The “Best of” series began almost accidentally. The Amish Cook column began back in 1991 and in those days newspapers were the only place to read the column. During that time period the column was written by Lovina’s mom, Elizabeth Coblentz. The internet, web, and all its wonders were still several years away. Newspapers were continuously adding the column. Only the Quincy, Illinois Herald-Whig newspaper has carried the column from Day 1 and they still run it today. So a reader in a city whose newspaper just began the column in, say, 1995 would often wonder how they could go and read the columns from the beginning. One reader wrote asking if we could publish all the columns from the beginning in book form. I thought it was an OK idea. And that’s how “The Best of The Amish Cook” series was born. I don’t think Elizabeth or myself really thought the books would sell that well, but these volumes have proved incredibly popular over the years, often proving to be the column’s “work-horse.” Even if you’ve read the columns yourself in the weekly newspaper or online there’s just something comforting about having them in a book form. You flip through the pages and re-read about family life in the Coblentz or Eicher household and you just feel a sense of serenity and comfort. Plus you get the revisit a ton of old-favorite recipes. The recipes in Vol 4 are among the best yet: frosty strawberry squares, cinnamon coffeecake, raspberry muffins, pumpkin sheetcake, asparagus bread, and sweet onion casserole are among the timeless favorites found in this book. The Best of series is getting a bit of a cosmetic makeover. The plain covers of the past are being replaced with a bit brighter, crisper and colorful cover. Over the weeks ahead all the Best of books will be reintroduced. You can order The Best of The Amish Cook, Volume 4 this week and receive free shipping. The books will ship to you from Amazon next week, click here to order.