Molly's Reviews

The Best of Amish CookingThe Best of Amish Cooking
Phyllis Pellman Good
Good Books

Informative Read ... Recommended ... 4 stars

This is not a story book, it is a cookbook. Recipes include Traditional and Contemporary Recipes Adapted from the Kitchens and Pantries of Old Order Amish Cooks. Before directions for preparing dishes the author gives us an introduction into who the Amish people are, and tells us their Food Tradition in the New World. Recipes are groups into One-Pot and Mainstay Dishes, Soups and Stews, Meats, Vegetables, Salads and Greens, Pickled and Relishes, Sweets and Sours. There are also recipe for Breads, Pies, Cakes and Cookies, Puddings, Dumplings and Desserts as well as Fruit Butters and Jams and Jellies. Cheese, Beverages and Candies round out the recipe offerings. Before ending the book the writer provides Menus for Special Occasions. A Wedding Dinner, A Wedding Supper, Sunday Church Lunch and A Funeral Dinner are included in the Menu section. Endnotes, Readings and Sources, an Index and a bit about the Author round out the work. I particularly enjoy the Potato Soup, Baked Corn, Cinnamon Flop, Ginger Cookies and Cottage Pudding. The recipes are easily prepared and are eaten by children and husbands.

Writer Good is a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She writes and edits books related to the Amish and Mennonites. Considered to be a leading expert on Amish cooking Good highlights traditional and contemporary recipes adapted from kitchens of Amish cooks. Before beginning the work on 'The Best of Amish Cooking' Writer Good interviewed Amish women and prowled through old books, recipe boxes and diaries. The recipes offered in the book are those often served on Amish tables in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area.

Writer Good offers the reader a peek into the religion and day to day lives of a people who are often considered strange or odd by those who do not know them. She explains why Amish folk prefer to live close to the land and eschew many modern conveniences. Readers may be surprised to learn that Amish folk population is on the increase, they live in one Canadian province and many states across the United States and not only in Pennsylvania. The Amish developed and retained a food tradition that is identifiable and because they are a living group menus do continue to change over time.

'The Best of Amish Cooking' is a collection of dishes that go back as far as 80 year-old-members of the Amish church can remember or find in old hand scripted cookbooks belonging to their mothers. Some recipes are prepared in old fashioned method, while others are adapted to modern days and products available from the grocery store. The old handwritten recipes were often only a listing of ingredients with no reference to measurement or procedure. Writer Good offers measurements and procedures for the recipes found in this work. Historical notes and asides are included along with recipes for specific dishes.

'The Best of Amish Cooking' is a good choice for a gift for Mom or Aunt, a must have for those who collect cookbooks, and for the Newlywed. 'The Best of Amish Cooking' is a fine choice for the pleasure reading list of those who enjoy learning a little about other cultures, Social Studies and History Teachers will find a use for the work in the classroom when studying various ethnic groups here in the US.

'The Best of Amish Cooking' is a cook book, history book and social studies lesson wrapped into one. It is a book to be read for the enjoyment of learning about another culture and for using to make good wholesome dishes for the table.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.




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2006 by Molly Martin