Sunday, November 6, 2011

Melt Down Grilled Cheese

UPDATE (10/22/12): Unfortunately, Melt Down Grilled Cheese has changed their menu, removing nearly every sandwich mentioned below, including the Honey Apple.  The new sandwich I tried, Ham and Cheese was lackluster and disappointing.  Bring back the Honey Apple!!

Sorry for the silence on this blog, but all of my writing energy was focused on my [paid] column over on Upper Moreland Patch

I knew reviewing restaurants in the finite area of my tiny town would end sooner or later, but I am still sad to see it go.  I tried a stint at the Examiner but their compensation is laughable (think cents, not dollars), so here we are back where it all started.  I'm still looking for a real food writing gig -- and if you know of something, PLEASE pass it on -- but in the meantime, you'll find me here.

Last week I was headed to lunch at Saladworks with my 18 month old daughter, but the new restaurant next door caught my eye instead.  Poor Saladworks, I bet it is hard to compete with Melt Down, which offers grilled cheese, grilled cheese, and more grilled cheese.

According to my friend Jill from culinary school, who helped with menu development (she always has the coolest jobs!), Melt Down is from the guys who created Peace A Pizza.

Now, I know who these guys are, and if you read my Examiner article and earned me a half-penny, you know who these guys are too.  I was pleased to find that they brought the same level of innovation to grilled cheese as they do Eggplant Parm Pizza.

Instead of a hippie culture, though, Melt Down has modern tables and big floral Ikea light balls juxtaposed by 1950's big band classics blasting on the sound system.  Besides Frank Sinatra's standards, I loved hearing him sing Nimue's "Follow Me" from the musical Camelot. 

Like at Peace A Pizza, there is a tiny table set up at the back for kids with a large screen tv, quiet on the day we went, and New Hope cane sugar soda in flavors like Orange Mango, Root Beer, and Skinny Cola.

After ordering at the counter, we settled in at the tiny table.  By the time I collected napkins, utensils, and my drink, the food was brought over to us in metal baskets lined with paper printed like a the front page of a 1905 Hawaiian newspaper.

I ordered the kids meal for my daughter, which consists of half of the long diagonally cut Classic grilled cheese sandwich, one side, and a kids drink.  We were given the choice of cheddar or American cheese on the sandwich, chips or applesauce, and juice, milk or soda. 

She's 18 months old and still communicates with single words and shrieks, so I chose for her: American cheese, applesauce, and milk.  They were all very well received.  The sandwich was melty on the inside and dry on the outside, saving us from greasy hands, cheeks, clothes, etc.

Though there were lots of sandwiches I wanted to try -- the Maryland Crab, Baja Melt, Melt-akopita -- the Honey Apple caught my eye.  Sharp cheddar surrounded thin, soft apple slices and tiny square dices of raw red onion that added just the right sharp tang.  The honey and Dijon mustard spread separately on the toasty bread didn't combine to make honey-mustard; one bite had smooth sweetness from the honey, while the next zipped with mustard. 

As if the sandwich wasn't good enough on its own, it came with a tiny cup of Truffle Garlic sauce.  Holy deliciousness.  Though a slightly off-putting color of brown (from the truffles, no doubt), this sauce was insane.  It complimented and enhanced the Honey Apple grilled cheese, taking it from sweet to savory.  (Kudos, Jill!)

The menu boasted a Signature Grilled Ice Cream Sandwich, which layers vanilla or chocolate ice cream between two slices of grilled pound cake topped with raspberry glaze.  It sounded amazing, but I was stuffed.  Too much Truffle Garlic sauce, perhaps?

Dont worry, I'll be back to try it another time.

Hungry?  Go get yourself some!

Location: 111 Garden Golf Road, North Wales, PA
Hours:  Monday through Saturday: 11am - 9pm; Sunday: 11am - 8pm

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Groom's Cake

As much as I hate to admit it, I am pretty excited about the upcoming royal wedding.  I have never cared much about the princes, but I feel somehow kindred with Kate.  

Kate was an art history major in college, as was I, and she wrote her masters thesis on Lewis Carroll's photography.  I also wrote a major paper on Lewis Carroll's controversial photography (of nude little girls, by the way) while studying at The George Washington University. It was one of the highlights of my academic career, as GW's wonderful DC location afforded me the opportunity to do all of my research at the Library of Congress, which had some of his actual photographs in its collection.

Besides these similarities, Kate and I both scored our Prince Charming.  In what I consider a Southern American tradition, Kate's prince has requested a groom's cake.  When I came across this article with the recipe, I just had to make it!  William's Chocolate Biscuit Cake requires no raw ingredients or baking, making it a perfect recipe to do with my son.

Here are the ingredients, slightly modified from the original recipe linked above:

10 oz butter tea biscuits (the recipe calls for 7oz, but I thought we needed more)
1 cup half and half (the recipe called for heavy cream)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 stick butter
16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (the recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Plus the following for the glaze:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup half and half (the recipe called for 1/4 cup heavy cream, but this amount made the glaze too thick to pour)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (again, the recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate)
I couldn't find butter tea buiscuts, so I used these instead:

I microwaved the butter, half and half, and honey while my son had fun breaking the cookies in quarters.

Then, we added the chocolate chips and vanilla to the hot half and half/butter mixture and stirred until the chocolate melted. 

Then we stirred in the cookie pieces and poured it all into a Pam-sprayed springform pan.  We had to finesse the mixture around to get it flat on top, but then we put it in the fridge to solidify. 

Three hours later, we popped the springform pan open and put the cake on a wire rack with wax paper underneath.  It was a little difficult getting it off the bottom of the pan, but a long knife helped. 

Then we mixed the glaze ingredients and poured it over the cake, the wax paper catching the drips.

We put it on a nice plate and placed it back in the fridge to further solidify until serving.

Prince William must love chocolate, because this cake is really rich.  To serve, we plated a small piece with strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

If the royal wedding reception is anything like ours, the bride and groom will be too busy talking to everyone to have the chance to enjoy thier wedding cake.  That is always a shame, but maybe they follow the American tradition of freezing some for their first anniversary.  We were surprised how much we loved our cake a year later!

Tonight, my husband loved the Chocolate Biscuit Cake, so it will be long gone by Will and Kate's wedding day.  Maybe we should mix up another one to have for breakfast while we watch the wedding on April 29th! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  My husband loves Irish Potatoes (the sweet confection, not the starchy staple), and I thought it might be a fun and easy recipe to do with my almost 3 year old.  There are no raw ingredients and therefore no scary bacteria to worry about, and I figured that forming them would be a little like working with Play-Doh.  I found a recipe on and we gave it a try.

1/4 cup softened butter
8oz softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut

The mixing part was easy -- combine the softened butter and softened cream cheese with a hand mixer.  Then add the vanilla and sugar mixing between cups, and then mix in the coconut.  The recipe then said to roll it into balls and then roll them in the cinnamon, chilling afterwards to set. 

This proved impossible, as right after mixing the whole thing was, literally, a hot mess and just gooped all over our hands instead of balling up.  These ingredients are the exact same as those for cake icing, at about the same ratio, so I dont know why I was surprised at the consistency.

We stuck the mixture in the fridge for an hour and that helped a little, but my son still thought it was too sticky.  He tried molding a few, but they came out looking pretty nasty and he soon gave up. 

I soldiered on and found that you could toss a hunk of the mixture into a small cinnamon filled bowl, swirl it around quickly and the centripetal force (or is it centrifugal?! I never did very well in Physics) would form it into a ball and coat it in the cinnamon.  Two birds, one stone.  Here's the before and after. 

The recipe yeilded about 35 one inch round Irish Potatoes, and once chilled they had good texture and flavor.  They are much better than the chalky ones you buy boxed at the grocery store.  You know, the ones that have so much cinnamon coating them that it goes straight to your lungs and makes you cough. 

The homemade ones soon get sloppy again, though, so keep them in the fridge.  I thought about adding more sugar to stiffen the mixture, but they are really sweet as is, and so decided against it. 

Enjoy your Saint Patrick's Day!  And sorry for the long duration between posts, I am now getting paid to write about food and that is taking precedence.  Check it out my new column, Worth the Whisk, where I reveiw local restaurants on

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cooking with Kids

With two kids and winter weather like this, this stir crazy mom has to come up with new ideas to beat the cabin fever.  My go-to activity is baking and today we made scones.

Scones are breadlike Scottish pastries, regularly included as a part of British afternoon tea.  You can make virtually any kind of scone -- nut, raisin or other dried fruit, chocolate chip, or any combination therein.  You can also make savory scones with herbs, bacon, sausage, or cheese.  Today we made cinnamon almond scones.  My two and a half year old loves to measure and mix, and most of the ingredients made it into the bowl.  Some, however, ended up on the floor or on his once dark brown sweater.

 To make scones you will need the following:

2 1/2 cups AP flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
3/4 cups milk or heavy cream
1/2 cup chosen added ingredient (I used chopped almonds, plus 1 tablespoon cinnamon)

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  (Add cinnamon here, if using.)
Cut the butter into the dry mix, or smoosh it in with your fingers, until it looks like large crumbs
Combine the eggs, milk, and added ingredients
Pour the wet into the dry and stir until combined
Knead inside the bowl until it is dry and uniform, adding flour as necessary
Form a circle and cut it into 8 wedges
Separate and place on ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart
Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes

When I was in fourth or fifth grade, we had some sort of international fair that required kids to bring in a baked good from their cultural background.  Based on the small percentage of Scottish blood on my mother's side, I decided to make scones.  My mom and I found a recipe for plain scones, and I wasn't surprised when none of the kids wanted to try them.  They were pretty bland.

Since then, I have tried many additional ingredients and come to love the slightly dry crumbly scone not only for their taste, but for their infinite possibilities.  Tomorrow we can use the same basic procedure and create a whole new treat by substituting dried cranberries.  Or fresh rosemary.  Or cocoa powder.  Baking scones is a simple kid-friendly activity, and they make a delicious afternoon snack.  I was glad to share the experience with my son.  I'll remember the apron next time, though.

Serve warm with lots of butter!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Got Your Goat

In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch says, "No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat."  This is good advice in life and good advice at the grocery store.  If you find goat in your meat section, like I did this week, don't let anyone else get YOUR goat.  Make sure you get it yourself because it is delicious and will not always be available.  Despite the meat making inroads into American cuisine, it is still difficult to find, so snatch it up while you can. 

Goat is a mainstay of Greek, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean diets, and is lower in fat than both chicken and beef while containing more iron than both.  The chops I found came bone-in and, in comparison to $5.29 a pound for chicken breasts, were reasonably priced at $3.49 a pound.  Goat meat needs to be cooked low and slow, and marinated beforehand to cut down on the gamey flavor.  Here's what I did to mine:

Defrost and cut into bite-sized pieces, removing the bones.
Place meat in a bowl with 1/2 cup lemon juice, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Add 1 tablespoon of curry if you'd like it spicy.
Marinate at least two hours, overnight is better.
Remove the meat and reserve the marinade.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan until shimmering, add the meat and brown on all sides.
Place meat in slow cooker along with reserved marinade, 1 cup apple sauce, and one chopped tomato.
Cook on the low setting for 8 hours or on the high setting for four hours.
Serve with rice or noodles.

Goat tastes a lot like venison or lamb, only muskier, with an aroma to match -- the house smelled strongly like cooked meat for a few days.  The dish tasted wonderful, though, and something I would gladly prepare and eat again.  You, too, should take the opportunity to try something new.  Go get your goat!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Taste of Iraq

This past weekend I took a cooking lesson.  From time to time, my mother suggests that I take a cooking lesson with her for fun.  I usually beg off because the lesson duplicates something I paid the big bucks to learn in culinary school.  But when she suggested we go to a cooking demonstration by her new and dear friend Taghreed, I quickly agreed. 

Taghreed, along with her husband and three children, has recently moved to this country from Iraq.  They suffered terrible persecution there, fled to Syria, and are now in the process of becoming American citizens.  Because they are being sponsored by my mother's church, Mom is very involved in getting them settled and has become very close to the family.  In their first few months here, my mother spoke of them so fondly that I was eager to meet them and invited them to my house to dinner.  Taghreed and her husband were lovely guests; their children sweet and shy.  I served chicken curry and hoped that it tasted a little like home.

I have not seen them much since that dinner, but upon entering their home for the lesson this past Saturday, I was greeted as if we were the oldest of friends.  After a tour of their house, insisted upon by the children, each eager to show off their bedrooms in turn, I settled in with the other 19 or so students and watched Taghreed cook us a feast. 

She first made Tepsi of Chicken (below, right), which is a simple yet elegant dish made of skin-on chicken drumsticks and thighs roasted at 400 degrees over onions, potatoes, and carrots that have been tossed with cumin, curry, nutmeg, and garlic.  Lemon juice and vinegar are poured into the roasting pan and give the vegetables a wonderful tang.  They come out soft and delicious, having been basted with the chicken drippings throughout the cooking process.

While that was in the oven, she made Birianni, (above, left) which she said was a holiday dish, meant to serve a lot of people at a party.  It consists of a layer of spiced rice with ground meat (in this case beef) mixed vegetables, potatoes, nuts and raisins on top.  The rice has browned vermicelli mixed in and cooks with cinnamon, cardamom, and garlic.  It is delicious.  I wonder, and should have asked, if she ever mixes the raisins in with the rice or even the meat, so that they plump and add their sweetness to the dish during cooking rather than at the end.  When I make this, I will try adding the raisins earlier.

Finally, Taghreed made a gorgeous salad of lettuce, red cabbage, green cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, and pomegranate seeds, which was tossed with a light coating of dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar.  It was refreshing and a perfect compliment to the spiced dishes.

After she was finished cooking, it was time to eat!  Everything was wonderful, and I led the charge back for seconds.  It was also Taghreed's birthday, so there were two American-sized cakes (read: huge) there to help celebrate.

While some ladies joked that this was a "busman's holiday" for me, I truly enjoyed myself.  If it weren't for some klutz (me) dropping and shattering a glass of soda all over the floor, it would have been a perfect day!  It was a great pleasure for me to get a little taste of Iraq right here in my own neighborhood. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hudson River Valley

This past weekend my husband watched the kids while I met up with some girlfriends from college in the Hudson River Valley.  We ate, we drank, we laughed.  It was a wonderful weekend.

We arrived Saturday and after a tour of FDR's house, we had dinner at the Culinary Institute of America.  The large and beautiful campus boasts six award winning restaurants open to the public, and we chose The American Bounty.  It is completely run by the students, and tip is included in your bill.  My girlfriends were nervous about eating there -- like a haircut from a beauty school, you could end up with something pretty terrible -- but I was excited.

To start, I ordered the seared foie gras.  No matter where I am, if foie gras is on the menu, I order it.  Mostly because it is one of my absolute favorites, but I also like to support and applaud the chef and establishment for not folding under the PETA protest pressure. The CIA served it atop a gingerbread cake with candied kumquats and berry preserves.  Delicious.  The gals were squeamish and wouldn't taste it, but although I offered, I would prefer to have all of it to myself anyway.

For dinner, I ordered the duck leg.  It was cooked perfectly and served atop soft onions and spinach in a divine curry sauce garnished with whole almonds.  They also put a bit of mango salsa on the duck, which I imagine was an attempt to cut the greasy attributes of the duck, but it seemed unnecessary and could have been left off.

One of my friends ordered the chicken, which came with carrot puree and braised red cabbage.  I adore sweet and sour red cabbage, so I begged a taste off of her plate.  It was disappointing, as was the carrot puree, which tasted more like orange colored bland mashed potatoes.  My other friend ordered the scallops with chanterelles, wide noodles, and meyer lemon broth.  It looked wonderful, and she liked it very much but I didn't taste it as I have a mushroom allergy.

We took a picture, but it was at the end of the main course, so all you can see (moving clockwise from 9:00) is the fairly untouched chicken and sides, duck bone and delicious curry sauce remnants, and the empty scallop bowl hiding behind the water glass.

For dessert, we ordered the warm apple tart to share.  The pastry crust was a little mushy, but the apples and ice cream were nice.  The whiskey sauce really knocked your socks off!  It felt like taking a straight shot of the stuff.  With wine and the included service charge, it cost us each about $55.  I thought it was worth it, and enjoyed my meal very much.  The student servers were attentive and it was truly a fine dining experience.

On Sunday we found two wineries that were open and went in for tastings.  Benmarl, our first stop, was originally founded by someone with connections to Chadds Ford Winery here in the Philadelphia area.  It has since sold, but they still use local NY grapes as well as California grapes to make their wines.  Their tasting cost $8 for six wines, but the nice older gentleman doing the pouring said that six wasn't really a hard and fast rule.  I enjoyed their Traminette, a local white that is reminiscent of a dry Riesling, and took home a bottle for $15.

After Benmarl, we went to Stoutridge, the only unprocessed winery in the country.   The $5 tasting included a take-home glass, five wine pours and a bonus pour when my friend showed interest in the blush.  The owner spent about 45 minutes with us, telling us all about his mission, his method, and how the winery was built to be sustainable with a low carbon footprint.  He buys his grapes locally, doesn't process out the pectins and proteins, and doesn't add sulfites.  His production method does make the wine taste incredible, light, and fresh, and gives it a long shelf life (about 10 years for the average white) but it doesn't allow him to ship it or sell it in stores.  The heat on the truck ride would damage the pectins and proteins and ruin the wine, which means that if you want Stoutridge wine, you must go to the tasting room.  I picked up a bottle of Heritage Red (a blend of local red grapes) and Seyval Blanc (a local white grape) for about $20 each bottle. 

After all our wine tasting, it was time for football playoffs.  My Eagles were out last week, but my friend from Boston still had hopes that the favored Patriots and their Ugg endorsing quarterback would easily move on.  So, deep in Jets territory, we ventured out for a TV and a bite to eat.  We found seats at the bar of the Raccoon Saloon and watched the New Yorkers all around us cheer their team to victory.  It was a good thing the burgers were awesome.

The petite burger, which at 8oz is the smaller portion of the "regular" 12oz burger on the menu.  I added blue cheese and sauteed onions and it was amazing.  The french fries came with housemade ketchup -- the first condiment of which I have ever ordered seconds.

All too soon, it was time to leave behind our oasis of girl talk and memories of the good old carefree college days.  As I packed up in the dark early morning hours to drive home, I wished that the Buttermilk Falls Inn, our lovely bed and breakfast, had their spread out just a little earlier so that I could take one (or five) of their delicious cranberry scones with me for the road.  Alas, it was just me and my pleasant new memories of a great weekend, driving south refreshed and eager to be back with my family.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pepper Pot Soup

We went to our local library this week and, as always, I gave my 2 1/2 year old son free reign to pick any three books he wants from the children's section.  I was so pleased when he chose, along with one book about Santa and one book about construction vehicles, a Caribbean cookbook.  

Cooking the Caribbean Way by Cheryl Davidson Kaufman is part of a youth literature series which includes Cooking the Vietnamese Way, Cooking the Australian Way, and Cooking the Israeli Way, just to mention a few.  Ms. Kaufman is from Jamaica, so I assume the recipes are authentic.  The introduction includes a glossary of cooking terms, some history on the islands, and even a page devoted to working with whole coconut!

The Soups and Stews section has two recipes named Pepper Pot -- one for soup and one for stew.  I adapted and combined these two recipes, due to my ingredient availability, my son's skill level, and taste.  When I followed the recipe for the soup it tasted heavy and earthy.  I felt like it needed an acid to brighten it, so I used the vinegar that was called for in the stew recipe.  To cut the sharpness of the vinegar, I added molasses, also called for in the stew recipe.  These small adaptation didn't alter it visually -- I came up with something that looks a lot like the picture of Pepper Pot soup on the book cover -- but I liked the way the vinegar and molasses affected the flavor.

6 cups of water
1 lb beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can kale
1 can okra
1 lb frozen chopped spinach
1 diced onion 
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 pinch dried thyme
1 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 can coconut milk
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
2 T molasses
salt and pepper to taste

Combine water, meat, kale, okra, spinach, onion, garlic, and sweet potato in a large pot.
Bring to a boil and simmer one to two hours.
Stir in remaining ingredients.

My son had a lot of fun dumping the fresh, canned, and frozen vegetables into the pot, and I felt perfectly comfortable allowing him to do so because it was off the heat.  Just watch for sharp can edges!  Once all of "his" ingredients were in the pot, I added the water and raw meat and placed it on the stove.  We washed up, and played for the next hour and a half.  I added the last ingredients and finished it off.  A perfect taste of the islands on a cold winter day.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I love German food.  I love tangy sauerbraten, crispy skinned wursts, homemade spatzle noodles, cold cucumber salad with dill, and warm potato salad with bacon.  I enjoy German food throughout the fall and winter, as it is pretty hearty and heavy, and sauerkraut is one of my favorites.

Sauerkraut comes from the German for "sour herb" and is shredded cabbage that has been pickled.  Lactic acid works on the sugar in the cabbage and makes it sour.  This process gives it a long shelf life and may actually increase the amount of anti-cancer agents in the cabbage. 

A lot of people in Pennsylvania eat pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day in accordance with the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of ensuring good luck and wealth.  Pennsylvania "Dutch" is a misunderstanding of Pennsylvania "Deutsch" -- the German word for being German -- rather than an indication that the local people are from the Netherlands.  Large amounts of people from Germany settled in Eastern and South Central Pennsylvania and, to this day, retain much of their own culture, agricultural practices, and dietary choices.

While my family is not Pennsylvania Dutch, we also maintain much of our German heritage through food.  Like many other traditional family dishes, no two sauerkrauts are the same.  My mother's is different from my grandmother's (who is so German we call her Oma), and both recipes are different from my own.

My Oma heats oil in a pot on the stove, and sautes sliced onion, sliced carrot, canned sauerkraut and shredded apple.  She adds a little water, caraway seeds, a bay leaf, a grated potato, and some extra shredded green cabbage and brings it to a boil on the stove.  Oma only cooks it for 30 minutes to retain the texture.  Then she heats up the accompanying sausage in the sauerkraut, letting their juices get into the mix.  The result is a tangy and slightly crunchy sauerkraut best eaten with the wursts within.

My mother, who is Romanian and Scottish, grew up eating sauerkraut mixed in with stuffed cabbage -- delicious, and, in my opinion, the best way to make stuffed cabbage.  For plain sauerkraut, she has adapted Julia Child's recipe into what my husband calls "his favorite sauerkraut."  She uses bagged sauerkraut and mixes it with a whole stick of melted butter and sliced carrots and onions in a dutch oven.  Then she covers it with half chicken broth and half apple cider and bakes it at 325 for hours and hours.  The result is a very buttery, soft and smooth sauerkraut best eaten with a pork roast.

My recipe starts with bacon fat, rendered from four or five strips that are set aside to mix in at the end.  Into the bacon fat goes sliced onion and a chopped apple.  When these have softened, I add rinsed canned sauerkraut, a few peppercorns, a bay leaf, a tablespoon of brown sugar and chicken broth to cover,  I simmer this on the stove for at least an hour, adding more liquid if necessary.  When it is time to eat, remove the bay leaf and add the bacon, crumbled.  The result is a tangy but sweet sauerkraut that can be eaten with any pork product -- loin, roast, chops, or sausages. 

I adore sauerkraut; I love the way its aroma fills the house, how its sour and sweet flavors meld, and the wonderful way it pairs with pork.  I know this leaves me in the minority.  We have friends who live in Northern Germany who are quick to remind me that not even all Germans love sauerkraut!  When New Years Day rolls around in Pennsylvania, though, it is almost guaranteed that someone will make sauerkraut.  And I, for one, will have a happy New Year because of it.

P.S. If you are still not sold on sauerkraut, even on New Years Day, a culinary school classmate and friend of mine has a blog about food and recently wrote about food traditionally eaten on New Years Day.  (You can read it here.)  Her recipe sounds delicious, and sauerkraut doesn't make her list.