Mennonite Girls Can Cook

M is for the Mennonite Girls Can Cook! I am one of the ten girls who have a blog we collaborate on to post a recipe a day and a devotional on Sundays. That blog is called Mennonite Girls Can Cook. We also have two published cook books, Mennonite Girls Can Cook and Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations. Both of these books are available on Amazon.

Canada-Tea 21

Anneliese, Judy, Lovella, Kathy, Bev, Betty, Ellen, Julie, Charlotte, and Marg.

Sometimes my meme buddies think that MGCC is my blog and all the recipes are mine because of my blogger comment link that will take you straight to MGCC.  If your blog has the (name/url) option to click on when I comment everything works great for memes because I can put in the url that will take you straight to my ABC Wednesday post, etc.  My personal blog is The Happy Wonderer, ellen b. but blogger/google has hijacked me and will send you straight to the MGCC blog if you click on my comment name when I don’t have another option in commenting. Does that make sense? Enough of that…back to the Mennonite Girls.

In 2010 all ten of us got together for the very first time to sign the contract for our first cookbook. Nine Canadians and one American, me. The nine Canadians hail from Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Winnipeg and Steinbach.

Here we are with our first cookbook in hand. It’s easy for me to get together with the girls from British Columbia and we cherish the few times all 10 of us can be together since Betty and Charlotte are over 2200 miles away from us. Along our cookbook journey we’ve had some fun book signings at farm markets, 10,000 Villages, bookstores and more…

Barnes and Noble in Bellingham and Ten Thousand Villages in Vancouver.

We’ve also done cooking demonstrations at the West Coast Women’s Show, Lepp Farm Market, Mennonite Relief Sales and on Global T.V.

In July of 2012 we signed a contract for our second book “Celebrations” which would be released in Spring of 2013.

Since this book was first published the cover has changed.

IMGP0322The West Coast girls traveled to Manitoba for book signings at several locations around Winnipeg and Steinbach so Charlotte and Betty were our hostesses for this great trip. I drove up to Abbotsford, B.C. to hop on a plane with the west coast girls for this trip to Winnipeg.

2014-03-26 paska class10I never dreamed blogging would bring this whole new world of Mennonites and Cookbooks into my life. This journey started with me contributing some recipes to the newly formed Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog that was inspired by a Paska Post on Lovella’s blog. Because the girls and I have family recipes that are very similar I was invited to be one of the contributors on the newly formed Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog even though I am not Mennonite. The ten of us remained faithful to the blog and soon a publisher came knocking at our door. Beyond publishing and blogging we have formed lifetime friendships with each other. The girls call me their adopted American cousin.

It’s not just the girls who enjoy our times together. Our husbands get to come along for the ride, too. We get together for events that have nothing to do with our cooking blog, too, but there is always good food to be eaten whenever we gather together!!

All this fun has not stopped yet because in August we will be published again with a smaller Devotional book with some recipes included.

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by the masterful Roger and the ABC team. Thank you!

A First For Me…

On Thursday morning I boarded a plane to Fresno, Ca. to meet up with Lovella, Anneliese and Judy to attend the MCC West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale and Auction.

Mennonite Central Committee was established in 1920 to provide relief for hungry families in southern Russia. Since then it has sent food, clothing, medical supplies and more to suffering people around the world. MCC works in partnership with local churches, community associations, government agencies and international organizations. All is done in the name of Christ.

Local farmers donated some of their crops of raisins and almonds to sell. Pies were baked from scratch with fresh ingredients from the area to raise money. Apricot, Rhubarb, Boysenberry, Peach, Cherry and Apple pies were tempting us all day long. Handcrafted cheese and jams were also available for sale. Frozen Vareniki and German Sausage was sold frozen by the dozen.

Hundreds of people gathered on the main campus of Fresno Pacific University to bid on handmade quilts and other hand made items.

A variety of ethnic foods were available for purchase including many Mennonite favorites like Zwieback, Borscht,  Vareniki and Portzelky.

Vareniki with a meat sauce and German sausage. Pluma Moos is in the bowl (a cold fruit soup).

So what were the Mennonite Girls doing while they were in Fresno at the sale?

First off we were being amazed at the downpour of rain on Friday. The out of the ordinary deluge put a damper on the beginning of the sale with many events being cancelled and others brought indoors. We presented our story on Friday night and signed books for anyone who was willing to brave the flooding streets and soggy grounds.

On Saturday morning things looked brighter and we had a very good turnout for our cooking demonstration.

We demonstrated another Mennonite favorite called Rollkuchen and served it with watermelon which is a classic summer treat.

We met many wonderful people and were treated so kindly by the couple who coordinates the event and makes it run smoothly. Kevin and his wife Rose were amazing. In the midst of everything they were in charge of they made us feel like we were their top priority. How they pulled that off put us in awe of their work ethic and dedication to this volunteer job. This is Kevin’s wife Rose with us along with their extended family. Rose made the aprons for all the girls in her family. Here’s Kevin introducing us to the crowd in the auction hall.

We were blown away when some of our books were auctioned off for a direct donation to the Good Shepherd Shelter in the Ukraine (a MCC project). One participant bid $1000 for a book. At least $2000 was raised for our Green House Project at the Good Shepherd Shelter.

We also had so much fun talking to people who came to our table to get their books signed.

My friend and cousin by marriage lives in the area and I got to spend some time with her. She and I were Home Economics Majors at Cal State L.A. and became good friends and then she married my cousin. One of my good friends from our former Seattle church texted her cousin’s family who live in Fresno and told them to make sure to look me up at the sale. It was so much fun to meet them.

When we weren’t busy at the sale we had some good brain storming times for some future obligations. We also had time to enjoy some good meals out. We all were on the same plane from Fresno to Seattle and sat together and debriefed. I left the girls when we touched down in Seattle and they rushed off to catch their connecting flight to Vancouver.

It was a rewarding 4 days and we are thankful to God for our safe travels in the air and on the ground in Fresno, especially during the rain storms that flooded many streets in the Fresno area. Here’s a photo Lovella took from the car on Friday on the flooded streets! Judy from My Front Porch has a wonderful recap with a great flood shot, too. One more recap to share with you. Here’s Anneliese’s story

I’m adding some of the other girls photos to my post so I have them all here together for my memory of this event.

It’s good to be back home again. After Dear picked me up from the airport we headed north to La Conner for lunch and some time at the tulip festival. I’ll show those photos later.

I’m linking up with Mary for Mosaic Monday. I hope to be around soon to see what everyone has been up to.