NORTHWOODS COOKS: Celebrate Oktoberfest

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Sausages grilled over charcoal with a beer in the background
Celebrate Oktoberfest with German fare, like these beer-glazed brats. Serve with fried potatoes or sauerkraut and a side of red cabbage with a cold brew.
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According to, in Germany, Oktoberfest begins on the second-to-last Saturday in September and ends on the first Sunday in October.

It began in the 19th century when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Today, Oktoberfest is one of the world's largest festivals and features a variety of foods and beverages.

This selection is from “The 12 Best Recipes to Celebrate Oktoberfest” on

Beer Glazed Brats and Sauerkraut

1/8 tsp. celery seeds


1/8 tsp. caraway seeds

1 lb. fresh bratwurst sausages

12 fluid ounces lager beer

1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

2 tsp. dry mustard powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. dried dill weed


1 pound sauerkraut (preferably barrel-aged), drained

Crush celery and caraway seeds and caraway seeds in a mortar and pestle until ground and set aside.

Place bratwursts into a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Mix beer, brown sugar, dry mustard, onion powder, black pepper, dill weed and crushed celery and caraway seeds in a bowl, stirring to dissolve brown sugar. Pour over the brats. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Uncover and raise heat to medium; boil the sauce until it reduces to a thick, syrupy liquid, about 20 minutes. Tilt skillet to roll brats in the sticky sauce until thoroughly coated. Transfer sausage to a platter and keep warm. Cook and stir sauerkraut in the same skillet to mix in any leftover sauce, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer sauerkraut to a serving platter and top with cooked bratwurst.

Authentic German Potato Salad

3 cups diced peeled potatoes

4 slices bacon

1 small onion, diced


1/4 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp. water

1-1/2 Tbsp. white sugar, or more to taste

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Place potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover by at least 1 to 2 inches and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, place bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and crumble when cool enough to handle. Leave bacon grease in the skillet.

Cook onion in the bacon grease over medium heat until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, water, salt and pepper to the pan and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add potatoes, and 1/2 of the crumbled bacon. Cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer warm potato salad to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining bacon over top. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

Grandma Jeanette’s Amazing German Red Cabbage

5 cups shredded red cabbage

1 cup sliced green apples

1/4 cup white sugar

2 Tbsp. butter

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. water

2 -1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Place cabbage, apples, sugar, and butter into a large pot. Pour in vinegar and water, then add salt, pepper and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the cabbage is tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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