Last Barbeque of the Year : Having our own Little Oktoberfest

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Although this happened a couple of weeks ago now, I can’t let the last barbeque of the year slip by without documenting it here.

At the beginning of the summer we told ourselves that this would be the year that we headed west of the city for an hour or so drive over to a town called Kitchener, where we have heard they hold an Oktoberfest celebration that is really something to behold. It is touted as ‘Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival’ on their website, and I have been hearing about it pretty well my whole life, but have never been.

When it rolled around in mid-October we talked about our plans. Did we still want to go? We weighed the pros and cons. Sure it would be fun but (a) it would require spending money on a hotel room because there would be drinking involved, (b) it was bound to be very crowded, (c) it looked to be a family type of affair.

On the plus side, I would get a chance to see men doing the German slap dance while wearing lederhosen. (The Schuhplattler < 15 second video) And there would be beer, but it's not necessary to travel for that as we have some of the best brewed right here in Toronto. Then there was the food. I grew up going camping with my family every summer, and this involved barbequed dinners. One particular thing that left a lasting impression was a perfectly cooked Bratwurst Sausage on a bun. I hadn't had one since I was a kid and had a hankering. I was curious to know if my memory was playing games with me, or if those things are really as delicious as I remembered.So instead of going all the way to Kitchener we decided that most of our plus-side reasons for going to Oktoberfest could be enjoyed right here at home.The rendition of the Slap Dance that Nick performed for me was better than anything I could have seen there. He lived in Germany when he was a child and it turns out that he is quite familiar with this dance, so he did his version for me. While there were no lederhosen, it did come with the added bonus of giving me that little tidbit stored in my memory bank to conger up whenever I choose. As they say, 'Things cannot be unseen' and that hilarious little jig is with me for good.The fulfillment of our own Oktoberfest did involve getting in the car though, but only to go so far as the nearby suburb of Etobicoke, to a place called European Quality Meats and Sausages.

This traditional style shop was a mainstay in the market we regularly go to (Kensington) for more than 50 years until it closed down last year. It was a bustling old-fashioned place where you had to take a number when you entered and placed your order with the ladies behind the counter.

When they closed shop there was a sign in the window that said their outlet in Etobicoke would remain open so we went there for our sausage. Strangely located in an industrial park full of twisting roads and low-rise warehouses, I’m happy to say that this location is equally as charming as was the one in Kensington.

They had a wide choice of homemade sausages but of course we were there for Bratwurst, so we got four of those, along with some brown mustard, sauerkraut, and pickles. As an afterthought we grabbed a bag of shrimp from their freezer section.

And so it was that we had Bratwurst on a Bun for the last barbeque of this year.

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It was just on the side of being too cool to eat outside so we ate indoors.

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It was a very good treat and nicely satisfied a craving.

The leftovers were used the next day to make a tasty pasta, mixed with olive oil and goats cheese.

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Oh and I didn’t end up drinking beer for our Oktoberfest at home. Rather I had what turned out to be the last white wine spritzer to be enjoyed outside in 2013.

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Now the time has come to cover up our outdoor furniture and pack away our beloved outdoor room for the winter. It really is one of my favourite places and I will miss those afternoons spent in my comfortable chair reading while birds flit about the trees and squirrels chase each other around.

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