Sei Unser Gast: Be Our Guest

A collection of German and Russian recipes from the members and friends of the North Star Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

Cookbook produced by the North Star Chapter, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, 1996, Softcover, 221 pages.

Food traditions are among our most enduring folkways. The younger generation may never learn to speak the German dialect of their ancestors, but being able to prepare favorite dishes from the Old Country is often another matter. Documenting German-Russian cuisine and foodways so present and future generations can enjoy their unique culinary heritage was the purpose behind the Sei Unser Gast: Be Our Guest cookbook.

The 221-page, spiral-bound cookbook contains more than 300 recipes from the German-Russian groups represented by the membership of the North Star Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. Since most of the chapter's members are descendants of German-Russians who settled in North Dakota and South Dakota, the cookbook contains many recipes from the Black Sea German and Bessarabian German traditions. For example, there are recipes for Borscht, Gummersalat, Plachinta, Halupsie, Kholodets, Kaseknepfle, Fleischkuchle, Strudel, Pfeffernusse, Kuchen, and Eingemachte Wassermelone.

Members who descended from Volga German and Volhynian German immigrants contributed recipes for such delicacies as Sauersuppe, Schmarren, Maultasche', Bierock, Herzje, Sussholztee, Grebbel, and dill pickles flavored with licorice root. Other members contributed recipes for German-Russian Mennonite dishes such as Zweiback, Plumamoos, Schnetje, Rullcoka, and Portzilke.

The various Germans from Russia groups prepare German dishes quite differently from the way they're made in Germany today. They also adopted and made uniquely their own Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Romanian dishes. A few authentic recipes from Germany and the former Russian Empire are included at the end of each chapter to show how German-Russian cooking deviated from its origins and became a cuisine in its own right.

"Please send three copies of Sei Unser Gast. I ordered one copy as a Christmas gift and loved it. Thank you! The cookbook brings back my mother-in-law's cooking in North Dakota!"

--- Mary F. Hintz, Tallahassee, Florida

Related Article:

Tobin, Paulette. "We're German. We Don't Dine - We Eat." Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Sei Unser Gast: Be Our Guest

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