Anniversary Edition for a New Era: Mennonite Community Cookbook

Mennonite Community Cookbook is celebrating 65 years of publication this year—with a special anniversary edition!

It has had an amazing ride and we hope it will be around for another good long life—in whatever form humans use to help with cooking in the future. The Internet, cable TV cooking shows, blogs, online videos and apps have only exploded the number of ways that people seek some sort of help to concoct and enjoy home cooked (in whole or in part) meals, snacks, desserts, lunches, and brunches!

MennoniteCommunityCookbook_2015coverThe new edition of Mennonite Community Cookbook has:

  • –A brighter cover – same charming Fraktur artwork, just refreshed to be bolder and not cut off at the edges
  • –A 12-page historical section with fascinating facts, stories and photos you likely have never seen or read before
  • –New food photography to entice new generations to immerse themselves in some legacy Mennonite cooking


We’re rolling out this edition with a new dedicated blog, which we hope will change how people talk about, use, share and find community around this great old/new cookbook. There are related contest themes you can enter (two new contests each month) and new winners announced every week—with the winner choosing from among several cookbooks to claim for the participant prize!

It has been my privilege this past year to manage the relaunch of this bestselling masterwork by Mary Emma Showalter Eby.  We want everyone to learn how she was much more than a great cook and home economics professor, with the vision and chutzpa to pull together the first ever, widely published Mennonite cookbook.

A 20-something might say, uh, this is just a cookbook, isn’t it? True, but so much more.

Mary Emma Showalter at an early age.

Many people have quite emotional attachments to this book, I have learned, including myself. It is part of Mennonite history for many. We want to explore all that, and I’ll tell my own story one of these days. Earlier, the food stylist for this new edition, Cherise Harper, shared her feelings  here about being involved in this project. Edith Shenk Kuhns and others shared some responses to that blog post here, and we’ll be inviting some to tell more in the future on our new blog for the cookbook. And if this kind of cooking is not part of your cultural or faith heritage, we want to explore the intersections of this book with the great cooking from different cultures and ethnicities that Mennonites are about today!

Meanwhile, help spread the word by sharing this blog post, posting on Facebook, or wherever you love to share fun news.

First contest: In celebration of the birthday of Anabaptism (January 21, 1525), Herald Press is holding the first contest in this year long effort! Take a photo of an old copy of Mennonite Community Cookbook—any condition! Dig out your copy, your mother’s, or grandmother’s, and post a photo on any of these Mennonite Community Cookbook venues: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest using the hashtag #mennocooking.


The deadline for this contest: Jan. 15, 2015, with the winner announced January 16! We want to see all the wonderfully antique and savored copies of this beloved book that are floating around on bookshelves, in kitchens, libraries, attics!

And take a peek at upcoming contests:

–Photo of your favorite recipe from the cookbook
–Love story related to the cookbook. Who gave your mother or grandmother hers? Is there a story?
–Donut recipe from the cookbook–and more


No Mennonite Community Cookbook? Buy the original version here while copies last or pre-order the 65th anniversary addition at 25% off here! (Discount will show up in cart.)


The contest will give you an opportunity (drawn from entries received) to get YOUR CHOICE of one of these popular cookbooks, each a $20-$30 value! Simply in Season, More with Less, Extending the Table, Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations, OR Saving the Seasons. Our goal is to get you cooking, sharing and talking about Mennonite Community Cookbook and all the many fine books for sharing food and faith from Herald Press!

Melodie Davis
Managing editor