Jersey Bites

Oktoberfest at Crystal Springs Resort

Babies, Bratwurst and Oompah! Oktoberfest at Crystal Springs Resort, Sussex County proved to be more than a culinary vacation taking us to classic German regions serving up homespun favorites.

The vast property with its scenic autumn hillsides, coupled with the crisp September air conjured up a glimpse of what life must have been like in the ‘Old Country’: spits of whole suckling pigs, calves and lambs on traditional iron grids over open wood-burning fires in a semi-circle, flanked by tents and tables where platters of savory roasted meats and lean wursts were generously plated alongside the creamiest German Potato Salad we’ve ever tasted.

Rustic and robust menu items celebrated family life, good health, and the onset of harvest by filling our bellies with crisp and oniony Potato Pancakes and Roasted Ears of Corn in their husks. Braised Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage punctuated every dish with bright color, delivering a buttery goodness in each bite.

What a treat to see young families, multi-generations, attending and sharing picnic tables with newly made friends who were going solo or in pairs, enjoying time honored camaraderie. They perfected the art of straddling the bench with precariously balanced plates overflowing; trying not to spill from their huge tankards filled with any one of eight Harvest Time and German Biers, while the children chowed down on salty, soft pretzels and Fried Oreos.

Brass Band Music, Bavarian Dancing, and a variety of Kid’s Attractions like Sumo Wrestling, Magicians and Face Painting broke up the eating frenzy before adults enjoyed wrapping up their day with triangles of decadent Black Forest Cake, German Chocolate and Funnel Cakes.  As a result…many a Fraulein was seen loosening up her vest on the way out of the Park! This is one event you will want to put on your calendar for next year, so here are the dates. September 21-22, 2013 and we’ll see you there.

Wayne and Anne Galya learned how exciting food could be back in Junior High, when the Wood Shop class elective was completely filled and his guidance counselor encouraged the guys who didn’t make the cut to take Cooking, instead.  “Why would I want take a cooking class? Wait a minute…cooking = girls! Heck yeah, sign me up!”  And there began his love affair with all things relating to food, making it, serving it, eating it…. Back in those days (the 70s) Culinary Art Careers had not yet become the rage, so I didn’t consider it an option and when I graduated from high school, I began a 39 year career as an Industrial Electrician.  But, I never lost my passion for the Art, and even produced my own CIA chef, my son Wayne! One of the greatest joys I have is seeing what other chefs are doing, as it challenges me in my own kitchen. Many friends and family have enjoyed the re-creation of dishes that I have savored in France Italy and the Caribbean, as well as regional dishes from across the US.

 

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Author:Deborah Smith, Executive Editor

Deborah Smith is the Founder and Publisher of JerseyBites.com, a collaborative website focused on food news in New Jersey.

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