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German food takes stage as Living History nears

For the Living History out at Greenwood Cemetery on July 3 and 4, Marlys Jundt has written a script called “They Weren’t all Norwegians,” highlighting some of the other ethnic groups that helped settle this area. We have featured the Irish, Greeks, Italians and now we will share German recipes. Rev. Keith Kraft will play Jacob Keller in this summer’s production. Keller was actually Austrian/German but most of the recipes are the same. The area of North Dakota, around Wahpeton, where my ancestors settled was practically all German, but if you look around you see areas like Pollock that have a high percentage of Hollander/Netherlanders. That of course it what makes this country great. We have people from all over the world who came here to work hard and make a better life for themselves and of course they brought their love for the food of their home country.
Here are some of the German recipes you may be familiar with. Or not. Many German ladies cooked by taste, sight and feel. Many recipes are dough based, use potatoes or beets, eggs and cheese. You often find recipes that tell you to add something until to looks right or feels right. Woe to the modern cook who is used to exact measurements and times.

German Recipes

Hamburger Buttons
Into a bowl put 4 cups flour sifted with l level teaspoon baking powder, and pinch of salt, add 2 eggs, and milk enough to make stiff dough. Roll out and cut into squares, about 4 inches by 4 inches. Make a filling of l pound of hamburger or other ground meat, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Place 2 tablespoons filling on each square, roll up and press down edges tightly to close, and fry in deep fat until brown.
Can also add sauerkraut to filling.

3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/3 cup milk
1 cake compressed yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
l tsp salt
3 tsp shortening
1 egg
Choice of fruit
Scald milk and cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/3 cup warm water. Sift flour, combine dissolved yeast and sugar, salt and rest of milk. Add half the flour and beat thoroughly. Add melted shortening, add remainder of flour gradually and beat. Turn onto slightly floured board and knead well. Place in bowl, cover and allow to rise in warm place until double in size, about l 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise again. Cut into kuchen size and roll 1/2 inch thick. Let rise about 10 minutes. Slice apples or place any fruit on kuchen and cover with custard made of following: 1 pint cream, 6 beaten eggs, 4 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Bake until brown. If fruit is tart, sprinkle more sugar on it. Cinnamon sprinkled on top of custard adds flavor.

Raw Beet Relish
4 cups chopped beets
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 tablespoon celery seed
salt to taste
Mix together. Pour on vinegar to cover. Put cold in jars and seal.

Raised Strudels
Dough: 3/4 tsp yeast soaked in 1/2 tsp sugar and 1/2 cup water. Let set awhile and add 1 egg beaten, 1/2 tsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cups flour. Let dough rise for 45 minutes. Knead down and let rise again. Cut into 2 pieces and roll out into a layer 1/4 inch thick, spread with hot oleo or butter. Stretch and roll up and cut. Then let rise before you put in the kettle. Cook for about 20-25 minutes.

Potato Dumplings
1 1/2 lbs potatoes
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 small onion diced
1/2 stick butter or margarine
Saute’ onions and bread in butter. Boil unpeeled potatoes, peel and rice while hot. Mix salt and beaten yolks and add flour to make cough. Drop tablespoon of dough in flour, coat well and flatten out. Place in small amount of onion crumb mixture in center, form a ball, roll in flour and cook or freeze. These freeze well. To cook bring salted water to a boil and drop in dumplings. They rise to top when done.

Schlitz Kuchla
4 eggs
3 or 4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sweet cream
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp milk
Make a soft nice dough to roll out. Cut in squares and make a twist and deep fry on both sides.

German Borscht
Boiling beef for broth
3 potatoes
canned or fresh tomatoes (or juice)
Beets (canned or fresh)
No. 1 can sauerkraut or 1 cup fresh cabbage
Few sprigs of parsley
1/2 cup rice
While meat is boiling, cut up carrots, potatoes, parsnips, tomatoes, diced beets and onion. Cook meat until almost done, add vegetables, and rice. Cook until almost done and just before serving add 1 cup cream. A little vinegar may be added if desired.