Cooking the Way it Was Done in Bessarabia

Nitschke, Klaus, "Cooking the Way it Was Done in Bessarabia." Mitteilungsblatt, May 2011, 13.

Translation from the original German-language text to American English is provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, CO. 

On April 9, 2011, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern work group conducted its second cooking class in the Schwaan Education Center near Rostock. Using observations gained from the first class, a few changes were made. For example, the entire menu of courses was set up ahead of time, the number of dishes of dishes to be prepared was reduced and, under the direction of Mrs. Elke Nitschke, all corresponding tasks were assigned with the aim that everyone could understand how all the dishes were to be prepared.

Before the cooking class even took place, Mrs. Nitschke distributed to each participant a brochure with the set of recipes for the class, including ingredients and directions for their preparation. The menu would consist of a noodle soup, a main entrée of Schupfnudeln on sliced potatoes, and coffee with yeasty cakes. [A Bessarbaian German cook described the term Schupfnudeln as “fitting somewhere between dumplings and strudels.” – Tr.]

Twenty-six people had come to participate in the class. By far the majority represented the next generation. The members of the class eagerly took advice and hints from Elke Nitschke and enthusiastically participated in the preparation of the dishes. By their reactions one could tell that they had absorbed much, perhaps enough to be able to prepare the same dishes at home. The work in the kitchen proceeded in a pleasant and relaxed manner, but also with great concentration.

After a prayer delivered by Mr. Gerhard Klaiber, the participants fully enjoyed the dishes they had prepared and had set out on a beautifully decorated table in the large guest hall of the educational center. Mrs. Elvira Schmitt treated everyone to a concluding drink of Nussschanpps [nut-flavored brandy]. The evening ended with coffee and relaxed rehashing of the activities in the kitchen and of Bessarabian traditions.  

Mrs. Ingrid Versümer concluded the cooking class day with warm thanks directed to Mrs. Elke Nitschke for directing and organizing the class, and to Mrs. Sylvia Markert, who had seen to it that the class could be held at the Schwaan Education Center.

(Article and Photo: by Klaus Nitschke of Güstrow)

Preparing the yeast dough.
Noodles being put into the frying pan.
Cutting the Schupfnudeln for the soup.
Preparing the noodle soup.
Finishing the yeasty cakes.
Group meal.

Appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of these articles.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller