I’ve been infatuated with Germany since I was a little girl listening wide-eyed to Dad reading us stories of courage and sacrifice from World War II. I was horrified by the Nazi’s but deeply impacted and inspired by those brave few who resisted their own government, risking their lives and fortunes to protect those the Nazi’s wished to destroy.
I became a German history buff, scouring library bookshelves for biographies, histories, and novels that would bring this country to life for me.
I shivered as I learned of the fearsome, wild Germanic tribes from the old days. One sight of those chaps would’ve terrified me! I looked with interest at the strange little helmets of Otto von Bismarck and his military leaders, and read with fascination the tales of escape and evasion from East Germany to West after the Berlin Wall was raised.
Although I read voraciously, it wasn’t until my first visit to Germany that I transitioned from fascination to love of this amazing country.
Its beauty is undeniable. Even on dark, cold, rainy days, the tidy villages, expansive fields and dense forests always delight me. I never tire of wandering the streets of Germany, whether it be the city pavements of Berlin and Munich, or the cobbled squares of small towns, there is much scope for the imagination.
Yet my favorite aspect of Germany is not the history, or the architecture, or even the food. It’s the people.
I had heard stories of the coldness, rudeness and arrogance of the Germans, and while I suppose there are some like that, I haven’t encountered many. The Germans I know are fantastic people, warm-hearted, hilarious, and some of the best cooks I have ever met.
Like my friend Rita. The two of us met while we were nannies in Portugal, and have been like sisters ever since. Her parents are my adopted parents and vice-versa. I got to be at her wedding and I can’t wait to visit her again so I can meet her scrumptious baby girl. 🙂 Their family history still grips my heart. Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself all I have to do is think of what they’ve gone through, what they’ve survived, and I am filled with gratitude and renewed courage to press on.
I learned to cook real German/Russian food from Rita and her Mom – boy can those girls cook!! – and I can’t wait to share some of those recipes with you in the months to come.
In the meantime here is an easy recipe that never fails to make me think of Germany.
Simply fill your crockpot with layers of sauerkraut, thinly sliced onions, sausages of your choice, celery seed and lavish amounts of pepper, cover and cook for 4-5 hours. Twenty minutes before you’re ready to serve, boil up some potatoes. Once drained, drizzle them with melted butter, sprinkle with parsley and serve alongside the sausages with a bit of grainy mustard.
Easy Crockpot Sausage and Sauerkraut
1 pound pre-cooked sausage (Kielbasa, bratwurst, etc), cut in 3-inch pieces
1-2 cans sauerkraut
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp celery seed
- In bottom of crockpot spread half the sauerkraut and top with 1/2 onion slices, 1/2 pound sausage, 1/2 tsp celery seed, and pepper.
- Cover crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
- Serve with simple boiled, buttered potatoes sprinkled with parsley.