When I was in high school, my father was the first English speaking pastor of a church that had once been considered a “German church.” Everyone spoke German, I learned Christmas carols in German, and the food was always German. No wonder I had trouble in gaining weight!
Every Thursday, the women met to quilt and served sauerkraut, spare ribs, and mashed potatoes. They always saved a plateful for me to eat as soon as I got back from school. Then I would sit down and quilt with them, trying to imitate their tiny stitches.
On October 1 of this year, I had the pleasure of attending an Oktoberfest at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church here on the Big Island. Instead of spare ribs, we were served a long Bratwurst; instead of mashed potatoes, we received a big boiled potato, but we did receive a big helping of sauerkraut and a bottle of non-alcoholic beer (St. Pauli N.A.). Apple strudel finished off the meal.
There was a wonderful 7-piece polka band, complete with several accordions, a string bass, trombone, clarinet, piano and drum.
The Fraulein servers were authentic. . . .
. . . and the dancing was exuberant.
You never forget how to dance a polka! But when I asked a friend to dance with me, she said she didn’t know how. I easily taught her, however, and we took off in a whirl.
We were taught several German songs. One was “Hock Soll er Leben,” or “Hail to the Host,” which we sang several times during the evening, each time raising our beer bottles to the host.
This Musik Meister led us in song, and also played one of the accordions.
Another tongue-twister song was “Oh Du Schöne Schnitzelbank,” a song we were told was never sung in Germany, but was local only in America.
I brought home a plate of leftovers from the church kitchen and relished the meal again later.
A hui hou!