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We're in an Oktoberfest frame of mind here at Camp See No Deer with this refreshing autumn weather that has bucks and does on the move.

The tree stands are in place now that archery deer season has opened. Our hunting fever rises a degree each time fall color turns up on a new leaf.

Maybe a miracle will happen and one of us hunters will bring some fresh venison to the cabin for a real Oktoberfest feast. Until then, we'll stick with tradition and grill up some sizzling brats served with our favorite German potato salad side dish.

We camp cookies are lean on cuisine, so if we can whip up this special potato salad treat, you know it's easy to make. I like making this particular German potato salad because the recipe came from my dear mom, the late Jean Putthoff. I've jazzed it up with a little tweaking, but it's mostly like mom used to make.

Break out the Oktoberfest polka music and do a little dance while mixing up the ingredients. Soon you'll sing the praises of this tasty German potato salad. Here's how we fix it here at Camp See No Deer. This recipe makes three or four servings, so you may want to double the amounts.

Cut up three average size baking potatoes into bite-sized chunks and boil them until they're soft and cooked through. We like to use Yukon Gold potatoes, which we don't peel.

Drain the potatoes. Pour about one-quarter cup of vinegar over the cooked potatoes and stir. Use red or white vinegar or any kind you like. Add more vinegar or less, depending on your taste for vinegar. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Fry a few strips of bacon and save at least a tablespoon of bacon grease. Peel and slice two hard-boiled eggs. For German potato salad, we really prefer eggs that aren't totally hard boiled, with the yolks still a little on the soft side. Rare hard boiled eggs, you might say. That gives this potato salad a nice texture. But hard-boiled eggs work fine.

Break the cooked bacon into bit-sized pieces. Dice a handful of onion, more or less if you desire. Saute the onion or use it raw. Chop up a half-stalk of celery. If celery or onions aren't your thing, leave them out. You could substitute chopped bell pepper or other crisp veggies. My dad was crazy about turnips and liked chopped turnips in any kind of salad.

Mix all the ingredients, including the bacon grease, together in a large bowl and stir. Keep mixing until the hard-boiled eggs are broken into pieces.

Now proudly serve your German potato salad and bask in the compliments. Serve it hot if you can, but it's great cold, too.

Brats go with German potato salad like red beans go with rice. Bratwurst available at the grocery store tastes fine indeed. For some brat adventure, check with your neighborhood meat market to see if they make their own fresh brats. Theirs may be the best bratwurst you'll ever taste.

Grilled brats served with buttered corn on the cob and German potato salad is one delicious Oktoberfest treat that's tasty any time of year. At Camp See No Deer, we'll tie on an apron, but skip the camouflage lederhosen.

Flip Putthoff can be reached at [email protected]

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