With nine people in the family, dinners around the dining table were cozy.
Sad thing is, that isn't necessarily a good thing when seven of those people are engaged in sibling rivalry and a misplaced elbow can signal the start of the next world war.
So after Christmas, Scott got started on building us a new table top (he says we built the table, but really all I did was help lift it a few times and apply some of the finish).
He had to dismantle the old table, and for little while we lived on sandwiches eaten off of plastic plates in front of the TV. At the end of the week, the kids groaned at another finger food meal and said they missed the vegetables and the nightly blessing.
When the table was finally ready, I made a special sit down meal as per the kids' request. Sausage and sauerkraut is also a fairly traditional meal made to celebrate the new year.
Sausage and sauerkraut
1 lb. bratwurst, cut in half
1 lb. beef kielbasa, cut in chunks
4 small packages sauerkraut
1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1 T caraway seeds (3 tsp.), lightly crushed
In the bottom of a crock pot, spread one bag of kraut. Top with 1/3 sausage, 1 bag of kraut, 1 tsp. seeds, 1/3 onion and apple. Repeat layers, ending with kraut. Add beer. Set crock to high, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked through, about six hours.
Serve with beer bread, sauteed onions and buttered egg noodles.