Cincinnati has a tradition of celebrating its 1800's beer heritage with a special brew that is tapped around the time of Lent. This year, March 6-8 has been designated as Bockfest in downtown's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Early March seems like a perfect time to honor your German heritage or hoist a mug of Bock beer. At our house, we jumped the gun a bit and have created our own holiday called Febfest---in 2010, we celebrated this past weekend.
It all began 15 years ago when Barry decided we needed a reason to get together with our friends during the grey, cold days of winter. We love the fall Oktoberfests around Cincinnati so Barry suggested his own version of Febfest. Why not get together when we all have cabin fever and share traditional German food and drink with our good friends? Gemütlichkeit at its best...and so it began.
We've found the best Febfest features food from local small businesses. We start with limburger cheese from Gibb's at Findlay Market and follow that with a "radi" (fresh Daikon radish thinly sliced and salted) from Country Fresh Market in Hartwell. Next come the sauerkraut balls made from Avril's ingredients, and then we serve fresh sausages from Kroeger & Sons at Findlay Market. The main course features wiener schnitzel again made from Avril's fresh veal and served on mini-buns from North College Hill Bakery. The sandwiches are accompanied by potato pancakes made with potatoes and onions from our own Daisy Mae's Market. Dinner concludes with homemade apfelstrüdel baked with Daisy Mae's Granny Smith apples. Of course, the entire meal tastes better when accompanied by a Christian Moerlein beer or a Bockbier from your favorite local brewery.
So, you see, it's possible to have a German celebration with the help of local Cincinnati small businesses. Try it--shop locally, celebrate internationally, and have fun with good friends, good food, and good drink.