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Busch Gardens 40th Anniversary Approaches!


Spring is almost here and so is the opening of Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  The park opened May 16, 1975 to a huge crowd.  This year will be no different.

With a new coaster premier, more additions to the Food & Wine Festival, and a new show in the Festhaus, there will be plenty to draw people of all ages back for another year of fun.

In honor of providing us with 40 years of traditions and wonderful memories, I would like to post an amazing find that Gary Terrell has shared on the BGW Memories Facebook Page.  It is a preview brochure that advertises Busch Gardens in 1974 and features some stunning conceptual art.

This year I look forward to seeing the park evolve and also seeing it reflect on the past history.  40 Years is certainly something to celebrate!

Without further ado~  The brochure.


Front Cover


Front Insert


Back Page


Inside Information

Inside Information


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The Entertainer


Growing up I was a competitive roller skater.  My mom used to drive us out to practice six days a week with us doing our homework in the car while cramming in an after school dinner.  Twelve years of my life went to lessons, dance classes, and choreography.  At the end of it all, I wasn’t able to go to the Olympics, get a scholarship, be a paid professional, or even have my face on a Wheatie’s Box.  Roller skating never did anything more than to give me the ability to enjoy dance and various rhythmic styles.


You know what though… I’m Ok with that.   I learned to dance like no one was watching. 

Skating led me to appreciate all forms of musical performances.  As a kid I knew all the lyrics and choreography in musicals such as Cats, Annie, and Phantom of the Opera.   It is only natural that when I am Busch Gardens, I get to reconnect to that little part of my life again.

In my heart I sing along and dance with those on stage.  Inside I sing like no one is listening.   



Since my life has made it more difficult to ride rides like I used to, I find that I now gravitate more to the various shows at Busch Gardens.  Luckily, the park offers more than thrilling coasters.

Despite the lady that ran the red light and changed my life, it’s helped me to love like I was never hurt.


Performing in Drama.

So you see, this has brought me to reflect on the “theme park” entertainment profession in a deeper, more artistic level.  For example: What kind of person spends their days practicing and going through a mountain of trials, just to get to be on stage at a theme park?

My educated guess:

Years of training, tons of auditions, call-backs, failures, successes, and then working a bunch of crazy hours in extreme conditions with an unknown rehiring status; all for a few months out in the spot light with a mere hope of the crowd appreciates what they do.  No matter what, they perform like it’s heaven on earth.”

Musicians, singers, dancers, technicians, and stage hands have to work hard as a team to pull it all together.  It takes fast learning to pull off learning the lyrics, choreography, lighting and sound cues, all within a few weeks before putting it all out in front of a packed theater.  The competition is tough and the stakes are high.  The directors, producers, and stage managers have an ever watchful eye; mostly for mistakes.


Yet, I look back to my life with all of those tedious hours of skating; my coach barking “Arch your back, point your toes, head up, one-to-three, on-two-three! AGAIN!! AGAIN!!”

It was like Abbey Lee Miller on Roller Skates.  Much of it was rather tough for a kid my age but I honestly loved every minute of it.   If you asked me now: “Do you want to go skating?”  My answer will always be yes!  It is in my blood forever.

Me Roller Skating Now

Me Roller Skating Now

You see, the people out there put themselves through this daily grind for the dream of it all.  To make a living using what they love more in life.  It is noble.  It is inspiring and I wish from the bottom of my heart, that they all make it big.

I’ve spoken too many of the performers from various decades.  They all share similar stories of “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”  The job is hard.  No matter how talented, young, or nimble you are, the schedules are grueling.  Don’t forget that any profession has its fair share of politics and drama as well.  I’m sure there is a TV spin-off that is just waiting to be made.

I’ve never  performed at any theme park, but I imagine it is much like skating was.  You work all year for a single performance (aka audition or competition) to either:   1) blow the judges away or  2) just go home with your tail between your legs.   Either one opens the door for even more psychological drama.  Even if you win… the pressure is on!

For example: I once ran across an old guide for entertainers back in the Old Country days.  It was for a street performer and it was for a complete improve role in the 1980s.  In a very “round about way” the job was summed up to this possibility:  Congratulations for making it.  Expect to be heckled and ridiculed, worst yet… ignored!   Any stand up comedian, dancer, or performer will tell you this is so true no matter where or when they work somewhere out in the public.

I’ve witnessed the last one first hand.

In France, I watched these extremely talented musicians out playing for the crowds.  People began walking in front of standing audience instead of going through the obvious pathway because they could care less.

The Village Band of Aquitaine is also the band that serenades you on the River Cruise!

The Village Band of Aquitaine is also the band that serenades you on the River Cruise!

There is also that awkward stare of “Whaaa?”  And then they kind of shuffle off like the sight of a guitar is something never seen in this world.  There is also the occasional (thankfully rare) individual that shouts out a rude comment now and then.  Just like the booklet from the 80s said, it is all part of the game.

However I see that most people, regardless to how long they did stay, pause, listen, and smile before moving on.  There are also those that sit and remain for the whole performance.  That of course, is what keeps those in the field going.  That mutual respect of performer and the audience.  God bless them.

My hope is that this little story may change a few minds about those on stage working hard for your applause and praise.  They pull on those hot, sweaty costumes every day to showcase their talents in hopes to forward them in life and to have that glorious sound of applause.

Even if you don’t like a show, consider it like going to a restaurant where you may have a bad meal, but the server is good.  Tip the server!  If the performers are out there giving 100%, even if you find the show droll, clap after they are done; don’t be shy.  I promise they won’t bite!  All of their hard work in life has led up to this moment of entertaining you.  In fact, those working behind the counters and rides that smile and wish you a great day, even when the weather is miserable, are doing it for you as well.

Just remember that if you see something that makes you want to clap and sway in your chair:

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

Oh, and some applause would be nice.

Love this show!

Love this show!



The Creatures of the Night dance the night away.

The Creatures of the Night dance the night away.


Tis’ the Season to be Jolly! Christmas Town 2013


While turkey leftovers are still in the fridge and families are together, many will set out to enjoy the joy of Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  Already reaching the fifth year, Christmas Town has firmly established a yearly tradition for most of us.  Every year the event brings friends, families, and even complete strangers together to celebrate the season with lights, fun, food, music, inspiration, and entertainment.

When Christmas Town opened on November 27, 2009; I was there; ready to go and see what Busch Gardens had to offer!  Through the crowds I navigated with my brown coat and fuzzy earmuffs, bedazzled by decorations and the smell of hot cocoa and peppermint in the air!  The Christmas music playing in the park gave me the warm fuzzies as I held my husband’s hand and just took the time to enjoy a lovely moment in time.

Opening Day 2009

Opening Day 2009

I am glad to know that five years later, I still have that warm fuzzy feeling at Christmas Town.  This year the grand opening of the event was the weekend before Thanksgiving; a smart move on the part of Busch Gardens.

Having the event begin a week before the Thanksgiving weekend is brilliant when it comes to efficiency; performers get a little extra practice, retail shops make sure the registers are up and running, the rides operators are getting used to the cold, and the entire park gets a “test run” before a huge crowd lines up to enter the park after the Holidays.

I decided to go on both Friday and Sunday in order to capture all I could before the Holiday rush and to provide an overview of the ChristmasTown experience.  Laughably and in typical Virginia fashion, one day the temperatures reached into the 70s the other, the 30s.  Yet despite the temperature fluctuations, my experience remained the same on both days. For your enjoyment, here is an overview of what I consider the must see points of interest while visiting ChristmasTown this year.

What’s New?

This year France sparkles with a new look of silver and violet.  The theme is the 12 Days of Christmas and the first thing one sees upon entering is a very large and beautiful tree with the numbers and corresponding “gift” for each day.

The 12 Days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas

Also new in France is the roaming Royals of Aquitaine.  Her Majesty Queen Florette, His Majesty King Francois, and their court Jester Harlequin loves to greet you and pose for a photo.  The performers are fabulous and their improvisational humor will be sure to make wonderful memories for years to come.

The Royals of Aquitaine are a must see!!!

The Royals of Aquitaine are a must see!!!

Besides seeing the Royals, France offers a fabulous gift shop full of French themed merchandise, soap, and what else- wine!  Le Belle Maison Gift Shop hosts one of the three locations in the park where guests can partake in wine tastings.  The store sells the wine tasting package, bottles of wine, wine themed merchandise, clothing, jewelry, chocolate, Christmas ornaments, bags, French themed décor, and more.

Wine Tastings in France

Wine Tastings in France

Going past the gift shops and around the Royal Palace Theater is the Ice Palace Penguin exhibit.  The ever popular exhibit features an up close look at the adorable penguins in a themed enclosure.  The park also offers a behind the scenes penguin tour, but be aware that the tour must be purchased and booked in advance.


Here we come a Caroling!

Penguins and Roaming Royals are certainly entertaining, and so are the shows at Busch Gardens.  This year features three returning classic shows:  Gloria!, Deck the Halls, and Miracles.

Located in the Abbey Stone Theater, Gloria! set my holiday off right.  It was the first show I saw this Christmas Town and even though the theater was toasty warm, the beauty and power of the performance gave me chills!  Even the grouchiest humbug will admit that the soaring vocals of the music, accompanied by a live orchestra will make your season bright. The show is extremely popular and if you want a good seat, it is best to get there early.


Over in Oktoberfest Germany, Deck the Halls takes center stage at the historical Festhaus.  The show brings back the classic Holiday Favorites that will get you tapping your toes.  Kids will love the energy and fun of the performance and adults will appreciate the nostalgic flair.  I never tire of seeing Frosty “thumpity-thump-thumping around the stage, but I do wish I could watch the show without singing “Heat Miser” for the rest of the day.


At the San Marco Theater in Italy, Miracles returns to inspire guests with moving music and contemporary dance.  Located outdoors, I am always amazed at how well the performers dance and sing in downright frigid temperatures. They make it seem effortless and their hard work warms the heart and soul.


Unfortunately no times are given for three “roaming” musical performances, but be aware that there are Dicken’s style Christmas Carolers in England, a bagpiper plays in Ireland, and a Brass band performs in Holiday Hills.  The musicians are amazing and if you are lucky, you may run across a performance.


Here Comes Santa Claus!

OK.  I shouldn’t even have to mention it, but anyone wandering through Rhinefeld a.k.a. The North Pole, shouldn’t pass up the chance to see Santa, Mrs. Claus, and all the super cute Elves!  Who cares what decade you were born in, no one is too old to see Santa and the photo op the park offers just screams Holiday Photo 2013!  Even if you are too afraid to see Santa, at least peek into the window and give him a little wave.

IMG_4533   KEfOpor-001


“Please have snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree.”

Christmas is the season for giving, and there are plenty of places to find unique gifts for friends and family at Christmas Town.  The stores are always so beautifully decorated that they become an attraction themselves.  It is hard not to get inspired to go home and put up Christmas Decorations after walking through the gift shops.

Each shop offers guests something different, but a few stand out as being the most unique:

Artisans of Italy:  Here one can purchase authentic Capodimonte Porcelain flowers created on site by master sculptor Nino Galoppo and hand painted by master painter Antonio Aprea.  There are so many lovely choices of flowers; it is hard to choose just one.


Right next door is Bella Casa Gift shop where Italian wines, wine tastings, Italy, and Wine themed merchandise are sold.

German Gifts:  No trip to BuschGardens is complete without a stop to German Gifts.  The store harks back to the days of the “Old Country” era and features traditional authentic gifts from Germany including high quality, hand painted steins and carved wooden cuckoo clocks.  In addition, hand Blown glass sculptures, German themed merchandise, Christmas Décor, Glasses of Glühwein, German Wine, and German wine tastings are also sold here.


Emerald IsleGift shop:  A place to find authentic hand woven Irish sweaters, clothing, Waterford Crystal, and fine jewelry; as well as Ireland and Guinness themed merchandise.


Mistletoe Marketplace: Located in Oktoberfest, this open air market hosts numerous local vendors that offer guests the chance to buy locally made gifts.


These are a Few of My Favorite Things:

Of course there are rides and many other fun things to see.  Lights and decorations are shining in every corner and smiles and laughter are found everywhere.  Here are a few of my favorite things at ChristmasTown:

I never turn down a round trip ride on the train, where treetops glisten along your magical ride around the park.


The Flight of Lights turns the Aeronaut Skyride into a Santa’s Sleigh ride perspective of BuschGardens; alight with twinkling lights and the faint echo of Holiday music reaching every swinging cabin.


The feeling of riding the swings in the cold icy air never fails to make me feel like a kid again.


Sitting down with a bottle of bubbly with friends to toast to what we are thankful for.


Knowing that every time I come out to Christmas Town, memories will be made that will last a lifetime.


There really is so much to see and do around Busch Gardens during Christmas Town, that I could write a book.  Just remember  to take your time and enjoy the atmosphere of all the sights and sounds.    Besides shopping, shows, food, and the rides; Christmas Town is a place to reconnect you to your childhood and to connect the young to their imaginations!

~~Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Festhaus Recipes


How many of you love food served at the Festhaus?  Silly question right?

To those who were not old enough to remember when the park opened in 1975, it may come a surprise to learn that the Festhaus was not officially “there” until 1976.   It also opened with along with the rest of the Oktoberfest section of the park.  Der Marketplatz, Die Autobahn, The Trabant (Der Blitzschneller), Die Schwarze Spinne, Der Wirbelwind, Das Wirbelwindchen, the Arcade, all the skill games, Der Roto Baron, and the Schwartzkopf Wildekatze coaster.

Oktoberfest opens!

Oktoberfest opens!

Oktoberfest was a success for the park and so was the food!

Back in 1979, the park published a cook book that was written by the creative brains behind the Festhaus menu.

Yes.  A cookbook for the Festhaus… the glory of it allin vivid color and text!

Let us take a moment to thank Festhaus Chef Karin Elliot and Velma Wong (pastry chef) in a quiet meditation.  Think of bratwurst with sauerkraut, a side of German potato salad, and a big old slice of German Chocolate Torte cake.

Top Chef Masters

Top Chef Masters

Sadly, this book is no longer in production and chances are that the only place you may run across it is in a used book store or in a thrift shop book bin.  Speaking of, Kelly Sweeney Osato, one of the readers of BGW Memories, found this lovely book in a thrift shop and decided to cook her own “Oktoberfest” Feast right at home.  Even better, she sent in photos of the fruits of her labor.

I bow to her culinary skills!

This is a feast!

This is a feast!

After reading carefully over my own copy of the Festhaus cookbook; I discovered that in order to properly cook traditional German food, the chef must possess a ton of patience and fee time.  Also, the directions can seem vague and difficult to follow.  However, after seeing the results from Kelly’s triumphant Top Chef Victory, I may have to break out the crock pot and skillets.

The finished plate.

The finished plate.

For those daring enough to follow in Kelly’s footsteps: Be aware that many of the ingredients may not be easily found at a grocery store.  You may have to go to a specialty, international grocery store.  Also, cheesecloth and numerous hours of simmering, pickling, and refrigeration are required for many of the dishes.

So, don’t go expecting an instant Festhaus meal in minutes!  Nope. This is hard work; home cooking.  Busch Gardens style….. and it is not for the faint of heart!

The reason I am spending my free time typing out this book, is to  provide everyone the chance to experience this long forgotten treasure.  I plan on making installments to this post with chapters being added every so often.

He's a keeper!

May the spirit of Oktoberfest be with you all!

Ein prosit, ein prosit, der Gemutlichkeit!


Busch Gardens Postcard featuring Bob Bauman.

Spoiler Alert:  I found out why that German Potato Salad is so good; BACON!  Yes, a good ol’ cup of bacon and the grease is simmered to make the sauce.  Even in Germany, bacon always makes things better!
Disclaimer: Please do not email with questions about the recipes and how to cook things.  I really don’t know.  Check Google.  It is a better chef than I am!
I should also mention that I am doing this in the spirit of Busch Gardens fandom and no money is being made by me or anyone that may help me with this little endeavor of mine.  Since the book is no longer in publication, I thought it would be acceptable to share my treasure with you all.

Busch Gardens Festhaus Cookbook


Published for Busch Gradens


Taylor Lewis & Associates



Recipes provided by Festhaus Chef Karin Elliot and Velma Wong, pastry chef. The Old Country

Photographs taken by Taylor Lewis in Germany at The Old Country Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia.

Editor: Joanne Young

Designed by Ahia

Food Stylist, Dora Jonassen

First printing Copyright 1979

By Taylor Lewis & Associates

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America


Oktoberfest opens!

At Busch Gardens Festhaus, every day’s Oktoberfest – the happy season of good food, good fellowship, dancing and song.  In Germany, where Munich’s huge Festhaus tents on the Theresienwiese are the heart of Oktoberfest, the holiday extends for sixteen glorious fall days as it has done since 1810.  In that auspicious year, Bavarian King Maximilian proclaimed a public celebration of the marriage of his son to a Saxony princess.

Such a happy custom was too good to abandon when the wedding was over, coming as it did when the harvest season when the hops were in and Munich’s famous breweries were turning out kegs of golden beer.  Today, the first Keg is tapped by the Lord Mayor to signify the opening of Oktoberfest.  Brass bands play, carousels turn, roller coaster cars soar up and slide down.  Young and old lock arms and sing, swaying to the music or raise their own on-litre steins (the only size allowed on Munich grounds) in merry toasts of “Ein, Zwei, Drei, Prosit!”

Germany’s famous wurts are in mouthwatering abundance, along with spicy sauerkraut, red cabbage, and tangy hot potato salad.  Over all hangs the tantalizing fragrance of barbecued beef, roasted daily on huge spits.

Join the fun at Busch Gardens Festhaus and when you go home, have your own Oktoberfest with the help of these authentic German recipes.

Table of Contents


Food for Oktoberfest and other German Recipies

Oktoberfest History

Soups and Salads

  • Potato soup
  • “Clear Across the Garden” Soup
  • Noodle Soup
  • Chef’s Salad Dressing
  • Herring Salad
  • Carnival Coleslaw with Apples
  • Beet Salad
  • Hot Potato Salad

Favorite Side Dishes *to be added soon

Meat, Poultry, and Fish  *to be added soon

Breads and Pastries  *to be added soon

Miscellaneous  *to be added soon

Festhaus Songs *to be added soon





Potato Soup


Potato Soup


4 Medium potatoes

1 medium cucumber

1 ½ teaspoon salt

2 cups cold water

2 small green onions

1 ½ cups half-and-half cream

½ teaspoon dried dillweed

¼ teaspoon white pepper

¼ teaspoon celery salt

Peel and dice potatoes and boil till soft in salted water.  Peel cucumber, remove seeds, and chop.  Mix with finely chopped onions.  Place large sieve over bowl and pour potatoes and cooking water through.  Reserve several table-spoons of cubed potatoes to give soup texture, and press remainder through sieve and mix with cooking liquid.  Return to saucepan.  Add cream, seasonings, cucumber and onions, and simmer over very low heat for about five minutes, stirring frequently.  Garnish with thin cucumber slices and a dash of dill.


Clear Across the Garden Soup

Clear Across the Garden Soup


“Clear Cross the Garden” Soup

(Quer durch den Garten Suppe)

4 cups of beef stock (or 4 cups bouillon)

1 onion sliced thin

½ tablespoon chopped parsley

3 tablespoons of butter

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup sliced carrots

½ cup chopped cabbage

½ cup cubed potatoes

Salt and Pepper to taste

The best thing about this soup is its versatility.  Walk clear across the garden, pick whatever vegetables are in season and add them to the soup!  This can include green beans, limas, brussel sprouts, zucchini, spinach, turnips, green peas, or whatever you like.

Sauté celery, onion, carrots, and cabbage in butter.  Add to soup stock or bouillon), add mix to potato cubes and parsley.  Then add your own variety of vegetables plus cubes of meat left-overs (or sauté 1 cup cubed beef round with vegetables if you like).  Simmer until potatoes are tender.  Serve with herbed croutons or slices of fresh homemade bread and butter for a complete meal.

For variety: Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, or 1 cup of fine noodles, or ½ cup alphabet macaroni. 



Noodle Soup


Noodle Soup


4 pounds beef chuck with bones

2 quarts water

2 leeks

2 large carrots

2 stalks celery with leaves

½ large onion

½ teaspoon peppercorns

1 tablespoon salt

1 bay leaf

1 pinch each of marjoram and thyme

2 sprigs parsley (or 1 teaspoon parsley flakes)

4 ounces thin noodles

½ cup sliced carrots

Cut meat off bones and reserve.  Cover soup bones with cold water and bring to boil in sauce pan.  Strain off water, cover soup bones with 2 quarts fresh water, and continue cooking.  Tie leeks, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs into cheesecloth square, and place in soup pot along with salt.  Simmer for an hour, then add meat which has been cut into cubes and sear on all sides in a very hot skillet.  (German cooks prefer to sear the cut side of onion the same way before tying into cheesecloth bag, but this method is optional).  Continue simmering for at least two more hours, skimming as necessary.  Correct seasoning and cool.  Remove fat congealed on top before making the soup.

Heat stock to boiling, then remove meat with slotted spoon and keep warm.  Add ½ sliced carrots and cook until partially tender.  Add very thing noodles, approximately 1 ounce per cup of stock, stirring so noodles do not stick together.  Cook until noodles are tender and serve.  Pass meat cubes in separate dish, letting each guest add desired amount to soup bowl.


Chef Salad Dressing

Chef Salad Dressing


Chef’s Salad Dressing

(Salat Marinade)

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 clove garlic, mashed

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon carroway seed

1 teaspoon salt- dash of freshly ground pepper

½ cup chopped parsley

Chop Parsley very fine, wrap in cheese cloth, and wring out parsley juice.  Mix ingredients except sugar and parsley in bowl. Let stand for at least two hours.  Add sugar and parsley, and mix again.  Chill before serving over salad greens.

For variety: Add ½ cup finely chopped onion as a delicious marinade for fresh tomato slices; or pour over sliced boiled potatoes and garnish with crisp bits of bacon for a simple cold potato salad. 


Herring Salad

Herring Salad


Herring Salad


3-4 ounce jars marinated herring fillets

12ounce carton of sour cream

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon sugar

2 tart apples

2 small onions

½ teaspoon dillweed

Core but do not peel apples and cut into thin slices.  Peel onions and slice thin.  Drain herring fillets and gently stir into sour cream in bowl.  Add vinegar, sugar, apples, and onions.  Chill in refrigerator 4 to 5 hours, or overnight.  Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle dill on top, and garnish with thin apple slices if desired.


Carnival Coleslaw with Apples

Carnival Coleslaw with Apples


Carnival Coleslaw with Apples

(Karnival Krautsalat)

2 cups grated green cabbage

2 cups grated red cabbage

1 small orange, chopped

1 large apple, cored and chopped

2 medium carrots, grated

½ cup raisins

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

Grate cabbages and place in ice water to crisp while preparing carrots and fruit.  Do not peel apple- the red skins adds color and flavor to this bright salad.  Drain grated cabbage and dry between paper towels.  Toss with chopped orange and apple, grated carrots, and raisins.  Combine lemon juice with honey and pour over cole slaw, tossing lightly before serving.


Beet Salad

Beet Salad


Beet Salad

(Rote Beete Salat)

#2 can (16 oz) sliced beets

1 tablespoon super

1 tablespoon vinegar

½ teaspoon carroway seeds

1 small Bermuda onion, sliced thin

Drain beets and mix juice with sugar, carroway seeds, and vinegar.  Mix beet and onion slices together in bowl, stirring lightly.  Pour marinade on beets and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.

For variety: Add 2 tablespoons Burgundy wine to marinade.


Hot Potato Salad

Hot Potato Salad


Hot Potato Salad

(Warmer Kartoffelsalat)

6 large potatoes

¼ pound bacon (approx) to make 1 cup chopped bacon (uncooked)

1 cup chopped onions

2 cups water

3 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup each pickle relish and chopped pimento

Boil potatoes then refrigerate about 6 hours.  Peel and slice.  Chop bacon and onion fine and brown in skillet till bacon is crisp.  Do not drain.  Add Cornstarch mixed with water to bacon grease, stirring till mixture thickens, and simmer for several minutes.  Stir in sliced potatoes and simmer until they are hot.

Breads and Pastries

Black Forest Cherry Cake

(Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte)

2 Cups Flour

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ cups milk

½ cup butter

1½ teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

½ cup cocoa

½ teaspoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs, and measure rest of ingredients into bowl.  Blend on low, scraping constantly.  Beat 3 mintues on high speed.  Pour into two 9 inch round cake pans that have been greased and floured.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-50 minutes.

Filling:  2 cups black cherries canned in heavy syrup; combined with 2 tablespoons of Kirschwasser.

Frosting: (Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte) pint heavy cream, whipped or 1 large container non-dairy whipped topping

Slice each cake round horizontally to make four layers.  Place one layer on flat plate.  Fill pastry bag with whipped cream and pipe a generous ring around the edge of cake layer and a large rosette in the center. Fill exposed ring of cake with cherry filling.  Place the second layer of cake on top and repeat.  Place third layer and top and frost the entire cake layer with whipped cream.  Crumble the fourth layer into fine crumbs and sprinkle on the sides of the cake.  Using whipped cream, pipe two rosettes on top of cake and top each with a maraschino cherry.  Garnish the center top of cake with chocolate curls.

Bavarian  Torte

(Bayrische Torte)

Use chocolate cake recipe for Black Forest Cake.. (see above)  or your favorite Devil’s Food Cake Recipe.  Bake on rectangular sheet cake pan at 350 degrees until cake pulls away from the edge of pan and toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.  (About 25 minutes)  Cut cake into thirds so you have three equal rectangles.

Place one portion on cake board plate and spread with non-dairy whipped topping about ½ thick.  Place second portion on top and press down slightly to level off top.  Spread Second Layer with whipped topping and place third layer on top.  Frost top and garnish with chocolate sprinkles.


More to come!  Stay Tuned.  🙂

In the meantime- enjoy learning the lyrics to a Festhaus Song:

In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus:
Eins, zwei, g’suffa . . .
Da läuft so manches Fäßchen aus:
Eins, zwei, g’suffa . . .
Da hat so manche braver Mann:
Eins, zwei, g’suffa . . .
Gezeigt was er so vertragen kann
Schon früh am Morgen fing er an
Und spät am Abend kam er heraus
So schön ist’s im Hofbräuhaus.

Zicke Zacke Zicke Zacke Hoi Hoi Hoi!


Zicke Zacke Zicke Zacke Hoi Hoi Hoi!

Zicke Zacke Zicke Zacke Hoi Hoi Hoi!

Remembering the Past: Ghosts of the Globe

I felt that I should open my historical travels through Busch Gardens the Old Country by beginning in the Hamlet of England.  More precisely, I should start with the original show featured in the Globe Theater back in 1975, which would be The Ghosts of the Globe.

Granted I wasn’t even conceived when this show first ran, but I was fortunate enough to experience the show first-hand when I was but a wee tike.  The show left quite the impression on me as I still recall how much I enjoyed the show; even if I was terrified through most of the performance.

Basically the story of Ghosts of the Globe centered on a young girl named Melinda, who wonders into an empty theater.  Suddenly she begins seeing visions of fabulous characters that embrace her into the world of Shakespeare until the witch from Macbeth appears along with the creature from the Tempest who both bring forth terrifying special effects that scare poor Melinda (as well as my four year old self).  By the end of the story, Melinda finds the courage and kindness to save the day.

It was a fun production and the entire performance lasted approximately 40 minutes.  I ran into one of the actors who played in Ghosts of the Globe and he mentioned that most of the performance was lip-synced to a prerecorded dialogue and the sound effects and visual effects were quite elaborate for the time.

Thank you for your interest and I hope you enjoyed going back to Ghosts of the Globe at Busch Gardens, the Old Country.   Feel free to share your experiences or memories of Ghosts of the Globe in the comment section below.

The Album Cover

**With that said, here is a complete story found on the back of the original 1974 Ghosts of the Globe album cover along with the credits to the creators:

On the banks of Virginia’s James River, just a few miles from historic Colonial Williamsburg, lies Busch

Gardens-The Old Country.  Screened from Twentieth Century by the Tidewater Woods, its winding cobblestone streets invite visitors to explore over seven centuries of our European heritage. 

If you wonder through the English Village at The Old Country, some summer afternoon, visit the impressive reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater there.  It is on the stage of this theater where our story takes place.

Or perhaps, we should say Melinda’s story, since she is the name of the very pretty young lady that happens to be the heroine of our tale.

And what a strange and marvelous tale it is that begins to unfold when Melinda finds herself alone in a deserted theater.  A wandering minstrel that appears out of thin air! A ghostly banquet, attended by ghosts of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters!  Here are Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch, those clumsy clowns from Twelfth Night.  Here is portly King Henry the VIII, and Dame Ford, one of the Merry Wives of Windsor.  The job if entertaining the guests falls to Puck, the magical mischief-maker from a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream.  And, to Melinda’s delight, she finds Romeo among the guests, still romantic and dashing after nearly four hundred years.

Then, just as Melinda is beginning to feel at ease with her ghostly companions, their merry-making is interrupted by the appearance of the witch from Macbeth and Caliban, the slimy monster from the Tempest. Dark sorcery turns the theater into an arena of sinister and terrifying occurrences.  Even, Prospero, the kindly wizard from the Tempest, finds it dangerous to oppose these two masters of evil.  In the great battle of sorcery that follows, he very nearly falls before Caliban’s power.  It is Melinda, herself, with a courageous act of kindness, who finally restores harmony to the spirit world of the Globe and winds the gratitude of the theater’s ghosts.

Melinda’s fellow actors laugh at her story of ghosts and demons.  A dream, they call it.  Nothing more than a young girl’s imagination working overtime.  Of course, we know they’re right.  Spirits? Sorcery? Mythical Beasts? This is the Twentieth Century! Things like that just don’t happen today.

Or . . .  do they?

Created and Produced by Creative Presentations, INC. (1974)

Exceutive Producer: Gene Bullard

Producer/ Director: Ken Lewis

Production: Ken Benge

Music: Sid Siegel

I believe you are seeing (Left to Right, Top to Bottom), Caliban, Melinda, Sir Andrew, one Merry Wife of Windsor, and Prospero the Wizard.

I believe you are seeing (Left to Right, Top to Bottom), Caliban, Melinda, Sir Andrew, one Merry Wife of Windsor, and Prospero the Wizard.