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33 Reviews
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book about seasons, food, and the Amish way of life
The Amish Cook at Home is a wonderful book. I learned more about the Amish culture from this book than in my whole life previously. I appreciated Lovina sharing her family with me and Kevin's comments and insights as an editor, friend, and outside observer.

The recipes are straightforward. I liked Lovina's comments at the beginning of each recipe, whether a...
Published on November 28, 2008 by Karen Marie

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful cultural history but NOT a wonderful cookbook.
I bought this book hoping for a wealth of traditional Amish recipes. The reviews were strong so, I was hoping to be hppy with my purchase. Unfortunately, what this book is is a very intriguing personal history of one Amish family, and a summary of the more broadly experienced Amish faith and culture. As a student of social History, I thought the book was well written and...
Published on April 23, 2011 by J. L. Estrada


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book about seasons, food, and the Amish way of life, November 28, 2008
By 
Karen Marie (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
The Amish Cook at Home is a wonderful book. I learned more about the Amish culture from this book than in my whole life previously. I appreciated Lovina sharing her family with me and Kevin's comments and insights as an editor, friend, and outside observer.

The recipes are straightforward. I liked Lovina's comments at the beginning of each recipe, whether a hint about what she does, or a comment about when the recipe is used. Inexperienced and experienced cooks can both use and learn from the recipes.

The book takes you through a year at the Eichers, with food to define the seasons, activities, and holidays. Dandelion greens in the spring, zucchini in the summer, Sourdough starter and bread in the fall, meat dishes in the winter. All with contributions from the children, Lovina, and her husband Joe. I especially loved reading what the children wrote.

Best of all are Lovina's Sourdough Starter, Sourdough Bread, and Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls recipes. The book is worth acquiring and reading for many reasons, but most of all for these three recipes. The cinnamon rolls are light and flavorful and the bread is marvelously light and delicate. We just took some out of the oven and ate it warm with butter - heavenly.

This is a good addition to any cook's kitchen and to anybody interested in the Amish way of life.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful cultural history but NOT a wonderful cookbook., April 23, 2011
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This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
I bought this book hoping for a wealth of traditional Amish recipes. The reviews were strong so, I was hoping to be hppy with my purchase. Unfortunately, what this book is is a very intriguing personal history of one Amish family, and a summary of the more broadly experienced Amish faith and culture. As a student of social History, I thought the book was well written and very engaging. As a cookbook, it is severely lacking. The recipes are actually a very small part of the book. And, most rely on canned mushroom soup and Velveeta as main components. (Velveeta? Bleck!) Many actually call for margarine, which we all know, liquifies your liver. The recipes are exactly what one would find in a 1950's Campbell's soup cookbook. How is it even possible to publish an Amish cookbook without a recipe for apple pie? If you are an experienced cook/baker, this is not what you need on your cookbook shelf. Save the space for an actual cookbook. If you are looking for an Amish personal history, go ahead and buy this book. It Is a very good read.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Savor the Photographs not the recipes, May 20, 2010
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This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
While the photographs are truly a feast for the eyes,sadly the recipes are not a feast for the tongue or tummy. The Amish have a reputation as superb cooks and bakers and I was looking forward to trying some truly delicious,wholesome recipes. Imagine my surprise when I found the recipes filled with ingredients such as Velveeta,hot dogs and Miracle Whip!!!!Many of the recipes are just not appetizing, ie chicken slopped with condensed soup and cheese. However as I don't think it is fair to review a cookbook without trying at least a few of the recipes, I made two,the strawberry pie and the rhubarb dessert. The pie was the bigger disappointment. The filling was gummy and did nothing to enhance the flavor of the berries. The crust which contained cooking oil and milk was not flaky. The rhubarb concoction is pretty much a meringue topped bar. It was passable but not something I would add to my repertoire of recipes.

Visually, the photographs are stunning. Most are of pastoral scenes, animals and produce. Very few are of the recipes. The text is wildly uneven, with inane remembrances and almost embarrassing essays by the author's kids. However there are some interesting tidbits about the Amish religion and practices and some lovely prayers. I could have done without the description of the chicken butchering where the children partake by pulling out the innards.

If you chose to get this book savor the photos,skim the text and skip the recipes.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing inspiring here--canned soup and processed cheese?!?--In an Amish cookbook?!?, September 26, 2010
This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
This cook book--as a compilation of recipes--is a major loser. I was hoping to find some unique and vintage, handed-down-through-the-generations recipes. I have surely been disappointed. (There is one recipe for dandelion flower jelly that I will try in the Spring.) The sour dough recipe is not distinctive, neither are the pie recipes, (neither are most all of the recipes!) and I was dismayed when I found recipes using canned soup and a well-known processed cheese spread--don't get me wrong, both have their uses, but to find these ingredients in an Amish cook book really startled and upset me! I thought the Amish were "of and from the soil", kind of a connection to their faith. Canned soup doesn't get ME there.

Reading recipes using canned soup and processed cheese, then leafing through a few more pages and finding a picture of a pantry loaded with jars of home-grown and home-canned produce, made me wonder WHAT WAS THIS AUTHOR AND HER EDITOR THINKING?!? Where are the beautiful, old recipes for all that home-canning?

I did come to attention when I read about the butchering of the chickens, which is done twice a year--once for young broilers (for meat) and once for older hens for broth). But there are no recipes for the broth! And the rest of the chicken recipes are pathetic!

While reading through the book, searching for inspiration, I felt I was reading the words of eighth graders. Seriously. I don't mean to offend anyone and I'm sorry if I have, because I believe this book was written in good faith. But it really doesn't cut it as a cook book. And I hope there are better books out there explaining the Amish culture.

I should have known better, just looking at the book's cover--a berry pie with a FAKE lattice top crust....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and Informative, October 22, 2009
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This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
I wish there was an option for 4.5 stars. This book is delightful. It has great and informative stories of the Amish way of life. I read this like a novel and thoroughly enjoyed the short sections of writing about the daily goings on of life for the Amish.

The only thing that kept this book from getting a 5 star rating was the lack of recipe photos. Although this cookbook is punctuated with many beautiful photos of Amish life, there were less than 5 recipe photos, making it hard to picture just what some of these recipes were intended to look like, even for an experienced cook.

Photos aside, I highly recommend this book. The recipes are great, well written and easy to follow.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing book!, October 28, 2008
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This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
This book is a beautiful collection of recipes, photography and stories. The recipes can be made from things you have in your home, and are good old fashioned comfort type foods. The amazing photography was all done at the Eicher farm and was taken during all four seasons of the year. The best part are the stories, which talk about cultural events in the life of the Amish, plus personal stories about life in the Eicher house. This is SO much more than a cookbook! It is a wonderful opportunity to take a peek into the life of an Amish family. You will love this book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amish Cook at Home, December 16, 2008
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This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
This is a beautiful book and I am giving them as Christmas presents this year.
I went ahead and gave my daughter her copy. She and two of her young daughters are choosing various recipes and then spending quality time in the kitchen making them.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Few unfair reviews here....here's mine., August 23, 2011
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This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
I understand people are miffed that the author chooses to use condensed soups and Velvetta cheese in places. These products are readily available to them so why wouldn't they use them? They have modernized somewhat....you didn't see her talking about churning her own butter so it's safe to assume they use readily available commerical butter and that was no big deal. Is she supposed to make her own cheese too? Perhaps grind her own grains for her breads? If we use these shortcuts in our own recipes, why shouldn't they? I just think it is very snippy to diss a cookbook based on using "shortcuts". This is their life now. They don't handmake EVERY single thing anymore.

The book itself is lovely with annedotes about their life and how they change from community to community. I loved reading about the wedding feasts and about their holiday traditions. It's just fascinating.

The recipes aren't all traditional Amish fare, per say but still good. The pancake recipe with strawberries is to die for good. It is now my "go-to" pancake recipe. The chicken noodle casserole is fairly common to those floating around on the web already and nothing screams Amish about it other than she's an Amish lady who made it. Does that make it an Amish recipe? Mmm, not entirely. There are a few recipes I'd consider traditionally Amish - the funeral pie seems authentic. In all, if you're looking for age old Amish recipes, this isn't the book. But that doesn't dismiss it as a bad cookbook....in fact, several things I've made from here have been very good.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book!, November 13, 2008
This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
I really love this cookbook book for its down-home simplicity. Lovina Eicher, the daughter of the late Amish food columnist Elizabeth Coblentz, continues her mother's sharing of recipes and Amish culture with the rest of this world in a book with stunning photography, articles which read like personal letters, recipes which are easy to make and tasty as well, and precious writing from her closest family.

The fact that the book centers on the seasons is a plus for me, not only because local is now "in", but also because I started my own vegetable garden this year as well as joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) group. I closely identified with what the author wrote about seasonal produce and took special interest in each individual vegetable and fruit. The most beautiful part of the book for me was the section about the pumpkins because I grew my own (first) pumpkin this year. I could feel the author's excitement about her family's experiences raising their own food from the tilling of the soil all the way through to the end of the harvest.

I identified with almost all of what she had written except for her religion which was different from my own, but very interesting nevertheless. Some of Eicher's recipes I'd not make because I come from a tradition of not mixing milk and meat, however they are easy enough to modify so that I expect to have great fun adapting them to my own way of cooking.

While I was talking excitedly about this book, a friend asked to borrow it. I'll certainly lend it as it is truly a beautiful book to share. The fact is, though, that I'll soon be wanting it back. It's lovely. Don't miss it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly exceptional book!, November 9, 2008
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This review is from: The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith (Hardcover)
I read this entire book in one day and absolutely loved it! I have always been interested in the Amish and have read many books on their culture, but this was the best one I've read so far because the writing comes directly from an Amish woman. She shares her recipes, each one with her own personal comment, but she also shares so much of her family and daily life. The book is arranged in seasons, which I especially like. It's like going through a year with her family. I now have some excellent recipes to try, ones that are made with items I actually have in my kitchen, not gourmet items I'll have to hunt down. The photography throughout the book is truly exceptional, and the layout is pleasing. I cannot say enough good things about this beautiful book. This would make a great gift.
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The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith
The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family, and Faith by Lovina Eicher (Hardcover - October 21, 2008)
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