Blue Hills and Shoofly Pie in Pennsylvania Dutchland
by Ann Hark
(wonderful) Drawings by Oliver Grimley
I picked up this lovely little book in a local antique store. I have been drawn to antique books for the past few years, especially cook books. My book has no sleeve and is decorated with a simple blue hardcover. It only cost $4, too. What a steal. It is listed on Amazon for $20. When I opened this one to find out it was organized by months I was particularly excited, because that is my favorite kind of recipe book. The ones that take you through an entire year in someone else's shoes, showing their family traditions and recipes for every season.
This book was written in 1952 and shares everything from traditional Amish recipes to Pennsylvania Dutch superstitions. Ann Hark gives a delightful look into a slower pace life, where one can hop in the car and head through the country side at a moment's notice. Her descriptions make it seem as if you were smelling fresh bread yourself or feeling the chill air of the night of Christmas eve. She does not simply hand out the recipes, she shares the whole story of the day she tasted the first recipe and who she got it from.
I do recommend this book, although there were far less recipes than I had wished in it. It was much more a fascinating story than a recipe book.
Here are some bits from the text:
"But the main idea is to do as the spirit dictates at the moment, without a lot of brainwork in advance. A picnic ought to be fun--not heavy labor. Such, at least, is our quaint theory."- pg. 20
"Be sure to sing your music to God's glory, or don't sing at all" - pg. 37
I'm dying to try the apple fritter recipe on page 62!
What have you been reading?