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on October 24, 2006
Oh, no no NO. I had such high hopes for this cookbook, and I'm so glad I checked it out from the library before purchasing it. I was looking for a good, old fashioned cookbook with "made from scratch" recipes, and this is most definitely not that. The very first recipe in the cookbook called for canned refried beans and salsa from the jar. The first ingredient in the fritter recipe is dry pancake mix, the blueberry pie recipe includes no actual fresh or frozen blueberries, just cans of blueberry pie filling, and other recipes include things such as canned soups and miracle whip. I'm sure Beverly Lewis is a good novelist, but I'm sorry, this cookbook is awful.
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on January 3, 2007
I got this book after looking at a copy my Mother has. Since getting this book, I have used a few recipes. True, not all the recipes are from "scratch". And yes, there are a few modern ingredients that cut down on the prep or cooking time. I find this to be a good thing! There is an excerpt in the book that states "certain recipes have been modified or updated from the Old Order way of doing things for the benefit of non-Amish cooks who may have less time to spend in the kitchen." Also, now a days, Amish do use canned goods and do shop at stores for some ingredients. They also don't cook EVERYTHING from scratch. And yes, I do have two Amish families in my neighborhood. In the end, there are some tasty recipes in this book that are more traditional or old fashioned and enjoyable to prepare that most cookbooks today don't have. Also, if you have read Beverly Lewis' books, you will enjoy the little extras in this cookbook. If you are looking for a traditional Amish cookbook with things completely from scratch, keep looking.
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on November 10, 2005
Having read all of her adult fiction (and some of her children's fiction), I was very interested in seeing this book. When Leah (Abram's Daughters) had "roast" at her wedding, I could not figure out exactly what it was...and now I have the recipe.

I made some whole wheat bread (only half the recipe, and it was still 3 loaves) which turned out light and delicious. This is definitely a keeper.
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on February 25, 2009
Readers with even a passing interest in Christian fiction will automatically connect prolific author Beverly Lewis' name with book covers featuring modestly clad, bonneted Amish women. While also an accomplished children's author her series of fictional tales from the Plain community are those that have captivated the hearts of her loyal audience nation-wide.

Filling her pages with the rich, food-centric culture of Amish life - particularly for the womenfolk - Lewis would seem the perfect "Englisher" to tackle assembling The Beverly Lewis Amish Heritage Cookbook, drawing from the culinary tradition that she has researched for use in her novels. What casual readers may not realize, as I myself did not, is that Lewis' own maternal grandmother was raised in the Plain community. This daughter of Old Order Mennonite's left her roots in order to marry a young man called to ministry in the world beyond their sheltered community.

Ada Buchwalter's life became the inspiration for some of Lewis' work, her talent in the kitchen and handed-down recipes forming the basis of this cookbook. Along with recipes from Beverly's family -- her grandmother, mother, aunts, siblings and daughter - Lewis called upon a plethora of talented cooks living in Amish communities. The result is a combination of cultural cookbook and family memorabilia. Lewis shares her remembrances of traditional recipes from her family in the "Note from Bev" section that occasionally follows a recipe, providing a selection of memories, serving suggestions, personal comments on flavour, and such.

Each major section: "Appetizers and Beverages", "Breakfast Specialty Dishes", "Breads", Salads and Salad Dressings" and so on, opens with a quote from one of Lewis' novels. These quotations are always taken from a food-related scene in which an item from the relevant category plays a part. Better still, Lewis' fans will be thrilled to find that some of the intriguing foods described in the novels are given recipes in the cookbook. Whether it's "Old-Time Lemonade" from The Betrayal, "Cornmeal Mush" from The Postcard, "Cottage Cheese and Pepper Salad" from The Covenant, or one of many others - the opportunity to take a trip through the culinary landscape of Lewis' novels is a unique treat.

The Beverly Lewis Amish Heritage Cookbook draws heavily from modern Amish cooking practices rather than those you'd think of in a book including "heritage" in its title. The majority of the entries do include some form of prepared short cut, and even those older recipes passed down through Beverly's family have been modified for modern cooks. Those mainly interested in "from scratch" recipes are likely to suffer from some disappointment. One of the most striking examples is the traditional sourdough friendship bread recipe that calls for a box of instant pudding. Some of the recipes call for regional ingredients - those living outside of territories traditionally associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch may find themselves improvising and substituting. Thankfully recommended substitutes and brands are provided in many cases.

It's refreshing to read a cookbook with recipes that still incorporate cream, butter, lard, and shortening. The Beverly Lewis Amish Heritage Cookbook is certainly traditional in respect to the amount of rich, creamy goodness and sweet treats packed between its pages. And with five of 13 sections relating to desserts such as puddings, cakes, pies, cookies, and a generous listing of jello dishes in the salad section, those with a taste for the sweet things of live will be well-satisfied.

Most charming of all are the favourite Bible passages, commonly quoted wisdom, and domestic tips included on nearly every page. Reflecting the simple life and humility aimed for by these hard-working folk, such tidbits of knowledge contribute strongly to the theme. Practically fitted with a lay-flat, plastic comb binding, cooks ranging from novice to expert will find this companion easy to work with in the kitchen.
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on January 13, 2008
I have this from the library and now I have to buy it--my entire family loves these meals, they are finally all pleased with my suppers! (The kids are 11, 9, 8 and 6). We have loved almost every single recipe. The only note I would add is that there is a LOT of sugar in them, which can be decreased by about 25%, and the dishes turn out even better tasting. I actually bought some Chocolate Crunch Surprise from an Amish-run store in Missouri a few years back--what a treat it was to make it today at home--it is awesome! We also love Bird's Nest, Baked Oatmeal, Perfect Pumpkin Bread, Chicken Mushroom Bake, Cabbage Patch Stew, Ginger Ale Fruit Salad, Grandma Buchwalter's Tuna Salad, and Chicken and Waffles. We didn't like the Hearty Vegetable Soup, and the waffles were too sweet (the only waffle recipe I've ever seen with lots of sugar in it). Also, the homemade mayo recipe does NOT call for Miracle Whip--it's a for real homemade mayo recipe. The recipes come from the author's grandmother's recipe box, and she lived from 1886-1954, so they're authentic, as far as historical, but from Old Order Mennonites. This cookbook has restored my love of cooking, and we're eating so well now!! And if you ever want to make your own Amish Friendship Bread--the starter recipe and all is right here!
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on November 7, 2005
What a great cookbook! I don't have to go down obscure aisles in the grocery store to find the ingrediants and every recipe is easy to follow. I have tried quite a few recipies in this cookbook and none have failed to bring a smile to my husband and two-year olds faces. The chicken broccoli quiche was very good, but I would recommend you use a deep dish pie crust. The spice cake was a hit with my two-year old. My husband LOVES the Amish bread. I can't wait to try all of the other wonderful things in this cookbook.
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on August 9, 2005
This is a Great Cookbook. It is made with everyday ingrediants,, the result is "Homemade Flavor". I have been especially using the Lemonade recipe,, as we have a lemon tree out back --- No more lemons left on the ground to go bad -- my Father is in his eighties and he especially enjoy's having the lemonade while watching his favorite ballgame. I will be using may more as the weather gets colder,, I would like to try the soups. Thanks for making such a down to earth cookbook.
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on May 14, 2014
I wasn't raised Amish, but there are recipes here like my Grandma used to cook.
And over the years, how many times I have baked using the Amish Bread Starter to make Friendship Bread....Yum!
Many of the recipes have updated ingredients (Velveeta cheese, canned soups, Mrs. Dash seasonings) that we did not use when I was a child, but things that are common pantry items now. This makes for easy cooking.
I like the comments from Bev, and the notes scattered throughout the book. Do try the Browned Butter over vegetables....tasty. You will find it about half way through the book, (Location 1567 on the Kindle reader).
Gotta go.....Just came across the Oatmeal Cake recipe.....haven't had that in years. Must bake it immediately!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 19, 2014
I can't vouch for the authenticity of Beverly Lewis' Amish Heritage Cookbook but her grandmother, Ada Groff (Ranck) was raised as an Old Order Amish. She married Omar Neff Buchwalter who was a Mennonite and the couple was no longer welcome in Ada's family. The couple went onto to live the Christian life and part of Ada's ministry was the gift of hospitality wrote Lewis. Her cookbook is filled with Ada's recipes and as the author writes:

"I am truly indebted to my grandmother for her shining example --- as well as for the wealth of recipes she has passed on to the family...and now to you, my loyal readers!"

Some of the recipes you will find in her cookbook include:

Lemon Jubilee Punch
Green Tomato Bread
Pecan Rolls
Baked Oatmeal
Chocolate Waffles
Cream Cake and Filling
Hot Water Sponge Cake
Apple Snitz Snack
Peanut Butter Balls
Date or Raisin Cookies
Angel's Salad
Rhubarb Sauce
Cocoa Fluff Icing
Adah Peachey's Rhubarb Jam
Amish Meat Loaf
Pork Chops with Rice
Amish Fried Chicken
Chicken and Waffles
Baked Shad
Indiana Shoofly Pie
Baby Pearl Tapioca
Homemade Mayonnaise Dressing
Cabbage, Pepper and Carrot Salad
Perfection Salad
Stuffed Tomatoes with Cottage Cheese
Noodles and Butter
Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup
Mashed Potatoes

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on February 6, 2016
I like everything Beverly Lewis writes and the cookbook is no exception. She has so many good recipes that I remember my Mom making in Pennsylvania. If you enjoy Pennsylvania Dutch food it is a neat cookbook to have.
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