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About the Book
A collection of delicious honey recipes from the Honeybee Sisters book series, featuring quotes and recipes from Sweet as Honey, A Bee in her Bonnet, and Like a Bee to Honey–Amish romances by Jennifer Beckstrand.
Lily, Poppy, and Rose Christner, known as the Honeybee Sisters in their Amish community, are smart, inseparable, and all grown up. Orphaned when they were very young, the girls were raised by their eccentric Aunt Bitsy, who doesn’t behave like a proper Amish spinster. The Honeybee Sisters have blossomed into rare beauties, and the boys in the community have begun to take notice. But Aunt Bitsy is determined to scare off all comers with her brusque manner and her handy shotgun. None but the most worthy will make it past Bitsy’s defenses. It’s going to be a rowdy and romantic summer–harvesting honey from their many beehives and fighting off the boys right and left.
Note from Aunt Bitsy: When my girls told me they wanted to write a cookbook, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. Food attracts boys like honey attracts bees. I warned them that if they didn’t want the boys hanging around the house, they shouldn’t make the cakes and pies and cookies that are sure to bring them running.
My nieces didn’t seem to be alarmed about the prospect of boys all over the place, so I suppose they’ll have to learn the hard way. My problem is that smart, feisty, pretty girls attract boys even better than honey does. So even if my girls stopped cooking altogether, I have a sneaking suspicion that the boys would still find excuses to come over.
Some of the recipes in this book, like Honey Glazed Pretzels and Whole Wheat Bread, are very traditional Amish dishes. Others, like Salmon Tacos and Coconut Lime Chicken, are less traditional but still wunderbarr. I lived as an Englischer for twenty years before coming back to the Amish to raise my three nieces, and as a dental hygienist, I collected a lot of recipes.
Here’s my final warning: Boys are like stray cats. If you feed them, they’ll keep coming back. Buy this cookbook at your own risk.
Review: I love having so many recipes from the Honeybee Sisters book series all in one place. There are so many of them I look forward to trying out on my family over the next few months or so. I had hoped to try out at least one before writing this review, and be able to include pictures and glowing compliments from my family. Unfortunately, real life has interfered and we are in the midst of trying to move to a new home in less than a month....not a fun endeavor by any means.
But....on to the cookbook. The photos in it are mouthwateringly wonderful, and will make you want to try the food. And the recipes are easy to understand and follow. The quotes from the novels make the cookbook even more fun.
There are a variety of recipes included in this cookbook (main dishes, salads, breads, treats) and each one includes honey. Some of them are well-known to me, and others are brand new. I expect to find some new favorites among them.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**
Rating: Five stars
About the Author
Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.
Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.
Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand
Nothing brings family and friends together like a home-cooked meal. When I think of Amish food and cooking, I think of the way my mother used to cook and the way her mother cooked before her.
Both my parents grew up on farms, and hard work was a way of life. So were homemade meals and food that stuck to your ribs and gave you fuel for a hard day’s work in the fields. Cooking was more of an art than a burden, a way to sustain life, but also a labor of love for your family, day in and day out.
I joke with my husband that I have forgotten how to cook now that we’re empty nesters and I’d rather eat cold cereal that fire up the stove, but creating a nutritious meal for my family or baking a delicious dessert still brings me satisfaction and is a gift of the heart to my loved ones.
The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook began to take shape when I came up with the idea for a series about three sisters who keep bees and make delicious honey treats. In the Honeybee Sisters Cookbook, you’ll find some traditional Amish favorites as well as some not-so-Amish dishes—recipes that Aendi Bitsy collected from her years living with the Englisch. The pages are filled with mouth-watering photos, and I’ve included quotes from the Honeybee Sisters books. I hope you enjoy trying out the recipes as much as we enjoyed creating them for you.
My father in-law, who was also raised on a farm, passed away very recently. His mother made him a bowl of oatmeal every morning, which he hated, and it would be waiting for him after school if he didn’t eat it at breakfast. In honor of him, I would like to share a rhubarb recipe. Rhubarb was one of his favorite treats.
This recipe is authentically Amish from my friend Priscilla Stoltzfus in Pennsylvania.
Rhubarb Upside-down Cake
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups rhubarb, diced
Pour rhubarb mixture into an 8×8 pan.
¼ cup shortening
1 cup sugar 1 egg
2 cups flour 2
½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Pour the flour mixture over rhubarb mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Turn upside-down on a plate to serve. Serve warm, if you wish.
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