Food and History: Preserving Our Food and History for Future Generations

Germans from Russia Heritage Society, Bismarck, North Dakota, 2012, 247 pages, softcover.

The Preface includes: "Food has always been an important aspect of our German Russian heritage; and it is our desire that this cookbook will help pass these food traditions and a bit of German Russian food history on to future generations. Family traditions and customs, differences in home life, the area from which our ancestors originated and where they settled played a large part in how the foods were prepared, and what the foods were called."

The publication includes historical information about the Germans from Russia Heritage Society including memories shared by members. There are interesting articles including "How and Why Our Foods Changed" and Something Missing from the Menu";  and  "Our Ancestors Story".

The recipes include sections for: Beverages, Breads, Cakes and Pies, Canning and Pickling, Desserts, Doughnuts, Muffins and Pancakes, Main Dishes, Salads and Vegetables, Soups, This ‘n That, German Russian Kitchen and Helpful Hints and Additional Recipes Received too Late. There is a Alphabetical Recipe Index.

Many of the recipes relate to the food culture of the Germans from Russia of the Northern Plains of the USA and Canadian Prairie Provinces of western Canada.  Recipes from the Breads section include: Krautbrod (sauerkraut bread), Onion Kuchen, Schnetke, Weinacht Stollen (Christmas bread), Wursta Brootzies and Zwiebak (twice baked bread). The Cakes and Pies section includes: German Kugglehoph, Groom’s Cake and  German Sauerkraut Cake.

The Candy and Cookies section includes: Ammonia Cookies, Anise Cookies, Fruit Filled Spritz (date filled), German Butter Cookies, Hersen Saltz Cookies, Lebkuchen, Molasses Cookies, Pfeffernuesse Cookies, Russian Cream Cookies and  Springeries (German Christmas cookies).  The Pickling and Canning section includes cucumbers, dill pickles, Grandma’s Crock Watermelons, Lydia (Haller) Wildermuth’s Dill Pickles, Pickled Beets, Sauerkraut, Sweet Kraut, Vodka Pickles and Watermelon Pickles.

The Desserts section includes: Apple Strudel, Apricot Kuchen, "Blachendia (pumpkin turnovers), German Blachinda, German Kuchen, Grandma Welder’s Kuchen, Kase Kuchen, Wedding Kuchen, Schlitz Kuechla and  Sugar Kuchen, The Main Dishes section includes: Bierocks, Kase Knoepfla (cheese buttons), Case Varenik (cottage cheese  dumplings), Cottage Cheese Strudels, Cream Noodles, Dampfnudeln (dumplings), Felisch Knephlas (meat buttons),  Halupsy and  Ham Potato Blachinda. The Salads and Vegetables section includes: Baked Cabbage, Cabbage Potato Salad, Cabbage Strudel, Creamy Coleslaw, German Coleslaw, German Potato Salad, Grandma’s Sauerkraut Salad, Hot Cabbage Salad and Warmer Kartoffelsalat (German hot potato salad).

The Soups section includes: Baptist Bean Soup, Borscht, Chicken Noodle Soup, Christmas Soup, Dill Soup, Grandma’s Potato Soup, Gruene Borscht (summer vegetable soup), Knepfla Soup, Nessel Soup (nettle soup), Pumpkin Soup, Ribla Soup and Sausage Knephla Soup. The This ‘n That section includes: Blutwurst (blood sausage), Culdahets (pickled pigs feet), German-Russian Mustard, Homemade Cheese, Homemade Egg Noodles, Horseradish, Knolodel’s (pig’s feet), Liverwurst, Old Fashioned German/Russian Homemade Country Sausage, Schmierkase (homemade cooked cheese), Schwartamagen (head cheese), Sonnenblumenkerne (dry roasted sunflower seeds), Summer Sausage and  Wurst (Port and Beef) Sausage.

The section for "The German Russian Kitchen and Helpful Hints" includes: What the Russian Colonies Eat; 51 Spices and Flavorings in Your Kitchen: Excerpts from "Cultural Dynamics in German-Russian Cookery"; German-Russian Foods and Russian Words;  German Sausages; The Pioneer Kitchen; Pioneer Grocery Shopping; Cream; Butter; and Helpful Hints – Old and New.

The recipes submitted by GRHS members include photographs and including family stories.  For example, Lucy Simpson of Cheyenne, Wyoming, submitted Schnapps (Red Eye and Apple Pie).  She writes: "After my Uncle Herman and Aunt Elizabeth’s 50th wedding anniversary, I requested a copy of the Schnapps recipe.  This had been passed around many times during the three-day celebration party, dinner and dance given for them by their children."

Food and History

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