Three years ago, Lovella Schellenberg started a blog to record her thoughts, memories, and recipes from her Mennonite heritage. The response was positive – particularly to the recipes.
“I discovered that people really liked sharing recipes,” says Schellenberg, a member of Northview Community Church (Mennonite Brethren) in Abbotsford, B.C. “So I decided to start a blog dedicated to just that, and invited others to join me.”
Nine women in B.C., Manitoba, and Washington state signed up, and, in 2008, the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog was born.
Their goal was simple: to share good, healthy recipes based on their Mennonite heritage with each other, and with anyone else who thought it was worthwhile.
“It has exceeded all of our expectations,” says Schellenberg of the blog’s success. Mennonite Girls Can Cook gets about 4,400 visits each day, and has over 1,800 followers. Altogether, it has received more than 1.75 million – yes, million – visits since 2008.
And now the blog is being turned into a book by Herald Press, the publishing arm of the Mennonite Church in North America. Due out in April, it will feature a selection of recipes and reflections by the “girls,” all of whom are between 49 and 63 years of age. Seven of the “girls” live in B.C.’s Fraser Valley – two in Abbotsford, five in Chilliwack – while two live in Manitoba and one in Washington state.
The book will focus on recipes from the women’s Mennonite heritage and will include some gluten-free recipes.
“Our goal was to do something simple, but that displayed the food beautifully, with photos, and good instructions,” Schellenberg says of the blog and now the book.
Proceeds from the book will be used to support a food-related charity.