Searching for Germans from Russia heritage

Tinker, Allan. "Searching for Germans from Russia heritage." The McClusky Gazette, McClusky, North Dakota, 9 May 9 2002.

German Food and Folkways is a book published and distributed by Germans from Russia Heritage Collection the North Dakota State University Libraries and in its third printing. Author Rose Marie Gueldner, Anamoose, has put many hours of research into restoring accurate recipes and weaving bits of history and geography lessons throughout the book. She is still gathering photographs and recipes for her next book on breads.

Gueldner states, "I have copies of several photographs that will be used, including a German Woman in South Russia making yeast cakes and taking bread out of a russisch pech (Russian style oven) with a bread peel; horse-drawn wagons piled high with wheat at a rail station in McPherson County (SD); an outdoor beehive from McIntosh County, a yeast foam, bread riser and bread box from Pierce County. What I am missing is that elusive photo of pioneer bread making in this area- Grossmutter preparing yeast, kneading a huge recipe of dough in a bread riser or dishpan, bread loaves going into or coming out of the oven or cooling on the kitchen table. Bread related photos between 1870 and 1950 are needed. Because my roots are here, I would be delighted to find a photograph of this all-important, once routine activity, and use it in the breads book with a photo credit to a central North Dakota family. Also I would be interested in talking to anyone who has memories, or still makes, Schwartbrot (Roggenbrot, rye bread)."

Rose Marie grew up on a farm near Anamoose. Both sets of her grandparents were from South Russia and arrived here in this country in the 1800s. She received her undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University and her master's degree in education/foods and nutrition from Iowa State University in Ames.

Gueldner taught in California in the State University System at San Jose and Fresno (Silicon Valley area). She also lived in Germany for a time and has been employed in private business for a number of years. She returned to this area about seven years ago.

Gueldner's mother, Helen Hornbacher, subscribes to the Gazette and she may be among the oldest and continuous subscribers to the paper. Other surnames of Gueldner relatives are Feil, Dockter and Sprenger.

Gueldner stated she originally set out to find a recipe book that would give her the old German-Russian foods. When Gueldner couldn't find the cookbook she wanted, she wrote one. She has included bits of information on an ethnic group of people virtually unknown outside of North Dakota, she stated.

The book contains more than 400 traditional recipes, homeland maps, historical commentary on ingredients, people, and events, along with sources for authentic ingredients and equipment. The book is professionally written with easy to follow directions, a glossary, bibliography, and is fully indexed. References to educational and cultural activities are a plus in this book, as are the illustrations.

Readers can find recipes for Suppen (soup), Eintopfgerichte (one-dish meals) and gertanke (beverages), words that are familiar to many readers locally and an adventure within another culture to others.

Gueldner is involved in promoting the book and gathering materials for her next book on breads with North Dakota Public radio and television entities. Tracing the long heritage behind and forward from the days of her great-grandparents and grandparents settling in Sheridan County has yielded a collection of recipes that still reflect much dining table fare in this area.

Purchase information is available at the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, North Dakota 58105-5599 or NDSU Libraries' website (

Reprinted with permission of the McClusky Gazette.

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