Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Essential Amish Cookbook from Lovina Eicher's Amish Kitchen

Publisher Synopsis:

Join Amish cook Lovina Eicher in her kitchen as she prepares recipes used every day in countless Amish homes in Old Order Amish communities across North America. Many of the more than 100 recipes are richly illustrated with step-by-step photographs to help you learn Amish cooking as if you were in Lovina's own kitchen. From hearty main dishes to substantial sides – plus a generous sampling of scrumptious cakes, pies, cookies, and other delectable desserts – learn how to make the hearty simple dishes that the Amish cook together and serve at home, church services, and weddings.

My review:

This is a beautiful cookbook exploring the recipes of Amish life. Lovina learned to cook from her mother and has carried on the tradition. She uses essential ingredients that every home would have on hand. The recipes included are for hearty eaters and may be rather surprising to modern cooks. Lovina uses lard. Yes, animal fat. Many of us grew up eating it and turned out just fine. Lovina uses all white flour (bread flour) in her bread recipes. Don't expect any whole wheat recipes here. There is plenty of sugar used too. Her Apple Crisp recipe has a total of 2 ½ cups of sugar in it!

There were some surprises in this book. There is a recipe for Thick & Chunky Salsa. I was surprised that it had brown sugar in it. There is also a Venison Bake for those deer hunters out there. Some of the recipes are basic, like making ketchup and relish.

I always like to make at least one recipe when I review a cookbook. I noticed that my rhubarb plant was flourishing so I decided to make Lovina's French Rhubarb Pie. It was really sweet and a bit flatter than I am used to. It contained 2 cups of rhubarb and I think next time I'd increase it to 3 cups of rhubarb and decrease the sugar a bit.

I must add a little critique of the way the book is printed. Page numbers are at center top. That made it harder to find the page numbers and recipes. I would have preferred page numbers on a corner. Also, some fragrant chemicals were used in printing the book. People with breathing issues from certain chemicals may have difficulty using the book, as I did.

I do recommend the book to those who are interested in cooking and baking the way the Old Amish do today.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Blueberry Banana Bread Demo Video.

About the Author:

Lovina Eicher is the author of the syndicated column, Lovina's Amish Kitchen, which appears in 40 newspapers around the United States and on a weekly blog maintained by her editors. She is the author of several cookbooks. Lovina and her husband have eight children and live in rural Michigan. (Note: Because Lovina is Amish, there are no photographs of her.)

Available from Herald Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
Herald Press, 296 page.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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