Monday, May 13, 2013

More than just a cookbook! -- Simply Delicious Amish Cooking

Unbeknownst to many folks outside the Amish Mennonite population in America, Pinecraft, Florida - a village tucked away in the heart of Sarasota - is the vacation paradise of the Plain People. Unlike any other Plain community in the world, this village is a virtual melting pot of Amish and Mennonites from around the world, intermingled with people, like author Sherry Gore’s family, who live there year-round.

Gore has put together a cookbook that represents the people who make Pinecraft unique. With hundreds of easy-to-prepare recipes, 16 full-color photographs and black-and-white photographs throughout, this cookbook includes traditional favorites such as Sweet Potato Sweet Mash and Mrs. Byler’s Glazed Donuts, as well as Florida favorites including Fried Alligator Nuggets, Grilled Lime Fish Fillets, and Strawberry Mango Smoothies. Interspersed with the recipes are true-life stories about births, engagements, weddings, deaths, funerals, celebrations, wildlife encounters, and accidents told through years of Sherry’s Letters from Home column published in The Budget, the Amish newspaper. This delightful cookbook offers readers a faith-based, family-focused perspective of the simple way of life of the Plain People. It is truly a breath of fresh air from Sarasota, Florida!

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking is a collection of recipes Sherry Gore has gathered from Amish cooks hailing from different parts of the country.  This book fits my definition of a good cookbook because most of the recipes appear simple to make and call for ingredients many of us would find in our pantries.  If you are expecting some traditional Amish dishes, you will not be disappointed; there are recipes for favorites like whoopie pies, shoofly pie, and Amish peanut butter.  Of course, there are the exceptions -- Alligator Stew, for example -- that I probably won't be trying anytime soon!  There are color photographs (taken by Chris Meyer) of some of the dishes -- and the pictures are so good that I think it might be possible to gain weight just by looking at them. 

Interspersed among the recipes, you can find stories, cooking tips, and thoughts to ponder, all providing a little glimpse into the Amish world.   Many of the stories are items that Sherry wrote for the Amish publication, The Budget.  There are also several black-and-white photos which provide a quick look into life in Sarasota, Florida. 

Whether you are looking for a recipe for a yummy dish or just want to kick back and enjoy a brief visit to a new community, Simply Delicious Amish Cooking could be just the book for you.  I highly recommend that you give it a try.

This book was provided free of charge by the BookSneeze blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Sherry Gore is the editor-in-chief of Cooking & Such magazine and is a weekly scribe for the national edition of the 120-year-old Amish newspaper, The Budget.  She is a year-round resident of beautiful, sun-kissed Sarasota, Florida, the vacation paradise of the plain People.  She has three children and is a member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite Church.  Sherry is a caregiver to her 22-year-old daughter, a Sunday school teacher, a cooking show host, and an official pie contest judge.  Sherry was featured in the National Geographic Channel's Amish: Out of Order series and has appeared on various other TV programs.

You can learn more about Sherry and her publications at

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