glier’s Goettafest made its triumphant return to Northern Kentucky in 2005 with its move to Newport’s Riverfront Levee, just down the steps from the Newport Aquarium. The Riverfront Levee offers festivalgoers with a beautiful view and plenty of space to walk around. Glier’s provided guests with two large Cooling Stations in which they were able to get out of the sun and sit and relax.

Goetta, a German dish, is often compared to breakfast sausage or scrapple. It is a unique, delicious and nutritious mixture of pork, beef, steel-cut (pinhead) oats, and seasonings, which is carefully prepared by the Goetta Specialists at Glier’s. The product is then packaged in one pound rolls or is fresh cut at the grocery or restaurant from larger blocks of Goetta. Most people enjoy Glier’s Goetta at breakfast as a side dish with eggs or pancakes.

 

http://www.goettafest.com/

The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover’s Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World

June 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, fish, seafood | Leave a comment
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Ran across this article out of the Huffington Post. I left the link at the bottom of the post.

 

The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover’s Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World

 

The following is an excerpt from The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover’s Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World, by Andrew Sharpless and Suzannah Evans.

 

In his foreword, Bill Clinton wrote:

The specter of ever-growing numbers of hungry people, especially malnourished children, hangs over our heads. Already, close to 1 billion people go to bed hungry. I’ve never heard anyone else propose the simple solution Andy Sharpless and Oceana are making here: to replicate the success we’ve had in the United States by putting in place effective, conservation focused, scientific fisheries management in the 25 countries that control most of the world’s seafood catch. This is — relatively speaking — a practical, inexpensive, and quick way to make sure our planet has lots more nutritious food in the future, when we’ll really need it.
But is eating fish really such a healthy and sustainable food source? The Perfect Protein explains why we should all be eating more seafood — for our own health and that of the oceans.


It’s the one animal protein that’s rarely mentioned in the endless reports about big agriculture and hunger crises. It’s the protein that’s healthiest for your body: low in cholesterol, brimming with brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients like riboflavin, iron, and calcium. It’s one of the most ancient foods, and it’s most likely the last wild creature that you’ll eat, the last pure exchange between Earth and your dinner plate.

Seafood’s role in heart health was discovered after early 20th century studies on Arctic peoples. Soon, other indicators emerged suggesting that seafood was helpful in avoiding heart disease. Norway experienced a steep decline in fatal heart attacks during the German occupation of 1941 to 1945. In these years, Norwegians could not obtain much in the way of meat, eggs, or whole milk, and instead began eating more fish, skim milk, and cereals. After the war, Norwegians returned to their red-meat diet, and the rate of heart attacks rose again.

Similarly, scientists began to notice that the Japanese, who eat up to 13 times as much seafood as Americans, had much lower rates of heart disease as well. One study found that the Japanese were 20 times less likely than Germans to die of heart attacks.

One of the landmark studies on seafood consumption and heart health took place in the Netherlands from 1960 to 1980. Over those two decades, scientists tracked a group of adult men from the town of Zutphen who ate a consistent amount of fish throughout their lives. The result? The more fish the men ate, the less likely they were to die of heart disease. After the results of the Zutphen study were published in 1985, the knowledge of seafood’s role in heart health went mainstream. Now, just about every authority from the American Heart Association to the World Health Organization recommends eating seafood at least twice a week.

Since the 1980s, “omega-3” has been a nutrition buzzword, found everywhere from margarine labels to fad diet cookbooks. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in some plants, like walnuts, but the best sources are fish and seafood. They, too, ultimately derive their omega-3s from plants — the phytoplankton that support all ocean life.

The more important nutritional benefits that we get from consuming omega-3s come from two types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are found almost exclusively in marine sources and egg yolk, and yet they are critical to our health, having particular importance in fetal development and maintenance of brain, retina, heart, and immune system health.

Scientists now agree that consuming omega-3-rich seafood two times a week can cut your chance of dying from a heart attack by 30 percent or more.

Seafood is also the only food with which we still have — mostly — the same hunter-trapper relationship as early hominids cracking open clamshells. We may be evolutionarily disposed to enjoying seafood, but as our population has grown and grown, our collective appetite for wild-caught seafood has outstripped the oceans’ ability to provide it — and there’s no question that we can’t afford to decimate all wild seafood.

Fish and shellfish are integral parts of our diets, and they should be. And they don’t come with the massive baggage of industrial pork, poultry, and beef, animal proteins that produce tons of waste and pollution, destroy thousands of acres of land, use huge amounts of water, and are often too costly for the world’s poorest people. The modern industrial agricultural system has mechanized food production in a way that’s nothing short of awe inspiring for sheer effort. But we’re paying a huge, often hidden price. And our planet may not be able to conceal the true costs of agriculture much longer.

When people ask us which seafood is sustainable, it’s hard to give such a pithy response. But if you really pressed us for it, this is what we might say: “Eat wild seafood. Not too much of the big fish. Mostly local.”

 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-sharpless/perfect-protein-book-excerpt_b_3429390.html?utm_hp_ref=@food123

34th Annual MainStrasse Village Maifest, May 17, 18, 19.

May 16, 2013 at 8:22 AM | Posted in Festivals, grilling | 3 Comments
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Please join the MainStrasse Village Association for our 34th Annual MainStrasse Village Maifest, May 17, 18, 19. This is a FREE family-friendly event.

FRIDAY, MAY 17 5:00 – 11:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, MAY 18 NOON – 11:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, MAY 19 NOON – 9:00 p.m.

FREE PARKING IS AVAILABLE IN THE IRS PARKING LOT AT 4TH & JOHNSON STREETS!

 

 

Chosen as one of the Top Twenty Events for May 2013 by the Southeast Tourism Society and one of the Top Ten Festivals in Kentucky Maifestfor the Spring of 2013 by the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, Maifest is based on the German tradition of welcoming the first spring wines. Maifest is the first major festival of the summer for the Tri-State region. The assortment of arts and crafts and German and international foods and beverages becomes the main course to attract approximately 125,000 area families and regional travelers. Specialty and domestic beers can be found throughout the festival.

Maifest fills over SIX city blocks along the tree-lined 6th Street Promenade, Main Street and Philadelphia Street, and extends into Goebel Park. The German park-like atmosphere creates the perfect backdrop for the variety of appealing food, drink and works by over 75 artisans and craftsmen. And be sure to visit the Kinderplatz, full of adventures and rides for the small children and the Amusement Midway filled with fun for the “older” kids. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can purchase an “All You Can Ride” bracelet for just $15. Bracelets may be purchased from opening until 9 pm on Friday and will be valid until 10 pm Friday only. Saturday and Sunday bracelets may be purchased from opening until 5 pm and will be valid until 6 pm the day of purchase only.

Quality live entertainment by top local performers will spread the festive mood throughout Maifest. Great music will be featured at the Goebel Park Stage, the Festival Stage, the Main Street Stage and the Goose Girl Stage. Take your pick – German, Pop, Classic Rock, Blues or Country – it’s your choice!

New this year – don’t miss NASA’s Driven to Explore, a multimedia experience showcashing the NASA’s future plans for space exploration. As part of this unique exploration experience, visitors will have the opportunity to touch a 3 billion-year-old moon rock brought back aboard Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the moon in 1972.

Don’t miss the Main Street BierGarten all weekend or the Street Chalk Drawing Contest on Saturday, cash prizes for Adult and Children’s categories. Registration form available at http://www.mainstrasse.org or 859-491-0458 and.

 

 

http://www.mainstrasse.org/2013/04/maifest-2013/

All about Goetta from Glier’s Goetta

January 14, 2013 at 9:57 AM | Posted in breakfast | Leave a comment
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What is goetta?

Pronounced “get-uh,” goetta is a German breakfast sausage that blends the textures and flavors of pork, beef, whole grain steel-cut

oats, fresh onions, and spices. It is slow-cooked daily and perfectly prepared when browned and served. Producing over one million pounds of goetta each year, Glier’s Goetta is the best selling goetta in the world.

Why is goetta unique to Northern Kentuck and Cincinnati?
During the 1880s, waves of German immigrants were drawn to the fertile Ohio River valley that is Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati. The new community laid roots and flourished in the area. Along with many other elements of their culture, the Germans brought their favorite dish – goetta – with them. Just like it is in their homeland, goetta is a regional recipe.

How do I cook the perfect goetta patty?
First, slice the goetta into half-inch patties. Making sure they do not touch each other (to be sure they will not stick together), place the patties in a non-stick skillet that has been preheated to a medium temperature, 350 degrees. Let cook for about 6 minutes, allowing the first side to brown completely. Flip, and brown the other side until crisp. When both sides are golden brown, the goetta is ready to enjoy.

What is the secret ingredient of goetta?
Steel-cut, or pinhead, oats are the secret ingredient to delicious Glier’s Goetta. The simple, unprocessed whole grain oats are high in fiber and protein, low in calories, rich in Vitamin-B, and a huge contributor to the fact that Glier’s Goetta is completely free of trans fats. Not to mention, they’re delicious. The nutty texture and taste pinhead oats lend to Glier’s Goetta is unique to any other breakfast sausage.

What is the most popular way to enjoy goetta?
While most goetta loyalists are delighted by a simple crispy brown serving as a standout side to good ol’ fashioned eggs, goetta omelets, goetta grilled cheese sandwiches, and goetta ruebens are also popular. The greatest goetta taste controversy is whether it’s better topped with ketchup or syrup!

Where can I purchase Glier’s Goetta?
Glier’s Goetta is available at many retailers and restaurants in the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area including: Kroger, Sam’s, Wal-Mart, Meijer, and Frisch’s, Perkin’s, Colonial Cottage, Price Hill Chili. To Glier’s Goetta fans around the globe, it is available for purchase through our website. Link right here to get it in the mail today.

What is the most popular variety of Glier’s Goetta?
Glier’s Goetta’s Original one-pound rolls are the most popular. To learn more about all of our delicious varieties, click here.

What is Glier’s Goettafest all about?
Founded in 2001, Glier’s Goettafest is a celebration of all things goetta, and the generations of families and friends who adore it. The free event during the first weekend of August is located along the Ohio River at Newport on the Levee, includes continuous live entertainment, and features over 30 clever and creative new recipes each year. Revelers come hungry for everything from goetta pizza to goetta fudge brownies.

How long can Glier’s Goetta be refrigerated?
Unopened, refrigerated Original Goetta has a four-month shelf life; Turkey Goetta has a two-month shelf life. The Slab and Mini Slab are good for 40 days; the Bun Links and Patties, 21 days. Glier’s Goetta can easily be frozen as well.

Can Glier’s Goetta be shipped?
Yes! Glier’s Goetta is shipped by our friends at Cincy Favorites every day. It may be ordered online at CincyFavorites.com or by calling 800-446-3882. Your Glier’s Goetta will be packed in a foam cooler with dry ice, and shipped to you the following business day.

Does Glier’s Goetta support local charities?
Glier’s Goetta is happy to donate our very popular Goetta Survival Kit – including a Glier’s Goetta recipe book, t-shirt, and Glier’s Goettafest mug – to fundraisers throughout the community. We are also proud to serve free samples of our Goetta Sliders at charity events like the local Heart Mini Marathon, Flying Pig Marathon, Hyde Park Blast, and Komen Race for the Cure.

Where can I find Oktoberfest Brand brats and metts?
Oktoberfest Brand is proudly sold at local Sam’s Clubs and online at CincyFavorites.com. The sausage that started the Gliers’ Family business in 1946 is also featured annually at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.

 

http://www.goetta.com/

One of America’s Favorites – The Pretzel

November 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Posted in baking, cooking, Food | Leave a comment
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A pretzel (known as Breze(l) in German) is a type of baked food made from dough in soft and hard varieties and savory or sweet flavors

An assortment of pretzels

in a unique knot-like shape, originating in Europe. The pretzel shape is a distinctive symmetrical looped form, with the ends of a long strip of dough intertwine brought together and then twisted back onto itself in a certain way (“a pretzel loop”). Pretzels in stick form may also be called pretzels in the English-speaking context. For seasoning and decoration various glazes, salt crystals, sugar and various seeds or nuts can be used. The size varies from large enough for one to be a sufficient serving, to much smaller.

 

A bread pretzel popular in southern Germany and adjoining German-speaking areas, as well as in some areas of the United States, is made from wheat flour, water and yeast, usually sprinkled with coarse salt, hand-sized and made for consumption on the same day. It is relatively soft, rather than brittle. To avoid confusion with any other kind of pretzel, German speakers call this variety “Laugenbrezel” (lye pretzel) because it is dipped in lye solution (NaOH) before baking. Sweet pastry pretzels with many textures, toppings and coatings, are made. Crisp hard pretzels, e.g. pretzel sticks and a variety of shapes basically made from the same ingredients, have evolved from the lye pretzel by baking out excess moisture, thereby increasing shelf life and crispness.

There are numerous accounts on the origin of the looped pretzels, as well as the origin of the name; most agree that they have Christian backgrounds and were invented by monks. According to The History of Science and Technology, by Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, in 610 AD “…an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, ‘pretiola’ (“little rewards”)”. However, no source is cited to back up these details. Another source locates the invention in a monastery in southern France. The looped pretzel may also be related to a Greek ring bread, derived from communion bread used in monasteries a thousand years ago[when?]. In Germany there are stories that pretzels were the invention of desperate bakers. Meyers Konversations-Lexikon from 1905 suspects the origin of pretzels in a ban of heathen baking traditions, such as in the form of a sun cross, at the Synod of Estinnes in the year 743. The pretzel may have emerged as a substitute. The German name “Brezel” may derive also from Latin bracellus (a medieval term for “bracelet”), or bracchiola (“little arms”).

The pretzel has been in use as an emblem of bakers and formerly their guilds in southern German areas since at least the 12th century. A 12th-century illustration in the Hortus deliciarum from the southwest German Alsace region (today France) may contain the earliest depiction of a pretzel.

Within the Catholic Church, pretzels were regarded as having religious significance for both ingredients and shape. Pretzels made with a simple recipe using only flour and water could be eaten during Lent, when Christians were forbidden to eat eggs, lard, or dairy products such as milk and butter. As time passed, pretzels became associated with both Lent and Easter. Pretzels were hidden on Easter morning just as eggs are hidden today, and are particularly associated with Lent, fasting, and prayers before Easter.

Like the holes in the hubs of round Swedish flat bread (which let them be hung on strings), the loops in pretzels may have served a practical purpose: bakers could hang them on sticks, for instance, projecting upwards from a central column, as shown in a painting by Job Berckheyde (1630–93) from around 1681.

Pretzel baking has most firmly taken root in southern Germany and adjoining Upper German – speaking areas, and pretzels have been an integral part of German baking traditions for centuries.

Lye pretzels are popular in southern Germany, Alsace, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland as a variety of bread, a side dish or a snack, and come in many local varieties. Almost every region and even city has its own way of baking them. Examples for pretzel names in various Upper-German dialects are Brezn, Bretzel, Brezzl, Brezgen, Bretzga, Bretzet, Bretschl, Kringel, Silserli and Sülzerli. Baked for consumption on the same day, they are sold in every bakery and in special booths or stands in downtown streets. Often, they are sliced horizontally, buttered, and sold as Butterbrezel, or come with slices of cold meats or cheese. Sesame, poppy, sunflower, pumpkin or caraway seeds, melted cheese and bacon bits are other popular toppings. Some bakeries offer pretzels made of different flours, such as whole wheat, rye or spelt. In Bavaria, lye pretzels accompany a main dish such as Weisswurst sausage. The same dough and baking procedure with lye and salt is used to make other kinds of “lye pastry” (Laugengebäck): lye rolls, buns, croissants and even loaves (Laugenbrötchen, Laugenstangen, Laugencroissants, Laugenbrot). Yet, in some parts of Bavaria, especially in lower Bavaria, unglazed “white” pretzels, sprinkled with salt and caraway seeds are still popular. Basically with the same ingredients, lye pretzels come in numerous local varieties. Sizes are usually similar; the main differences are the thickness of the dough, the content of fat and the degree of baking. Typical Swabian pretzels, for example, have very thin “arms” and a “fat belly” with a split, and a higher fat content. The thicker part makes it easier to slice them for the use of sandwiches. In Bavarian pretzels, the arms are left thicker so they do not bake to a crisp and contain very little fat.

The pretzel shape is used for a variety of sweet pastries made of different types of dough (flaky, brittle, soft, crispy) with a variety of toppings (icing, nuts, seeds, cinnamon). Around Christmas they can be made of soft gingerbread (“Lebkuchen”) with chocolate coating.

In southern Germany and adjoining German-speaking areas pretzels have retained their original religious meanings and are still used in various traditions and festivals.

In some areas, on January 1, people give each other lightly sweetened yeast pretzels for good luck and good fortune. These “New-Years pretzels” are made in different sizes and can have a width of 50 centimetres (20 in) and more. Sometimes children visit their godparents to fetch their New Years pretzel. On May 1, love-struck boys used to paint a pretzel on the doors of the adored. On the other hand, an upside-down pretzel would have been a sign of disgrace. Especially Catholic areas, such as Austria, Bavaria or some parts of Swabia, the “Palm pretzel” is made for Palm Sunday celebrations. Sizes can range from 30 cm (1&nnbsp;ft) up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and they can weigh up to 2.5 kg (6 lbs). An old tradition on Palm Sunday dating back to 1533 is the outdoor pretzel market (Brezgenmarkt) in the Hungerbrunnen Valley near Heldenfingen.

In the Rhineland region, sweet pretzels are made with pudding-filled loops (pudding pretzels).

On Laetare Sunday in Luxembourg, the fourth Sunday in Lent, there is a festival called “Pretzel Sunday”. Boys give their girlfriends pretzels or cakes in pretzel form. The size symbolizes how much he likes her. In return, if a girl wants to increase his attention, she will give him a decorated egg on Easter. The pretzel custom is reversed on Pretzel Sunday during leap years. This custom also still exists in some areas of the Swabian Alb.

On the same occasion in Rhenish Hesse and the Palatinate, people have parades carrying big pretzels mounted on colourful decorated poles.

Popular during Lent in Biberach[disambiguation needed] are “Lent pretzels”, which are shortly boiled in water before baking and afterwards sprinkled with salt.

Schloss Burg is renowned for a 200-year-old speciality, the “Burger pretzel”. Its texture and flavour resembles rusk or zwieback. A local story says that the recipe came from a grateful Napoleonic soldier in 1795, whose wounds were treated by a baker’s family in the little town of Burg. The cultural importance of the pretzel for Burg is expressed by a monument in honour of the pretzel bakers, and by an 18-km hiking trail nearby called “Pretzel Hiking Trail”.

A variety typical for Upper Franconia is the “anise pretzel”. The town of Weidenberg celebrates the “Pretzel weeks” during the carnival season, when anise flavored pretzels are served with special dishes such as cooked meat with horseradish or roast. In the city of Lübeck, the 500-year old guild of boatmen on the Stecknitz Canal call their annual meetings in January Kringelhöge (Pretzelfun). The elaborate affair, with about 200 participants, is celebrated as a breakfast with beer, and includes Mass in the Lübeck Cathedral and a presentation of songs by a children’s choir. In earlier times, the children were very poor, coming from an orphanage, and each received a Kringel (pretzel) as a reward. Hence, the name “Pretzelfun” was adopted, because this gift was considered a highlight. Today, the children come from schools, but they still get the pretzels.

 

The city of Osnabrück celebrates the anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and organizes an annual hobby horse race for grade-four children. On finishing the race, they are presented with a sweet pretzel.

 

The lye pretzel is the theme for a number of festivals in Germany. The city of Speyer prides itself to be the “pretzel town”, and around the second weekend of July, from Friday to Tuesday, it holds an annual funfair and festival called “Brezelfest”, which is the largest beer festival in the Upper Rhine region, and attracts around 300,000 visitors. The festival includes a parade with over 100 bands, floats and clubs participating from the whole region, and 22,000 pretzels are thrown among the crowds. On the market square of Speyer, there is a fountain with a statue of a boy selling pretzels. The pretzel booths on the main street are permanently installed and were specially designed when the whole downtown area was redone for the 2000th anniversary. One-day pretzel fests and markets in other German towns are in Kirchhellen, a borough of Bottrop, or in Kornwestheim.

In 2003 and 2004, “Peace Pretzels” were baked for a UNICEF charity event and other charity purposes in Munich. Instead of the typical pretzel loop, they were made in the similar shape of a peace symbol.

In the 19th century, southern German and Swiss German immigrants introduced the pretzel to North America. The immigrants became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, and in time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated the central Pennsylvania countryside, and the pretzel’s popularity spread.

In the 20th century, soft pretzels became extremely popular in other regions of the United States. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York became renowned for their soft pretzels. The key to success was the introduction of the new mass production methods of the industrialized age, which increased the availability and quantity, and the opening up of multiple points of distribution at schools, convenience and grocery stores, and entertainment venues such as movie theaters, arenas, concert halls, and sport stadiums. Prior to that, street vendors used to sell pretzels on street corners in wooden glass-enclosed cases.

 

In particular, it became iconic with Philadelphia and was established as a cuisine of Philadelphia for snacking at school, work, or home,

Pretzel sticks and varieties

and considered by most to be a quick meal. The average Philadelphian today consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average. The baking skill of the large immigrant Italian American populations in Philadelphia played a significant role in pretzels being established as a local cuisine of Philadelphia. Other Italian centric populations in the USA have furthered the popularity of pretzel production and consumption.

Pennsylvania today is the center of American pretzel production for both the hard crispy and the soft bread types of pretzels. Southeastern Pennsylvania, with its large population of German background, is considered the birthplace of the American pretzel industry, and many pretzel bakers are still located in the area. Pennsylvania produces 80% of the nation’s pretzels.
The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million. The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg) of pretzels per year.
The privately run “Pretzel Museum” opened in Philadelphia in 1993. In 2003, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 “National Pretzel Day” to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy. Philly Pretzel Factory stores offer a free pretzel to each customer on this day.

In Tell City, Indiana, the Tell City Pretzels originated over 100 years ago. In 1858 Casper Gloor, a baker from Switzerland settled in Tell City, Indiana. Gloor was a member of the Swiss Colonization Society. He soon became known for the pretzels that he baked from a recipe brought from Switzerland. Today, the recipe remains in use.

Hard pretzels originated in the United States, where, in 1850, the Sturgis bakery in Lititz, Pennsylvania, became the first commercial hard pretzel bakery. Snack food hard pretzels were shaped as sticks (around 3 millimetres (0.12 in) thick and 12 centimetres (4.7 in) long), loops, braids, letters or little pretzels; they have become a popular snack in many countries around the world. A thicker variety of sticks can be 1 centimetre (0.39 in) thick; in the U. S. these are called Bavarian pretzels. Unlike the soft pretzels, these were durable when kept in an airtight environment and marketable in a variety of convenience stores. In Europe, snack food pretzels are usually sprinkled with salt, but also with sesame seed, poppy seed or cheese. In the U.S., they come in many varieties of flavors and coatings, such as yogurt, chocolate, strawberry, mustard, cheese and others, and chocolate-covered hard pretzels are popular around Christmas time and given as gifts. The variety of shapes and sizes became contest of imagination in the marketing of the pretzels taste. During the 1900s, people in Philadelphia would use the small slender pretzel stick as a common accompaniment to ice cream or would crumble pretzels as a topping. This combination of cold sweet and salty taste was very popular for many years. Eventually this led to the development of an ice cream cone tasting like a pretzel. More recently Mars, Incorporated manufactures M&M’s with a small spherical pretzel covered in milk chocolate and candy coated in all of the standard M&Ms colors, called “Pretzel M&M’s”.

 

Although not as popular as among German speakers and Americans, the looped pretzel is known in other European countries and in

Viipurinrinkeli, a pretzel from Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri), Russia

other countries around the world. In the Czech Republic, the pretzel is known as preclík, in Finland as viipurinrinkeli. The Spanish, French and Italians call it pretzel, bretzel or brezel, the Dutch favor sweet variants called krakeling, Norwegian and Danish call it a kringle, in Polish it is precel, in Serbian it is pereca, and in Hungarian it is perec. In Romania the pretzel is known as covrigi and it’s a very popular fast food in urban areas and also as a holiday gift.

47th Annual German-American Festival – Oregon, Ohio

August 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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August 24-26, 2012 47th Annual German-American Festival – Oregon, Ohio
The Toledo Area’s Oldest, Largest and Greatest Ethnic Festival With Authentic German Food, Beer, and Entertainment. Attendance: 30,000.

47th Annual German-American Festival 2012
Taking Place at Oak Shade Grove in Oregon, Ohio – August 24, 25 & 26, 2012

WHAT:
The 47th German-American Festival, the Toledo area’s Oldest, Largest and Greatest Ethnic Festival with authentic German Food, Beer, and Entertainment. Festival organizers expect upward from 30,000 paid attendees.

The Festival is operated by the G.A.F. Society, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a §501(c)(3) charitable organization. It is sponsored by the seven German- and Swiss-American Societies in Toledo.

WHY:
The purpose of the German-American Festival is to promote and enhance the German and Swiss cultures as well as generates revenue to support the German and Swiss cultural center in Oregon and a wide variety of scholarship, athletic and other philanthropic programs in the Toledo area.

WHERE:
Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Road, Oregon, Ohio, just ½ mile east of Coy Road.

WHEN:
Friday, August 24, 2012: 6:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. (Parade and Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:00 p.m.)
Saturday, August 25, 2012: 2:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Sunday, August 26, 2012: 12:00 Noon – 11:00 p.m. with a German Language worship service at 10:30 a.m.
(Alcohol sales cease at 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Wine and Liquor available on Sunday)
ADMISSION: General admission: $7.00 per person. Children 12 years of age and under admitted at no charge all weekend when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

http://www.gafsociety.org/Festival_Information.htm

One of America’s Favorite – The Hot dog

March 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, low calorie, low carb, turkey hotdogs | 2 Comments
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A hot dog is a sausage served in a sliced bun. It is very often garnished with mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish

A cooked hot dog on a bun garnish

, and/or sauerkraut.

Claims about hot dog invention are difficult to assess, as stories assert the creation of the sausage, the placing of the sausage (or another kind of sausage) on bread or a bun as finger food, the popularization of the existing dish, or the application of the name “hot dog” to a sausage and bun combination most commonly used with ketchup or mustard and sometimes relish.

The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages served in a bun similar to hot dogs originated. These sausages, Frankfurter Würstchen, were known since the 13th century and given to the people on the event of imperial coronations, starting with the coronation of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor as King. Wiener refers to Vienna, Austria, whose German name is “Wien”, home to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef (cf. Hamburger, whose name also derives from a German-speaking city). Johann Georg Lahner, a 18th/19th century butcher from the Franconian city of Coburg, is said to have brought the Frankfurter Würstchen to Vienna, where he added beef to the mixture and simply called it Frankfurter. Nowadays, in German speaking countries, except Austria, hot dog sausages are called Wiener or Wiener Würstchen (Würstchen means “little sausage”), in differentiation to the original pork only mixture from Frankfurt. In Swiss German, it is called Wienerli, while in Austria the terms Frankfurter or Frankfurter Würstel are used.

Around 1870, on Coney Island, German immigrant Charles Feltman began selling sausages in rolls.

Others have supposedly invented the hot dog. The idea of a hot dog on a bun is ascribed to the wife of a German named Antonoine Feuchtwanger, who sold hot dogs on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, United States, in 1880, because his customers kept taking the white gloves handed to them for eating without burning their hands. Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger, a Bavarian sausage seller, is said to have served sausages in rolls at the World’s Fair–either the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago or the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis–again allegedly because the white gloves he gave to customers so that they could eat his hot sausages in comfort began to disappear as souvenirs.

The association between hot dogs and baseball began as early as 1893 with Chris von der Ahe, a German immigrant who owned not

Grilled hot dogs

only the St. Louis Browns, but also an amusement park.

Another claim of inventing the hot dog is told by Harry M. Stevens, an American sports concessionaire whose vendors sold German sausages and rolls to spectators at the old New York Polo Grounds during the winter. He called them “Dachshund sandwiches”, but a New York Post cartoonist “couldn’t spell dachshund, so when he drew the cartoon, he called them hot dogs.”

In 1916, a German American employee of Feltman’s named Nathan Handwerker was encouraged by celebrity clients Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante to go into business in competition with his former employer. Handwerker undercut Feltman’s by charging five cents for a hot dog when his former employer was charging ten.

At an earlier time in food regulation the hot dog suspect, Handwerker made sure that men wearing surgeon’s smocks were seen eating at Nathan’s Famous to reassure potential customers.

The term “dog” has been used as a synonym for sausage since 1884 and accusations that sausage makers used dog meat date to at least 1845. In the early 20th century, consumption of dog meat in Germany was common. The suspicion that sausages contained dog meat was “occasionally justified”.

According to a myth, the use of the complete phrase “hot dog” in reference to sausage was coined by the newspaper cartoonist Thomas Aloysius “TAD” Dorgan around 1900 in a cartoon recording the sale of hot dogs during a New York Giants baseball game at the Polo Grounds. However, TAD’s earliest usage of “hot dog” was not in reference to a baseball game at the Polo Grounds, but to a bicycle race at Madison Square Garden, in The New York Evening Journal December 12, 1906, by which time the term “hot dog” in reference to sausage was already in use. In addition, no copy of the apocryphal cartoon has ever been found.

The earliest known usage of “hot dog” in clear reference to sausage, found by Fred R. Shapiro, appeared in the December 31, 1892 issue of the Paterson (NJ) Daily Press. The story concerned a local traveling vendor, Thomas Francis Xavier Morris, also known as “Hot Dog Morris”.

Somehow or other a frankfurter and a roll seem to go right to the spot where the void is felt the most. The small boy has got on such familiar terms with this sort of lunch that he now refers to it as “hot dog.” “Hey, Mister, give me a hot dog quick,” was the startling order that a rosy-cheeked gamin hurled at the man as a Press reporter stood close by last night. The “hot dog” was quickly inserted in a gash in a roll, a dash of mustard also splashed on to the “dog” with a piece of flat whittled stick, and the order was fulfilled.
Paterson Daily Press, Dec. 31, 1892, pg. 5

Other early uses of “hot dog” in reference to sausage appeared in the New Brunswick (NJ) Daily Times (May 20, 1893), the New York World (May 26, 1893), and the Knoxville (TN) Journal (Sep. 28, 1893).

Common hot dog ingredients include:

Meat trimmings and fat
Flavorings, such as salt, garlic, and paprika
Preservatives (cure) – typically sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite

Pork and beef are the traditional meats used in hot dogs. Less expensive hot dogs are often made from chicken or turkey, using low cost mechanically separated poultry. Hot dogs often have high sodium, fat and nitrite content, ingredients linked to health problems. Changes in meat technology and dietary preferences have led manufacturers to use turkey, chicken, vegetarian meat substitutes, and to lower the salt content.

If a manufacturer produces two types of hot dogs, “wieners” tend to contain pork and are blander, while “franks” tend to be all beef and more strongly seasoned.

Hot dogs are prepared commercially by mixing the ingredients (meats, spices, binders and fillers) in vats where rapidly moving blades grind and mix the ingredients in the same operation. This mixture is forced through tubes into casings for cooking. Most hot dogs sold in the US are “skinless” as opposed to more expensive “natural casing” hot dogs.

As with most sausages, hot dogs must be in a casing to be cooked. Traditional casing is made from the small intestines of sheep. The products are known as “natural casing” hot dogs or frankfurters. These hot dogs have firmer texture and a “snap” that releases juices and flavor when the product is bitten.

Kosher casings are expensive in commercial quantities in the US, so kosher hot dogs are usually skinless or made with reconstituted collagen casings.

“Skinless” hot dogs must use a casing in the cooking process when the product is manufactured, but the casing is usually a long tube of thin cellulose that is removed between cooking and packaging. This process was invented in Chicago in 1925 by Erwin O. Freund, founder of Visking which would later become Viskase Companies.

The first skinless hot dog casings were produced by Freund’s new company under the name “Nojax”, short for “no jackets” and sold to local Chicago sausage makers.

Skinless hot dogs vary in the texture of the product surface but have a softer “bite” than natural casing hot dogs. Skinless hot dogs are more uniform in shape and size than natural casing hot dogs and less expensive.

Hot dogs are prepared and eaten in a variety of ways. The wieners may be boiled, grilled, fried, steamed, broiled, baked, or microwaved. The cooked wiener may be served on a bun (usually topped with condiments), or it may be used as an ingredient in another dish.

In the US, “hot dog” may refer to just the sausage or to the combination of a sausage in a bun. There have been many nicknames for hot dogs that have popped up over the years. A hot dog can often be seen under the names of frankfurter, frank, red hot, wiener, weenie, durger, coney, or just “dog”.

Common hot dog condiments include ketchup, mustard, chile con carne, pickle relish, sauerkraut, onion, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and chili peppers, or just plain.

The US-based National Sausage and Hot Dog Council in 2005 found mustard to be the most popular condiment, with 32 percent of respondents preferring it; 23 percent of Americans said they preferred ketchup, chili con carne came in third at 17 percent, followed by relish at 9 percent and onions at 7 percent. Southerners showed the strongest preference for chili, while Midwesterners showed the greatest affinity for ketchup.” Condiments vary across the country. All-beef Chicago-style hot dogs are topped with mustard, fresh

A Detroit Coney Island hot dog with chili, onion and mustard.

tomatoes, onions, sport peppers, bright green relish, dill pickles, and celery salt, but they exclude ketchup.

Many variations are named after regions other than the one in which they are popular. Italian hot dogs popular in New Jersey include peppers, onions, and potatoes. Meaty Michigan hot dogs are popular in upstate New York (as are white hots), while beefy Coney Island hot dogs are popular in Michigan. In New York City, conventional hot dogs are available on Coney Island, as are bagel dogs. Hot wieners, or weenies, are a staple in Rhode Island. Texas hot dogs are spicy variants found in upstate New York and Pennsylvania (and as “all the way dogs” in New Jersey), but not Texas.

Some baseball parks have signature hot dogs, such as Fenway Franks at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts and Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Fenway signature is that the hot dog is boiled and grilled Fenway-style, and then served on a New England-style bun, covered with ketchup and relish. Often during Red Sox games, vendors traverse the stadium selling the hot dogs plain, giving customers the choice of adding the condiments.

National Dish of the Week – United States Great Lakes Region

November 25, 2011 at 2:06 PM | Posted in baking, Food | 2 Comments
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United States Great Lakes Region

The Great Lakes region of the United States includes the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York. The region enjoys four distinct seasons. Although the climate is considered temperate, temperatures in the summer can exceed 100°F and can drop to –10°F in the winter. There is rich farm land, and farmers’ markets offer abundant produce and fruit in the late summer and early fall across the region.

The region is also home to much manufacturing activity. Industrial pollution threatened the health of the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie (the smallest Great Lake), until the 1960s, when a growing awareness of environmental concerns led to increased government regulation. Acid-rain, believed to be caused by air pollution generated by the coal-fired utility plants in the region, is also a concern. Increased acidity in the lakes creates unhealthy conditions for fish and other living things in the ecosystem of the region.

The Great Lakes region was originally populated by American Indians who taught later European settlers how to hunt the local game, fish, and gather wild rice and maple syrup, as well as how to grow and eat corn and native squashes and beans. The European immigrants, mostly from Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Poland, and Cornwall, England, each shared their traditional dishes with the rest of America. The Germans contributed frankfurters (hot dogs), hamburgers, sauerkraut, potato salad, noodles, bratwurst,

Various types of Kielbasa

liverwurst, and pretzels to the American diet. Scandinavian foods include lefse (potato flatbread), limpa (rye bread), lutefisk (dried cod soaked in lye), and Swedish meatballs, as well as the smorgasbord (a table laid out with several courses of small foods). The Polish introduced kielbasa (a type of sausage) , pierogies (a type of stuffed pasta), Polish dill pickles, and babka (an egg cake). Pancakes are a Dutch contribution, along with waffles, doughnuts, cookies, and coleslaw. Miners from Cornwall brought their Cornish pasties, and small meat pies that were easily carried for lunch. Later immigrants from Arab countries settled in Detroit, Michigan, and introduced America to foods like hummus (puréed chickpeas), felafel (deep-fried bean cakes), and tabbouleh (bulgur wheat salad).

Dairy is a major industry in the Great Lakes region, particularly Wisconsin, known as “America’s Dairyland.” Dairy farmers in Wisconsin milk about 2 million cows every day, and there is one cow for every two people in the state. Not surprisingly, milk, butter, and cheese are staples in the Great Lakes diet. Pigs are also common on farms in the Great Lakes region because they take up less space and are easier to raise than beef cattle. Pork, therefore, is another common ingredient in Great Lakes cooking, especially in the form of sausage.

The majority of those who live around the Great Lakes are descended from German, Scandinavian, and Dutch farmers who settled there in the 1800s. Farming life shaped the diet and mealtime schedule of the region. Hearty breakfasts and generous lunches gave the farmers the energy to finish their work. German immigrants taught America to serve meals “family-style,” with all the food on the table at once, rather than bringing it out to the table in individual servings.

The Scandinavians brought their tradition of the smorgasbord to America. The smorgasbord is a large feast made up of a variety of small dishes laid out together on one table, beginning with bread and fish and moving through hot dishes, such as Swedish meatballs, all the way to dessert. Each person or family brings a dish to contribute to the smorgasbord. (The word “smorgasbord” has even been adopted into the English language to refer generally to anything offering a wide variety of items.)

 

Miners from Cornwall, England, had long eaten pasties (PAST-eez), small meat pies that were easy to carry for lunch. Immigrants to

A pasty

the Great Lakes area brought their tradition of Cornish pasties with them, and they are still a popular snack in the area.

Germans love beer and started a number of breweries around the Great Lakes. The Pabst and Schlitz breweries were both founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the 1800s by German Americans. (Milwaukee still ranks as the number-one beer-drinking city in America: While Americans on average drink 6 gallons of beer per year, Milwaukee residents average 42 gallons.) The Great Lakes region is also home to many well-known food companies, including Kellogg’s, Kraft, Pillsbury, Green Giant, and Land O’ Lakes.

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