Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bavarian Sauerkraut Salad to Welcome Fall

Early this morning, before dawn even, thunder rumbled in the distance, breezes gently stirred the windchimes into a soft melody... no rain was yet falling, but you could sense it in the ripe and ready atmosphere.  Hot, humid air was being bullied out of the way by a much welcome and anticipated cold front.  Hurry up!  Get here!  Get rid of this sticky stuff...I'm ready for you Fall!

So I happily stayed awake enjoying the stealth of the weather creeping closer.  The wind picked up, the music of the chimes became up-tempo jazz, thunder was joined by lightning to put on quite the show while raindrops beat a soft sizzle counter-rhythm.  Not for long though, as a BOOM of thunder ignited an explosion of lightning. Wind roared and whistled outside the window and drumming rain drowned out all else.  

Well done, Fall.  You know how to make an entrance!

Here is an appropriate Fall-ish dish.

 Bavarian Sauerkraut Salad or Relish

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 16 ounce can sauerkraut, Bavarian style (has caraway seeds)
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup pimiento, chopped fine

In a small pot, stir together sugar and vinegar.  Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  (Watch this carefully, it doesn't take long.  You don't want smoking, black sugar and vinegar caramel.  Don't ask how I know that.) Remove from heat.  Cool.

Mix the sugar/vinegar syrup into the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate overnight or just for an hour if that's all you have.  Good as salad or as relish for German sausages.  Double the recipe if you're going to serve it as a salad.

NOTE:  I originally enjoyed this sweet & sour treat in the late 80's at a covered dish dinner.  A neighbor brought it, everyone loved it!  She said it was a "secret" recipe and no, she wouldn't divulge the secret.  Her wonderful daughter, Merry, shared it with every one of us the next day.  Turns out, it wasn't so secret after all.  It's the same recipe that apparently everyone's all over the place.  So I'm sharing this not-so-secret secret recipe with all of YOU. 

(I did change it up a little, though.  The original recipe just added the sugar and vinegar to the rest of the ingredients without cooking - I like to be sure the sugar dissolves before adding to the veggies.  You can do it either way you like!  

One more thing...I thought I had a green pepper.  I didn't.  I DID have a poblano pepper...hey, it was green!  I liked it even better!  The mild heat of a poblano was just right - I think a jalapeno would be too much.)

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