Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ostfriesen Annual Tea Party, MN-style

Where I went and What I did
Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 2 p.m.
O.G.S.A.’S Annual Tea PartyGerman-American Institute
301 Summit Avenue St. Paul, MN

here I am in the Ladies Salon

 A lamp in the Ladies Salon.

Sorry you missed it! Oops, I sent this out after I went. It was a great time, in a unique way. I learned more about my Ostfriesen heritage, a region in Germany, and how to drink tea "their" way. It was held in a beautiful building.

Everyone has their own way, it's like a Reeese's Peanut Butter Cup. As long as you don't have a peanut allergy, you have your own way to eat it. I just eat it without any fancy dissection process, and then reach for the next to do the same..

This is a fancy tea bag remover. 

So Tea, It's a special, authentic, Ostfriesen tea, and it's just right. It looks reddish, perhaps it is a roobios, but I am not sure. It's not spicy, and it's not very bitter, especially when you drink it the right way. 

The Right Way to Drink Ostfriesen Tea

1. Start with a lovely tea cup
2. Have Lubbert, as your tea brewer, seriously, he wouldn't let any of the ladies help he knew just how to do it in a huge pot with countless tea bags for this moderately large event
3. Find enjoyable tea-drinking companions, My Dad invited me, I eagerly obliged to attend
4. Start with kluntje, a mind-blowingly large clump of sugar (this is important, decline this step and you will miss the tea show to follow)
5. Place kluntje in your attractive tea cup with the kluntje server/pretty tongs
6. Pour exceedingly hot tea upon the kluntje and listen carefully for the crackle sound (this is like a cross between cracking the sugar on a creme brulee ala the movie Amelie, or eating Rice Krispies and hearing the snap-crackle-pop! sound
7. Now, gently and delicately trickle a trace of cream (full-fat, please) down the very edge of the inside of your tea cup
8. If done correctly a beautiful "flower" of cream will appear as it softly rises to the surface of your cup
9. Imbibe and Enjoy, listening to the scintillating German traditions of food and drink like,

I sat at the table of Erika, storeowner of a German Store, located in Prior Lake, MN. Head on over to her store to check out the countless German items there, like tea, and a sugar cone flambe style creation you can make in your home for the holidays. How unique for the hostess that has everything!

I couldn't believe this. They take spiced wine, and upon a silver dish akin to a butter plate-base, a cone of sugar sits. A cone of solid sugar, similar to the size of a sno-cone minus the heaped top. This is an actual sugar cone, it sells for $7.55 I think it says. Then, a bottle of 50% alcohol rum is poured onto the sugar and it is lit. I was told it creates a cozy romantic blue flame as the sugar drips into the spiced wine at the bottom. I naively asked, "Do you drink it?" "Of Course we drink it!" she said. Wow, was all I could think. You can buy the cone and the silver dish at her store. It would be fun to try and watch the light show. 

While at the tea event, a silent Power Point of German markets showed. There was a mysterious picture of a plate of food that looked like chocolate pancakes with red kielbasa slices in it. I had to ask a few there until I could get an identity for it. It was called, Specken Dicken. I was told it was a combination of rye flour and other flours, anise, melted candies, dark syrup, and bacon or bologna. Wow! I do have to admit I wanted to try it- as I will try anything once! Here's a recipe.

If you want to visit, come for their German breakfast, from 9-12 on Saturdays, for about $8/person.