Mennonite Hunger Games

latetoeverypartyNot Mennonite? Me either. This kind of makes me sad I’m not.

This is my daughters latest post on her latetoeveryparty blog. I changed the title. Dad’s privilege. Click on her blog to comment or follow.

Mennonite Hunger Games

“About Mennonites: The Book for Outsiders” is coming along nicely. Many people have been sending me their idea’s and insights about their Mennonite heritage.

 One thing I have NOT received is recipes. So out of complete frustration and ignorance, I took liberty and drew some assumptions as to why.

 You know what they say about assumptions…

  Among Mennonite circles any birthday, Christmas,  Easter, engagement or new baby is an excuse for a family gathering. Family gatherings are an excuse to eat.  Forget the reason why the family is gathering, all the focus is on the FOOD. The exception to this is 1 time out of the year when it’s Oma’s birthday. All your thoughts should be on Oma.

 ….And on Jesus Christmas and Easter time….of course…

 Here’s a tiny piece of the chapter rough draft so far.


 The most competitive place in all of Mennonite society (possibly the world) is a Mennonite kitchen. Mennonite women are lovely. However, they are extremely competitive. At an event like a family gathering, these women are all forced into one room where rivals are formed and cut-throat cooking insues. Some Mennonites might not indorse war but with Manno-women, all bets are off in the kitchen.

 The Mennonite Hunger Games. Sort of.

 “How is this possible?” you might ask. “A group of people known for taking  a serious and personally ethical stance for centuries! What would make them willing to put all of that aside?”

 Recipes.

 Mennonite women DO NOT share recipes; they carry them into battle. (Weapons usually needed around Christmas, Easter and Birthdays.)

 If you ask Aunt Anna how she made her Schmauntfatt, she’ll innocently smile and sweetly offer,

 “Oh just take a lump of this and smidgen of that, Nah Yo!?”

 Fantastic, another detailed Manno-recipe to add to your collection.

 Don’t trust her.

 Aunt Anna will not give you her full recipe. Everyone loves it. It was passed down by her mother on her death bed, who got it from her mother on her death bed, who got it from her mother right before hopping the last horse and buggy out of Russia. How dare you ask a close family relative for her Schmauntfatt recipe. How. Dare. You.

 Yes, you said your vows and married her favorite nephew.
Of course, Aunt Anna might be the children’s god-mother.
Yes, you gave Aunt Anna one of your kidneys.

 Who cares? The only woman getting their hands on Aunt Anna’s Schmauntfatt recipe is the one who sits beside her during her last few moments on earth.

Other things I’ve included for the outsider about food:

  • The Manno-Food Conspiracy
  • My views on Mennonite Cookbooks
  • The show “Wipeout” Holdeman Style
  • If Oma is sacred, the kitchen is holy ground.
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