Mennonite Girls Can Cook- Celebrations { A Book Review}

This book could not have landed in my mailbox on a better week than this! Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I can almost guarantee that this is THE go-to gift this year. Let me tell you why.

First of all, I’m going to change up how I review books. I would like to break my posts into three sections:

The Bones(the physical appearance and structure of the book)

The Flesh( the content and meaty portions)

The Soul( this is the part where I give you my honest opinion)

The Bones:

I have never owned a MGCC book before so I wasn’t sure what all the fuss is about. After all, they have a website(it’s fabulous) and who really needs another cookbook in their collection?  Well, this is somewhat different than a cookbook. It is about 8 1/2 ” wide by 10 1/4″ tall. It is a hardcover and the photography on the cover is absolutely stunning. The inside is equally as beautiful: full colour photos, 2 page layouts, step by step instructions all meticulously chosen for their inviting warmth.

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I love how this is a book about celebrating ALL of the seasons of life. Whether it is a Christmas family dinner or camping around a fire, there are recipes and ideas for how to make each occasion simple yet special. But I digress:

Broken into “Celebratory” sections like  Celebrating Birth, Family, Community, Hospitality, Milestones and more, there are recipes for every occasion.

The final sections of the book focus on Gluten-Free Cooking, Hosting tips and a thorough index.  There is even a nice little biography about each of the contributors in the MGCC group.

Each recipe is very clear and easy to follow and the book opens nicely to allow you to read while you work. Photos are so important to me and this book has TONS!

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The Flesh:

I touched on this above a bit, but the recipes are definitely the star of the show in this book. And you may wonder who really needs another cookbook? The way this book is broken into life celebrations really adds to the value for me. Who of us doesn’t have a community picnic, potluck, anniversary, holiday or gathering to plan something for? The recipes are so easy to follow and use ingredients you already have on hand or can access easily. This is a major plus for me!

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The added bonus in this book is that each section begins with a memory, an essay, an encouragement from one of the authors. Gentle reminders of how gathering around a table is so important in every family and also how we pass these simple traditions on to our children and grandchildren.

The photos are inspiring enough to make this a coffee table book ready to browse, filled with stunning photography and inspiring messages.

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I particularly love the personal touches each author adds to her recipes.

You will find recipes from Taco in a Bag for the hiking trail to Chocolate Sheet Cake to Gluten Free Baked Rice Pudding. This book has it all!

The Soul:

With online sources like Pinterest and All Recipes it might be easy to ignore another cookbook on the shelf that may or may not ever get used. I certainly feel that way about my recipe book cover.  But this book will make you put down your smartphone or tablet, walk away from your computer and sit with a solid, beautiful book in your hands and be inspired. It truly is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen in the ‘cookbook’ category.  Useful for empty-nesters and new brides-to-be, oozing with encouragement and wisdom and inspiring enough to make even the most timid cook want to try something new. Soul-full with just the right amount of faith-induced messages of comfort and hope for your journey, whatever that may be.

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And if that isn’t enough of a reason to buy this book, the royalties from the sale of this book will go to provide safe,clean drinking water in Africa.  These women embody what it means to give and be hospitable, celebrating all things around the table!

You might still have time to order one from Amazon and have it arrive for Mother’s Day. The price is worth it~you won’t be disappointed! (hint, hint, family reading this) .

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“Book has been provided courtesy of MennoMedia and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Herald Press, a publishing imprint of MennoMedia”.

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