As a child December 6th was one of my favorite days of the year. On St. Nicholas Day eve (December 5th) we would set our homemade slippers outside of our bedroom door with our Christmas wish lists inside. The next morning we would wake up to find that St. Nick had come for our list and left us candy, a new Christmas ornament, and a chocolate advent calendar in our bedroom shoes. To me, it always represented the beginning of the Christmas season.
What I didn’t realize as a child was that most of my American friends did not celebrate St. Nicholas Day. My mom, being Pennsylvania Dutch, brought this tradition and several others to our family. While my mother’s family never spoke Pennsylvania German, they did maintain many of the German traditions. My grandmother was definitely a Pennsylvania Dutch cook and made pickled beet eggs, scrapple, and hog maw. Personally, I rarely tried any of these dishes as a child, and at the mention of them my response was always “yuck”. My mom and my aunts still make some of the traditional meals but I think they’ve all let hog maw be a recipe of yore. Cleaning pig stomach just is not a pleasurable chore.
Now that I am older, I am so grateful for the traditions that have been passed down from my German ancestors and carried on my grandmother and mom. I know when Hubby and I have children we will be celebrating St. Nicholas Day too. If you missed St. Nick’s Day this year, I don’t think he’ll mind if you celebrate it on December 7th or 8th instead.
The original Oktoberfest starts in just 9 days but here in OKC, we’ve already eaten our bratwurst, danced the polka, and emptied our steins. When some new friends invited us to go to Oktoberfest in Choctaw, OK, Hubby and I were excited to join them. The nine-day festival is put on by Old Germany, a traditional German restaurant located in small city outside of OKC. Although we were drenched by the monsoon-of-a-storm that came through, the music was great, the food was delicious, and the beverages were tasty.
If you cannot find your own Oktoberfest to attend, I would highly recommend visiting the Oktoberfest website. I spent a good hour looking through the Bavarian dictionary, reading the detailed descriptions on each of the tents, and scanning through pictures of costumes. It definitely makes me want to go someday to the real deal.
Hubby and me trying a German brew
Bratwursts and potato cakes with apple sauce…yum
Loved these guys! They were more than willing to have their picture taken.
Steins ranged in price from $50 to several hundred