I’ve continued to try German recipes since the last time I shared a look at the German cooking I was doing. Most are new to us (and many of those are recipes I was introduced to through the monthly recipe share in the Rare Dirndl First Looks Club Facebook group), but I also made some old family favorites for Oktoberfest.
Baked Fall Spätzle
I have really enjoyed connecting to my heritage this way, and I’m looking forward to trying even more new German recipes in the future!
It’s a little later in the month than I would have preferred, but today we finally had our annual Markel Family Oktoberfest! It was a beautiful day, and I thought it was very fitting that we sung a hymn in church this morning that I remember my dad singing in German while I played the piano when I was a child.
I was excited to have a dirndl and lots of edelweiss accessories to wear this year:
When we got home from church, we had our traditional Oktoberfest lunch of fondue with brats, German pickles, and homemade pretzels:
I made most our dinner of schnitzel, spaetzle, rotkohl, and sauerkraut from scratch (the sauerkraut was the only store-bought item).
For dessert I made our favorite Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte:
Oktoberfest is a lot of work…like an actual holiday’s amount of work. But it is a holiday for us, and I love having a way share my heritage with my family!
I’ve always enjoyed ethnic cooking, especially German, Austrian, and Hungarian recipes that reflect my own heritage (two of my family’s favorite dishes that I’ve been making for years are spaetzle and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte). For the last six months or so (ever since I started doing German lessons with Duolingo and wearing dirndls), I’ve really been trying to introduce more personal ethnic recipes into our meals, so I’ve been doing a lot of German cooking, mainly with recipes from Dirndl Kitchen and the Easy German Cookbook. It’s been a lot of fun trying new things, and it really helps me feel to connected to the generations who have come before me. Here’s a look at the recipes we’ve sampled since I began this little project:
Döner Kebab on Pide Bread (A Turkish Recipe by way of Germany)
Linsen mit Spätzle (Lentil Stew with Spätzle)
Berliner (Jelly Filled Donuts)
Linzer Augen (Jam Filled Cookies)
Schweinelendchen mit Pilzrahmsoße (Pork Medallions with Mushroom Cream Sauce)
Haschee (Meat Sauce)
Goulaschsuppe (Goulash Soup)
Blitztorte (Lightning Cake)
Hühnerfrikassee (Chicken Fricassee)
Kabbeljau mit Senfsoße (Cod with Mustard Sauce)
Königsberger Klopse (Prussian Meatballs in White Caper Sauce)
Milchreis (Rice Pudding)
Kartoffelklöße (Potato Dumplings)
Senfbraten (Mustard Roasted Pork Loin)
Versunkener Apfelkuchrn (Sunken Apple Cake)
Speckbohnen (Green Beans with Bacon)
Quarkbällchen (Jelly Filled Donut Holes)
I’m not done trying new German recipes by any means…I haven’t even made it all the way through the cookbook yet! But this is a look at where I’ve been so far, and as I try more new dishes, I’ll make sure to update the list!
Beijing 2022 certainly did go by quickly! We can never dedicate as much time to the Winter Olympics as we can to the Summer Games, either in school, or just watching for fun. We did try to fit in as much Olympics as possible though, which always begins with trying new recipes that reflect the cuisine of the host nation, starting with our dinner for the Opening Ceremony and continuing through the events with special meals here and there:
Sticky ginger shrimp with scallion rice
Congee with mustard greens
Xiao long bao
Chinese snowflake cake (raspberry and coconut)
Chinese noodle soup
Nai Wong Bao
We also managed to fit in a few crafts…Chinese plum blossoms, unique medals for the Winter Olympics, and an adorable dragon made out of cupcake liners:
Here’s a look at our completed medal chart…I was really hoping that by some miracle, Jamaica would win one medal, but no such luck! At least every other country we were following made it to the podium.
This was a complicated Olympics, and I’m left with a feeling of ennui about the whole thing, but I think we still managed to enjoy ourselves, and I know we liked trying new foods! I will say that I hope this is the last Olympics I see competed in front of empty arenas…here’s hoping for better from Paris 2024!
It’s so hard to fit school in when the Olympics are on!
We did still have a busy week of school, though. Ladybug did more work with the Pythagorean Theorem in geometry, this time with 45-45-90 triangles. The first subject of the school year has been finished, as she completed the last lesson in vocabulary. We talked about Darwin and the difference between macroevolution and microevolution in biology. She read about Sargon II in history. We started fit four of SirGawain and the Green Knight.
Chickadee learned how to calculate perimeter, area, and volume in math. We read about crustaceans in science. She started her study of US geography…we began close to home, with a few midwestern states. She is almost done with her study of Greek mythology…this week, we read the stories of Theseus and Oedipus.
While we don’t have as much time to dedicate to the Winter Olympics as I would like, we have managed to work a few things into our school days. Taking a cue from the Opening Ceremony, which focused on the coming of spring, we did a fun plum blossom craft. In addition to our Opening Ceremony dinner, today we also tried a recipe for congee, a rice porridge, topped with mustard greens…it was surprisingly popular!
We also took some time to recognize the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II this week. In addition to the tea party we had on Sunday, we started working on a fun yarn craft, which will hopefully turn into a bunting we can hang up in the school room:
I have a few more Olympics-themed activities planned to go with our school days next, too!
Do I feel good about the 2022 Olympics? Not especially. Am I going to watch, anyway? Of course. Can I still use this as a good opportunity for us to learn about another culture? Without a doubt!
I never do as much for the Winter Olympics as I do for the Summer Games, because it’s just so difficult to try to fit it in with everything else we’re doing at this time of year. But I did make a special dinner for the night of the Opening Ceremonies, starting with scallion pancakes served with a tasty rice vinegar-soy dipping sauce, which were definitely the hit of the evening!
We also had sticky ginger shrimp with scallion jasmine rice and bok choy with oyster sauce:
For dessert, I made don tot, which are egg custard tarts, and mango pudding:
I’m hoping to try a few new recipes before the end of Beijing 2022, and keep an eye out for a few fun craft projects, too!
Our school week was punctuated by a winter storm which left us with lots of ice, and finally snow (and three snow days for Turkey, Bunny, and Moose!)!
Ladybug learned how to move a radical out of the denominator of a fraction in geometry. We started discussing the Methodist church in her study of denominations. She did a great job on her biology test, which included a large Punnett square! We continued reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. She read about Homer writing the Iliad and the Odyssey in history.
Chickadee learned some geometry terms in math this week (line, ray, point, etc.), and also learned how to identify different types of angles. She started memorizing one of my favorite poems…”Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (perfect for the weather this week!). We finished Another Trip Around the World with a visit to India, where we made lassi, a yogurt-based drink…next, we start US geography!
For the next two weeks, our school days will be mixed with the Olympics!
Time for a look back at the dishes Chickadee and I made with Another Trip Around the World! I don’t know how authentic they all were in ingredients and preparation techniques, but we tried a lot of new recipes that included new flavors and combinations, which was kind of the point!
Here’s the full list:
Empanadas from Panama
Dessert Empanadas from Panama
Pan de Jamón from Venezuela
Butter Cookies from Argentina
Dulce de Leche from Argentina
Cheese and Apple Crumble from South Africa
Banana Fritters from Nigeria
Rugelach from Israel
Kourabiedes from Greece
Casse-croûte from France
Orange Granita from Italy
Malinoviy Kisel from Russia
Lassi from India
If you missed our first Trip Around the World, you can see those dishes here.
We had another busy week! Ladybug solved problems using the Pythagorean Theorem in geometry. In her study of denominations, she read about the Anglican/Episcopal Church. She learned about genetic mutations and how hereditary conditions are passed down in biology. We started reading the third fit of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. She diagrammed sentences containing helping, linking, and/or action verbs in grammar.
Chickadee read about Elijah and Elisha in religion. She practiced time zone math. We read about all 12 of Heracles’ Labors in Greek mythology. We finished up the section on sharks in science. She started memorizing the list of prepositions in grammar. We were busy in our study of world geography…we learned about France, Russia, and Italy, and made Casse-croûte for lunch one day, Malinoviy Kisel (a raspberry drink), to go with a dinner, and an orange granita for dessert one night. I think we only have one country to go (India), before we move on to US geography!
I’m hoping to devote a little time to the 2022 Winter Olympics in the next few weeks, and we’ll also be taking a look at the reign of Queen Elizabeth II in honor of the platinum anniversary of her accession to the throne on February 6th!