JUNE 22 WEEKENDER: Grand Forks’ lapsha ladies group celebrates 25 years

The local lapsha (Russian noodle) ladies group in Grand Forks has made the noodles for 25 years.

A few members of the Lapsha Ladies take a break from making noodles (L-R) Stephanie Vatour

A few members of the Lapsha Ladies take a break from making noodles (L-R) Stephanie Vatour

The local lapsha (Russian noodle) ladies group met this past Monday (June 17), like it normally does once a month, but this was no ordinary get-together.

The ladies were celebrating their 25th anniversary making lapsha together.

The group started in 1988 with approximately six to eight women. Then, they would use five dozen eggs to made about 30 bags of noodles. Now, with a group of twice as large, the ladies make about 90 bags of lapsha every month.

The vibrant group of women seem to thoroughly enjoy working together to make the noodles. In an assembly line-type system, all the ladies have a certain job to do and this makes the group work like a well-oiled machine. The women do tasks like mixing and making the dough, breaking the dough up, putting the dough through a manual or electric noodle cutters and finally, baking the evenly cut dough in to crisp lapsha noodles.

One of the members, Anne Ogloff explained what it is like to be a part of this group. “We work hard, but it’s a social event,” she said.

For this special day, the women spent the morning cooking, and by the afternoon, they made a spread for everyone to enjoy. The meal served is all vegetarian and the group members helped to make the event happen. They even had a special cake made to celebrate the anniversary.

Lapsha is a traditional Russian dish made by many Doukhobor people in the area. After the noodles are made, they are later boiled and butter is added to complete the dish.

All of the women volunteer their time to this group, and most of the funds from selling of the noodles go towards various funds in the USCC (Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ) organization. However the group has donated to the Relay for Life, Red Cross, Pakistan Flood Relief and the Boundary Hospice to name a few.

The group is more than happy to have new volunteers to the lapsha ladies. Not all members of the group are Doukhobor, and all are welcome to volunteer and learn and make lapsha with this wonderful community of women.

– Written by Alesha Starchuk