Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Plastic Comb
379 pages
Jun 2006
Herald Press

Countryside Cooking And Chatting: Traditional Recipes And Wisdom from the Amish And Mennonites

by Lucy Leid

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Are there too many zucchini in your garden? Countryside Cooking & Chatting has a flavorsome use for them, like Low-Sugar Raspberry Zucchini Freezer Jam - quickly made, and handily stored in your refrigerator for tasty spreading. This cookbook is full of old-fashioned, familiar, and some wonderfully not-familiar recipes, advice, and interesting tidbits of information.

With the recipe for California Chowder, which makes enough beef, herb, and vegetable bisque to feed a really large family, comes an anecdote about a little donkey with a loud bray who almost got strangled. And the tongue-pleasing Richmond Chocolate Frosting and Elizabeth’s Chocolate Cake recipes are illuminated by an account about a chocolate cake the birds enjoyed.

Recipes vary from simple directions for Homemade Cheese, to Bird Treats, to Yummasetti, a creamy, meaty concoction to go on toasted homemade bread; from homemade soap and baby wipes to the amounts needed for feeding a barn raising crew; from Oriental Egg Rolls to Dutch Apple Pie to Strawberry Pizza. There are also hints for weight loss, including a Slenderizing Soup delicious enough for even those who aren’t on the diet. Sprinkled here and there throughout this cookbook you will find some timely Christian counsel, like the Recipe for Happy Marriage which includes, among many other things, 1 gallon faith in God and each other.

Countryside Cooking & Chatting starts with Breakfast Specials, moves on to Breads, Vegetables, Meats, extras like Pizza and Sandwiches, Desserts, Baked Sweets, and winds up with Beverages, Jellies, and Miscellanea. A handy index helps you find recipes and ingredients no matter where they are in this mélange of food and bon mots. For brunch you can enjoy Peanut Butter Granola, quickly mixed and baked, then stored for convenient use, Katie’s Corn Bread spread with Corncob Molasses, and Rhubarb Drink, spiked with pineapple and orange juices. Take a break later in the day for Grandpa’s Apple Dumplings, swimming in its own cinnamon sauce. (We plopped a scoop of vanilla ice cream on ours.) Then, for dinner, try Montana Chowder, a meat ball concoction more worthy of being called stew than soup, Amish Macaroni Salad, and Mae’s Soft Pretzels. Washed down with Real Lemonade (wherein you mash thin slices of unpeeled lemon with the sugar). After all that you will probably want a light dessert, so serve your own homemade Flavored Yogurt over a simple four-ingredient Fruit Cocktail.

Not just a book from which to cook, Countryside Cooking & Chatting also provides fun reading, food for thought, and some good ideas for do-it-yourselfers. I enjoyed trying these simple, easy-to-follow recipes, but I kept getting sidetracked by all the wonderful stories and miscellanea. Whether you are an accomplished cook or just a tyro, this book is well worth buying for yourself, and will make a marvelous gift for weddings, birthdays, any gift giving occasion. – Donna Eggett, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Lucy Leid brings you the best of traditional recipes from Old Order Amish and Mennonite kitchens from across the United States and Canada - along with some charming folk wisdom.

During 2003, readers of the Plain People's weekly newspaper, Die Botschaft, were invited to share favorite tried-and-true recipes for a new North American Old Order cookbook. In addition, Old Order cooks share a story to go with the recipe: something amusing or interesting that happened while preparing it (or serving it) or how they got the recipe. Some share why they like a recipe or tell about their family or farm where the recipe has its origin or use.

Included here is a collection of close to 400 recipes along with stories and wisdom, which they call "interesting chit-chat."

Recipes include Favorite Breakfast Casserole, Honey Oatmeal Bread, Little Spatzlein, Sausage Zucchini Bake, Grandmother's Spaghetti Soup, Bread and Butter Pickles, Yoder's Eight Minute Cheesecake, Black Midnight Cake, Chocolate Whoopie Pies, Pretzel and Chip Dip, and Kitchen Made Apple Butter. Wisdom includes "My Recipes for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off", "Recipe for a Blessed Life", "Grandma's Pies", "Friendship is a Shining Gift", and "Recipe for a Happy Marriage."