February 10, 2000
Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from
Russia Premieres on Prairie Public TV
"Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia" airs
on Prairie Public Television on Sunday, March 5, at 8 p.m. (CT);
rebroadcast on Wednesday, March 15 at 7 p.m. (CT) and followed by
Prairie Public's award-winning documentary, "Germans From Russia:
Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie."
Over the course of two centuries, wherever fate has swept them,
the Germans from Russia have adapted and endured. They have survived
famine, wars, drought, prairie fires, and the poverty of frontier
From the Russian steppe to the grasslands of Argentina, from the
American prairie to the tundra of Siberia, this ethnic group's resourceful
self-sufficiency, particularly in the growing and preparation of
food for their large families, remains a rich legacy passed through
In German Russian life, "food was love," and prairie mothers who
left no records of their lives are remembered daily in the recipes
and rituals of food preparation.
"Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia" preserves
these memories with vignettes that feed the soul and warms the heart.
Share the festivities of the Schmeckfest in Eureka, SD, experience
the famous Knoepfla Soup at Kroll's Kitchens in North Dakota, and
savor the hearty Schachlika Supper in Richardton, ND.
Visit the kitchens of and reminisce with Theresa Kuntz Bachmeier,
Rugby, ND, making Cheese Buttons (Kaseknoepfla); Annie Roesch Larson,
Aberdeen, SD, making Easter Bread (Kranz); Sam Brungardt, St. Paul,
MN, making Spiced Watermelon Syrup Bread (Pfeffernuesse Brot); Edna
Goebel Johnson, Horace, ND, making Knoepfla Soup; Maria Wohn Applehans,
Wheatridge, CO, making Grebbel and Schnitzel Soup; Judy Eman Teske
& Carol Just Halverson, St. Louis Park, MN, making Wedding Schnapps;
Vi Kruckenberg Schielke, Beulah, ND, making Fleischkuechle; Jackie
Dohn Maas, Plymouth, MN, making Watermelon Pickles; and the Lipp
family of Aberdeen, SD, making Wedding Kuchen.
The documentary production staff includes: Bob Dambach, producer;
Ronald J. Vossler, writer and host; John Altenbernd, original music;
Dave Geck, Tapio Kube and Gretchen Jenson, assistant producers;
Bob Dambach and Michael M. Miller, executive producers.
In 1999, Prairie Public Broadcasting produced the award-winning
documentary, "The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children
of the Prairie" which has aired on PBS stations throughtout the
USA. The program has received the prestigious Silver Telly Award
as one of the best documentaries in America. Ron Vossler was scriptwriter
with Bob Dambach and Michael Miller as executive producers.
Major funding for the production was provided by the North Dakota
Humanities Council, North Dakota State University Libraries, and
the Members of Prairie Public.
Videotape copies of "Schmeckfest" are available through Prairie
Public at 1-800-359-6900 or by visiting the Prairie Public website
and clicking on "Prairie Public's General Store." For a limited
time, the special video contains bonus video segments in addition
to the 60 minute video documentary.
For more information about the Germans from Russia, cookbooks
and recipes visit: http://library.ndsu.edu/gerrus