By: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Publication Date: June 2020
Reviewed by Diane Lunsford
Amish Friends Farmhouse Favorites Cookbook is a wonderful collection of over 200 recipes for ‘Simple and Hearty Meals...’
Ms. Brunstetter opens this delightful cache of recipes with a lovely introduction that pays homage to her many Amish friends, ‘My husband and I have had the pleasure of eating meals in many of our Amish friends’ homes on numerous occasions and have never come away hungry or disappointed...’ The book is broken down into a logical series of ‘Recipes for Breakfast,’ ‘Recipes for Beverages and Snacks,’ ‘Breads and Rolls,’ etc. What I like most about this book is the fact that one doesn’t have to search page by page if they’re looking for a little something to enhance the overall menu he/she plans to create.
To further enhance the navigation of this book, there is an index for ‘Recipes by Section’ as well as an index of ‘Recipes by Key Ingredients.’ I personally have a shelf in my pantry packed with a myriad of recipe books ranging from Betty Crocker to Martha Stewart and many in-between. Amish Friends Farmhouse Favorites Cookbook will now grace the shelf front and center because of the ease and simplicity of navigating the pages and preparing the actual meal. Beyond the Introduction, Mary Alice Yoder shares her story of ‘Down on the Farm.’ It showcases the fact that she was born into an Amish farming family and how it is ‘...very precious to me because I enjoyed the outdoors so much...’ Further into her personal account, Ms. Yoder recollects how, ‘...At a young age, we learned to help out. As the youngest, I don’t remember being restricted from being outside if the weather was suitable, I didn’t have babysitting duties, though I would’ve loved to have younger siblings. My first chores were feeding the cats and the dog. I would sit among the straw bales and watch the cats drink warm milk right from the cows...’ There is something for everyone among the many recipes sure to please anyone’s pallet from ‘Big Batch Granola’ to a cool, Fall season’s hearty bounty of ‘Cozy Cousins Casserole.'
Wanda Brunstetter has further defined the essence of ‘comfort food’ with savory recipes among the many pages of Amish Friends Farmhouse Favorites. While I traveled across the pages, there was a common theme that came to mind: ‘this is like having mom in my kitchen with me preparing wonderfully healthy meals from a time gone by.’ As I’ve often said after I finish one of Ms. Brunstetter’s books, she stays true to her pen and loyal to her audience and continues to deliver solid, enjoyable reads whether it’s a story or cookbook. Well done Ms. Brunstetter. I have been a fan for many years and always welcome the opportunity to read your next great book.
Quill says: Amish Friends Farmhouse Favorites is a must have in any cook’s library.