Thursday, July 4, 2013

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking: Recipes and Stories From the Amish of Sarasota, Florida, by Sherry Gore

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking:
Recipes and stories from the Amish of Sarasota, Florida
Author: Sherry Gore 
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Buy Now on spiral-bound (worth it for the convenience) kindle (worth it for the irony)
Buy Now on spiral-bound (worth it for the convenience) kindle (worth it for the irony)

I'm not Amish but I'm a sucker for cookbooks. I figured an Amish cookbook would be awesome, filled with delicious buttery goodness and farm fresh recipes. But Simply Delicious Amish Cooking was a little different from what I expected.

On the plus side, it has a lot of great cookbook qualities. It has beautiful full-colour photos (awesome), a comprehensive index (helpful), and it's spiral bound (awesome AND helpful). It's a cookbook you could definitely use in your kitchen, letting it rest open on your counter while you follow along with the recipes.

On the other hand, the recipes themselves were...well...different from what I expected. I'm not sure what the Amish of Sarasota typically cook, but I was picturing old-fashioned "from scratch" recipes with basic farm ingredients. I was surprised by how many of the recipes called for things like processed cheese spread, Miracle Whip, Jell-O, marshmallows, canned fruits and vegetables, and even soda pop (hint: it's a lot). And there seem to be a disproportionate number of coleslaw and ambrosia recipes. (If you don't know what ambrosia is, it's that combination of canned fruit, marshmallows, gelatin and whipped cream that is favoured by seniors, particularly at church social events. A lot of the recipes in this book, though they go by different names, are variations of this horrible recipe.)

Many of the recipes reminded me of old cookbooks from the 1950s my mother used to have, back when people had just discovered preservatives and were all super excited about it. I figured an Amish cookbook would be old-fashioned, but I didn't think this is what they meant. Where were all the cake recipes that called for, like, 45 eggs? Instead there were things like "Gingerale Salad." What the--?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not otherwise compensated in exchange for a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

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