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Leafy Lettuce Salad

I remember this salad, as a small girl growing up. My mother lived off a mere $50 a month budget for groceries. She needed to feed a family of 7 plus all the hired hands. She had a gift of hospitality and knew how to make her pennies stretch. Actually, she always asked God how she could make her budget last. She worked hard and always had a garden and since I'm not working out of the home,
I've made every effort to grow a garden again. I love sharing this with the grandkids.
We've made some raised garden beds this year, which takes away from all that back-breaking work.
This week I called my sister to see what Mom's secret recipe contained.

Leafy Lettuce Salad
  • 8 cups of Leafy garden lettuce.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 vinegar

  1. Blend the sugar and cream together and then add the vinegar.
  2. Pour over the leafy lettuce and serve.

Pour over your leafy lettuce.Yum!!! Do any of you remember this lettuce salad?


Rollkuchen are a tasty, deep fried pastry that are a wonderful accompaniment to cold watermelon on a hot summer day.  How well I recall childhood picnics with big tubs of fresh Rollkuchen.  Let's just say that eating them is rather like eating can't stop at just one! Sometime over the years, Rollkuchen became paired with Roger's Golden Syrup (definitely a Canadian thing) on my table; they make a great team!

My mother-in-law made the best flaky, crispy Rollkuchen. Mine never quite measured up, so I have always made the thicker, softer variety and they have become a family favorite. Hers were all uniform in shape; mine are rather 'free-form'. Each recipe seems to differ slightly but I've never met a Rollkuchen I didn't like!


  • 5 - 6 cups / 1150 - 1350 ml flour
  • 3 teaspoons / 15 ml  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup / 250 ml sour cream
  • 1 cup / 250 ml milk
  1. Combine 5 cups / 1150 ml  flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Beat eggs, sour cream and milk together and add to dry ingredients
  3. Continue to add flour to form a soft dough ... usually about 1/2 cup more.
  4. Allow the dough to chill for an hour or two before rolling, for easier handling.
  5. Divide the dough in half and roll out quite thin on a floured board ... if you prefer them soft, then not quite so thin.
  6. Cut strips of dough about 2x4 inches / 5x10 cm ... with two slits cut in center of each.
  7. Stretch the pieces somewhat before dropping into the hot oil.
  8. Fry in deep hot oil over medium heat until golden on one side. Turn and brown the other side.

The rollkuchen puff up beautifully while cooking and are really mostly air pockets by the time they are ready to eat. A totally a healthy choice!  Who am I fooling?

Serve with cold watermelon and Roger's golden syrup.  Grilled farmer sausage is also a nice touch!

Large Basic Platz Mix

This Platz mix can be used as a base mix for near any kind of fruit Platz, muffin mix or coffee cake. Having the dry ingredients pre-mixed with the butter is a time saver when you need to make something quick for coffee or dessert. This amount makes about 13 cups of mix and will yield about 4 recipes, depending on what you make. The total recipe would serve 48 - 50. For more variations on how to use this mix check here.

  • 8 cups flour (I use unbleached)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cold butter
  1. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients and use a grater to grate in the butter, like cheese.
  2. Stir well, if too chunky, use pastry blender to stir and finish it up.
  3. Store in refrigerator for up to three months.

 For Basic Platz:
  • 3 cups mix
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups sliced fruit
  • crumbs made from 1 cup mix and 2 - 3 Tbsp cream
  1. In a small bowl, whisk egg with fork and add buttermilk. Add to dry mix in a larger bowl , stirring with a fork until blended.
  2. Spread into greased 9x9 inch pan and cover with sliced plums, apricots, apples or finely chopped rhubarb. Sprinkle with about 2 Tbps of sugar if desired or cinnamon sugar for apples.
  3. Top with crumbs using your hand to mix them.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 35 - 40 minutes.

Ten Years of Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Ten years ago, this blog began on a whim that blossomed into an extraordinary compilation of our Mennonite recipes. Ten women volunteered to make, photograph and post on this blog so that our families and future generations will have this integral part of our heritage preserved.

The first idea for MGCC began during a sleepless night on June 5th, 2008.  By 9 AM the next morning I had sent out a casual invitation on my personal blog. It was Vee who commented on that post saying "Sounds like great fun! I know you Mennonite gals know how to cook!!" 

 That is how the name Mennonite Girls Can Cook came to be.  There was no business plan or goal as to how many recipes we would post.   It is because of how it all fell into place that we have known in our hearts that God provided an opportunity for us to use the gifts He gave us,  to bless others,  and to give Him glory.  

I love telling the story of how we were so thrilled to realize that our blog was being read.  Within the first week, we were tracking several hundred visitors per day.  Later we admitted it was only the ten of us coming back over and over to see if we had any comments on our recipes.

It wasn't long though and you really did come to visit our blog and you kept coming back and your encouragement took us from the beginning idea of posting our Mennonite heritage recipes to also include our family favorite recipes and experiments from our own kitchens.

It is now not unusual for us to welcome over ten thousand page views on any given day. We are so delighted that this has become a place where recipes are searched, and where we have been able to freely share our faith.

We also recognize that God led us to make some decisions back when it all began.  We decided that if there was ever a way for us to raise money from anything connected to the blog, we would feed hungry children.  We decided we would keep our blog beautiful without automated advertisements.  Our sponsors on our sidebar quietly have donated to our charities and we have appreciated them for their generosity. 

We also decided that we wouldn't pursue a publisher but if one approached us we would welcome an invitation to do a cookbook.  In the spring of 2010, we were approached by Amy Gingerich the Editor of Herald Press, to see if we wanted to do a cookbook with them.  

Our original Mennonite Girls Can Cookbook featuring Mennonite Recipes and our family favorites became a Canadian bestseller within a few months thanks to all of you who bought up books everywhere they were available. 

Early in 2012, we started to work on our Celebrations book which was a delight to create as we reflected all the seasons that we have experienced in life.  During that summer, we met together once more to take photos and have a very special tea time that we shared with you in the pages of the book.  

Our Bread for the Journey book was published to coincide with the opening of the play Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  This book has been a place where we have shared our Mennonite family history stories and have shared what our faith means to us in daily living.   We used that opportunity to put into print some of the recipes that have been most searched on the blog. 

We have been reflecting in our daily chats with one another how we had never ever imagined the opportunities to share.  Television interviews across Canada, newspaper and magazine interviews, traveling for book signings,  cooking demonstrations, speaking opportunities, and the play called Mennonite Girls Can Cook have all had an impact on increasing our visibility.  
We are so thankful for all those that donated to projects on our behalf. 

We realize that God gave us this journey of ten women for a purpose. God gave each of us a gift and we have sought to be faithful in sharing that gift with you through our recipes, our books and through our devotionals. 

So I ask you to make full use of the gift God gave you when I placed my hands on you. Use it well. 
2 Timothy 1:6 

There is still a lot for us to accomplish on our blog. While we will not be posting new recipes, we will continue to tweak our past recipes, redo some old photos and rework our recipe index to make it easier to find your favorites. Our best recipes will be highlighted during the different seasons of the year. You can be sure that the new year will begin with Portzelky, Paska will be front and center at Easter, Rollkuchen in summer, harvest recipes in fall and Oma's cookies at Christmas.  We feel certain that there are many recipes that you haven't tried and we hope that by making the recipe index easier to navigate, you will feel inspired to search and try something new to you. 

There are many things that we will miss, most of all, our connections with you through your faithful comments.  Thank you for your encouragement that kept us motivated to do our work to the best of our ability.  Thank you also, for all the cookbooks and devotional books that you have purchased in the past and will continue to purchase.  Every dollar that we earn through those cookbooks will continue to provide clean water for the thirsty, and food for the hungry.  Because of your support, we have been richly blessed to give where God has led us. 

Before I press the publish button for the last time, I want to tell you about the beautiful women that have worked alongside me.  They have all had such a vital impact on my life.  They have encouraged me in my walk with God.  They have encouraged me to strive for excellence.  They have opened their hearts to friendship and unity.  They have allowed me to glean the wisdom they have and they are faithful to pray for needs within our group and are quick to bring praise to God. 

None of them signed up to take turns posting recipes every day for ten years and yet as this project grew, their hearts were open to using their gifts knowing that it could help others. I pray that wherever God leads them in the years to follow that they will continue to inspire others with the beautiful gifts they have.  

When I tell you how each is unique, you will understand how we have needed each other and how our group was brought together by God.
 We have become faithful friends because we have been thankful for each other. 

Anneliese opens her home with joy to host and to serve. Anneliese has the gift of creative writing.  She has used her gift to edit our books and to write poetry and stories that warm our hearts with truths. She has often helped me in thinking through how to communicate something in writing. 

When you have reached out to us on our contact page, it has been Anneliese who answered your questions.

 In Anneliese, I value her sincere heart, her example of hospitality, and her attention to detail.

Betty delights in serving. She is well known for treats she brings to appointments, workplaces, and is a source of take-out meals for those she loves.  Every Saturday morning, Betty has sent out an email to all of us, reminding us of our scheduled recipes. She never missed a Saturday and she never forgot to post her own recipe. 

 In Betty, I value her cheerfulness, her patience, and her humility. 

Charlotte has the gift of caring deeply about people with compassion and empathy.  She is gentle and kind and looks for ways to bless others. Her large friendship circle is a testimony to the way she treats those she knows.

Charlotte has forwarded the comments and questions that you have made on our posts to us. 

  In Charlotte, I value her capacity to love unconditionally, her listening ear and her empathy.

Bev somehow manages to juggle many things in a day and still host neighbors, family, friends and those that stop by, without exhibiting any bother or fuss.  She truly loves to host and does it with flare.  Bev also is generous and willing to help wherever help is needed.  
Bev has diligently indexed all the recipes making it easy when you are wondering what to make.

In Bev, I value her willingness, her honesty and her heart of reconciliation. 

Ellen has the gift of hospitality that she shares with family and friends and their church group.  
Ellen has been our voice on Facebook, always introducing each mornings recipe in a way that will pique your interest.

In Ellen, I value the twinkle in her eye, the way she listens before speaking and her discernment. 

Judy is our calm and steady peacemaker who encourages and sees the best in everyone. 
She has a keen eye for detail and has often quietly tweaked our spelling and grammar in the morning when necessary. 
Judy has been faithful in posting our daily recipes to Pinterest. 

In Judy, I value her sense of diplomacy, her logical thinking, and her kindness.

Julie is a prayer warrior.  If you have ever requested prayer on our blog, it has most often been Julie that has led us in prayer with her tender compassion and empathy.  Julie is always cheerful and gives the best hugs.  Julie is faithful to teach the gospel wherever God gives her opportunities.

In Julie, I value her joyfulness, her love to understand scripture and her imaginative mind.

Kathy is encouraging and has a joyful spontaneity that is enjoyed by all who know her.  Her gift of hospitality spills out of her home and into wherever life takes her.   She is a skillful communicator and efficient in managing her time. 

In Kathy, I value her inclusivity, her words that encourage and her sense of responsibility.

Kathy and Marg have been our sponsor liaisons.

Marg has a delightful adventurous spirit. She has shown us what courage and faith look like when tragedy strikes.  Behind the scenes, Marg has organized our schedule for our Bread for the Journey Sunday devotionals. 

In Marg, I value her joy in nurturing, her generosity and her authenticity. 

We are so very thankful for you our readers that have given us a platform to share our joy of hospitality!

   We want to leave you with a blessing from the Bible.

"The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face towards you
and give you peace."

Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

Bread for the Journey


Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
Proverbs 27:9 MSG

 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 ESV

Friendships are a wonderful gift to us from God...offering love, encouragement, companionship, validation, understanding, honesty, forgiveness and so much more.  I have a few life-long friends, and what a blessing they are.  Today I am especially thankful for the group of friends pictured here that I have only come to know over the past decade as we came together to be a part of this blog. None of us could have known what a gift we would be to each other. 

Over these past years we have been there for each other, encouraging and strengthening one another in our faith.  We have prayed, laughed and cried together. We have supported one another through sickness, loss and the hardships that came our way. We have celebrated the big events of life together.  We know how to have fun! We have found joy in serving and worshiping God together.
Life is a journey, one that we are to walk as Jesus walked. Today I am thankful for these godly friends who have walked alongside me these past years.  How wonderful to know that our friendship is not just for here and now, but that one day we will be together with Jesus Christ in eternity.
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.  Phil. 1: 3-6 MSG


Ten years ago on June 7th, 2008 I posted Zwieback to begin the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. Today's recipe is a bit different from my first, different from the one published in our original cookbook as well as the one published in Bread for the Journey. Anneliese and I were discussing our Zwieback recipes and agreed that what our mothers had in the kitchen is what they used to make their Zwieback.  So, if some weeks they had more butter or milk or flour than other weeks, that would have been what that week's Zwieback would have included. 

The best thing about Zwieback continues to be that they are best when shared with friends and family around a table. This blog has been a place of sharing with all of you who have joined us around this table, graciously encouraging us as we have shared our family favorites and as we have together learned new ways of doing things. 

We have wondered for some time now how long we should continue to post new recipes.  We will always remain the Mennonite Girls Can Cook but everything this side of eternity has a beginning and an end. We have over 3000 recipes on this blog and have decided that we will consider the recipe blog complete. Today is our last regular new recipe post. On Sunday, Judy will be sharing our final Bread for the Journey and on Monday we will have a look back at the past ten years. 

Rest assured, you will continue to have access to this recipe blog and all the recipes we have shared. You may notice that work will be continuing as we strive to make the blog as easy to navigate as possible.  We will be highlighting our recipes to compliment the changing seasons.

We would love to have you join us on Monday as we celebrate what God has done and thank Him for what he will continue to do.  

In the meantime,  stay calm, bake Zwieback and call a friend over to share them. 

  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups warm milk
  • 3/4 cup hard butter 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • about 8 cups flour 
  1. Sprinkle the yeast and the teaspoon of sugar over the warm water in a small bowl. Stir gently
  2. Heat the milk until it is just warm,  room temperature is perfect.
  3. In the bowl of a bread mixer,  or in a large bowl,  cut the butter into 3 cups of flour with a pastry blender. 
  4. Add the milk mixture, sugar, and the salt and yeast mixture to the flour and butter.
  5. Continue to add flour and allow the machine to knead until smooth. If you are mixing by hand, turn the dough onto a floured counter once stirring becomes too difficult.
  6. Knead to a smooth dough.
  7. Put the dough into a large bowl and cover with a tea towel or a lid.
  8. Let the dough double in bulk, about an hour.
  9.  Line 3 large cookie sheets parchment paper or grease them. 
  10. Take a piece of dough the size of a large orange,  hold it in the hand it feels most comfortable.  With your other hand, squeeze a bit of dough between your thumb and forefinger about the size of a walnut, pinch your thumb and forefinger together to squeeze it off.  Take the dough and place it on the pan.  Again, squeeze the dough between your thumb and forefinger, this time a smaller piece to make the top bun.  Squeeze it off and place it on top of your first bun.   Press down through the top and bottom buns to seal them together.  Repeat with all the dough.
  11. Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and let rise until they have doubled. Start to preheat the oven after 25 minutes so it is ready to bake. 
  12. Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for about 20 minutes.  If you have a convection oven, bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.