Contestant, Wisconsin State Fair, 2014


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance



Wisconsin State Fair

August 3, 2014





Winter Vegetable salad Russian-German Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance

(Image by Catherine Lambrecht)




Terri J. Magestro, Oak Creek, Wisconsin


1863 Europe was very different than today. There were constant conflicts over borders, especially between Russia, Poland and Germany.  When a war broke out between Russia and Poland, thousands of Germans that lived in these regions because of the constant changing of borders, fled to Volhynia, which is in the northwestern part of Ukraine today. My Great-great-great grandparents along with their children were among them. Life was good there for many yaers. The family came from a line of tailors, so money came in steady. They also were good farmers, so they always had food. Many people came from the same village, so communication and friends were abundant. The Russians gave them free will to have religion and little if any taxes had to be paid to the land owners.  None of the men had to serve in the Imperial Army as long as they had a craft or could farm. Life changed when Alexander II of Russia came in to power. He eliminated tax privileges and the men had to Serve in the military. Economic conditions grew poor and a series of famines occured. The German-Russians, as they were now called started to leave for the United States, Canada and South America. By 1888, my Great-great grandmother married into the Weinholz family, which is my Great-great grandfather’s family. And in 1890 my Greatgrandmother was born; May 5th to be exact. She was a very small baby, but healthy. At this time my Great-grandfather in the Riske family was about two years old. As the families knew each other, the men decided it was no longer safe to raise the children in Russia, so they contacted other families to tell them of their decision and if others would join them. Both their parents would not go because they were afraid they would not survive the journey and they could not leave the only people they knew. Many German and Russian recipes were gone over to make sure the women would not forget where they came from. It took two years to afford to come to America, but they knew life would be better and a lot of patience helped. In 1892, both the Weinholz and Riske families stepped on American soil. They settled in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A friend from their village had a farm, so both my Great-great Grandparent had at least food on the table for the families. When my Greatgrandmother Elsie was of age she married into the Riske family. My Greatgrandfather was Carl Riske. named after the men be­fore him. He had worked in factories for a few years and saved enough money to by a farm in Bristol, Wisconsin. It was a very prosperous farm, so my Great­grandfather quit his job and just farmed. They had seven children; two boys and six girls. When the boys were old enough, they also worked on the farm. The girls learned the handed down recipes because soon they would be married off. My Granfather soon became head .of the household when my Great-grandfather passed away. He was about 15 and made ends meet by also doing odd jobs. His sister Shirley had gotten married and being the oldest. she and her husband took over the farm. As the others married. they left the farm. My Grandfather married Dora Perri and they had two daughters. She died nine years later and my mom went to live in California with my Grandmother’s mother.  In 1945 my Grandfather got a Job at American Moters and remarried, so he was able to bring my mom back. My mom was about seventeen when she became pregnant with me. She married my Dad and three more siblings were after me. When we were old enough to remember.we always got to go to my Great Aunt Shirley on the farm. All the family got to­gether around late August to do things on the farm. The women would do the can­ning and the men helped with any harvesting and repairing farm equipment. They would butcher up a pig and we would have a wonderful feast. My Great Aunt Shirley would make this winter Vegetable salad, except it wasn’t winter. That always puzzled me. With tensions growing between my Mom and Granfather. the time to go to the farm stopped. Not until I became 18 did I get to drive to my Grandparents house. They took me to see the farm and my Great Aunt and finally got my answer. When my families were still in Russia. they would use this salad in the winter when fresh food was low and all they had was root vegetables; not like now when it can be made anytime. It was made as a little reminder of when it was warmer and then the winter was not so bad her mother told her. The recipe had the mustard changed because my Great Aunt could not remember what type was used and she. happen to have Dijon at home at the time she started to make this for the family get togethers. No one ever wrote it down till I asked about it. In 1980 milwaukee had teamed up with a city in Russia. It is called Yaroslavl. I joined correspondence group for this and to introduce the city to our sister city, some of us made Russian food for an open house. I remembered the recipe my Great Aunt gave me. I had to make it for 300 people; a little more than what my Great Aunt would do. She had six brothers and sisters, my cousins and whoever else would pop in. Since that time I too make this in August, so I rem­ember those visits on the farm, my favorite past time along with my cousins, chasing chickens. And I make it around Christmas time for my brothers and friend who stop by to also remind me of my families who lived in Russia and Germany. I have not changed the recipe since my Great Aunt told me of it but I use a Granny Smith apple because I like them.




Terri J. Magestro, Oak Creek, Wisconsin


4 medium red potatoes, -pared

1 large beet, scrubbed, top cut to 1″

1 large carrot. pared

1/4 C. olive oil

2 T. Dijon-style mustard

1 to 2 T. wine

I t. sugar

2 medium pickles, diced

1 medium tart apple, diced

1/2 C. drained saurkraut


fresh ground pepper


Cook vegetables in separate saucepans of boiling salted water; about 20 minute – potatoes and beets and about 15 minutes for carrot. Drain all vegetables; rinse under cold water till cool enough to handle.  Pare the beet.  Cut all into 1/2 inch pieces.


Combine oil, mustard, winel. and sugar in a jar with a lid. Shake till well mixed. Toss with the vegetables in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to easte. Refrigerate covered, tossing occasionally; about 4 to 6 hours.