we love beer. we love pretzels. we LOVE cooking and feeding all our friends. thus was born oktoberfest three years ago. for the first annual oktoberfest, we made our own lederhosen and dirndl (this year i have an authentic dirndl i made!), created a twelve hour playlist of polka, and cooked for days. i mean, days! in one week we are hosting our fourth and biggest oktoberfest yet. in the meantime, here is a look back at our first three parties.
year one: the idea started with us wanting to get together with friends and try a few german beers. then we decided to make food too, and before we knew it we were inviting everyone we knew and making german decorations. our first year was my favorite because the venue was the best, and we got to have a bonfire at the end of the night – we should be able to do that again this year!
We really outdid ourself this year. Our spread featured: rotkohl (red cabbage and apples), gurkensalat (cucumber salad), kaese spatzle (cheesey noodles), soft pretzels, latkes (potato pancakes), green beans and almonds, and a big harvest salad. We brewed an Oktoberfest ale, but unfortunately it fermented at too high of a temperature and picked up all these fruity ethers. There’s always next year!
Our homemade costumes – I probably spent $10 total on both costumes. I love wearing milkmaid braids 🙂 Anyways, everyone loved the food; good beer and lively conversation was had by all. There’s just something about hosting and feeding people that makes me so happy. Especially feeding them healthy vegetarian fare (ok, kaese spatzle and pretzels are not healthy, but they are DELICIOUS).
Yesterday was our 3rd Annual SiegelTraini Oktoberfest. We served tons of vegetarian German food as well as three batches of homebrew – a Helles Lager, a Dunkelweizen, and an Oktoberfest lager. It was our first shot at lagering beer and I think it came out really well, thanks to our awesome fermentation chamber! The menu was: Andrew’s famous soft pretzels, harvest salad with beets, pomegranates, radishes, and tomatos, warm mustardy potato salad, red cabbage casserole, garlicky green beans, beer cheese, and kaese spatzle. Andrew’s sister brought some amazing deserts – anise cookies, apple strudel, and a chocolate log. All our friends brought even more beer.
It rained a bit but ended up being an autumnal celebration of friends, food, cooler days, and changing times. As the get togethers become rarer, it makes me a little sad that our lives are all changing and we are further apart. But now I think of it as a time to be together and celebrate and hear what everyone is up to. People are finishing degrees, starting new jobs, having babies, and in my case starting a new chapter of self care and mental health. How lucky we are to all be on different paths and share that with each other.
Oktoberfest marks the beginning of autumn for us down here in GA. Yesterday the wind was blowing yellowing leaves around and folks were putting on sweatshirts at night. Our Oktoberfest party takes weeks even months to plan and prepare for. We starting brewing our beers back in July. My favorite part is the shopping and gathering of all the food. It feels very primal, making all the preparations for a big harvest celebration. Except at Kroger, haha. This year we were able to serve some farm fresh food which rules! I was still a little sick yesterday and didn’t imbibe much alcohol, but I still ate a great deal and had many great conversations.