Saturday, July 6

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking (book review)

In my experience, Amish cookbooks can be amazing or horribly frustrating. Some of them show you how to make traditional foods from scratch without any fancy kitchen gadgets and leave you blissfully savoring hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare. Others pretend to be such books… until you flip to a promising sounding recipe only to find Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packets or a pint of Marshmallow Crème in the ingredient list.

Sadly, this book fell in the latter category. Based on a Florida Amish community, it tries to offer glimpse into their lifestyle by interspersing clips from the local Amish newspaper among the recipes. Unfortunately, I was unimpressed on all counts. There were far too many recipes that felt like they belonged more in a modern women’s magazine than an Amish cookbook.

The snippets from the paper created no emotional connection, were often extremely short, varied widely and had no coordinating theme or order. The Kindle format also did this book no favors. Recipes and ingredients lists were broken up across pages wherever the break happened to fall, and the handful of pictures were mostly grouped together in the middle, making for lots of dry, dull pages. I won’t be recommending this one to friends.

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