Cookbook Reviews...The Basics and More Cook Book

Left:  front cover; Right:  Back cover

Here's an excellent, thick, cookbook, The Basics and More Cook Book, with 1300 recipes, many from Mennonite contributors.  Between 1988 and 2011, the publisher says they have sold 93,000 of these cookbooks.  You will often find them at Mennonite or Amish stores, where I picked up mine. 
I like the basic recipes that use ingredients most of us have on hand, and the imaginative use of garden produce.  By the same folks, Old Order Mennonite market gardeners, who put out the Practical Produce Cook Book, another of my favorites.  This one also has some canning and preserving recipes, including pie fillings with clearjel, and recipes for making sausage, bologna, mincemeat and the like, as well as pickles, relishes, salsas, sauces, jams, etc.


  1. I just love cookbooks! We have several Mennonite communities within a few hours' drive and I always buy cookbooks if they have any available. Went to The Amana Colonies near What Cheer one year, that was so interesting and Oh, the food at that Brick Oven!! Also have been to Jamesport, MO several times. More local to us is Chouteau, OK and Hutchinson & Garnet, KS. Maybe I'm just showing my German roots, but about the only thing I don't like about their cooking is peanut butter pie. Hope you are doing well. Hugs to both of you.. Ilene

  2. I found this in an Amish store in Michigan and liked it so much that I bought all the books this publisher has. If I am looking for a plain, infancy meal, it is a go to cookbook. It's a gem!

  3. Hi Sue and Myrna:

    I am fairly new subscriber and enjoy your blog so much! I was a Kansas Housewife and now a Missouri Housewife! I was a Home Ec major 40 years ago and I love all the same things you write about!

    I had to pipe in to tell you that of the TWO BOOKCASES of cookbooks I own, the one featured here is on the shelf of 10-12 books I go to the most often. I found mine back in 2006 while gallivanting around Amish area of Versailles, Missouri. I love this cookbook because it has such sensible and satisfying foods in it... also, the miscellaneous tips and recipes are neat to have as examples of things the Plain people do/use in their homes/farms. I highly recommend your readers to try to find this big, thick, wonderful cookbook. I want to add that of my Amish/Mennonite cookbooks, my all-time favorite and in my TOP THREE cookbooks is MENNONITE COUNTRY-STYLE RECIPES by Esther H. Shank. I have had it since the year it was published (1987) and refer to it the most often. If you two do not have it I assure you that you would LOVE it. It really is a complete library of information including quantity cooking, canning, and misc. tips for all things like gardening, soap-making, etc. !

    Today I am planning to make a batch of English Muffins from your post last week. I copied it off and have been wanting to get to it.

    Thanks for your very interesting and educational blog! Love it!

    1. Nice to hear from you, Lori. I will be looking for Esther's cookbook. Thanks!


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