by Jerry and Tina Eicher
Published by Harvest House Publishers
I requested the digital edition of this book from NetGalley and received it in June. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as it was released in the UK, I headed straight over to eden.co.uk and bought a "real" copy of my own :-)
I have pored over this book, chuckled over this book and enjoyed every single page. It is more than just a cookbook; humorous stories about the Amish are scattered throughout the book and on every double page spread there is an Amish proverb. On the pages which tell us how to make Chicken Fajitas, Spanish Rice and Chicken and Ham-Stuffed Manicotti, is this gem:
"To admit I was wrong is but saying I am wiser today than I was yesterday."
Many Amish cookbooks are collections of Amish recipes which have been collated by "Englisha" writers. This book consists of Amish recipes handed down from their families to Jerry and Tina Eicher, both of whom were themselves born and raised in Amish families.
We learn which recipes are special favourites of their own family, and the particularly hearty breakfast recipes are a special delight, though I think they will need to be reserved as very occasional treats for those of us who have a more sedentary lifestyle.
Many recipes can be prepared ahead and served later in the day or the next day, and have obviously been developed over the years to fit in with the particular constraints of a traditional Amish lifestyle. Some convenience foods are included; this is not a "You will prepare every dish the hardest way possible" type of cookbook and the shortcuts are generally highly practical and sensible, The determined cook can easily do things the hard way if so desired......... with the possible exception of marshmallow fluff, which is an essential ingredient in making Jerry Eicher's favourite peanut butter spread !
So, what is in this cookbook? The chapters include:
- Appetizers and Beverages
- Cookies and Bars
- Main Dishes
- Quick Breads
- Salads and Gelatin Salads
- Soups and Sandwiches
- Vegetables and Side Dishes
- and last but certainly not least, Yeast Breads.
Several recipes mention Velveeta cheese, which I have not been able to source here in the UK, but am assured by expat American friends that British Red Leicester cheese is a good alternative. Marshmallow fluff is fairly widely available here, but I have not been able to find an alternative for Miracle Whip yet, nor refrigerated packs of buttermilk biscuits. If anyone can suggest one, or a UK source for cartons of frozen juice concentrate, I would be truly grateful!
I really do love the fact this is a spiral bound (comb-bound) cookbook, so it will happily stay open and flat when I am busy cooking. It doesn't have glossy photographs, but it does not need them - the book speaks for itself.
If you visit the publishers, and click on the Google preview at the bottom of the cover photo, you can browse through the book and even download a chapter !