Meet the Author
The Canadian Mennonite Cookbook was once called the Altona Women's Institute Cookbook. Through removed from the title, the Women's Institute was still involved with the 11th edition of the book. According to the Preface, members of the Altona Women's Institute still acted as compilers for the book, overseeing the collecting and publishing of the book's recipes. In the 11th edition, recipes were contributed by women from across Canada.
Women's Institutes were important organizations for women in rural areas and small communities. First established in Ontario in 1897, by the early 20th century, many communities across Canada had their own Women's Institute. The Altona, Manitoba branch was established in 1936. Altona was founded by Russian Mennonite immigrants in the later 19th century, which explains the book's focus on Mennonite cooking.
Mennonite culture is known for embracing the tradition of passing on recipes from one woman to another, and one family to another. Clearly, the Women's Institute championed such practices and wanted to make sure that readers interested in Mennonite cooking could be privy to this important sharing of knowledge.