Bohnensalat – German Green Bean Salad

German Bohnensalat

The German-American Friends Club here at Spruce Creek just celebrated its annual May Festival with a great potluck dinner, wonderful German Warsteiner beer, German music and a Maypole dance.

The club provided the main part of the dinner Kalte Platte which translates to cold cuts. The deli meats provided included turkey, Black Forest ham and Leberkäse.  Leberkäse literally means “liver cheese”; it consists of corned beef, port, bacon and onion and is made by grinding the ingredients very finely and then baking it as a loaf in a bread pan until it has a crunchy brown crust. 

Along with the deli meats they provided Swiss and Muenster cheeses and one of the best breads I have ever tasted.  The bread was called ‘Frankenlaib’ and is “classic bread from the Franken region of Bavaria.  It is made with a variety of spices, such as fennel, anise, coriander, and caraway seeds.  The bread is round with a flour-covered, grainy crust.  It is also traditionally baked on hot bricks, giving it a thick, chewy crust”. 

The only foods that were requested from those of us who would be attending the event were salads and desserts.  I chose to make a green bean salad.  One of the organizers provided a website that had a variety of German salads to choose from. 

I decided to make German Bohnensalat.  Other German salads prepared were German Karottensalat (carrot salad), German Krautsalat (cabbage salad), German Gurkensalat (cucumber salad) and, of course, German Kartoffelsalat (potato salad).  All these salads can be found on the same site. 

The recipe is very funny to read as it used metric measurements and instead of a teaspoon called for dessert spoon measurements and pinches of spices. 

The recipe called for 500g of beans and found that it translated to one pound.  Then, of course, I used teaspoons for the vinegar, red wine and oil.  The pinches were just that pinches. 

When I added the onion and I felt that there was too much onion.  So I placed half of the beans in a colander and rinsed the excess onion off and redid the dressing. 

I tasted the bean salad and decided it needed something more.  It needed a little crunch so I cooked up six pieces of bacon and crushed and sprinkled over the beans.  I felt the bean salad was much better with the bacon added.

Before we could even eat we had to sing for our supper.  Music books were provided and we sang Ach Du Lieber Augustin (Oh, my dear friend Augustin) and Du kanust nicht true sein (Yu can’t be true dear).  As we sang along I found myself swaying back and forth with the music.  Of course, you could only sway if you had a beer mug in your hand which I did!

I love this group because they just love to have a good time.  Once the dinner began the beer flowed, the music filled the air and everyone had a great time.

We had to sing again this time before dessert.  So we sang two more German tunes.  Mein vater Warein Wandersmann (I love to go wandering) and Liechtensteine Polka.  By the way we were singing in German.  Very funny!

Our entertainment was music provided by Kapellmeister Bill Schonfeldt of the Swinging Bavarians and several club members performing the Maypole dance. 

As always it was a great evening.  For me the highlight of the evening was the camaraderie of the group, wonderful Warsteiner beer, and the great Bavarian bread.  

Enjoy,

Mary

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