In the 1940s, Mary Emma Showalter began a cookbook project, collecting old Mennonite recipes that were handwritten in notebooks because she feared that soon the notebooks would be discarded. As Mennonites began moving beyond their home communities during the Second World War, they were learning to cook new foods and were less apt to use the old recipes learned from home. She also noticed that Mennonite communities in various states and provinces had similarities, so she assumed they had common roots and were old favourites.
Reading these recipes was very interesting, especially since they were collected so many years ago. This cookbook is a historical document that can show how Mennonite cooking has changed over the years.
I rely on my pantry when it comes to trying a new recipe and I look for recipes that only take ingredients I would normally stock in my pantry. This Mennonite Community Cookbook by Dr. Mary Emma Showalter has just that. She highlights a simple cooking style with this collection of old-fashion Mennonite recipes, while mixing in some traditional values and food history.
All the recipes in this cookbook come from over 125 women located in Mennonite communities throughout the United States and Canada. All the recipes remind me of how my mother and grandmother taught me how to cook. Not with fancy pre-packaged food, but with ingredients that were always stocked in their pantry. Using produce and meat that was raised right on the farm to make good old-fashion hearty meals. My kind of cooking!
If you love to cook with common ingredients, and want to provide healthy hearty meals for your family, I would highly recommend Mennonite Community Cookbook by Dr. Mary Emma Showalter.
One of my guilty pleasures is collecting cookbooks, so when someone contacted me recently asking if I would be willing to review a cookbook for them I jumped at the chance to do so.
The Mennonite Community Cookbook is filled with over 1,100 authentic Amish/Mennonite recipes. Many of which I recognize of things we used to eat at Grandma’s house. I can’t wait to make some of the pudding recipes later this week, in fact I might just try the Cracker Pudding recipe first. It's something my children have yet to be introduced to, and I used to love it.
Old Fashioned Bean Soup, or as we used to call it; Bread Soup which is often served at some Amish church meals is included. Things like Snitz and Knepp, Fried Bread Cakes, Corn Meal Mush, Hasty Pudding, and Apple Fritters are only a few of the many things I can't wait to recreate from my childhood.
If anyone is looking for a collection of simple downhome/Amish recipes I would recommend this book to them.