Media Release
February 10, 2000

Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia Premieres on Prairie Public TV

"Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia" airs on Prairie Public Television on Sunday, March 5, at 8 p.m. (CT); rebroadcast on Wednesday, March 15 at 7 p.m. (CT) and followed by Prairie Public's award-winning documentary, "Germans From Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie."

Over the course of two centuries, wherever fate has swept them, the Germans from Russia have adapted and endured. They have survived famine, wars, drought, prairie fires, and the poverty of frontier life.

From the Russian steppe to the grasslands of Argentina, from the American prairie to the tundra of Siberia, this ethnic group's resourceful self-sufficiency, particularly in the growing and preparation of food for their large families, remains a rich legacy passed through generations.

In German Russian life, "food was love," and prairie mothers who left no records of their lives are remembered daily in the recipes and rituals of food preparation.

"Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia" preserves these memories with vignettes that feed the soul and warms the heart. Share the festivities of the Schmeckfest in Eureka, SD, experience the famous Knoepfla Soup at Kroll's Kitchens in North Dakota, and savor the hearty Schachlika Supper in Richardton, ND.

Visit the kitchens of and reminisce with Theresa Kuntz Bachmeier, Rugby, ND, making Cheese Buttons (Kaseknoepfla); Annie Roesch Larson, Aberdeen, SD, making Easter Bread (Kranz); Sam Brungardt, St. Paul, MN, making Spiced Watermelon Syrup Bread (Pfeffernuesse Brot); Edna Goebel Johnson, Horace, ND, making Knoepfla Soup; Maria Wohn Applehans, Wheatridge, CO, making Grebbel and Schnitzel Soup; Judy Eman Teske & Carol Just Halverson, St. Louis Park, MN, making Wedding Schnapps; Vi Kruckenberg Schielke, Beulah, ND, making Fleischkuechle; Jackie Dohn Maas, Plymouth, MN, making Watermelon Pickles; and the Lipp family of Aberdeen, SD, making Wedding Kuchen.

The documentary production staff includes: Bob Dambach, producer; Ronald J. Vossler, writer and host; John Altenbernd, original music; Dave Geck, Tapio Kube and Gretchen Jenson, assistant producers; Bob Dambach and Michael M. Miller, executive producers.

In 1999, Prairie Public Broadcasting produced the award-winning documentary, "The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie" which has aired on PBS stations throughtout the USA. The program has received the prestigious Silver Telly Award as one of the best documentaries in America. Ron Vossler was scriptwriter with Bob Dambach and Michael Miller as executive producers.

Major funding for the production was provided by the North Dakota Humanities Council, North Dakota State University Libraries, and the Members of Prairie Public.

Videotape copies of "Schmeckfest" are available through Prairie Public at 1-800-359-6900 or by visiting the Prairie Public website at and clicking on "Prairie Public's General Store." For a limited time, the special video contains bonus video segments in addition to the 60 minute video documentary.

For more information about the Germans from Russia, cookbooks and recipes visit:

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