Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mennonite Community Cookbook: 65th Anniversary Edition

When Jamey and I were first married we were lucky enough to rent an apartment that was furnished. The previous renters were leaving the country to do missions and asked if we wouldn't mind living with their furniture so they wouldn't have to store it while they were away.  We were so happy to oblige as we had no money and Jamey still had a semester of school to finish up.

In the meantime, we kept our eyes and ears open in hopes of snatching up unwanted furniture of family and friends so when the previous renters returned we'd have something to sit on.  My grandfather's cousins were moving into an assisted living facility and had a couch, a dining room table and chairs, and a matching hutch to sell.  We had to borrow the money from my grandfather to buy it (we paid him back shortly thereafter).  His cousins graciously included in our purchase a set of beautiful china and their lovingly used copy of The Mennonite Community Cookbook by Mary Emma Showalter.


Years later, this is the cookbook where I would find the recipe for making grape pie and food for a barn raising.  It became a treasured part of my cookbook collection.  When I was recently asked if I would help spread the word about its anniversary, I was honored.

The Mennonite Community Cookbook is celebrating its 65th anniversary with an updated edition. They added spiral binding, a glossy (easy to clean) cover, and photographs which were nonexistent in the original edition.

shoofly pie

They've also updated some of the directions.  "A dab of cinnamon" and "ten glubs of molasses" have been replaced with measurements that can...well...actually be measured.  The cookbook still retains all it's original recipes and charm.  Each recipe names the submitter(s) and where they came from (similar to a church cookbook) and has plenty of character. Reading these recipes reminds me of reading my grandmothers' recipe cards (prior to the age of meticulous editing of grammar and formatting). These recipes were and are the heart and soul of many, many a kitchen.


Last month, I asked you to tell me what foods/recipes you consider Mennonite and many of you responded.  I wanted to show you that if you want to create the recipes you lovingly remember, they can be found in this cookbook. If you're so inspired, you can purchase the cookbook here or find it on Amazon (if you have swagbucks to spend). Pin It


  1. Hi name is Nancy and I live on the other side of the country from you and live an entirely different type of life. I am Catholic, living my faith, and deeply in love with Jesus, my Lord and my life. He is more vital to me than the air that I breathe.
    I just recently started following you and it makes me ponder. While I live a truly blest life with a husband I love surrounded by family and really good people for friends I often times think, that if He returned today would He be pleased with our efforts. A simple lifestyle we do not live in the manner He prescribes yet I long to do more for Him and less for me. I know you live a very different way from me and while some might call it a simpler lifestyle, it is anything but easy.
    I look forward to following you and learning your heart and by doing so, perhaps learning a little bit more about mine! In His loving service, Nancy

  2. I am a long time follower and reader of your blog. I am wondering about the recipe for the peppernuts. I wonder how similar it is to this one: ? This blog is written by a group of women in Canada. The recipe calls for Roger's golden syrup. I wonder if your recipe does as well, and if you use Roger's, or substitute?

    1. Hi, Rita! The recipe in The Mennonite Community cookbook is very basic- it doesn't call for any corn syrup and also doesn't include the spices. The only flavoring is peppermint extract. They're simple, mildly sweet and delicious:-).


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