Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Day That Really Schmecks!

Jasmine from Confessions of a Cardamom Addict has been a busy lass the past while. In addition to keeping up with all her sites, being the Canadian hostess for Menu for Hope and the Christmas holidays, Jasmine has also organized an event called "A Day That Really Schmecks!".

Jasmine was fortunate enough to know the author Edna Staebler. Edna may not be well known outside of Canada, but she was a journalist and author who passed away this past September at the age of 100. Among other things, Edna had written for Macleans magazine, Readers Digest, received the Order of Canada, and was probably best known for her "Schmecks" cookbooks, including Food That Really Schmecks. Food That Really Schmecks has been re-released in a commemorative edition and Jasmine was kind enough to ask me to take part in A Day That Really Schmecks to celebrate this fact.

Food That Really Schmecks is all about Mennonite cooking. Edna became friends with a Mennonite family to research an article on the Mennonite community, learning about their way of life. This later gave way to this cookbook.

The most charming things about the book is Edna's little introductions to each recipe. Reading this book, I almost felt like Edna was there with me, telling me these little stories in person. It makes this book feel very intimate to me.

I've enjoyed everything I've made from the book so far and can't wait to cook and read some more. Here's my 2 favorites so far:

Tzvivelle Rivel Soup (Onion Rivel Soup) from Food That Really Schmecks! by Edna Staebler.

4 tb butter
4 medium onions sliced, about 2 cups
5 or 6 cups beef broth
salt and pepper

1 beaten egg

Melt the butter and cook the onions in it until lightly browned. Heat the broth, add the onions, bring to a boil, then simmer. For the rivels: add enough flour to the beaten egg to form crumbs. Let the rivels fall in flakes into the soup and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes till the rivels are cooked, the soup thick.

Cheese Rolls from Food That Really Schmecks! by Edna Staebler.
2 cups bread flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tb shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese

Mix and sift the dry ingredients, cut in the shortening and add liquid gradually, mixing to a soft dough. Roll thin on a floured board and sprinkle with the cheese. Roll up like a jelly roll, cut in 1 inch pieces and bake on a greased cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven for about 12 minutes.

Jasmine, thank you so much for introducing me to this marvelous book.

Keep an eye out on Jasmine's blog Confessions of a Cardamom Addict for the round-up for
A Day That Really Schmecks.


Anonymous said...


What a lovely tribute to Edna! You're not going to believe it but I made the cheese rolls too!

Rachel Rubin said...

it sounds interesting. what does "Schmecks" mean? is that a canadian term or a mennonite term?

Anonymous said...

Pretty simple foods and still seems like it would be heart warming.

Lis said...

I looked at those cheeserolls... but I went with the stew - now I wish I had made the rolls to go with the stew. Gah. Next time!

Great post about Edna and her life.. I enjoyed reading it. =)

Sara said...

Ivonne - I think Ruth made them too! They were very good though. I usually don't have any luck with breads, but these worked for me.

Rachel - It's a Mennonite term. If I have it right, food that really schmecks means food that really tastes good.

Tanna, it's really a great book, the food is really "farmers food", stuff that'll stick to your ribs.

Lis - thanks!

jasmine said...

Hi Sara

They both look good and I'm so happy you're enjoying cooking from the book.

Yes, there are several variants of cheese much so, I thought of renaming the event! Whodathunkit?

Thanks so much for participating!


Ruth Daniels said...

Sara, I did make the same cheese rolls, but yours turned out so much prettier.

CookingDiva - Chef Melissa said...

Great combination! Looks wonderful too :)

Morgan said...

Thanks for inspiring me to go dig up my mom's copy. She's had it forever and has a few staples that come directly from that book!