The heritage of North Dakota is like most areas made today, an assortment of various heritages. One particular that still is strong is the heritage of the Germans from Russia. For those unfamiliar with this group, feel free to read in-depth this article from NDSU: "Who Are The Germans From Russia?" The area surrounding the Black Sea port of Odessa, Russia, has a heavy connection to North Dakota's history. According to North Dakota's State Museum, thousands of people began migrating to the United States in the 1800s due to turmoil in their homelands. With the free land provided by the Homestead Act, even more, were enticed to migrate westward, especially the Great Plains states. It is believed that by 1910, approximately 60,000 Germans from Russia lived in North Dakota. It is believed that many of these people came from colonies near the Black Sea, which is now Ukraine.

Many love pancakes. Pancakes are thought to have been documented back to ancient Greece and Rome. Here in the United States today many think of maple syrup and butter. Head to France, and instantly crepes come to mind. Regardless of where you travel in the world, one will find some type of flat pan-shaped starch (be it barley, spelt, wheat, or any other flour) that is mixed with egg and flipped to cook each side.


'Stirrum' (pronounced STEER-UM) or 'pancake bits' or as BEC was raised, calling this treat 'egg crumbs'. Curious, were you served these by your grandparents? This dish was a favorite when BEC was a child. Her grandfather born in 1908, whose parents migrated to North Dakota in the mid-1800s, made this often. A simple recipe. From a time, when those that settled in the Great Plains learned to make the most of what they had, and appreciate what they had.


  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder (Optional)

Mix the ingredients together, will be like pancake batter. Heat a frying pan greased with oil, pour a cup of batter into the hot pan and fry lightly. Flip the 'pancake' and begin chopping it up into pea-sized pieces while browns. Some bits will get crispy. BEC was always served it with sugar sprinkled on top. Others enjoy maple syrup.

However, the older generation typically ate it with a garden salad topped with a homemade dressing made by mixing cream, vinegar, water, salt, pepper and sugar.

So we challenge you, next time channel a recipe from your heritage. Take a step back in time. Enjoy. AND still, make sure to support those local charity pancake feeds.

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