on the Volga - Sheboygan native writes cookbook honoring her family’s
By Allison Thompson, Sheboygan Press, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, April
available for order here
What are some of your best holiday memories? Most likely they
revolve around the food your family prepared in the kitchen.
Many families have recipes that are only known by a select few
– passed down from generation to generation, perfected by
experience and careful study.
To help preserve some of those special recipes, and to capture
the story of her family’s heritage, Anna Dalhaimer Bartkowski
released a cookbook titled, “Value Meals on the Volga.”
“People spending time in the kitchen, it used to be that
was the way we survived,” Dalhaimer Bartkowski said. “We
have gotten away from that.”
By writing the book and providing some time-honored recipes, she
hopes that a few families will take the time a couple times a year
to cook together.
“To spend quality time with our families, to use recipes
that we don’t necessarily use every day of our lives, but
share a history,” those are the recipes Dalhaimer Bartkowski
is passing along.
This book was written from the heart with details on how to create
some of her family’s favorite items – recipes that were
passed on generation by generation for over a decade, she said.
Dalhaimer Bartkowski, a graduate of Sheboygan North High School,
said her family used to live on the Volga River in Russia.
“I grew up knowing what the Volga was. When I was growing
up in Sheboygan it was commonly known, it was part of our tradition,”
Dalhaimer Bartkowski said.
“The whole region was very unstable,” said Dalhaimer
Bartkowski during a phone interview from her home in Chandler, Ariz.
“The women who primarily made these meals had to get value
out of every ingredient they had. Obviously there is a strong flour
base to these foods, they have to make every ingredient last, if
they burnt a meal, they ate it. The used the meals in times of plenty
and a time of friendship.
Recipes include Green Bean Soup, Fleisch & Kraut Barok, Cootage
Cheese Mauldasha, Butterhorns and Peppermint Cookies (see recipe
“The pink peppermint cookies are probably my favorite. I
have so many memories of my grandmother and mother making those
cookies,” Dalhaimer Bartkowski said. “There was always
something special about that.”
Throughout the book are snapshots of Dalhaimer Bartkowski’s
family, stories of her family’s heritage and jottings of the
memories the recipes evoke.
The recipes and antidotes trace food traditions from German and
“Genealogy is a part of my passion. Every family is truly
a personal story. These are stories that have been passed down to
me, and I can’t think of anything more concrete” to
pass on family history than by publishing it in a book, she said.
“My grandmother never had anything written down,” said
Dalhaimer Bartkowski’s cousin, Charlotte Lamb of Sheboygan.
“You put a handful in, you never had recipes; you just made
it. Now they are giving the recipe and that is kind of nice. There
might be an awful lot of younger German Russian people in town that
have eaten this and really don’t know how to make this.”
To simplify the process, the book offers detailed, color pictures
guiding the reader in the steps involved in making some dishes.
“What I’m hoping to accomplish is to inspire, in a
couple different ways, other people who have this family history
to share it with their family,” Dalhaimer Bartkowski said.
“It’s a way they can build a relationship and have their
memories carried on through cooking and sharing of stories.”
Bonnie Rauwerdink, manager of Book World in Sheboygan said that
customers began asking about the book earlier this year.
“My customers have been talking about it and got in touch
with Anna about it,” Rauwerdink said.