I was happy to review A Farmer’s Daughter: Recipes from a Mennonite Kitchen. I can’t say I really enjoy cooking, but with a family of five I do quite a bit of it. It’s always fun to try new recipes, and I always think of Amish/Mennonite cooking as being a delicious treat.
Dawn Stoltzfus is the daughter of a farmer (I assume you figured that out) who was also a Mennonite pastor. Many of her recipes are “Mennonite,” but quite a few are not. All look good, however. Or perhaps I should say all sound good, since the book does not have photos. It seems strange to me to put out a cookbook without pictures, but I suppose in this day of shrinking budgets, that was perhaps a necessity.
Dawn includes commentary with each recipe, and these are fun to read: tidbits about Mennonite life, or how she tweaks a recipe, or other things that help you feel you’re having a conversation with her. She comes across as down-to-earth and friendly. I had a small issue with the way each of these little blurbs was captioned with “And another thing … And another thing …” This struck me as pretty annoying after a while, but maybe that’s just me :).
In addition to the typical desserts, entrees, and appetizers, the book has a section with simple DIY recipes, which I think may end up being my favorite part of the book: recipes for taco seasoning, cream soups, pancake mix, chocolate syrup — I’m anxious to try some of these!
This week, I made the Ginger Honey Salmon (page 153). I’d say it was average, but honestly how much can one say about fish that was simply marinated in sauce?
I also made Layered Meatless Mexican Casserole (page 157). I feared its potential as one of those recipes that is too healthy to taste good (it contains rice, salsa, corn, onion, refried beans, spinach — I even threw in an eggplant — but it was delicious!
I think that this book would make a fun Christmas gift for someone who enjoys cooking (or someone who, like me, is forced into it).
Thanks to Revell for a review copy. A Farmer’s Daughter is available October 2012.