This cookbook is titled Wonderful Goot! Favourite Mennonite Recipes. It is a short and insightful cookbook containing a collection of traditional Mennonite recipes that have been passed down through many generations. Written by Elizabeth Bearinger and compiled by Mary Ann Ruby, it includes everything from refreshments to entrees and desserts, and even includes homemade household product recipes. Also embedded throughout the cookbook are tidbits about Elmira, Ontario’s history dating back to the early 19th century. The cookbook was sold at the first ever Elmira Maple Syrup Festival in 1965 with the intention of sharing a piece of Elmira’s history and information about the Mennonite people who populated the area. The money raised from sales of Wonderful Goot! were directed towards local groups in need.
This cookbook provides some great insights into Mennonite culture as the recipes showcase their European origins. The dishes are simple to make, typically containing only a few ingredients, all of which could be locally sourced at the time. Many of the recipes could be classified as "stick-to-your-ribs" kind of food as the ingredient lists include an assortment of rich and filling foods like potatoes, fatty meats, and butter. Many of vegetables included in the recipes would have been easy to grow on a farm in Ontario and had a long shelf life. Foods that could not be stored safely or easily were pickled, which explains why so many pickling recipes are included. Of the book's 35 different recipes, 12 are for desserts. It was common in Mennonite culture to have dessert with a meal, and readers of this cookbook would have had an array to choose from!