Germans From Russia New Cookbook Giveaway


 There is a giveaway at the end of this blog. But please read first what it is.

The food culture of the Germans from Russia is one of the most preserved culture I have known in the United States’s melting pot of cultures. I didn’t ever truly experience the Germans from Russia culture until I moved to my husband’s hometown in the remote, rural prairie of North Dakota six years ago. Of course I had heard about it. Sausage, kuchen, red eye and a few other foods from friends and my dad’s western North Dakota German heritage through the years as it had trickled into the “Eastern North Dakota” culture I was raised in. But then, I moved here, to Wishek, into the heart of Germans from Russia settled prairie, far from the city lights, from any pop culture tainting the precious and preserved heritage and traditions.

Everything I had heard became reality, multiplied by 100. People spoke in broken German from Russian tongue. I can say a few words in Norwegian, only because I took classes in college to try to maintain the heritage of my mother’s family. I learned to keep my Norwegian quiet in Wishek within my first week of living here. Wilma, in church said to me, “Do you speak CHERMAN?”

Can you hear her accent through my words?I replied, “Jeg snakker litt Norsk.” My husband jumped in, giving me a nudge to my ribs indicating that I should not have said that, “Umm, she speaks a little Norwegian?” Wilma was not impressed. “Vell if you want to live in Vishek, you better learn to speak CHERMAN.” 

Well, I have not learned to speak German. But I started living the Germans from Russia culture and blogging about why I must cook cabbage for my husband to be a good prairie wife. Two of our children were born into this culture. The grave sites of my mother-in-law’s German from Russia grandparents are near our home. It’s where my husband’s family came from and it is where our children are from today. Our kids relate to the culture and family heritage because they live it. They now list kuchen as one of their favorite foods!

The culture has influenced me. I started gardening. Pickling. Canning. It was what everyone seemed to do in the Germans from Russia settled American prairie, even in modern-day. 

Germans from Russia cookbook

 I have learned that if I don’t preserve the Germans from Russia food culture for our children, no one will. It’s our job and I want to learn. My kids adore Saturdays that they can go to Nana’s (my mother-in-law, Carol) to get fresh, homemade sweet rolls. Warm buns are delivered to our house often by mother-in-law. Pumpkins are grown to be made into Blachinda, a pastry filled most often with pumpkin. There is a lot of dough with butter and cream. A lot. Similar to the Norwegian heritage culture I was raised in, but more. Butter. Cream. Dough. Did I mention there is a lot of butter and cream and dough?

Behind the dough are people, who had parents or grandparents that settled in a three county area in our state and have preserved traditions. It’s the people that make the culture survive, that pull of Sauerkraut Day every year in our small town, feeding thousands. IMG_7862

And it’s people, a couple of my friends and others on the Tri-County Tourism Alliance that worked to create this amazing new cookbook and coffee table book, Ewiger Saatz or Everlasting Yeast. There is a story to the title. You must read it for yourself. This is a book by the Germans from Russia, not about them. It’s their stories, their connections to the land and their recipes.

I am going to give a few copies as gifts this year and am keeping it under wraps for them. But I have read many stories and recipes in it. It has inspired me. I bought a used stove for $50 to create a “Summer Kitchen” in a shed in our yard. Seriously, how German from Russia prairie woman of me. Carol and I will be cooking and baking together more often so I can indeed learn to make these recipes. Ham in a blanket. Cheese Buttons. Meat Pie. Sauerkraut. Potato Buns. Schlitz Kuehla. I might need to learn to speak German.

The book is so wonderful I left my copy with my Norwegian heritage Grandma Nola this week for her to page through it. Because you do not have to be from here to love this book.

The stories, the photos, the old recipes, the traditions are all captured into over 100 pages, in one hard-covered book. It is not another cookbook. It is a treasure, whether you have any tie to Germans from Russia or not. It is the true American story of survival, captured through photos, old recipes, and personal story telling.

You want a copy by now I am sure and details are here. It is $75, plus shipping. The proceeds go back to the Tri-County Tourism Alliance (like them on Facebook, German Russian Country) to continue their projects of preserving the food culture of the Germans from Russia in Emmons, Logan and McIntosh Counties in North Dakota. 

The stories and recipes of Ewiger Saatz have captivated me. I want you to have a chance to have your own copy so I am giving away two copies. You have two chances to enter: 

1. Tell me in a comment on this blog post why you read this blog. This is unscientific research for me as I plan a blog content redesign. Be honest and if you don’t read my blog, you can tell me that too. But I hope you do read and tell me why you do. Your comment enters you in the giveaway.

2. Subscribe to my blog by email in the right column of this blog. Tell me in a comment that you subscribe by email. 

Two chances to win. Two copies will be given away to two lucky winners. Simple as that. With shipping this is a $90 value per cookbook, but consider it a gift from the Germans from Russia food culture of North Dakota. And there is not any fancy disclosures or advertising to list out. I bought these as gifts to share with you.

I will draw on Tuesday night, August 13 and announce on August 14 on my Facebook page the two winners and include in a post. 

So please, share with your friends. Depending on the success of this giveaway, I might do more cookbook giveaways. And more Germans from Russia cultural giveaways. Like blood sausage and headcheese? They are readily available in my one and only grocery store. The giveaway possibilities are endless!

Now I’m off to make some food. To share with friends. 

This giveaway is complete. To see the winners, click here


  1. Lisa Drong says:

    Katie- I love your Blog posts! I read this one because I’m 100% German and my Dad’s family are all Germans from Russia! I grew up with Grandparents speaking German and enjoying so many of the foods you speak of in your post… and learned that Germans from Russia are special Germans! Growing up- ‘food was love.’ Take care!

  2. I read your blog regularly, but one of the main reasons I read this particular post is that the font (size, type and color) is easy to read. There’s nothing worse than visiting a site that looks interesting, then struggle through someone’s idea of creativity. Second reason is that my grandmother was prairie born and raised – that ‘other’ Dakota πŸ™‚

  3. I read your blog because you are a great storyteller – you paint pictures with words and that is a rare gift…

  4. Just started reading your blog, Katie. Looking forward to following your posts. I love your site, by the way. Very easy to read and navigate. I need to have my web designer build me a site this good!

  5. I read your blog for inspiration, and for another view on topics I am thinking about. I appreciate your views on farming issues, and on family. I like how you mix things up – sometimes a recipe, sometimes an encouraging word, sometimes a post to really make me think.

  6. Wanda Zimmerman says:

    Katie I have followed your blog way back from the time I knew who Katie Pinke was and like her. Your family holds a special heart string to me. I also love to laugh and cry and follow the happenings in your lives and especially like the fact how you all have turned the lives around for Eldon and Carol by being here in the business with them and they get to enjoy grandparent time. I can feel how special family is to all of you and as it is for my family too. God Bless.

  7. Linda Bruski says:

    I love reading your blog. I grew up in Wishek and my heart sings when I read about my home state. My grandfather was the first in his family to be born in America and they chose North Dakota to be the place they raised their family. Strong values…strong faith…good people. I am proud to call North Dakota home.

    • Linda Bruski says:

      I just subscribed by email as well. I also follow you on facebook and click into your blog frequently.

  8. Donna Eszlinger says:

    I love reading your posts, since the way you tell your story,, it comes straight from the heart, and so very honest,, not some made up story,, I too am from German heritage,, and have much pride in the way we were raised, and have tried to pass this info, history, traditions,, and way of life on to our children and grandchildren, so that it can always be of importance to them,, The stories in the tri-county book are so real, you can feel it as it happens,, what a wonderful way of keeping our history alive. keep up your good work.

  9. Barbara Cook says:

    With many thanks to the Tri-County Tourism Alliance, I have found your page and will be putting it in my bookmark favorites. With half my roots in the Hague area and another quarter just plain German, I’m very much interested in the history, recipes, and traditions of this very interesting ethnic people. I will also be sending a link to your blog to a few others in my family.

  10. Randy Woehl says:

    Growing up in McIntosh county on the farm, heart of Germans from Russia country, and I a very german household. I love the our German heritage food culture, no other like it. Genealogy has been a life long passion of mine, so my interest in this page is in no way a surprise. I love the work you do both online and your projects on the side. We need more that take so much pride in preserving the heritage like you do ! Great job !

  11. Arlene Welk says:

    Katie, I have a copy of this book and I just love it. I use it with the residents at the nursing home and I have so many that participate with discussions. It brings back so many memories for them. They know so many people in the book as well. We started from the beginning and are slowly moving forward with the stories. I plan on reading this to my grandsons so they have an understanding of what the German’s from Russia conquered to get to where they are today. It is so easy to do these discussions because I grew up on the farm and I know firsthand how hard they worked to make a decent living.Thank you for your wonderful blog. Good job!

  12. Amy Gore says:

    I read because I love keeping up with you, your family & your Prairie stories. Not to mention, you have great busy mom food ideas πŸ˜‰

  13. This is the first time I’ve read your blog and I love it – and will be subscribing also. I clicked on a share from my good friend Deanna G when she shared this on facebook. I was interested in it, as we have traveled to Germany and I love the food. In fact my husband just had a spaetzle maker shipped from Germany to make me spaetzle for my birthday on Sunday. Thank you for sharing your books.

  14. This is my first visit to your blog and I have subscribed by email. I am German Russian, my grandparents homesteaded in Burt, ND. Both of my parents spoke both German and English. My father graduated from Dickinson Teacher College and taught grades 1 through 8 in a one room county schoolhouse near the Hirning homestead in Burt, ND. My mother was a great cook of German Russian food, but she never wrote down any recipes, everything was done from memory. I wish I had some recipes to go by. Now that I know about this blog, I will visit often. One more thing, I have promoted your cookbook on Facebook a couple of times since you first posted it. Have a great day!

  15. Katie, I read your blog because I have known you for a long time!!! I find when I read your blog I often learn something about agriculture. I also find we are on different sides of, I guess you would say, social issues. I need to work on listening and being accepting of others when they differ from me. I really, really like your German from Russia posts. My Mom is 100% Ukrainian. However, she would also make a lot of the foods of which you write. Plus I just love food!!!!!

  16. This good ITALIAN transplant on the prairie reads your posts because they are healthy dose of reality loaded with humor. I married a Ukrainian…and I did NOT grow up here. He did. Even more of a shock to this little California girl come the long way via 18yrs in Colorado… I too garden like mad…Have learned to cook things that I NEVER would have gone out of my way to eat, and have even learned to actually like quite a bit of it! πŸ˜‰ In fact I was 2nd in the Pride of Dakota Kuchen contest at the state fair this year!
    But I read you because you are so, well…normal in that dysfunctional farm way.

  17. Marge Horner says:

    I have read your blog from time to time & enjoy it, but always forget about it until I get a nudge from someone else. I have now subscribed by email. Thanks

  18. I enjoy reading recipes and refreshing my German heritage now that both parents are gone to The Lord. We are originally from Wishek where I went to grade school first through fourth grade. I miss it tremendously and still get back there for Sauerkraut Days and special occasions. So I guess I would say, both the recipes and memories.

  19. JoAnne Smaaladen says:

    Katie, I love your blog! I have known your family for a long time an enjoy reading about all the different things you are accomplishing along with your husband and his family. I am 100% Norwegian, but enjoy German foods very much. This cookbook intrigues me! Good luck with your new adventures.

  20. Becky Fix says:

    I read your blog because it reminds me of home. I am 100% German Russian and grew up with grandparents that sometimes can’t think of the English word so they throw in the German word instead. So I know exactly what Wilma sounded like when she said that. I also come from an ag background and enjoy learning more from you and all your knowledge in the industry.

  21. I just signed up to follow you because I saw your post on the German-Russian Country: Prairie Legacy FB page. I was born in Wishek, but moved away as a young child. I still have many relatives living in the area and like to follow the German-Russian page because it reminds me of so many wonderful memories. I’d love the cookbook, I’d love to see if some of the recipes I remember my grandmother making are in there.

  22. I subscribed to your blog (Lkvoyer at aol dot com). FB LeAnn Brandner Voyer

  23. Alicia M says:

    Katie, there is so much I could say about why I love your blog posts, but I will try to keep it short. You were the first person to welcome me to ND through social media when I found out I was moving here. Through you I have learned about this beautiful state and it’s heritage. I feel like I should have been born here. Reading your posts makes me feel at home and North Dakota has truly become my adopted home. I am happy to be raising my family here and can’t imagine living anywhere else at this point. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your life and family with us!

    I also just subscribed to your blog posts. πŸ™‚

  24. Janet Barrows says:

    This is the first time to read your blog. And, I am hooked. My mother’s family had a bakery in Germany and we descended from the Pillsbury (think little doughboy) family. Yet, we have little knowledge of the family prior to their coming to Kansas. I’m the fifth generation connected to my dad’s family farm. At one time, it was a dairy. I love food and farm heritage. I collect cookbooks that weave history, culture and recipes. I would love to read about the culture that is so dear to you and your family.

  25. Alison Kiesz says:

    Hi Katie, I read your blog because I love reading your perspective on agriculture and raising a family in the rural Dakotas. My husbands family are also Germans from Russia. I’ve learned how to make halupsie, cheese buttons, strudels and other food from his heritage. I once asked why every recipe starts with dough and he answered because flour was cheap.

  26. Katie, I read your blog because I enjoy your writing style. I just subscribed to get it more regularly. VK

  27. Marilyn Winegar says:

    Love this blog, and concept! Late husband was German, and so many foods were served over the years. Although I’m English/Irish….I was raised in Nebraska, Ioa and Illinois…so lots of plain prairie food too.

  28. Karen Retzlaff says:

    I grew up near Wishek and still have many relatives there. My mom’s recipe for Potato bread is in the book. Check it out!

  29. A friend of a friend shared a link to your blog on fb. I am now hooked! Being a descendant of Germans from Russia I have eagerly grown to learn more of my heritage, especially the cooking!

  30. Linda Boatman says:

    First of all, I have to commend you on wanting to preserve and to pass on the heritage of ‘Germans from Russia’ for your children! It not only shows how much you love your family, but you are providing them with a wonderful gift of love & heritage. That is very special. My own heritage is German Russian. Both my Dad’s and Mother’s parents immigrated from Odessa, Russia, as young children. That heritage has always been very important to me and provided me with much love and pride. I lost my mother when I was young, but having spent time with her in the kitchen and watching her cook the delicious food, and recalling the memories, has helped to sustain me through life. German Russian food is ‘love’. They came to this country with so little, but maybe more important than anything was that love and those wonderful German Russian recipes that helped them through such very tough times. You are helping carry on that tradition and that love for your family. Your own children will one day be so thankful for what you have done, and have their own memories and stores to pass on.
    Thank you.
    Linda Schatz Boatman

  31. Marsha R. says:

    Katie – I enjoy reading about a Norwegian transplanted into Germans from Russia territory. Brad & Jeff are pros at making Cheese Buttons – we call them Kase Knepfla. My grandsons are now learning to make and eat them! Lee is a descendant of Germans from Russia and so I, a 100% Norwegian, have learned a lot about the food he grew up eating.

  32. Peggy Renner-Howell says:

    I found this blog through German-Russian doorways on Facebook. I love all things German-Russian. I grew up in North Dakota. The old traditions are dying out. We need to hang on to them, if we can. Your blog and this cookbook do that. Thanks for what you do.

  33. Peggy Renner-Howell says:

    I also just subscribed by e-mail. I grew up in Zap, North Dakota, but live in the Milwaukee area, where they have different German traditions.

  34. I read this blog because I too live in ND and love this place and the unique melting of heritages. Your blog is well designed, easy to read, and enjoyable to read. I am a “melting pot” American, but the largest portions are Norwegian and Icelandic. My husband is 1/4 Norwegian, 1/4 French Canadian (Meti perhaps?), and 1/2 German from Russia. I would love love love to win this book – not just for him and for our family to look at, read, absorb, love, and try the recipes, but also for us to share with his grandparents who are still alive (at age 93!) and were the actual immigrants to this country. They have amazing stories to tell, but sadly, in this area, have sort of learned to be quiet and assimilate vs. tell the stories and heritage. I think this book would not only be a treasure to us in terms of knowledge, but would also spur them to tell us more of their own stories. Thank you for considering us as potential winners of this giveaway.

    Also for readers who may see this, I’m not sure if this has been shared previously, but if you’re looking for germans from russia recipe “like Grandma makes/used to make,” here is a good resource. We love the Isaak knoephla soup recipe (without the cream though), made with homemade knoephla, and the kuchen recipes are good too (though require some tweaking to get “proper” dough to cream ratio). I hope you enjoy!

  35. I think this cook book is amazing. Just wish I could afford to buy it. I wish you much success with it. So proud of my heritage and the wonderful food, and good times we had when I was a child.

  36. I read your post because you sent me a personal message invite to do so and enter the give-away. I also enjoy following your ‘adventures’ on facebook. I am also entering my email address in the sidebar for your blog.

  37. I may have come across this blog via Pinterest or twitter or a recipe. I can’t remember. But I enjoy reading about your life in ND. Being in Texas I can relate to the farming community. Plus i read anything Rural America. However, I’m fascinated that anyone survives those cold winters! I have no idea how u function during the winter. Burr. I enjoy the blog. Real people. Real life. I hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  38. Katie, I have enjoyed Pinke Post for the last few months and feel we share a lot of the same experiences as I too married into this area. I grew up on a farm located in central South Dakota. I was the second child of six children and the only girl in the family. My family now has the fourth generation working the farm. When I was a girl there were hogs and cattle along with grain farming….my dad was one of the firstfarmers in the area that installed irrigation systems near land along the Missouri River and was also part of the few progressive farmers in the area who took a chance on no-till farming. My grandfather’s family emigrated from Ireland during the potato famine and settled near Lincoln,Nebraska. Grandpa went out on his own and took a chance on the Dakota’s….I know how important passing on family heritage is, how important the land is, the sacrifices and risks that were made by our ancestors to build a legacy to pass on to the offspring. I always knew I would raise a family on the farm and am grateful that my dream is coming true…my husband and son now farm together as my father-in-law and husband did. We now have two grandsons who love the farm as much as their uncle and papa do! They even have a slight german accent thanks to papa! Keep on blogging ….I just signed up for your email post earlier in the week.

  39. Jolene Deichert says:

    I just found your blog for the first time and it sure is interesting. I am originally from Napoleon. I can understand all the German but don’t speak it. I can say many words but when I put in a sentence by husband laughs at me. I love reading about our heritage.

  40. Hi! Love your blog! Just found it and will follow you. I subscribed by email. I’ve heard that the book is awesome! Best wishes from your neighbors to the NW – Napoleon!

  41. Melissa L. says:

    I just started following your blog. I have family from Germany. I think this will be a fun blog to follow. Thank you

  42. Glenda Sartorius says:

    I received an e-mail and the cover of the book caught my attention. Being German, I thought this might be interesting.I enjoyed your blog and signed up for more e-mails.I guess that I need to learn how to speak Cherman.

  43. I was not familiar with your blog until my friend told me about your contest. I just subscribed via eEmail because I like what you have to say and how you say it.
    I was born & raised in Emmons County to a German from Russia family, and the memories of my Grandparents and our food customs are the most vivid and happy of my life. Here’s to nurturing that experience in every generation!

  44. My mother in law shared your page. My husband’s paternal side are German Russians and his grandmother kept the traditions alive. I look forward to keep touch via your fb page.

  45. Katie;

    I love reading your blog. I’m not sure why I read it. I think it’s because I feel a connection to you as we lead similar lives. I’ve never been in the corporate world, so I don’t have that connection, but I do raise my kids in a rural area. I love agriculture and want to teach it to them and those around me. Yours was one of the very first blogs I ever read on a regular basis. I feel as if I know you personally because of the way you speak through your blog. You’re so real, not like you’re trying to put up a front like some blogs. Anyway, my heritage is German as well, though not from Russia. My family was from the Mecklemburg area (I’m not even sure I spelled that right) so I’ve heard of headcheese, from which I’ll politely decline because I have a pretty good idea what’s in it. I’d love to learn more about the Germans from Russia culture you appear to be growing so fond of.

  46. Cynthia Buhler says:

    Glad I found your blog from my GFR face book feed. I added your email and blog. I taught myself how to make kuchen 20 plus years ago after discovering From my husbands Boschee grandma in Alberta. Her and great grandpa were born in the Dakota’s. I have done research over the years about this heritage and strongly embrace it as it is important that someone in the family do this for us. And my daughter. I would love to do what you do. I do what I can living in Seattle. We would be so blessed to have your book. It would be an invaluable addition to our family.

  47. Jake Cecil says:

    I read your blog because your family’s priorities mirror our family’s. God,Family and Farming. Plus I have a bad case of “Dakota prairie envy”!!!

  48. Vicki Miller says:

    I have followed your blog for I’m guessing a little over a year. I live in NW OH and am married to a crop farmer. We farm approximately 900 acres. Honestly, I grew up in the ghetto in MI and moved to rural OH in H.S. I thought the moment I graduated H.S. I’d be long gone from this tiny town and certainly never marry a farmer! Ha! Well, God has a huge sense of humor and after being married to my farmer for over 13 years now, I am so thankful God knew better than me!! I love your blog for various reasons, but the main reason is you are a real farm girl & I’m jealous! I wish I were as knowledgeable as you regarding agriculture. So I follow you faithfully trying to absorb your ag knowledge. Your family is blessed to have you. As far as blog layout, I prefer clean basic lines, but also love whimsy like PW has. I don’t think you can go wrong. And I read this post because I read most of your posts and the giveaway just a nice side bonus. My family heritage goes back to the American Indians. I adore cookbooks and have been collecting for over 20 years! I am a huge canner and actually have a small gourmet jams & jelly line I sell at local markets. I’m so excited to hear stories about your new canning ventures with your bargain stove! And maybe you will have a few new canning recipes for me???

  49. Vicki Miller says:

    I also follow you via email.

  50. Jill Moos Beck says:

    I love the German Russian Heritage and grew up in Zeeland and am trying to learn all the recipes to carry it onto another generation. So afraid it will be a lost art. Will start following the blog. Thanks for the post.

  51. I read Pinke Post because I appreciate your voice, telling it as you see it and appreciating the simple joys in life. PS, I love the cookbook giveaway, and if I don’t win I’ll be buying a copy anyway!

  52. My aunt posted this on fb and since this is my heritage also.I was interested in your blog and how it relates. I have several cookbooks from relatives that contain recipe sections on German from Russia foods. I also wanted a peek into your book

  53. Started reading your blog recently after you appeared in On the Minds of Moms. My family heritage is German Russian and I would LOVE a copy of this book! I have subscribed to your emails.

  54. I read your blog because I am interested in your little corner of the world and how though we are separated by nearly 1400 miles, rural American isn’t that different. We share many of the same values. Of course I am also of German hertiage. Keep writing and I will keep reading!

  55. Elisabeth says:

    I just found your blog and subscribed to it. My mother is descended from Germans from Russia and grew up in North Dakota. I still crave lots of the food she used to make: bread, sauerkraut mit nipla (spelling?), kuchen, kase kuchen…. I make borscht and sauerkraut but don’t cook much. I’d like to know more about Mom’s culture.

  56. My grandfather was born in Russia, at the age of 3 yrs. his parents Christian Horst came to America. They settled in So. Dakota, where he raised his family. I grew up learning some of the German dishes my mother made. I do remember her telling us that some of the dishes had some Russian influences. I have only recently found that some cookbooks exist of the old methods of what I learned. Any suggestions of where I can get a cookbook of the Germans from Russia.

  57. I watched Cook’s Country on CreateTV and wanted the recipe for Dakota Peach Kucken, then discovered your Germans from Russia connection. I am of Wendish heritage who immigrated from Germany in the middle of the 19th century and from genealogy research found the Germans from Russia some time ago, while researching my ancestors. Just from reading this article I now think there might be some Russian heritage from earlier ancestors because many of the recipes also come from my family. So interesting to come across your blog.

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