Saturday, January 4, 2020

Review: Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Title: Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook: Over 200 Recipes for Carry-In Favorites with Tips for Making the Most of the Occasion
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Format: Spiral-bound, 224 pages
Pub. Date: June 1st 2019
Source: Goodreads First Reads

Book Description:

New Compilation of the Recipes that Bring the Amish Together

Brand new, from New York Times bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter, is a collection of over 200 recipes that are great for taking along and sharing where people meet to worship, work, and play. Included are tips for traveling with and serving food as well as personal stories of how gatherings are at the heart of the Amish community. The well-organized book boasts contributions from Amish and Mennonites from across the United States. Categories include Beverages, Snacks, Breads and Rolls, Salads, Side Dishes, Main Dishes, Desserts, and Feeding a Crowd. Encased in a lay-flat binding and presented in full color, home cooks from all backgrounds will want to add this cookbook to their collection. Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook is sure to become a treasured resource.



What a charming little book. It puts me very much in mind of the types of cookbooks that I seek out at things like estate sales and thrift stores. The ones that were made by a book club or Girl Scout Troop or 4th grade class in ring binding with little plops of stains on pages that show they're well loved recipes.

This book is exactly as the tagline describes; over two hundred recipes designed for gatherings of families and friends. The book is divided more or less by course: Beverages, Snacks, Bread & Rolls, Salads, Side Dishes, Main Dishes, Desserts, and Feeding a Crowd. There's also the usually present indexes in the back of the book. In between each of these categories of recipes, there's nice little stories that highlight something about Amish life, like going to church or the work ethics. They're interesting insights into the community that complement the book well, and are informative.

This book has full color, glossy photographs sprinkled throughout. There are not photos for each and every single recipe, but, there's at least one per page generally. I appreciate this, because I like knowing what I should be expecting when I make something.

In the same vein as the Girl Scout cookbooks that I mentioned above, each recipe is listed with the name and location of the person who has submitted/created the recipe, giving it a more loved vibe, because each and every recipe was hand selected to share with others. I love that.

That said, there weren't a ton of recipes in here that I bookmarked. A lot of them were pretty standard to me- cheese balls, punch, dips, sheet cakes. That's not to say they're not useful, but they're not something I'm in need of. Or, recipes that start with things like already made tubes of biscuits, instant cake mix or tinned fruits.

Some of the recipes that I did bookmark include: Potluck Potatoes (page 75), Chicken Gumbo Casserole (page 91, mostly because I'm intrigued.... How is Velveeta, Miracle whip, and cream of mushroom soup gumbo?), Frogmore Stew (page 94), and Church Sugar Cookies (page 136).

I think this will have something for everyone, but if you're the sort who makes hot dishes, casseroles, and gelatin based salads and desserts, I think this book will be right up your alley.

I received a copy from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a lot of great recipes, and I think the insights into Amish life would be interesting. I definitely a fan of casseroles, especially during winter. I'll have to check this out.