An updated edition of a bestselling book in the food writing genre from award-winning author and journalist Edna Staebler. In the 1960s, Edna Staebler moved in with an Old Order Mennonite family to absorb their oral history and learn about Mennonite culture and cooking. From this fieldwork came the cookbook Food That Really Schmecks.
Originally published in 1968, Food That Really Schmecks instantly became a classic, selling tens of thousands of copies. Interspersed with practical and memorable recipes are Staebler’s stories and anecdotes about cooking, life with the Mennonites, family, and the Waterloo Region. Described by Edith Fowke as folklore literature, Staebler’s cookbooks have earned her national acclaim. Back in print as part of Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s Life Writing series, a series devoted celebrating life writing as both genre and critical practice, the updated edition of this groundbreaking book includes a foreword by award-winning author Wayson Choy and a new introduction by well-known food writer Rose Murray.
About the authors
Edna Staebler who recently passed away in her 101st year was an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor to Maclean’s, Chatelaine, and many other magazines. She is the author of Cape Breton Harbour, Places I’ve Been and People I’ve Known and the Schmecks cookbook series. Must Write: Edna Staebler’s Diaries, edited by Christl Verduyn, was published by Laurier Press in 2005.
Rose Murray, a former English teacher, studied cooking techniques in Paris, Costa Rica, and Hong Kong. Her recipes have regularly appeared in Canadian Living, Elm Street, and Homemakers. The author of nine cookbooks, including A Year in My Kitchen and The Canadian Christmas Cookbook, and contributor to more than forty others, Rose Murray lives in Cambridge, Ontario.
Wayson Choy is the author of Paper Shadows, The Jade Peony, and All That Matters. He was the subject of Unfolding the Butterfly, a full-length film documentary by Michael Glassbourg and has appeared on television and radio across Canada. He is presently working on his second memoir as well as a novel.
Wayson Choy (April 20, 1939–April 28, 2019) was a pioneer of Chinese-Canadian literature. His first novel, The Jade Peony, was co-winner—with Margaret Atwood's Morning in the Burned House—of the 1995 Trillium Award for the best book by an Ontario resident. It also won the City of Vancouver Book Award. The Jade Peony spent 26 weeks on the Toronto Globe & Mail bestseller list and placed Number 6 on its 1996 Year End National Bestseller List for Fiction.
Born in Vancouver in 1939, Wayson Choy taught English Literature at Humber College in Toronto for over 25 years. In 2004 Choy was appointed to the Order of Canada and won the Harbourfront Festival Prize, awarded annually to a writer who "has made a substantial contribution to the world of books and writing."
In 2015, Choy received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his outstanding contributions to BC literature.
In his acceptance speech, Choy remarked "I'm proud to have my pioneer Chinatown stories—and my own personal ones—recognized as part of the shared literary history of all Canadians,"
Choy was also awarded the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for Paper Shadows: A Memoir of a Past Lost and Found in 1999 and Ontario's Trillium Book Award in 2005 for All That Matters.
Rose Murray has been a key player in the Canadian food scene for almost three decades. Through authoring 10 cookbooks, writing for a host of magazines and newspapers, teaching cuisine at various colleges and cooking schools, and making many television and radio appearances, Rose has helped shape Canada’s culinary landscape since 1979. Growing up on a self-sustaining mixed farm near Collingwood, Ontario, Rose learned the art of growing your own food, as well as cooking and preserving it, at a very young age. It is no wonder that she has come to be considered a national expert on the agricultural traditions that go into our food. After finishing a degree in English from Trinity College at the University of Toronto, Rose went on to teach high school English. Over the years, food started to become a serious interest for Rose again, which led her to more formal food studies in Paris at renowned cooking schools such as Cordon Bleu, La Varenne and Ecole de Gastronomie Francaise Ritze-Escoffier. Rose also took classes in Costa Rica, Hong Kong and Thailand further developing her knowledge and understanding of international food and culture. Back in Canada, Rose has traveled across the country studying Canada’s culinary landscape. From fishing for salmon off Vancouver Island, B.C. and partaking in fall suppers in Saskatchewan to gathering wild rice in Ontario and digging for clams on Prince Edward Island, Rose has experienced what makes up Canada’s culinary fabric first hand. She has channeled this knowledge into her books A Taste of Canada and Canada's Favourite Recipes (out Fall 2012). Rose has two grown children and two grandchildren and now lives in Cambridge, Ontario with her husband Kent.
''One of the best-loved, quirkiest cookbooks ever published in Canada, Food That Really Schmecks is by Edna Staebler....Its charm hasn't stale-dated; the recipes are homey and local (long before urban sophisticates considered that a virtue), featuring such timeless dishes as Schnippled Bean Salad and Shoo-fly Pie. As much a snapshot of a way of life as a book of recipes, Food That Really Schmecks is infused with Staebler's keen observations, anecdotes and a frank, no-nonsense approach.''
''Interspersed with Staebler's true stories and anecdotes about cooking, Mennonites, her own family, and daily life in Waterloo region, reciptes in Food That Really Schmecks range from Crusty Chicken Potpie to Beet and Red Cabbage Salad to Porridge Bread, Maple Custard, Emanuel's Dandeline Wine, and much more. A mouth-watering medley of country home cooking recipes that pass the test of time with flying colours.''
The Midwest Book Review, May 2007
''This book's major joy is Staebler's writing style. She doesn't treat food as something to revere or fear--food is to be eaten and enjoyed. Her chatty, humorous, and no-nonsense narrative leaves readers feeling as if they are reading a letter from a dear friend. She also includes conversations from Bevvy Martin's family, such as her introduction to the Sour Cream Raisin Pie: 'Be reckless, forget about calories; you won't get this Pennsylvania Dutch speciality very often. Tell that to your guests.'''
canada-eats.com, May 2007
Other titles by Edna Staebler
Other titles by Wayson Choy
Other titles by Rose Murray
Rose Murray's Comfortable Kitchen Cookbook
Easy Feel-Good Food For Family and Friends
Rose Murray's A-Z Vegetable Cookbook
From asparagus to zucchini and everything in between, 250+ delicious and simple recipes
Rose Murray's Canadian Christmas Cooking
The Classic Guide to Holiday Feasts
Canada's Favourite Recipes
125 Best Casseroles and One-Pot Meals
A Taste of Canada
A culinary journey