www.OasisNewsfeatures.com | The Amish Cook | The Kitchen Scientist | Family Daze | Guest Writer

HOME | ABOUT ON | CONTACT | NEWSPAPERS | WRITERS | LICENSING

NEW BOOK LATER, NEW BABY NOW

My most recent visit to Elizabeths wasnt a typical one. Instead of enjoying the ambiance of a quiet dinner in a farmhouse, surrounded by The Amish Cooks family, I spent most of my time in a dull hotel room.

On this website, in "The Amish Cook Shoppe" section, we offer a limited supply of cookbooks produced by Oasis Newsfeatures, and written by Elizabeth Coblentz (The Amish Cook). While these are charming cookbooks written in Elizabeths unfiltered voice, I freely admit that they arent the most professional, polished products. In these cookbooks, the recipe instructions can be vague at times and there are occasional grammatical lapses. These cookbooks are in limited supply and available at your local newspaper only.

This lax cookbook style all changed when the award-winning San Francisco-based Ten Speed Press ("What Color is Your Parachute"; "Charlie Trotter" cookbook series) signed Elizabeth to do a real, professional cookbook. This upcoming cookbook, tentatively titled: "The Amish Cook Best Recipes from The Amish Cook" - is a much more difficult project. It will be available in most all bookstore in the USA in Canada. The editors want every word of every recipe crystal clear for cooks; and the editors want Elizabeth to provide the deepest details and reflections. The Ten Speed Press book will be like Elizabeths weekly column: a mix of recipes and commentary about her life, except much richer in detail. The hardcover book will also be packed with color photographs taken in Elizabeths kitchen and around her farm.

As is typical of most Amish, Elizabeth lives without a telephone, electricity or any other modern amenities like the Internet. This makes working on a cookbook a challenge. With the death of Elizabeths husband last May and an array of other delays, I found myself a year behind schedule on the cookbook and in need a dramatic idea to move this project to completion. To produce the cookbook, two worlds need to be bridged Elizabeths world of handwritten script and my world of computers, spell-check, and sophisticated design.

So, I found myself recently in a "Holiday Inn Express" in a small Ohio town about 20 minutes away from Elizabeths. I carted up my computer, my German Shepherd puppy and lots of snacks to begin days of working on the book. Elizabeth and her daughter Verena agreed to come to the hotel suite for a day and work on the cookbook. For the past year, Elizabeth has been handwriting the cookbook material, mailing it to me, and Ive been typing it in. This is a very slow process because anytime a question arises while I am typing, I have to send a letter to Elizabeth and wait at least a week for a response. Having Elizabeth in the same room with me and my computer allowed us to do what would have taken us three months in a single day.

The day wasnt without its oddities. I kept hoping nobody would see us as Elizabeth, Verena, and my German Shepherd puppy, Kira, went quietly up a back stairway and into the suite. It would have been a strange sight, but, thankfully, the Holiday Inn hallways were empty each time. We spent 10 hours holed up in the room, Elizabeth and Verena sitting in big comfortable easy chairs while I sat at the computer and typed. It was 8 p.m. when I finally took Elizabeth and Verena back home for the night. It was a productive day. As a break during the day, Elizabeth enjoyed a visit to Aldis, a discount supermarket chain which was near the hotel. The cookbook is now much closer to completion. Watch this website for details as the books release date gets closer.

NEW ARRIVAL

Meanwhile, the next day, Elizabeth and I went to visit the newest member of her family: baby Laura. Laura was born to Amos and Nancy on May 20. Amos is Elizabeths oldest son. Laura joins seven sisters and one brother. On our short visit, we found Laura to be a very healthy baby surrounded by a loving family.

Thank you to all you readers for your nice letters and encouraging comments to Elizabeth. You motivate her to continue writing her weekly newspaper column.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures

CLICK HERE FOR NEW PHOTOS IN THE SCRAPBOOK

CLICK HERE FOR THE READER'S Q&A SECTION, ASK ELIZABETH

CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE OF THE WEEK