You say Blachinda and I say Plachinda – Let’s just eat!

News Column
Carmen Rath-Wald
Logan County Extension Agent
29 October 2012

Blatchinda is also spelled Blachinda, Plachinda, Platchenda, Platchinta, Blachinde, Blagenda, Bladginda, Plachenden. Alfred Opp, who was born in Bessarabia, said they spelled it "Platschenta" in reference to "Platchta" or blanket. These, of course are rounds of (pie) pastry dough filled with a pumpkin/sugar/cinnamon mixture or even a fried onion mixture, the pastry is folded shut and edges crimped, and these are baked in the oven.

Connie Dahlke who wrote the above, says, My Ger-Rus family homesteaded in Logan Cnty, N. Dakota, and my mother was born in Napoleon, ND.

Actually, I should have said my great-great-grandfather (Christian Kessler b. 1829 Gluckstal) barely could write his name. My great-grandfather (Joseph Rott b. 1852 Gluckstal) did a little better at his handwriting, and had benefited from the improvements in education in South Russia after 1865. In 1919 Joseph Rott sold his homestead farm out on the flat in Logan Cnty to the Johannes Spitzer family. Bert Spitzer still lives on the property, the last I heard. Joseph and Christina Rott lived in Napoleon until 1936, then they moved to Lodi, California. That same year, my grandparents (Gilbert and Martha (Rott) Ringering) moved to Oregon, taking their daughter (my mother - Verna Ringering (now Tillotson) with them. My mother was nine years old at the time.

So back to plachinda, or…anyway, years ago when Gackle had their farmer’s market, my husband and I stopped and wandered through the vendors and stopped at Alma Schotts’s tables laden with pastries of every description. He found the plachinda and there he stood eating and visiting with Alma. He still raves about her plachinda. John loves pumpkin and Alma had created his idea of a perfect food!

Alma's Favorite Recipes: Cooking & Memories from a German-Russian Farm Kitchen
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 has been pleasing 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.”

Portions of this column printed with permission from the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection on the campus of NDSU in Fargo, ND:

If you have any questions about this column or anything else, please contact me at the NDSU Extension office at 754-2504 or email: I would be glad to help!

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