15 October 2005


This week, a a bunch of people at work thought it would be fun to go Oktoberfesting…and asked me to organize it…apparently because I know a little bit about food, I’m supposed to know about bratwurst and beer.


The things I do for my company... so I did the research and found some place with a really good reputation for food (if I had to go, I might as well do my best to avoid indigestion, heartburn and oil splatters that won't come out of cotton) and reserved a table…and you know what? I didn't mind it...in fact, I had a pretty good time.

It was corporate night, so the crowds weren't too unruly--can't get too drunk in front of the boss or the big client--that is if you want to keep your job. Anyway, the hall was decked out in streamers and banners and the obligatory oom-pah-pah band was situated right in front of the dance floor. Long, plastic-covered tables were in neat rows all around the all around the room's perimeter. The staff was dressed in lederhosen and dirndls-they were really, really friendly and willing to put up with the myriad of questions that I and my fellow novice festers were asking.

We listened to the band (my manager used to be in a polka band when he was a teenager and he knew every song played)--it's amazing how many songs from the Sound of Music was was on the set list-- and watched as our servers turned into the club dancers and did traditional Barvarian folk dances. And of course we changed the traditional Oktoberfest cheer before toasting our friends and neighbours...several times.Beer flowed by the pitcher and there was a schnaps bar in the corner.

Unfortunately, cold medication prevented me from partaking in the fun stuff, so I was relegated to a cranberry-orange juice. As we were a small group, we took our meal tickets to the kitchen counter and had our choice of a schnitzel, sausage, pigtail or cabbage roll dinner. The sides were roasted potatoes, sauerkraut, boiled mixed veg (peas, carrots and I think corn), rye bread and dill pickles.

So, what was I to do?

I had sworn off schnitzel years ago, but I thought 'if anything would get me back onto it, this should. Oh boy, did I make the right decision. The meat was not heavy, but juicy--and not too salty. The portions were huge (a bit big for me, but I finished most of it (feed a cold, starve a fever--well, feed a fever as well...). Afterwards a number of us went up for the apple streudel...oh my...a very nice streudel it was.

Weiner Schnitzel
4 120-150g veal cutlets, pounded until they are thin (you can use chicken or pork as well)

For the breading
2 eggs
unseasoned breadcrumbs
salt and black pepper
oil or lard for frying

Putting it together
Before you take out the cutlets, prepare three plates for the breading--the first has flour seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, the second has two beaten eggs, and the third has the crumbs.Heat the fat in a frypan.Bread the meat by first covering it in flour, then dipping it in the egg and then finally dredge the pieces in the breadcrumbs. Fry both sides--don't let them stay too long in the fat as they won't take long to cook. Drain the excess oil on kitchen towelling.You can serve it with a lemon wedge or sweet mustard, but I find it a bit too sweet for my liking. What I wound up doing was cutting it with a bit of regular, prepared mustard--it added a really nice bite (yes, I know all the Germans and Austrians reading this are probably shaking their heads at me).

as always,


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