Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Vineyard Visit and Oktoberfest Food

We took a day trip to a vineyard a few days ago. The leaves were just starting to change in this area and the air was nice and crisp.

It turned out to be a mini farm which thoroughly excited Teddy.

There were very noisy guinea hens wandering the property.

This one was not too happy to have a camera pointed at him.

There was a small cafe serving gourmet treats and you could buy a bottle of wine and drink it on this patio.

The goose points the way.

There was a charming little bakery and gift shop.

It smelled heavenly as they were baking when we arrived.

They had apple from their orchards for sale.

Everything was decorated so nicely.

Apple plates on the wall.

The last of the summer flowers were overflowing.

Teddy liked the llama and the donkey. They did not like her.

This little guy flat out hated Teddy and would stomp and snort when she came near.

Teddy really liked the guinea hens a lot...a little too much.

They came down from their perches and had a stand off with her. Twenty guinea hens vs one chow.

It was time for her to return to the car which was not a simple task. Teddy wants to go back for another visit real soon. She wants a rematch with those birds. She also would like to be let off of her leash.

We sampled some sauerkraut recently at an Oktoberfest we attended and were very disappointed. The people that made it had rinsed the sauerkraut before cooking it and with that it was devoid of flavor. I promised the Blog Tech that I would make him the good stuff when we returned home.

First I made homemade hot dog buns.

I bought a bunch of different sausages in Columbus. Some are knockwurst and some are bratwurst.

I did not take step by step pics of this because my camera battery needed to be recharged. There are a few tricks to making good sauerkraut though. I saute' diced onions in bacon grease. I add S&P and and dried thyme. Then I add a few pork steaks with the fat, smoked pork chops and a couple of smoked pork shanks. All of this tames the sauerkraut and adds flavor. I use fresh sauerkraut, undrained and add some beef stock. This gets covered with a lid and cooked in a 325 degree oven for several hours. It is done when the meat falls off the bones.

Once the sauerkraut is done I place it in a pan and top it with the sausages and return it to the oven for about 30 minutes. Never do the initial cooking of the kraut with the sausages in it or the flavor will be leeched from the sausage. I throw the shanks away and shred the other pork and leave it in the kraut. You have to be careful to get the bones out. You can see chunks of the meat in this picture.

Then I butter and toast one of the buns I made.

Add some spicy brown mustard and it's instant Oktoberfest! We love sauerkraut prepared this way so much that we eat bowls of it plain too.

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