Mennonite Man, Willard Roth, reared on Iowa farmland, has a long career as
. . . and always a Cook and Entertainer
Mennonite Men Can Cook Too (2015) is a compilation of recipes from eight men, including Roth, and three nephews. Unlike many traditional Mennonite cookbooks, several of his recipes feature an alcohol ingredient as in a PBS broadcast where hard cider is the beverage of choice. Roth notes that his menus are “simple but elegant,” part of his Mennonite value system, he says. The author interlaces memoir with recipes and appetizing photos, a satisfying concoction. It’s a “travel through time looking at the stages of Roth’s life through food.”
Willard Roth is a topnotch cook who grew up in a sprawling Iowa farm family. He has always loved food—growing it, preparing it, eating it. As a Mennonite church leader and journalist, he is as well-known for the dinners he prepares as he is for his sermons or editorials. The man has traveled North America and much of the world, always making notes about the great meals he’s eaten. Then he’s routinely gone home and fiddled around in the kitchen until he can make the dishes he’s loved eating.
In this book are recipes inspired by the food made by his Mennonite mother and grandmothers. Other recipes are inspired from the monasteries he’s visited in Ireland and England. There are recipes of the food he’s eaten in Ghana, Jamaica, Cyprus, the Netherlands, India, and Nepal.
Willard Roth, now retired, breathes hospitality and gives us the tools to practice it ourselves, along with unforgettable, easy-to-prepare recipes.
Willard cooks with host Gail Martin on Dinner & a Book. Click to see Willard with host Gail in the kitchen: PBS special
Book Blurb, continued
Roth mixes his keen food memories with his years of experience in the kitchen to create recipes that work for the home cook. Among his Soup recipes are Thai Coconut Shrimp, Chilled Melon Mint, and Hawkeye Corn and Chilies Chowder. His Small Plates recipes include Cheese Grits with Chunky Tomato Sauce, and Corn Leek Bake. Among his Mains are Lemon Turkey Stir-Fry with Pasta, Monastery Cornbread Casserole, Hearty Polenta Florentine, and Pecan Crunch Salmon Bake. Plus Beer-Braised Short Ribs and Balsamic Honey-Glazed Lamb Chops.
Cooks will also find Chutneys, Cordials, Rum Sauces, and Relishes. And lots of Vegetables and Salads. You’ll love the tons of Cakes, Candies and Cookies, Pies and Puddings, and Fruit and Frozen Desserts.
Mennonite Man Crafts a Valentine Menu
Note that his Valentine menu includes fresh fish cakes, roasted red potatoes, wilted baby spinach, and boozy Black Forest cake.
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Alert! You many remember my 2015 blog post, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, which probably inspired Willard Roth’s book title. 😉
Have you heard of author Willard Roth?
Do you have a favorite cookbook? Or recipe?
Many famous chefs are men, like Jacques Pepin and Wolfgang Puck. Do you admire any famous women chefs, besides Julia Child or perhaps Ina Garten?
Author Roth features fish cakes for his Valentine. What would you choose as the main menu item for Valentine’s Day?.