I often get asked what the difference is between Amish and Mennonite cooking and, for that matter, Brethren and Hutterite dishes.
This is part one of an occasional summer series exploring the differences and similarities. First, similarities:
Mennonite and Amish cooking styles are very similar. Both feature back to basics baking and are very locavore-oriented. The appearance of bacon in a recipe, like with the meatloaf recipe below does appear to be more common in Mennonite recipes. So that might be one difference.
Both cooking styles incorporate home-canning and gathering of fruits. So enjoy the jam recipe below! I have dined in both Mennonite and Amish homes and I can usually find more in common with their cooking style than differences. Because of the strong Old Order Mennonite presence in Mexico and Latin America, you do see more south-of-the-border influences in Mennonite kitchens. Stay tuned for much more on this topic in the weeks ahead.
- 1 qt. fresh strawberries
- 1 qt. sugar
- 1 tbsp. cold water
- Wash and drain fruit for a short time.
- Place berries and sugar in a large kettle.
- Add cold water.
- Place over very slow heat until the sugar is melted.
- Turn heat up higher and when fruit begins to boil, check the clock and boil well for exactly 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Skim and pour into shallow platters where fruit will not be more than 1 inch deep.
- Leave overnight.
- In the morning, each berry will be lying in a delicious thick syrup.
- Bottle in cold, sterilized jars.
- Yield: 2 quarts.
- 1½ pounds hamburger
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1 cup milk or tomato juice
- 1 medium sized onion, minced
- 1 or 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 6 strips bacon
- Soak crumbs in milk and add beaten egg.
- Add meat, onion and seasoning.
- Form into a loaf (do not pack) and place in baking dish; then put strips of bacon on top of loaf. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour.
- Don't overbake.