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Amish Mennonite Cookbook

.I am so tired of hearing what has become almost a cliche: this book is so much more .. but here it really fits. This cookbook is so much more than just a cookbook! Yet, it is filled with 800 recipes that should keep you busy and not repeating menus for quite a long time.

The book is written by women (of the Yoder family) who actually are practicing Mennonites. They have been able to evolve a life-style which supports the practice of traditional beliefs in our modern world. I was delighted to note that under "Mennonite Household Hints" they have added the gender-neutral term handyperson. This seems to me proof of taking what is good from both the new and the traditional and this book certainly has done both in an admirable fashion.

The Yoder Family cookbook is a black and white book with lovely ink drawings. The recipes are interspersed with these drawings and many up-beat inspirational sayings. A few of my favorites are:

"Planning your work is good, but doing it is even better."

"A child may not inherit his parents talents, but he will absorb their values"

and finally,

"Yesterday is gone, forget it.
Tomorrow may never come, don't worry about it.
Do a master job today."

Please bear with me as I show you that the Amish Mennonite Cookbook is more than just a cookbook. "

The Table of Contents

1 - Amish/Mennonite - Appetizers and Beverages
2 - Amish/Mennonite - Breads
3 - Amish/Mennonite - Canning and Freezing
4 - Amish/Mennonite - Cakes and Frostings
5 - Amish/Mennonite - Casseroles
6 - Amish/Mennonite - Cookies and Candy
7 - Amish/Mennonite - Desserts
8 - Amish/Mennonite - Meats
9 - Amish/Mennonite - Microwave
10 - Amish/Mennonite - Oriental Foods
11 - Amish/Mennonite - Pastries and Pies
12- Amish/Mennonite - Salads
13- Amish/Mennonite - Soups and Sandwiches
14- Amish/Mennonite - Vegetables
15- Amish/Mennonite - Miscellaneous

Between the Table of Contents and the first chapters you will find two pages filled with:

Then, between the foreword and Appetizers and Beverages are six more pages dealing with: common causes of failure in baking biscuits, muffins, cakes, pies and breads (this page is worth the purchase price of the cookbook itself); oven temperatures and deep-fat frying temperatures without a thermometer; diagrams of beef, veal, lamb and pork and all their cuts.

Have I convinced you yet that this is indeed more than just a cookbook? But, I will belabor the point a bit more: Following Chapter 15 and the Index, Mrs. Yoder has included 411 "Mennonite Household Hints". They are divided into:

The Kitchen
Clean-Up Tips
Keeping Foods Fresh and Food Storage
Removing Stains
Carpets and Floors
Handyperson (fixing things around the house)

If you are looking a cookbook with a distinctive Amish/Mennonite flavor, we definitely recommend this book. It is perfect for a both the neophyte who is learning to cook and the experienced cook who is looking to add new recipes to their repertoire. This is a delightful book; and even if you don't get a chance to cook often, the Amish Mennonite Cookbook makes for highly enjoyable reading.

Reviewed by Lisa Thompson


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