Tell us your Book Story




Has it already been a whole year since the book has been published?   Thank you for bringing the book into your homes and for sharing it with others.  If you have a story about the cookbook ....we would love to hear it.  We have had the opportunity to meet many of you but there are so many of you that we may never have a chance to chat with.
Please feel free to leave us a comment here telling us your story about how the book has touched your life or the lives of those you love.  

39 comments:

  1. I received my signed book from my daughter Jeanine for Christmas. Betty and Charlotte had a book signing in Altona. I went to meet them and that was exciting. Apparently someone knew all along that I was going to get this book ...her name starts with a B and is one of the Mennonite girls!! (wink..wink)..love the book..glad I got one.

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  2. I love, love, love the book and am trying to cook my way through it (minus the gluten free recipes). My family is enjoying the meals and one son commented that I could now get rid of all my other cookbooks (and I have many) since it seemed I was only using this one. I also love the fact that I am keeping my heritage alive by cooking the foods my ancestors ate. I learned that one can eat very well using a few basic ingredients. My book is also signed by several of you, so that makes it special too. Thanks for all the effort you put in to make such a wonderful keepsake.

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  3. I have your wonderful cookbook in my hands. The recipes and photos are wonderful. But what is truly special is 'meeting' each of you and having you share parts of your life. I love it! Thanks. Wonderful that the royalties are going to very deserving places.

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  4. I just received my copy on Monday. As I flipped through the pages, I began to cry - oh the memories that came flooding back! I have some recipes that I got from my Mom, but the monster that is called Alzheimer's took my mother's memory from her far too soon, so many of the recipes were lost. As I turned each page, a little gasp and a smile - I REMEMBER eating that! And while there are some slight variations in the recipes, they are basically the same as what we ate. And so many I didn't even really realize were "Mennonite"! It was just what we ate!!

    Even the German pancakes are exactly as my Mom used to make!! Being from Niagara, however, we didn't make the Dutch Apple variation - we made Cherry Pancakes. My Tante Eva made the best ones! She would put in sour cherries where your recipe added apples. So good!

    So, thank you. I have only a few of the recipes that my Oma and Mom used to make, and Mennonite Girls Can Cook has helped to fill in the gaps. I am so excited about making the recipes. I also purchased two additional copies for my daughters so that they can also share in my heritage.

    As an aside, if anyone knows where I can get (order) farmer's sausage from in Ontario, I would be ever so grateful for that information! Wareneki just isn't the same without it!

    And I too appreciate that the royalties are helping children. How very "Mennonite"!

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    1. Doris I'm sure there would be many places in the Waterloo/Kitchener area where you can buy the real Mennonite farmer sausage. And I know that it can be bought in the Niagara on the Lake area - I have family there and they buy it often.

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    2. Do you know where? I don't live in the Niagara Region anymore so would need to make a special trip.

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    3. Doris here is a reply from a friend living in the Kitchener area.

      "What we call the Russian Mennonite smoked farmer’s sausage can be bought at Dettweiler Sausage and Meats: http://www.dettweilersausage.ca/Products.html This is in Breslau which is just outside Kitchener. They sell it at their shop but I also think they sell it wholesale to places like St Catherines and Leamington where there are a lot of Russian Mennonites."
      Hope this is helpful.

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    4. This is great! Thank you so much!!

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  5. For my 30th birthday last spring I hosted a "Mennonite" Theme party. We had an abundance of fantastic mennonite food, and I sewed aprons for party favours for my guests. It was a potluck style party, and some of the non-Mennontie guests looked to the Internet to find recipes to make and bring. The MGCC site was mentioned a few times in conversations around our food table!! I received the Mennonite Girls Can Cook book as a gift at that party. I kept the book on my coffee table and enjoyed looking through it regularly. Last winter, my puppy tore both covers off the book! Now it's more of a "magazine" style book, but all the wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures are still there!

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  6. I love this cookbook. I grew up near Winkler MB in a small Mennonite village so I remember very well the delicious cooking by my mother. I never really learned how to make a lot of the food that I enjoyed so much when I was younger. I do make very good rollkuchen though. That is one thing I have to make several times in the summer. I have only made a few recipes in this book so far but will try more. The Soft White Cookie recipe is the best. Everytime I make them for a gathering, they disappear very quickly. My mother-in-law even asked me for the recipe. Thanks for the book.

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  7. I have been following your blog for a while. When your book came out in a bookstore in Waterloo, where I live, I had to buy it for my collection. I sat alone one night reading it and I felt like I was back in the kitchen with my maternal grandmother, Katherine Funk. She lived in Winnipeg but would travel by train to Ontario to spend time with us. I recognized so many of the recipes that my mother still makes. At the end of the book I felt moved close to tears for the memories it brought back.
    I'm working my way through your recipes, in part as a homage to my "Choochoo train Oma" as we used to call her.
    Thank you

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  8. This week I gave a copy of the book to another sister-in-law and as I write this the cookbook is on a trip to its forever home in Brazil! Helga was soo thrilled to get the book and doubly thrilled to have Lovella's best wishes written to her in there, or "Lowella" is she pronounces your name!
    Always a joy to give the Mennonite Girls Can Cook book as a gift. Thanks to all of you. Looking forward to the next edition!

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  9. I JUST ordered the book! I was printing out favourite recipes from your website & realized I was printing each one that I read!

    I married into a "Wiebe" family & know first hand that your book is aptly titled! THIS cookbook will ensure I do justice in the kitchen to our last name.

    I can hardly wait to sit down with a cup of hot chocolate & read the book cover to cover!

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  10. The Rollkuchen recipe from the cookbook was used to make 1000+ rollkuchen for Camp Squeah's 50th anniversary on July 21st.( 25 x the recipe was too much!) Still receiving compliments on how great they tasted- even hours later. Thanks so much.
    Lorraine

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  11. I got this cookbook for Christmas from my Mom. I love getting to try cooking foods that I recognize from my Mom and Grandma's cooking. I also appreciate the pictures! It sure helps when the directions I get from an experienced cook like my Grandma, or from the Mennonite cookbook are as follows: Mix until dough feels right, set oven to fairly hot temperature, and bake until it looks done. I love the book!

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  12. I received my copy of your book as a gift, and have enjoyed it so much, I decided to give one to my best friend. We've known each other since we started kindergarten together almost 40 years ago in southern Manitoba. She lives in New Orleans now, and I live in Manitoba. We take turns each week picking a recipe, make it, then either email or skype giving our critiques. So far we have not had a negative thing to say! Thank you for publishing this fantastic book, and creating a bonding opportunity for me and my bff!

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  13. My son is in his four year at University in Ontario. I sent him a care package with your cookbook in it (slightly modified with girls crossed out and boys put in)so he would be able to make his favorite dishes. He loves the cookbook and says it is easy to follow and it helps him feel closer to home. He has shared it with his girlfriend and her family and now I am sending them copies too. Thanks for making a cookbook that anyone can follow.

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  14. You have brought a freshness to Mennonite cooking. My son was a single dad for a while and he enjoyed using some of the recipes. My grandchildren each have their name on one. You have brought a new awareness to the whole ethnic wonders of our heritage. I love the picture book and use many of the recipes. Thanks for all the work you have put into it. Looking forward to "Celebrations." Martha Willms

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  15. I had really wanted to get your cookbook. I love your website so much and I love cookbooks. But when I saw it in the store and saw the price I new the cookbook purchase would have to wait. Little while later can't remember how long days or weeks, I got home from picking my kids up at school and saw something sticking out of my mailbox. It was your cookbook. But where had it come from? Little bit later my mom called and said that she had seen your cookbook that her sister had told her about. She thought that I would really like it so she bought it for me. What a lovely surprise! Thanks for your book and website. This site is such a blessing to me. Thanks for keeping our Mennonite heritage going! You women rock!!

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  16. I am a young wife and mother of a 5 year old and a 2 year old and I just want to thank you for making my Mennonite heritage of food a little more achievable. I grew up on some of the traditional Mennonite cooking. When we cooked these dishes it was usually with all the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents around. I have such fond memories of cooking as a family and I believe that these are the kind of memories you women must have as well. Recipes that remind us of loved ones that have already passed, or a birthday, or a holiday or just the conversation around the kitchen. So I would like to thank you for passing along this tradition of sharing recipes. Thank you for encouraging togetherness in the kitchen. For fostering good, Christ-like conversation through food. :)

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  17. I love my cookbook. I got it for Christmas last year. I enjoy your blog very much, also. The top to your blog was a beautiful surprise! I will look forward to your new cook book also.

    Gail

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  18. I am South African and just received your beautiful book from Mennonite friends of ours who are living in our hometown! I look forward to trying out some of the recipes, so far I am just enjoying reading my way through the book. My young son is intrigued by the car pictured in the back of the book, he keeps asking if it is mine! : )

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  19. I went to college in Steinbach Manitoba and had the pleasure to meet and dine with many Mennonite fellow students. This book reminds me of some of those dishes and my younger years. Thanks for facilitating these wonderful memories. I don't yet own the book but hopefully next time I am at Ten Thousand Villages they will have it in stock.
    Bless you all.

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  20. Hi, I came across your website when I was looking for a recipe for farmer's sausage and rice.
    I found your sweet and sour farmer's sausage with rice and carrots. I made it (minus the carrots) for our church potluck today and it was a hit. I used 5 blend rice with it. Everyone loved the smokiness of the sauce. When I said where I got the recipe from, one of the girls said that she had your cookbook and just loves it. So thank you for a great recipe and for your great cookbook and website!!

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  21. Hi, at Christmas last year I looked up a recipe on MGCC website and found a wonderful, delicious recipe and it was either a Yam Puff or a Sweet Potatoe Puff. I cannot for the life of me find the recipe on your page again! What happened to the recipe. Everyone absolutely loved it and is asking for the recipe and I cannot find it. Please can someone get back to me with the recipe? I would appreciate it. Thank you.

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  22. Our daughter met and married a wonderful guy from Ft.Langley. In our visits to his family home, his mother (Anne S), who is an awesome cook, introduced me to the original website. As soon as the book was released I got my daughter to get me a few copies. What I love about it is that it is not just a cookbook with some wonderful recipes (that remind me of my heritage) but it also incorporates faith and family heritage. Wonderful!

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  23. I bought your book so long ago, right when it first came out! I did nearly every recipe until as a family, we made the life choice to go Vegan in March 2012. It has been wonderful being vegan. We feel amazing.

    Our challenge has been trying old recipe’s out, but now that I am much more comfortable with baking vegan I have pulled out your book and today was my first attempt at veganizing a recipe.

    I did Mom’s Soft White Cookies. I adored these cookies. I probably gained about 30lb from these cookies the first time we made these.

    So, I took to the challenge and tried these. Thankfully, they turned out amazingly!! Mind you I haven’t had them for over a year, but they taste just the way I remembered them!!!

    Alright, so here’s how I did it.

    1 cup vegetable shortening
    1 ½ cup organic cane sugar
    1 ½ apple sauce fruit cups (instead of egg)
    2 tsp of Ener-G egg replacement (instead of egg. I did not mix with water like the box says to, only put the powder in with the mix)
    1 tsp vanilla
    4 ½ cups flour
    4 ½ tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    ½ tsp salt
    1 cup soy cream mixed with 1 tsp white vinegar (to replace buttermilk)

    You must mix the soy cream with the vinegar up separately and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes before using it to let it mix properly.

    Otherwise all of the directions are identical. I made the mix at about 9am, had it in the fridge shortly after and didn’t pull it out to bake until about 8pm. They turned out amazingly!

    Oh, and as for the icing. Instead of whipping cream I used soy cream, and instead of butter I just used Earth’s Best whipped margarine.


    I am going to try to veganize as many of your recipe’s as possible because they’re all so good. When they turn out I will be sure to post about it :) Not only is it good then for vegan’s, but people who are lactose intolerant, allergic to milk or allergic to eggs!

    Thanks!

    -Julie-Ann Strilaiff

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  24. I went directly to Mennonite Publishing House in Kitchener to get my "hot off the press" copy of your wonderful book!!! The next summer I was thrilled to have my book signed in person by Lovella and Anneliese at Ten Thousand Villages in Waterloo. I have since purchased this book for my daughter, many friends and loved ones who appreciate Mennonite cooking. I have so enjoyed learning about the Russian Mennonite traditional recipes which vary somewhat to my Swiss Mennonite background. I have adopted many to my tradition such as Paska, Potato Bread Rolls, and Platz - oh so delicious! Your witness and encouragement have been such a blessing to me and I will be the first in line for the new "Celebrations" book......
    In the meantime, I read your blog each and every day!

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  25. I'm writing this as my boyfriend and I wait for this year's Easter Bread to rise.

    My Grandmother bought my sister and I each a copy of your book a couple Christmases ago, after my family had migrated to the east coast, which is rather lacking in Mennonites, from the prairies. Since then, we've been using it more for baking than any other cookbook! (We really think you should've called it "Mennonite Girls Can Bake" haha.) Last year my sister takled Easter Bread, having never made it before, and it turned out perfectly. We delivered the loaves to some other Mennonite families "from away" living in our community, and everyone was delighted. =)

    Happy Easter, and thanks for the wonderful cookbook!

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  26. The wonderful white cookie recipe is the same one my aunt served to me as a small child. It was wonderful to come to her home, filled with cookies on the kitchen counter when I came to visit. I made these cookies at home often as a middle schooler and teen. Thanks for reminding me of this recipe. Will make it for my own granddaughters.

    Deborah Penner, Kansas

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  27. I have been wishing for your cookbook for a long time., I hope one day I can afford one so I can share it with my son and his family ., everyone I know I send to your site for the wonderful things you bake and cook thank you (: Lee

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  28. I work as an administrative assistant in a manufacturing plant in Southern Manitoba. We employ many immigrants from across the world. I often receive invites to their homes. Mennonite Girls Can Cook always accompanys me on these invitations out and it is fascinating to observie the different ethnic foods and the conversatons this cookbook provides.

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    1. What a fun story..thank you for sharing!

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  29. I was browsing in the Edmonton location of 10,000 Villages (a store that helps impoverished women & children around the world)and I came across your cookbook. I was drawn to it immediately and as I looked through it, tears to my eyes as I live far from all my family and relatives. I purchased it for my mom's birthday and the next time she visited me, I gave it to her. Since then, my aunt, my sister and my daughter have also become excited about your recipes and stories. My 14 year old daughter loves your website and blog and we have made many many recipes.
    We love your cookbook so much!!! Thanks and God bless you!!!

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  30. I recently won the new Celebrations book on a blog giveaway at "A Haven for Vee"...and I feel as if I have just made ten new friends! In fact, I blogged about it here... http://thinking-about-home.blogspot.com/2013/09/mennonite-girls-can-cook-celebrations.html

    Thank you so much for this lovely book that is so much more than a cookbook! God bless you!

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  31. Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Your books and blog came to us a number of times as a suggested nomination for excellence in the food industry. We are pleased to share your story and fine work here http://theloveoffood.ca/diamonds/
    From the folks at The Love of Food.

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  32. Suggestions for your Kotletten Recipe: Use ground pork instead of beef. Instead of frying patties, place them on parchment on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 min. turn and bake for another 20 min. This avoids massey grease and the smell when frying in a pan.

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  33. … you couldn't possibly know how much I adore cookbooks, I often (when I don't have a newborn) lay in bed at night reading them. And such spectacular ones you picked out to send! I absolutely love them, especially the Mennonite Girls Can Cook one, I've read it cover to cover twice already. It is indeed the sort of one I would keep and use for years and then give to my daughter someday. And there are even many gluten free meals and several that are easily adaptable. I am hosting a girls tea here monthly this year, with the intent of cultivating femininity and the fading arts of hospitality, manners, sewing...with service to other mixed in. Many of those recipes will be wonderful to try out for the teas, I'm so delighted! So a hearty thank you for such a thoughtful and lovely gift, I have never seen that cookbook but will sure keep it in mind for gifts for friends - even all the poems and snippets in it are wonderful. I cried at least three times the first perusal of it. A treasure, thank you!

    Karissa Strovas

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  34. I thought you girls at MGCC would like to hear my little story. At Christmas, I gave Celebrations to my friend Diane. (I had given her the first book on her birthday last January and had given myself both books as soon as they came out. I LOVE them!)
    Anyway, as soon as she opened it Diane said we should try some of the recipes and have people over. (She's always getting me in over my head!) We decided to go against the conventional wisdom of not trying new recipes for the first time with guests, and made a plan. We decided to have a once-a-month dinner with each of us choosing a guest 'guinea pig" couple and alternating between our 2 homes. Ground rules were that we had to only use recipes from the MGCC book and we couldn't practice them beforehand. It seemed like a fun plan right up until the housework for hosting the first event hit me! Anxiety!
    Last Sunday evening was the first dinner party at my house. I fixed the main course and salad and Diane had the bread and dessert. We had Sirloin Stroganoff and Green Bean and Feta Salad, Honey Bran Buns and Pies in Jars. It was a huge success (although I admit there were some nerve-wracking moments along the way!) Everyone really loved the taste and the recipes all turned out fine. I was surprised how very tender the stroganoff meat was.
    As this month's hostess I sent out the invitations to what we called our "Take a Risk Dinner". One friend RSVPed that her husband was not really very risk-taking when it came to food, and he was worried about coming in case we had sushi or something! It was that same guy who raved about the green bean and feta salad and said it was one of the top 3 salads he'd ever had and he would like to have it gain, and that he was not normally a 'salad guy'! Every seemed to really enjoy it all. The 2 guest couples got acquainted with each other and we all got to know each other better. My husband had thought up some "He said, She said" questions and we had a lot of laughs while sharing in the group.
    One funny thing that happened was when I was grocery shopping. Several of the ingredients were new to me. I had never bought sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, or fresh thyme, or kosher salt, or kalamata olives, or leeks. I wasn't even positive what a leek looked like. I asked the produce man if what I had was right, and it was, but it was tied in a bundle of 3. I said to him, "I only need one large one; what'll I do with the other 2? He said in one word, "Repeat!" I got quite a laugh out of that. (Actually, I am trying another new recipe, cream of leek soup.)
    I wished I'd had a video tutorial when I was making the salad dressing because grinding up the tomatoes and garlic and all the other ingredients made kind of a brown-looking mess. I probably over-blended it. I was worried about even using it, but it really tasted and smelled great. Another problem was how to add the olive oil in a constant stream while the blender was still running. Do you know what happens when you lift the knob out of the lid while the blender is running?!! I do!
    I thought you would be glad to hear how your book is really encouraging us to be hospitable and more adventurous in our food fixing. Our friends stayed until late in the evening and seemed to enjoy themselves. Diane and I compared notes on what worked and what we would do a little differently but we all went home very satisfied and happy with the good outcome! I woke up Monday morning feeling very happy with what a great time we had had. So, thank you for your encouragement, MGCC! On to our "Take A Risk Dinner" in February!
    Holly

    P.S. I particularly like all the family stories and personal history you share in both your books. I enjoy just reading them and looking at the beautiful photos, regardless of the recipes. Thank you for all your work on them.

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