Father’s Day gifts needn’t be difficult to find. Just remember the old adage, “The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Even for wizened dads this remains true. Last week when I asked my dad what gift he wanted for Father’s Day, he replied, “Bratwursts“. And here I’d thought bacon was my dad’s favorite Father’s Day gift. I’d been giving him specialty bacon because mom wouldn’t give it to him. But she died first, so now he gets whatever meat he wants.
And dad asked for bratwursts. So how to cook bratwursts? Turns out, Wisconsinites have lots of bratwurst recipes. Perhaps too many. Could take a whole lifetime to try them all. But keep reading for some of Wisconsin’s favorites. They were written by Wisconsin gourmet chefs and people who earn their living making bratwursts.
Eating grilled bratwursts on Labor Day weekend has been a Madison, Wisconsin tradition at least since 1983 when the first Bratfest charity fund-raiser took place in Hilldale’s Metcalfe Sentry parking lot. In the 80’s and 90’s, the three-day bratfest was held twice a year, – over Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Thus, Bratfest signified Madison’s start and finish of our all too brief, Wisconsin summer. The charity event grew so popular it recently had to be relocated to the spacious grounds of Madison’s Alliant Energy Center. Kid games and carnival rides joined the live bands and brats to make Bratfest a hugely successful festival. But making A LOT of something great takes A LOT of behind-the scenes work, -too much work in fact to do twice a year. So now Bratfest only rings in the summer on Memorial Day. If Wisconsinites want to party with their bratwursts they have to throw their own end-of-summer bashes. And that’s just what we do.
Our family kicked-off Labor Day weekend early. Last night we grilled Klement’s bratwursts. Yes, this is the brand of brats served at the 2008 Super Bowl. Our Green Bay Packers didn’t make it to Gillete Stadium, but our brats did! Recipes and methods for cooking bratwursts abound. And I chose the recipe out of the cookbook Drink Your Beer and Eat It Too! Click on “Continued reading…” for the recipe.
It’s official! – SUMMER STARTS TODAY!
WISCONSIN CELEBRATES MEMORIAL DAY BY GRILLING BRATWURSTS TO SUPPPORT WISCONSIN CHARITIES!
(Yes, your southern Wisconsin thermometer only read 49 degrees this morning. So what? – mercury is hazadous and close contact should be avoided.) Instead, HEED THE REAL SIGN OF SUMMER: BRAT FEST! The world’s largest bratwurst festival STARTS TODAY – in Madison, Wisconsin! Beginning at 11:00 am, Friday, May 23 and going through Memorial Day, Wisconsinites and their neighbors will support Wisconsin charities by consuming as many bratwursts as possible! Every $1.50 brat consumed sends money to numerous local charities.
So buy a bag of brats and slap on the condiments.
(You know you’re in Wisconsin when the keepers of the condiment bars have to keep re-stocking the sauerkraut!)
Not everyone in the family wants a brat? – No problem. Hot dogs and Boca Vegetarian brats are $1.50 also. And of course there will be plenty of Capitol Brewery beer and soda to wash all that good food down.
Madison’s bratwurst festival has grown since it began in the Metcalfe Sentry parking lot at the Hilldale Mall. Now, spreading out on the Alliant Energy Center grounds, the bratwurst grills and picnic tables are surrounded by games and rides for the kids, and stages for live music acts.
Come join the fun and help your neighbors too!
.Click on ‘continue reading’ for more pics of the fair.