This sudden slide into unseasonably cold weather has made me want to spend all my time in the kitchen. Pots on the stove, pans in the oven, and hands in soapy dishwater mean I am warm. And that soon I will be seated at a table for a fabulous meal: Burning River chili. Fish Chowder with smoked whitefish, shrimp, scallops and lots of cream and butter. Sauteed Chicken with Parmesan/Panko Crust. I can't stop cooking.
Sunday I began marinating a nice big rump roast for Sauerbraten with Three Ginger Gravy from one of my favorite cookbooks, the wonderful "Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland," by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson. It will be ready to go in the oven on Thursday. Not sure what I will serve with it: dumplings and red cabbage, potato pancakes or spaetzle, applesauce, spiced red beets. Too many tasty possibilities. The above photo shows the pot of marinade after its been simmered to meld the flavors of all the spices, onions, garlic, ginger, and cider vinegar.
The book contains lots of cooking and cultural history along with a great group of historic photos. Facing the Sauerbraten recipe is a picture of the members of the Wausau German Men's Choral Society of Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1913 enjoying themselves in the beer garden (below). Those days of German-Americans celebrating their heritage would come crashing to an end the next year when WWI broke out. On the hundredth anniversary of that conflict, it seems like a good time to resurrect those wonderful dishes from the German side of my family.