The beginning of things

So last fall I was inspired in a strange series of events to write a book.

A Mennonite cookbook to be exact.

Since then it has occurred to me that perhaps it may be interesting, even fun, to follow the course of such a task in this ultra-modern medium – the blog.

On the name... The Shoofly Project .... it was lent to me by a good friend Kate Showalter Stoltzfus. She's snazzy and clever like that.
It refers to a traditional Mennonite pie - you guessed it - the Shoofly Pie. This was not a pie that I personally grew up with, but, hey, the name is catchy and the pie sounds dreamy. So for the sake of catchiness I'll be testing the Shoofly pie recipes first. Look alive.

Back to summations: Here you’ll find...
Recipes ~ Photos ~ Stories – of Mennonite origin and otherwise.
Profiles of "Mennonite women serious about food"
Profiles "Portland women serious about Pork and Pie"

You’ll find the journey of an amateur author and cook in this vast undertaking of writing a book.
The findings, fancies and failures.

On the book...
It's to focus on the stories of the brilliant women who are the bearers of this food, either by passion or profession. Or simply necessity.
It's to include the techniques of the cooking. Like what your grandma meant by “potato water”, and how to un-complicate a custard.
It's to do a bit of bold maneuvering to keep the Menno culinary dream alive without all the Crisco and canned soup.

The book is to be for those of us who may be in some sweet cottage in a lively metropolis, but are probably not cooking for harvest crews.
For those of us who perhaps don't have Grandma on hand to show us exactly the way the wrist should turn while flipping that kuchen.
And especially for those of us who want to hear the stories – the why and who and where of those who came and cooked before us.

Thanks for stopping in! Have a coffee, a kuchen, a read and let me know what you ponder!

Look alive for the first round of recipe testing. Shoofly pie of course. And it turns out sometimes the pie really is dreamy, sometimes - not so much. Seriously. Not so much.


  1. Congratulations on the start of your blog and forthcoming book! I can't wait to see your take on Shoofly Pie and other Menno favorites.

  2. Thanks Joel and Kate! I'm excited to be getting started. A hint on my take of shoofly: May have to change it to Shoo-honeybee pie. Or tartlets. Can't decide which! :)

  3. Just read your blog. How fun. I will save it to my farvorites to stay up with the latest infor. Let me know what you think of the Shoofly pie. The next recipe you might try is Whoppie Pies. Good stuff.