Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall in the Ozarks - Which Weekend Is This?

(Photo courtesy of

Here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas every weekend in the Fall becomes an Event weekend. Last weekend was Bikers, Barbecue, and Blues. This weekend is Corvette weekend. Personally I prefer the Bikers. I hear the townspeople do as well - the bikers buy more and tip better. I am sure next weekend is something else. The point is that we in the Ozarks have found a way to make a living even though we can't grow much around here, there is nothing to mine, the trees are scrub oak and cedar, and the revenuers have made shine illegal.

Honestly, I enjoy the fact the hotels and motels fill up, the local restaurants becoming stand in line, and we need police to direct traffic at the junction of Highways 23 and 62. The tourists feed the families of my students and keep the odd and quirky stores going. "No Clothes" sells only accessories. "Two Dumb Dames" peddles sweets and fudge. "Judge Roy Bean's" takes those old-timey pictures that look like daguerreotypes.

This morning I went into town early, had breakfast and went to school to grade papers. Before noon I scurried back out of town. Just because I appreciate the tourists doesn't mean I want to be trapped in the traffic.

This evening I am preparing a Fall type meal.

Braised Smoked Bratwurst with Sauerkraut, Apple, Onion and Potatoes.


4 links smoked bratwurst, sliced in 1/3 inch rings
4 slices bacon, or equivalent, cubed or diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 onion, sliced in rings
10 baby golden potatoes, halved
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 cup sauerkraut, unrinsed
1 cup (approximate) chicken broth
1-2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 Tbs. vegetable oil


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Heat the oil in a dutch oven and add the bacon, onion, and sausage. Saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients begin to brown. Add the spices and cook until fragrant. Add the kraut and broth (enough to half cover all ingredients) and use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the dutch oven. Add the sugar, potatoes, and apples and mix well. Add more broth if needed. Continue to cook on the stove top until the broth begins to gently boil. 

Cover the dutch oven and move to the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake 70 to 90 minutes until the potatoes, apples, and sausage are very done. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and sugar. Turn off the oven and let the pot sit in the oven for another 20 minutes. Serve in bowls with rye bread and a good beer.

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