In Touch with Prairie Living

August 2009

By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo

As I write this August column, we are preparing for the first Dakota Memories Heritage Tour to south central North Dakota with a group of 48 persons. I look forward to returning to south central North Dakota and my hometown of Strasburg, visiting Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, where I was baptized, confirmed and was a Mass Server. This should be quite an experience sharing my memories.

With the Dakota Memories Heritage Tour (September 18-20), there will be presentations open to the general public for attendance: September 18 - NDSU Central Grasslands Research Center, Streeter, 1-2 pm, Dr. Allan Ashworth, NDSU; Lehr Tabernacle Campground, Lehr, 7:45-8:45 pm, Jessica Clark, NDSU; September 19 - Sister’s Cafe, Linton, 8-9 pm, Bob Dambach, Prairie Public TV; September 20 - Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Strasburg, 12:30-1:30 pm, Dr. Tom Isern, NDSU.

There has been an impressive response for the Ashley, ND, 1988 centennial cookbook, Schmeck’s Gut! The GRHC has collaborated with the Ashley Arts Council to reprint this outstanding cookbook. Ashley is located in McIntosh County, south central North Dakota lies in the heart of German-Russian country.

The first eight pages contain “Deutsche Rezepie” recipes in the German language. Recipes include: Bohnen Supper Mit Rahme Oder Milch (bean Soup with cream or milk); Kartoffelel Suppe (potato soup); Kartoffelbroth (potato bread); Grossmuters Apfel Pife (grandmother’s apple pie); and 100 Pfund Rindfleisch Einzupoekin (100 pounds corned beef).

German-Russian recipes in the English language include: Baking powder Kuchen, Blatchinda, Einloup Soup, Fleish Kiechla, Fleisch Kuchen, German Hot Potato Salad, Halupsie, Hilda’s Strudels, Raised Dumplings, Pigs in the Blanket, Knepfla Soup, Red Eye, Kase Noodles, Pfeffernuesse, Sauerkraut Salad, Schlitz Kuechle and many others. The cookbook also contains several pickling recipes from fish to watermelon, various rhubarb recipes and even a recipe for beet ice cream topping. For more information, go to this webpage: or contact the GRHC.

Another new cookbook available from GRHC is Leola, South Dakota: A Taste of 125 Years, 1884-2009 includes recipes for barley soup, cheese buttons, cabbage salad, Knepfla soup, baked rice, lazy cheese buttons and Kuchen bars. Other cookbooks from GRHC which I would highly recommend are: Cookbook for Germans from Russia, Food ‘N Customs, Food ‘N Folklore, German-Russian Pioneer Cookbook, Sie Unser Gast: Be Our Guest, Kochbuch: A Book of Favorite Recipes and Kueche Kochen. The GRHC has one of the most comprehensive collections of cookbooks relating to the Germans from Russia.

The 16th Journey to the Homeland Tour is May 20-30, 2010. The tour includes May 22-26 in Odessa, Ukraine visiting the former Bessarabian, Black Sea and Crimean German villages. The tour group also travels to Stuttgart, Germany for May 26-30 including a day tour to Alsace, France, and visits to the German-Russian museums in Stuttgart. Detailed Tour information and costs is at this webpage: at “Homeland Tours”.

Check us out on Facebook:

For further information about the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, the Journey to the Homeland Tour and donations to the GRHC (such as family histories), contact Michael M. Miller, The Libraries, NDSU Dept. #2080, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050 (Telephone: 701-231-8416; Email:; the GRHC website:

August 2009 column for North Dakota and South Dakota newspapers

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