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More-With-Less Cookbook (World Community Cookbook) Paperback – July 1, 2011
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This is not only a fabulous cookbook that has helped thousands of families establish a climate of joy and concern for others at mealtime, it can help you improve your nutrition and save money, too. It outlines three ways to eat more-with-less and invites us to consider the global implications of our dietary choices. There are sidebars with stories, pictures, prayers and verses, making this truly a distinctively Christian cookbook, solid with great recipes, and wholesome, faithful ideas scattered through-out. We have some friends that have literally worn out several of these, as they are truly that useful---with simple, helpful stuff about complimentary proteins and ways to create meals that respect what is now called
sustainable agriculture. As it says on the back, these recipes are
kind to your wallet, your waistline, and the larger world. Three cheers for the Mennonite Central Committee and their good work bringing global concerns to the table in such a refreshing, pleasant way. 500 recipes!
About the Author
Doris Janzen Longacre was associated with Mennonite Central Committee and its worldwide ministries in the name of Christ.
She grew up in Elbing, Kansas, and Tucson, Arizona. She attended Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, received her BA in home economics from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1961, and studied at Goshen Biblical Seminary.
Doris served as dietician of Hesston (Kan.) College (1961-63), as MCC hostess of the Language Study Center in Vietnam (1964-67), and in another MCC assignment in Indonesia (1971-72).
She was congregational chair at Akron (Pa.) Mennonite Church (1973-76), board member for Goshen Biblical Seminary (1976-79), and a frequent speaker and workshop leader at church conferences in Canada and the United States.
Doris lived in Akron, Pennsylvania, and was married to Paul Longacre. Their two daughters are Cara Longacre Hurst and Marta van Zanten.
In 1979, just prior to the completion of her second book Living More with Less Doris passed away at age 39 after a 31-month battle with cancer.
She once said,
I have always liked to cook, particularly experimenting, developing a recipe. I seldom make a recipe twice the same way. I also find satisfaction in cooking and serving foods from other countries.
Top customer reviews
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There are a TON of recipes here! and most of them are very easy and relatively fast, at least to make (some of them cook for a while).
The ingredients should be easy to find, even in a fairly small grocery stores. Similarly, there is no need for anything particularly exotic when it comes to kitchenware.
There are lots of recipes that remind me of Midwestern American "hot dishes", except these tell one how to make them without the cream-of-X soup that figures so prominently in that cuisine.
The ingredients are generally very wholesome, and it's trivial to sub out the ones that aren't (like margarine, or brown rice instead of white).
Among some of the recipes and hints are some great ones that I had not encountered before, like a quiche crust made of shredded potatoes (I hate making piecrust!), and another made with cornmeal that can be simply pressed into the pie plate.
The recipes tend to be fairly low-meat and vegetable-intense.
Most chapters have suggestions about what to do with leftover bits and pieces.
The less good:
It IS very dated in feel, and many of the recipes do read like real-food versions of things like Hamburger Helper and other convenience foods. They also look like they would be pretty bland as written, though I suppose that makes them a good place to start with experimenting with herbs and spices, and there often are some suggestions for revving things up a bit.
Although it has instructions for making bread and even cheese from scratch, it does NOT have directions for breaking down a chicken- even though it emphasizes that whole chickens are generally cheaper than chicken parts (note that here and now, chicken thighs are more cost-effective than whole chickens when both are on sale), and many of the recipes call for a broken-down whole chicken. In fact, the book explicitly suggests buying whole chickens if one wants parts, and breaking them down; it just doesn't give one a clue as to how to do that! It's a shame, because it is a simple and rewarding task, and pretty satisfying. But- directions for making cheese, and not for breaking down a bird???
Most of the "ethnic" recipes are heavily Americanized- which is probably great for getting fussy eaters to explore a bit outside their comfort zones, but which are not anything like authentic. The European ones look like they fare better than the Asian.
This is in general not a book you'd like if you are concerned about dietary cholesterol! Lots of milk and eggs here! That doesn't bother me because I am not convinced dietary cholesterol is unhealthful, but it may some.
It does have an emphasis on things like margarine, white rice, white flour, etc. However, these are easy enough to replace with more wholesome food- especially the margarine. Why not butter, ever? even in dairy-heavy recipes? Maybe that's due to the price.
I have not yet cooked anything from it, though I plan to try a couple of things, and make notes on some of the tips and suggestions; after that, I will send it on to my daughter, who is struggling with trying to make wholesome food on a very low budget, and who is not an especially experienced cook. I think it'll be a helpful resource for her.
If you are Mennonite, Quaker, or have hippy, post-hippy or progressive parents, you may already be familiar with this treasure trove of recipes, as I was. They were originally compiled from Mennonite home cooks, and many begin with a story of where the recipe was learned (often from Mennonite missionaries in various far-flung locales).
My own mom falls into the non-Mennonite 70s "healthy mom" category (you know: food coops and natural peanut butter when those weren't popular), so we had this at home.
About the Mennonite thing: if you're the kind of person who will freak out because there's a mention of God, or for that matter, of social justice or sustainable agriculture in your cookbook, then this may not be for you. However, non-Mennonites or non-Christians who care about the earth and social justice, and have an open mind, will surely find lots to love here.
I enjoy reading the stories behind the recipes-- for example, which Vietnamese friend taught the contributor the recipe and how it was used and modified with different ingredients. I also like that while recipes and amounts are stated, the cookbook is really about suggestions (with lots of possible options you can pick and choose based on what's available), rather than a set blueprint for cooking. In many cases, several variations on the same recipe are given by different contributors, which is nice too.
There are lots of ideas for feeding a family (large or small) on a budget-- vegetarian, omnivore, or whatever.
However, some of them are kind of outdated in my experience, for people whose dietary needs might tend towards fewer carbs. Like many "budget-friendly" cookbooks, there can be, at times, an over-reliance on dough, rice and other simple carbs.
And this might not work as well for beginner cooks, who can't easily tell when dough is "springy to the touch" or know how to substitute ingredients.
Still, those with a sense of adventure and an openness to trial and error will probably find lots to love, and many ideas that fit any kind of eating plan. It's great, as others noted, for using up what you have on hand-- no complicated ingredients necessary.
And those who care about the earth and its people will appreciate where the author was coming from.
Most recent customer reviews
Author: Doris Janzen Longacre
Publisher: Herald Press
Genre: Cooking, Food &...Read more