March 15, 2000
Germans from Russia Video Foodways Documentary Featured
with "Rugby Premiere" on April 7
"Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia," the
new 60-minute documentary is a co-production of Prairie Public Broadcasting
and the NDSU Libraries, Fargo, will be shown at the High School
Theater on Friday, April 7, 2000, at 7 pm. Following the program,
there will be a reception. Honored guests will be persons from Rugby
and Balta, ND, featured in the documentary. The event is free and
open to the public.
The "Rugby Premiere" is sponsored by the GRHS Heart of America
Chapter, the Rugby Chamber of Commerce, Prairie Public Broadcasting,
and the NDSU Libraries. Special exhibits from the Germans from Russia
Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo, will be display.
Michael M. Miller, executive producer of the documentary, will
make opening remarks. He is Germans from Russia Bibliographer, NDSU
Libraries, Fargo. The documentary aired on Prairie Public Television
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
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
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;
Ron 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.
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
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 foodways documentary including
photographs of filming in the Rugby/Balta/Orrin area, Germans from
Russia heritage, cookbooks and recipes visit: http://library.ndsu.edu/gerrus
For further information about the Rugby event, contact: Mary Ebach,
Rugby (Tel: 701-776-6095) or Michael M. Miller (Tel: 701-231-8416;