Celebrating German-American Day

Today is National Mad Hatter Day. Doesn’t that sound like a fun day? Get a little crazy, wear mad hats and have a tea party. So why aren’t we doing just that? Because today also happens to be German-American Day. I adore Weiner Schnitzel. However; this year National Weiner Schnitzel Day happened to fall on a Friday. We all know what that means in my old school Catholic house.

No schnitzel. That’s okay. While Schnitzel really isn’t German, it’s close enough to celebrate German-American Day. Besides, I don’t care much for Sauerkraut or Pickled Beets. So work with me here.

German-American Day commemorates the 13 German Mennonite families from Krefeld who landed in Philadelphia. These families established the first German-Dutch settlement in the original thirteen colonies. Germantown (now a part of Philadelphia) was founded on October 6, 1683. National German-American Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia in 1883, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the town. The idea spread, and other parts of the country began to honor their German heritage in late September and early October. However, public celebration fell out of favor during World War I. It wasn’t until 1983 that then President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as German-American Day to celebrate the 300th anniversary of German immigration to American. On August 6 of the following year, Congress approved S.J. Resolution 108, designating October 6 as German-American Day. President Regan held a formal ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, calling on all Americans to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and respectful activities. (Whatever that means). Since then Presidents have continued to make the proclamation each year.

Most Americans don’t realize the influence German immigrants have had on American culture. Christmas in the United States would be vastly different without the traditions Germans brought. Decorated Christmas Trees and the gift-giving figure of Santa Claus arrived with German families. Soon these customs were embraced in other American homes.

The Brooklyn Bridge was built by John Roebling, a German immigrant and engineer. William Boeing, whose parents immigrated to American in 1868, founded Aero Products Company in 1916. The company was renamed Boeing Airplane Company in 1917 and today Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company. Levi Strauss, a German-Jew, began manufacturing blue jean in San Francisco in 1853. Levi’s Jeans are now famous everywhere. There are countless reasons to celebrate German heritage and know-how. That alone is reason to celebrate.

Hubby’s of Russian-German decent. Russian on his father’s side, German on his mother’s. The Midwest might not be what it is today if not for the strong people who farmed the land and shaped society.

German American Feast
Pork Schnitzel
Boiled Parsley Potatoes
Pearls and Peas

German Apple Cake ala Mode

Pork Schnitzel
1-1/2 lb Pork Tenderloin
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Flour
2 large Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons Milk
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Pinch Ground Nutmeg
1 cup Breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons Butter
1 Lemon
Parsley Sprigs for garnish
1 Green Onion

Note: Traditionally, Wienerschnitzel dish is made with veal cutlets. There are those who object to veal on principal, and those who simply cannot justify the cost of veal. Pork Tenderloin is a delicious substitute.

Slice pork into 6 or 8 cutlets. With a fork make small holes into the cutlets. Place snuggly in a glass casserole dish. Pour milk over the cutlets, turning several times. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Remove cutlets from the milk. Pat dry with paper towels. On a solid, level work surface, place the cutlets between 2 sheets of heavy plastic. With the smooth side of a meat mallet, firmly pound cutlets to 1/4-inch thick. Set aside and create dipping assembly line.

In a pie tin, spread out flour. This is station 1.

In a bowl, beat together eggs, parsley, Parmesan , milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour into a pie tin and set aside. This is station 2.

Place breadcrumbs in a another pie tin. This is station 3.

Dip each cutlet into the flour, shake off excess. Dip into the egg mixture, then press in bread crumbs to coat. Place coated cutlets on a plate, lightly cover and refrigerate overnight.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook breaded cutlets in butter until browned, about 3 minutes per side.

While the cutlets cook, thinly slice lemon for garnish. Snip parsley and green onion, set aside.

Transfer cutlets to a serving platter. drizzle pan juices over the pork. Garnish with lemon slices, parsley and green onions.

Boiled Parsley Potatoes
2-1/2 lbs medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
Kosher Salt as needed
1/3 cup fresh Parsley
White Pepper to taste

Note: Look for potatoes that are round and fairly uniformed in size.

Peel potatoes, remove any imperfections. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. While the potatoes cook. snip parsley for garnish, set aside.

Once potatoes are cooked, place in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.

Pearls and Peas
3/4 cup frozen Pearl Onions
1 {16 oz} package frozen Peas
3 tablespoons Butter
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Place onions in a colander under cold running water to gently thaw, Drain and set aside.

Bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add peas to boiling water and reduce heat. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, or until peas are tender. Drain, peas leave set aside in the colander.

In the same pot, melt butter; season with the salt and pepper. Add the peas and onions to the butter mixture and stir together until blended.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve peas with a slotted spoon.

German Apple Cake ala Mode
2 large Eggs
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Flour
1 cup Cake Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 lb Granny Smith Apples (about 4 cups)
Vanilla Ice Cream for serving
Caramel Sauce for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch by 13 pan with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer. Add sugar and vanilla and beat well. In another bowl, sift regular flour. Add cake flour, salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon. Mix to combine. Slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be thick. Set aside.

Peel, core and dice apples. Mix apples into the batter until just combined.

Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until top looks set but toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached.DO NOT overbake.

Let rest on a cooling rack cake is just slightly warm to the touch. Slice, serve with vanilla ice cream, drizzle with caramel sauce and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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