Demography, Recipes

Fruit Soup

For many years, the Census differentiated between Germans and Germans from Russia.  While there were significant historical differences between the two groups, by the time I was doing the demographic work for South Dakota, the largest difference I could see was the menu.  This recipe, for Plumemoos, a fruit soup served cold, is a hot weather dish passed to us from the Germans from Russia.

            Plumemoos

2 qt      water
1 c.      sugar
1 c.      seedless raisins
1 c.      dried prunes
1          29-oz can of peaches
1          cinnamon stick
1          package red jello
1 qt.     Purple grape juice

Cook dried fruit, sugar and cinnamon stick til fruit is tender.  Add jello to hot soup and stir to dissolve – this will color and thicken the soup when it has cooled.   When cooled, add grape juice to taste.  Serve cold – a wonderful, soothing soup for a hot summer day.

Recipes

Sardine Burgers

One of the more interesting recipes we brought back from South Dakota is from Jeeta Kant’s cookbook.  Jeeta’s BS was in Sociology, her Master’s in Geography, and her Ph.D program was in Civil Engineering – with her dissertation on edible wild plants used on the Pine Ridge. She has a rather eclectic academic transcript.

Jeeta’s recipe is reduced to six sandwiches instead of serving an entire Hutterite colony with a burger based on canned sardines. 

  • 1 can mustard sardines
  • 1 can catsup sardines
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 and 2/3 cups cooked ground chicken meat
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 and 1/3 cups bread crumbs
  • 12 slices of bread, buttered on 1 side

Mix all the filling ingredients together.

Spread 6 slices of bread with mixture.  Top with the remaining 6 slices and cook slowly on grill, buttered side down, until the filling is done and the bread toasted.

More of Jeeta’s recipes are available in the Hutterite Community Cookbook, by Joanita Kant.  The ISBN is 0-934672-56-3 if you want to get a copy of your own.

Recipes

Dried Corn Soup

Once, when I visited the Lower Brule, I was served soup made from dry field corn.  There was no large explanation, just the opportunity for the wasichu to recognize how tough the times were in the first days of the reservations and the last days of the buffalo.  While it’s not five-star cuisine, the recipe probably has a place with anyone who stashes a couple bushels of dried corn in the emergency rations stash.

1 lb. lean boned beef, cut in cubes
1 tbsp. bacon drippings
4 c. water
1 c. dried corn
1/2 tsp. salt

Brown meat.  Add water; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add dried corn and salt. Cover and simmer until both meat and corn are tender.

Recipes

Fry Bread

South Dakota’s official state bread is Fry Bread – Probably the best I ever tasted was with wojapi when I visited the Lower Brule Reservation.  I was fortunate to meet, and get to know, Mike Jandreau, who was Tribal President.  His first question was, “What do you know about tribal sovereignty.”  I could answer competently because I had traveled with Joel Clarenbeau as he studied the topic. 

The Lower Brule Reservation was settled under the leadership of Chief Solomon Iron Nation (1815-1894), a man who accomplished a great deal for his people. 

I don’t have the recipe from Lower Brule – but this recipe comes from St. Joseph’s, just a little to the south in Chamberlain.  I’ve visited them, and think highly of the school – they do a good job – more information on the school is available at https://www.stjo.org/  If you want the recipe for wojapi, it’s on the website.

Lakota Fry Bread
Ingredients:
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water (or just enough to make a soft dough)
Oil for frying

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add water, mixing carefully. Divide the dough into four pieces and pat each into a round, flat shape. Add 1-2 inches of oil to a large skillet and heat to 350. Fry each round until crisp and brown on both sides.