Where did Oktober go!

     Well what an exciting month October turned out to be! It’s always so full of fun and excitement for everyone. I have to say while it was nice to take a little sabbatical from writing every week it was also a little strange. I tried so many great new things that I wanted to share but just didn’t have the time to really put in all down in print.

    Thankfully though, my food memory is pretty darn good when it comes to recalling a good meal or in my particular case, a sweet or savory sample from the store. So let me give you the crash course in my adventures in the German deli.

         Alive After 5….oh my, what to say about my absolute favorite Thursday every month! Oktoberfest is always the biggest event for us at the Willow Tree, and this being Magnolia Square Market’s first Oktoberfest event we were all so excited. There was a little trepidation on just how it would go over for us but we were otherwise prepared. Konny the girls and I all had a great time in the store, we really got to meet so many new faces. I really wish I’d had more time to talk with some of the folks that came through. I did get to hear some great stories about the REAL Oktoberfest and share in some laughs with the people I did get to speak with.

Aaron and Gary had a homebrew demonstration going on throughout the evening which I think was a real bonus for this year’s event.

Now that we are well into the month of November we have started to gather items for all of the upcoming family holidays. A big part is of course gathering together with close friends and loved ones, but the second fiddle amongst it all is the food. The hor douvres & main course always takes the stage. The spread of the table varies from country, region, religion and often just boils down to family preferences. 

Can you tell I’m looking forward to the holidays?


While I’m thinking of dinner I just have to share my new love of our dry Spatzle products.  My family absolutely loves the homemade spatzle rahm & kase spatzle we serve at the Willow Tree Cafe. So when we began to get in the bags of premade noodles at the store I was eager to try them but keeping my enthusiasm in check because I know that in most cases store bought versus homemade results in a landslide victory in favor of homemade, although the victory is often short lived when you realize that it’s your turn to clean the kitchen.


So over the month of Oktober we tried 3 different kinds using the same simple spaghetti recipe that is a staple in many households. We tried Swabian, Black Forest Girl, and Bechtle’s klusky noodles.

The Black Forest & Swabian tasted the most like ours at the restaurant, not quite as doughy and wonderful, but a good substitute for an easy at home fix.  One bag of the Black Forest was perfect for my family of 2 adults & 2 kids. Our boys love spaghetti noodles but I’ve never had them tugging on my pant legs for just plain noodles while waiting for the sauce and meat to finish. My husband and I had a good laugh about it because they really reminded us of two baby birds.


The Swabian I liked because it was also very close to homemade in taste and texture, but what I liked even more was that comes in a larger bag. We made two meals out of a 17.6 oz bag. It went over just as well with the husband and kiddos as the Black Forest did. The next day we used the remaining noodles as a side dish making Kase (cheese) Spatzle. Ours was a different spin on the restaurants recipe, we sautéed the spatzle with nothing but Colby Jack cheese and a dash of salt & pepper. It was gooey and wonderful, completely overshadowing the main dish.


The Bechtle Klusky was kind of a disappointment, as a spaghetti noodle it was pretty pathetic. Most pasta’s tend to swell a little when you boil them; this one actually seemed to shrink! The taste was nothing special, it didn’t hold the sauce and it sure didn’t have as hearty a texture as the others. Its use would really have made a better addition to a soup, oh well live and learn. With the cold weather season ahead of us I know I’ll make use of the rest of the bag.


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