by Richard J. Baumann

In my 1st column this month I pointed out that
“Earth Day” was on Wednesday, April 22. And what
better way to celebrate than to have a “fry”. So here
are some suggestions for that occasion:
Get your favorite choice of brats and get your
choice of rolls but by all means smother that brat
with some of these:

(Note: You can make these days in advance
and then just re-heat when needed—
these have to simmer and can’t be rushed,
so follow the times indicated.)
Ingredients: 4 to 6 medium onions, sliced into
rings, 1/2 to 1 stick butter
Procedure: Melt butter in 10 to 12 inch skillet.
Place onion rings in melted butter and cover.
Simmer at medium heat for about an hour. Reduce
heat to low and allow to simmer at least 2 more
hours, stirring occasionally. Toward the end the
onions should be limp and yellowish and cover may
be removed to reduce some of the moisture and
make the onions even more golden brown. Allow to
summer about 20 minutes more. Serve immediately
or allow to cool and reheat when ready to use.

Here’s a different take on preparing brats—this
version always gets raves.
3 # uncooked brats, cut into 1/2 inch slices
(Tip: Easiest to cut when partially frozen)
1 can (28 oz) sauerkraut (do not drain)
1/2 cup brown sugar
Procedure: Saute brat slices (do not have to
be cooked thoroughly), drain off any grease, add
sauerkraut with its juice. Let sit a couple of hours—
overnight is best. Add sugar and simmer 4 to 6
hours—stir occasionally. Serve with toothpicks or
spoon out on plate.

Not everyone is obsessed with brats so try this:
(note: The original Coney Island New York hot

dogs were served without sauce
but as their popularity spread
the rest of the country acquired a
variety of condiments and finally
a sauce evolved and this is the authentic, original
Ingredients: 1 # ground chuck, 1 medium onion
chopped, 3 TBL chili powder, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp dried
oregano, 3/4 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp red pepper
flakes, 2 cups water, 1 small can tomato sauce
(optional) and grated cheddar cheese (optional)
Procedure: Brown meat and onions, drain off any
grease, add the next five ingredients and mix well,
add water and simmer 1 hour, tomato sauce may be
added before serving. Spoon over hot dogs and top
with the grated cheese.

So what do you have with brats or hot dogs? Beer,
of course! These are good with either or, for that
matter, with anything else.
Ingredients: 1 cup beer, 1 cup raisins, 1 stick
softened butter, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 2 large
eggs, 2 cups all- purpose flour, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1
tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp
almond extract, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup
grated coconut
Procedure: Cook raisins in beer for a few minutes
to plump them. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the
liquid. Add 1 egg at a time and beat well. Stir together
flour, allspice, baking soda, salt and mix in batter
and gradually add reserved beer, a little at a time.
Add vanilla and almond extracts, raisins, walnuts
and coconut and mix thoroughly. Drop spoonfuls
about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake
350 for about 12 to 15 minutes until light brown.

I think any of the above will get your summer
season off to a delicious beginning. Oh, ya, all these
recipes are in my new book FOODS THAT MADE
WISCONSIN FAMOUS, 2nd edition. Available
through Amazon, Nook or Kindle or contact me

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