Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Kommen Sie for a taste of Deutschland in Faribault November 2, 2013

Arroz con pollo tastes much better than it looks.

Arroz con pollo, a Latin American dish of chicken and rice seasoned with fresh garlic, onions, red peppers and cilantro. The perfect comfort food as Minnesota transitions into winter.

EVERY YEAR ABOUT THIS TIME, I find myself craving comfort foods. Homemade mac and cheese. Beef roast and mashed potatoes. Steaming bowls of soup laced with thick chunks of vegetables. Fiery chili. Even hotdish.

Sliced strawberries, cucumbers and Amablu Gorgonzola cheese added to Romaine lettuce made a perfect salad. I topped the salad with lemon poppyseed dressing.

Sliced strawberries, cucumbers and Amablu Gorgonzola cheese added to Romaine lettuce make a delicious salad, often a meal for me during the summer months.

I eat fewer salads, place less fresh produce in my shopping cart, fight the urge to bake cookies.

The cycling of the seasons, transitioning into the long, dark and cold days of winter in Minnesota, imprints upon my body and psyche. Call of comfort foods. Snuggling on the sofa under a fleece throw, book in hand. Limited trips outside the house once the curtain of cold and darkness falls upon the land.

The German meal: sauerbraten and spaetzle on the left, German potato salad, sweet and sour cabbage, dinner roll and sauerkraut and brats.

The German meal: sauerbraten and spaetzle on the left, German potato salad, sweet and sour cabbage, dinner roll and sauerkraut and brats. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

And so this seems the perfect time to partake of the food of my forefathers at Cannon Valley Lutheran High School’s annual German Fest: Sauerbraten mit spaetzle, Deutsche potato salad, sweet & sour red cabbage, bratwurst mit sauerkraut and the, oh, so delectable bread pudding.

Diners enjoy the ethnic meal at the second annual CVLHS German Fest in 2011.

Diners enjoy the ethnic meal at the second annual CVLHS German Fest in 2011.

Tickets are now on sale for the Sunday, November 10, German Fest Supper, served from 5 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. in the Trinity Lutheran Church gym, 530 Fourth St. N.W., Faribault. Cost is $13 for ages 11 – adult; $7 for ages 5 – 10; and free for preschoolers with a paid adult. Call (507) 685-2636 for tickets. You may also purchase tickets at the door.

If you appreciate German food, you will enjoy this ethnic meal served after the free German Fest of Thanks & Praise, which begins at 4 p.m. in the Trinity sanctuary. From songs and prayers in German to the music of an accordion trio, a harmonica player and a 12-piece band, the program offers an opportunity to reflect on our blessings.

The German Fest presents a perfect prelude to Thanksgiving and to this season when Minnesotans crave comfort foods.

FYI: The German Fest Supper is a fundraiser for Morristown-based Cannon Valley Lutheran High School, which serves students in grades 9 – 12 from around the region. Classes were suspended this school year, among other reasons, to pay off the school’s operating debt with plans to reopen in the fall of 2014.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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10 Responses to “Kommen Sie for a taste of Deutschland in Faribault”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Yum. That food looks delightful. I have made 2 crockpots full of soup this week and we had chicken and dumplings last night for dinner so I am in total agreement about comfort food. Looks like a great fundraiser for the school!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I just had chicken soup for lunch, but not homemade. I have a really really bad cold so I picked up chicken soup and Randy was kind enough to heat it for me.

  2. Jackie Says:

    This also seems to be the season for the church feasts. My mom and dad take part in many of the Lutefisk dinners. I have already had Chili and hotdish (two times this week) The German plate of food looks enticing, when my boys were in High school they took “Geman” at the end of the semester they had a feed for the parents, they brought german foods for everyone to try…I cant even remember what my boys brought… I’m getting old

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Jackie, if you’re getting old, then I’m, oh, never mind.

      Yes, this is the season of church dinners and I love them.

      I took German in high school also and we served our parents a German meal once, but I can’t recall a single food that we made. Our German Club took a trip to New Ulm and dined at Eibner’s, a German restaurant. I remember that being the first time I tasted sauerbraten. I love German food, although it’s not exactly the healthiest of food choices. Once or twice a year I’ll indulge.

  3. Allan Says:

    I married a German Girl, who came from a family that loved German Poppy seed Bread! My Wife would tell me how wonderful it was, and told me I would be in for a treat! The first year we were married, she made poppy seed bread. While she was cooking the ground poppy seed, I came into the house and asked her why she was boiling potting soil! I got the look! When she served it, I thought I would be in for a treat. Let me tell you, I would rather have had the boiling potting soil!!!!!!!!!! Yuck. To this day, I can not stand the sight or smell of Poppy seed bread. But I have bought the ground poppy seed for her when I have seen it in an ethnic store. I feel like a drug user buying it! She always says she dreams of flying after eating the Potting,uh Poppy seed. Opium, is what it is. She makes it every Christmas, and eats it alone or with the German Lady next door. When speaking of German food, New Ulm comes to the top of my mind. New Ulm has the best German Restaurants in the world. I love Sauerkraut, reg or creamed, and brats, etc. But, I still do not like poppy seed bread! I better end this writing, as I am getting “The Look” from someone I dearly love!! If one can not afford a trip to Europe, eat poppy seed bread, “you will fly to Europe” in your dream!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Allan, I am laughing so hard right now. Great story. Thank you for sharing this poppy seed episode with us.

  4. Colin loves German food…which is good, since he’s there 5 or 6 times a year! He came home once and learned how to make us schnitzel. 🙂

  5. Tom S. Says:

    I’m bummed I missed this this year. I had such a good time sitting with you, your husband and friends last year. I did make it to St. John’s UCC for their dinner though and brought some friends with too.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      We were at the St. John’s German dinner, too. Sorry we missed you. Glad you brought some friends.

      Cannon Valley High School made the decision to close (permanently), so I’m not sure there will be any more German dinners, unless another group takes on the project.

      Happy Thanksgiving, Tom.


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