There Is Always Room For One More: Volga German Stories and Recipes
By Rebecca Nab Young
Authorhouse, Bloomington, Indiana, 249 pages, softcover.
What started out as a Christmas gift for author Rebecca Nab Young’s mother ended up as a comprehensive compilation of Volga German history, food and family in There’s Always Room for One More: Volga German Stories and Recipes.
“I was interested in getting the old recipes out of my mother’s head and onto paper,” says Young. “My daughter suggested I put a little story with each recipe.”
Young was encouraged to publish the book, which she calls her “accidental book” (www.accidentalbook.com). The heartwarming “story cookbook” hearkens back to 1950s America and the small Volga German community of Wyoming farmers that Young grew up in. Young dispenses humorous stories of growing up as an only daughter in a German immigrant family from Russia, all while sharing simple, authentic family recipes passed down through several generations.
Volga German families such as hers descended from a group of German residents recruited as immigrants to Russia in the 18th century. Many Volga Germans immigrated to the U.S. during the 19th century, and those left behind in Russia were transported to labor camps during WWII, where several died. In 1956, prison camp survivors were released, but weren’t allowed to return to those villages. There are only about 1200 Volga Germans in Germany today.
“I wrote this book for my mother, and I wrote this book for my Volga German people,” says Young. “I want them to be proud of who they are and what they survived.”
Recipes from There’s Always Room for One More are traditional Volga German style-a mix of Russian, German and American food. Recipes include Cabbage Buns, German Chocolate Cake, Grebble, Crock Dills, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, German Garlic Sausage, Pumpkin Pot and Zucchini Bars. The book also includes a homemade recipe for lye soap and cherished Nab family photos.
About the Author
From living on a farm and then a ranch in Wyoming I have a passion for good food and recipes. I also am immersed in the history and personal stories of the Volga Germans. All my grandparents came from Russia, but were of German descent. This places me in a small, but unique group of people within the United States. I would like to introduce you to these wonderful, hardworking people who still cling to their values, tradition, and religion.
I decided to combine my Volga German upbringing with stories and recipes from my childhood and beyond.
I now reside in Cave Creek, AZ with my husband David and new AZ Rescue A Golden, Dudley DoRight.
I work in the food and beverage department for a 5 diamond resort in Scottsdale, AZ. I continue to research the Volga Germans through my family tree and I still cook and bake our special German foods from “ scratch”.
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