he idea of exploring one's food heritage and ancestral roots has never been more popular than it is now. I wish I could have known my great-grandfather, Albert Fahl, who emigrated from Germany to the United States. It would have been so nice to enjoy a cup of warm Kinderpunsch with him.
Carrot and Radish Salad
This colorful salad is filled with bright flavors and a hearty texture. It can be prepared the day before serving.
6 medium carrots, thinly sliced
10–12 radishes (about one bunch), sliced
2 apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
3–4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream
salt to taste
In a small pan, cover carrots with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1–2 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the carrots, radishes, apples, raisins, and parsley.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, oil, sugar, and yogurt or sour cream. Add salt to taste. Gently stir into the salad.
Chill thoroughly before serving.
Sweet Apple and Sauerkraut Salad
Sauerkraut holds a position of pride in German cuisine, where it is often served as a side dish or sandwich filling. In this unique dish, sweet apples add a lovely balance to the sauerkraut.
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well
2 red apples, unpeeled and diced
3 gherkin pickles (may substitute dill pickles), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
Rinse the sauerkraut and drain well in a colander. Use paper towels to absorb remaining liquid. Loosen the sauerkraut with a fork.
In a large bowl, combine the sauerkraut, apples, pickles, and onions.
In a small bowl, mix the yogurt or sour cream with the sugar. Fold into the salad mixture and combine well.
Serve chilled. Keeps well for up to one week.
Warm and Spicy Kinderpunsch
Kinderpunsch is a warm and comforting fruit drink that is traditionally served during the Christmas holiday season. There are endless variations, but here is one that stands out due to the flavors of whole spices.
2 cups of orange juice
2 cups of apple juice
1 cup of grape juice or cherry juice (or substitute additional orange or apple juice)
2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
5 bags of hibiscus or berry herbal tea
Honey to taste
Lemon wedges, optional
In a large pan, combine the juices and spices, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tea bags and turn off the burner. Let the tea bags steep for 10 minutes.
Remove the tea bags, and add honey to taste. Reheat the punch until it is hot.
Remove and discard whole spices before serving in mugs or teacups. If desired, individuals may squeeze fresh lemon juice into their mug of Kinderpunsch. Leftovers may be reheated or served chilled.
German desserts are often fancy and may require many steps to complete. However, this country-style recipe is quick and easy to prepare.
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 16-ounce can (about 2 cups) apricot halves, well drained
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat the butter or margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and egg and beat well. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Spread the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan.
Arrange the apricot halves over the dough. In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon, and then sprinkle over the apricots.
Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the edges are golden. Cool for 5 minutes.
If desired, serve with whipped cream, frozen yogurt, or ice cream.