Alma's Favorite Recipes: Cooking & Memories from a German-Russian Farm Kitchen
By Alma (Janke) Schott
Edited and compiled by Acacia (Jonas) Stuckle and Leah (Johnson) Aakre, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota, 2012, 258 pages, softcover.
Prairie Public Radio’s Hear It Now program interview with Doug Hamilton and Acacia Jonas Stuckle, 15 November 2012. 9 minutes
The cookbook is available for purchase at the Dakota Heritage Banks at Gackle, Jud and Streeter, ND; Creative Kitchen at West Acres Regional Shopping Center, Fargo, ND; at the RSVP Dakota Store at the Dakota Mall in December; and at the Frontier Village (Memorial Day to Labor Day) at Jamestown, ND.
When it came to cooking, Alma (Janke) Schott knew how to do it right. Now cooks will have the chance to learn from her nearly 90 years of experience in the kitchen.
North Dakota State University Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection will release “Alma’s Favorite Recipes: Cooking and Memories from a German-Russian Farm Kitchen.” Schott died Oct. 7, and the cookbook’s debut coincides with what would have been her 90th birthday.
Schott pleased the palates of her family and friends with her fabulous cooking for decades. Her baking was well-known in south central North Dakota. She's often baked the wedding cakes for two generations of local residents. The cookbook includes many of Alma's favorite German-Russian recipes and other recipes she had prepared.
Growing up on a German-Russian farm between Fredonia and Gackle, N.D., Schott helped out where ever she was needed. She learned to bake and cook when she was only eight or nine years old and it became an important part of her life. She credited her mother to being her home economics teacher. Most of her helpful hints that Alma’s mother gave her have been used for approximately 75 to 80 years.
Alma liked to be creative in her work. As the years went by and her children were older, she started baking for others and also took on baking and decorating wedding cakes. She did most people’s wedding cakes in the local area; many times both the parents and children’s cakes. When Alma first started cooking and baking, she used a wood burning stove. There was no temperature knob to change the temperature. Eventually she was upgraded to a kerosene stove, which was better in regulating the temperature.
“The cookbook features recipes prepared in Schott’s beloved German-Russian farm kitchen,” said Michael M. Miller, director of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection. “A pinch of this, a little of that, a dash here. Here’s a cookbook decoding the recipes that were crafted, created and perfected over many years. Whether you’re looking for the perfect pie crust or a borscht recipe, this cookbook is sure to please.”
Evon J. Dewald, retired teacher and librarian, said “This book is absolutely charming. The reader feels as though the author and reader are having a good cup of coffee and a delightful visit. I felt as though I was watching my grandmother and mom baking in their kitchens, and explaining to me how these wonderful family favorites were made. Certainly this recipe book is a happy read.”