Archive for October, 2011

Oktoberfest Soup

What do all of these things have in common? Clare’s Oktoberfest Soup!

This is another recipe from our local newspaper, credit goes to Clare Schapiro.

Clare’s Oktoberfest Soup

A rich and hearty celebration of the season.

Makes 6 main-course servings

2 tablespoons butter

4 small apples, peeled cored and sliced (I used Gala)

3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, carefully washed and chopped

4 cups chicken stock

2 12-ounce bottles of Oktoberfest ale (I used local Legend brand)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

4 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 14- or 16-ounce packages of fully cooked “Beer Brats” or bratwurst sausages, sliced in ½-inch rounds

Melt butter in large soup pot. Add apples, celery and leeks and sauté over medium heat until they are soft but not browned. Add chicken stock and beer. Cover and simmer until the vegetables and apples are fully cooked, about 15 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (or regular blender if that’s all you have, but be careful when blending hot liquids as they expand in the blender and can burn you!), blend until soup is relatively smooth or the texture is to your liking. Return soup to gentle heat and whisk in Dijon mustard. Combine cheddar and Gruyere cheeses in a mixing bowl and toss with the cornstarch. Add cheeses to the soup about a handful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to melt before adding the next one. When the soup is smooth, add the chopped sausages and continue to stir, keeping the soup on low heat until the sausage is just heated through. Do not boil. Serve immediately.

(The only change I made to the recipe is to add some salt and fresh ground pepper.)

This is an excellent soup. This is the first time I’ve cooked with leeks. And probably Gruyere. Not every store carries the Johnsonville Beer Brats, but luckily I found them at my third attempt (in Richmond that would be Martin’s. Neither Kroger nor Short Pump Walmart carried them). The beer is local and I’m sorry, I’m not a beer person so I can’t tell you what to substitute. Is there such a thing as a medium ale?

Here’s a video showing how this is made:
Clare’s Kitchen. Notice how she pronounces “brats.” She’s obviously not from Wisconsin 🙂

I hope you’ll try this.



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Last but not least, Susan Caldwell is a longarmer and has done some work for me. Of the ones she entered, my favorite is the one from the Crayon Challenge. Hard to tell here, but her crayons were purple, sort of a brick color and a bright green.

Well that’s it! There were over 300 quilts hanging, and as is always the case, a wide variety of styles and subject matter. There’s a lot of talent in Richmond!


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Joyce is the owner of Quilting Adventures. This is a darling little piece and the only one she entered. I would have liked to have seen more of her work (besides shop samples).

Almost done! Next up: Susan Caldwell


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Another local quilter that I don’t know. Her pineapple quilt was unique due to the 3D aspect. I took a shot from the side so that you can see how dimensional it is. Very nice!

And her “Housepitality” is so cute and dimensional, too. I like her border, I’m going to have to figure out how to draw that in EQ7.

Next up: Joyce Hartley


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I don’t know Evelyn, but I had to take a picture of her “Bronx Bombers” quilt because it stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t realize until after I got home that I hadn’t taken a picture of the information card so I don’t remember the story, I think she made the quilt for her husband. At any rate, the precision of the lettering is amazing.

I took a picture of the other one not so much for the pattern but because of the color palette. I never would have thought to put these colors together but they work and make such a cheerful quilt. The colors in the picture are not true. They were more orange and turquoise than what it looks like.

Evelyn was one of the more prolific quilters featured, I think she tied one other person with 9 entries.

Next up: Carolyn Mendel


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I took my very first quilting class from Diana. We haven’t crossed paths in all these years, but I see a lot of her stunning work at each of these bi-annual shows. Note the close-up of the wine bottles in the last shot. The labels are printed on fabric and appliqued. Notice also the 1st Place ribbon!

Next up: Evelyn Townsend


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