October(fest): Homemade Sausage

The first Oktoberfest was held in October of 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (later King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.  Horse races presided over by the royal family marked an end to the celebrations, and it was later decided to annually hold the races, and thus Oktoberfest was born.  Although the horse races are no longer a part of the festivities, Oktoberfest in Munich has grown into the largest festival in the world.  Over in America, we seem to know it as a celebration where you eat hearty German food and wash it down with a lot of beer.  Despite the fact that Oktoberfest this year was the 19th of September through the 4th of October, who says you can’t still celebrate the rest of the month with some homemade sausage?

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Cinnamon Buns: A Swedish Tradition

 

Today (October 4) is National Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden! This day was created back in 1999 as a way for Sweden’s ‘Home Baking Council’ to celebrate their fortieth birthday. Autumn in Sweden is very similar to autumn here in the US. It is the harvest high season and home baking is something occurring in many homes across the country. There is just nothing like a fresh, hot, gooey cinnamon bun on a crisp autumn morning. I will admit that this sweet treat is one of my all time favorites!  I have fond memories of hot cinnamon buns, fresh from the oven, coated in cream cheese icing being served every Christmas morning. This Christmas tradition is still carried out at my parents home and now my own home each year. Because this is one of my favorite desserts, I have created several variations over the years. This newest creation I believe will be one of your favorites as well.

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Not Your Grandma’s Apple Butter

Apples always equate autumn to me.  Growing up in Georgia, every fall saw us traipsing off to the North Georgia mountains for apple picking, apple festivals, apple anything.  Roadside stands littered the drive with handmade signs announcing an array of apple delights.

For me, everything paled in comparison to the huge apple orchards that opened to the public for U-pick excursions.  These operations usually offered a wide variety of activities for kids and adults including hay rides, bounce houses, apple bobbing, apple contests, petting zoos, etc.  There was always a little store overflowing with apple bread, apple pies, apple fritters, fresh apple cider, and of course, already picked bushels and baskets of apples for those who would rather not wander the orchards.

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