<>*<>*<>*<>*<>*<> GERMAN GOODIES <>*<>*<>*<>*<>*<>
Dec 29, 2011

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Stephen Block
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Some New Years Eve German Traditions


Watch ..."Dinner for One"
a German New Years Eve Movie Tradition

There are several New Years Eve traditions in our German heritage
that are worth noting.

I am dedicating this one to Herring salad because if you want
to make it you should get your herring or a substitute
and give it time to marinate. Also I thought you would love to know
about how important Herring was to our ancestors to survive.

I will send a long some other New Years
Eve German recipes later.

I know a lot of folks turn up their
nose at Pickled Herring ...!

including my family, and my dad and most of his family.


If you have been following the newsletter for some time you will find eating Herring Salat or Herring salad was a tradition .

In fact you must eat it at the stroke of midnight to insure good luck for the New Year.

In the technology and scientific age these superstitions seem childish. I guess we would have to live back in those times to understand what the world was like for our fore fathers, mothers and other relatives before the internet ..

Herring was such an important food for several reasons.
It was abundant in the coastal areas traveling in schools of millions so your catch could be abundant.

Not only Germany but so much of the world depended on salted fish...Cod, Anchovies and Herring for it's survival.

Cape Cod in Massachusetts gets it's name because it was a good place to Cod fish which was so important back then.

It was also was good to have on Fridays where not by choice but in many areas legally you couldn't eat meat so the salted fish was very important. You could be jailed if you were caught eating meat.

The Herring which feed on little tiny plankton can sense good feeding areas a thousand miles away. So one day ....all the sudden the herring would be gone! They wouldn't return sometimes for years.

Centuries ago it was blamed on the sins of the people, like too much adultery etc.

Why Pickled?

Pickling or more accurately"Salting" for centuries was the only way to preserve any food.

These Herring were cleaned and put in barrels with layers of salt and you could be sure and have food for the winter. There were no freezers except natural ones back then.

So if you are looking for something to celebrate your heritage with
try making this salad. If you are squeamish about the herring,
then use another kind of fish, like a salmon or cod.
I know some of my German friends would think this sacrilege
but to the un-initiated herring can be very fishy and can prejudice us for a lifetime.

I have had friends like Don Wall, that do their own salting and pickling of Herring and the recipe is a family secret. They know how to keep the fishiness out of it.

Taming the Fishiness in Herring

One thing you learn as a chef is to balance flavors.
Liver is one of my least favorite foods ....by itself. But when mixed and tamed with other flavors it is one of my favorite. Blend with pork and spices and Braunschweiger is a delicacy. It wouldn't be any good WITHOUT the liver ....

Is something too salty? Blend it with a tart flavor and a sweet flavor and
you now have a robust balanced flavor!

The strong fishy flavor of anchovy paste can be used to boost flavors of salads and sauces and you would never know it is there. I use a good quality vinegar and some sugar to counter balance the flavor of the fishiness. It is many chefs secret ingredient ...

The potatoes, pickles and beets also give texture and flavor to counter balance the strong taste of the fish.


Anette Holmes told me as a child in Germany she loved the flavors of her mom's Herring salat , especially the flavors of the sauce, the pickles and apples. and ..........lots and lots of good sour cream.
Sour cream really smoothes out the flavors of this

Anette Holmes Mother's Recipe for Herring Salat

The basics of a Herring salad vary from region to region,

Usually there is herring,
potatoes, apples, pickles and onions.
Sometimes eggs and beets.

The dressing is usually cream and mayonnaise mixed to gether.

If there are beets the salad takes on a light purple color
when it mixes with the dressing.

Basic Recipe

Herring Salat

printer friendly version



1 package or jar of 500 mg or ab out 8 oz. of
herring filets or pickled Herring. Drain. Marinated in
1 / 2 cup cider vinegar if desired.

1 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups diced cooked potato
1 apple diced
1 16 0z can of diced up pickled beets
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup diced dill pickle
1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 hard boiled eggs.


Mix all ingredients together and let sit for a few hours.
Good served as a salad on a lettuce leaf
Garnish with chopped boiled eggs.

You can also serve on rye bread or crackers
Top with chopped boiled eggs and dill springs are nice too.


In Southern Germany they tend to use beets in their recipe

In Northern Germany the beets are usually not used.

Another recipe for
Pickled Herring Salad

Sailor Rood's Pickled Herring Salad

My friend Sailor Rood, makes his father's recipe every year.


Could be the
Perfect After or Late Christmas Gift?

I would love to be a part of your Christmas with our Gift Wrapped Cookbook that includes or
Special Goodies Package seen above, (Bonus Recipes CD, postcards, vanilla beans and vanilla sugar),
Let me personalize it by signing it to you or someone special.

We send it out 2 day priority mail !
same day you order to get there for before Christmas.
There is still time, I get it out the same or next day!


We send it out 2 day priority mail !

To order just the cookbook alone go here




One of our readers, Irene Lage sent me this info about a German tradition she wanted to share,


Dinner for One
German New Years Eve

Germans encounter similar misgivings by members of other cultures about their unflappable enthusiasm for the short film "Dinner for One". The 14-minute British stage sketch is shown over and over again on every German TV channel on New Year's Eve. "The same procedure as every year, James" became a familiar catchphrase in the German-speaking world since it was first broadcast in 1963

Dinner for One

This is a tradition in Germany




Our Family

from a
German Grandma

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German Potato Salad




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Alles Gute!

Stephen Block