I have lots of addictions: energy drinks, thai food, yogurt, garlic…the list goes on. The one addiction I can’t seem to shake is collecting cookbooks.
I have a MAJOR problem when it comes to cookbooks. And not just hard bound cookbooks; anything, really. Recipe booklets, food magazines, and those spiral-bound recipe collections you get from churches and the junior league. Here’s my collection so far:
Yes, that is THREE YEARS worth of Food Network magazines. Next to them is a little pile of recipe booklets. Mainly Taste of Home, with a few Pillsbury ones thrown into the mix. But wait! That’s not all…
Normal cookbooks…and now for my recipe indexing work station:
That little corner next to the Bisquick recipe box? More recipe booklets. I love those things, but they repeat recipes A LOT, I’ve come to notice. But my all-time favorite type of cookbook is personal, spiral-bound ones, like this:
This one hails from Western Oaks Church of the Nazarene in Oklahoma City. I have never set foot in that church; heck, I’ve never even SEEN that church. Where did I get this? You might ask. Well, that answer leads me to one of my other addictions: antique store shopping.
When I go into an antique store I usually make a be-line to the books section. There you can find cookbooks of all shapes and sizes, and they’re typically anywhere from 10 to 30 years old. I ADORE cookbooks from the 70’s and 80’s, even if the pictures and color schemes make the food look like barf. You can find ingredients that are rarely used these days, along with sick jello molds of EVERYTHING.
And before you ask, I can’t stand jello molds. I just think it’s funny that our parents used to make jello molds for dinner. Yuck.
Some of the other recipes can be just as awkward as that jiggly, gelatinous pimiento ham sandwich. Miracle whip in meat loaf? Barf. Boiled eggs on a skewer of beef? Pass the ipecac, please.
But some of the recipes can be a breath of fresh air. Something you CANNOT find on the internet, Pinterest or Facebook. Something nobody has made in 30 freaking years! With these recipes you can get out of that meal planning slump you find yourself in when you continually make the same things over, and over, and over again.
I introduce to you, a brand-spanking-new-to-the-interwebs recipe, right out of a cook book from 1989. That’s one year after I was born. And let me tell you, it tasted a whole hell of a lot better than that picture looked…and no jello was involved in the making of this stew.
German Sausage Stew
-1/4 cup butter
-2 medium yellow onions, sliced into rings
-1 cup sliced carrots
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-3 cups water
-4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1 medium green bell pepper
-1 lb. Bratwurst, cut into 1/2″ pieces
-2 tsp. caraway seeds
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. dry mustard
-1/4 tsp. pepper
-1 TBS. beef buillon granules
1. In a large pot, melt butter & add onions. Cook over medium heat until tender (2-3 minutes). Stir in remaining ingredients.
2. Increase heat to high; cook until mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover & cook, stirring occasionally, until stew is thickened and potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes.
Do NOT cook the bratwurst before adding it to the stew. I know it feels weird, it felt wrong to me when I was cutting up the raw sausage. Just make sure to keep the casing on the sausage while your cutting. It will help it not disintegrate in the stew. Also, not cooking the bratwurst beforehand adds that extra level of sausage-y flavor to the stew.
You MUST try this stew, especially if you love German food. I’m from German descent (hello Schiwart clan!) so we hold sausage in the highest regard. Also, don’t shy away from other German sausages. You don’t necessarily have to use bratwurst! If you live near a German market, you can use Windthorst sausage (a grey, peppery German sausage) or any other sausage that pairs well with mustard.
One thing that I might add when I make this again is cabbage, or sauerkraut. It’s a real hearty stew that holds up well, and it will fill you up after a long day out in the cold. Try it!