I was recently perusing the internet and discovered an appalling number of errors in Mennonite bread making. I know there were errors in the past – the historical record is replete with disputes over baking. Not, it is true, in the “mainstream” historical literature, but they’re there if you know how to look. They were … More Bread of Contention
Imagine this: it’s 1941 and a Mennonite farm worker is sitting by his shortwave radio in Canada listening in rapt attention to the news coming out of Nazi Germany, contemplating immigration. Cut to Eastern Europe at approximately the same time, and see Heinrich Himmler touring the land of that farm worker’s youth and cooking up … More Was Opa a Nazi?
It has recently come to my attention that there are those among us who feel that the Mennonite Church leadership is not truly diverse. You know who you are. Faced with such criticism, I cannot help but think that these people have allowed themselves to become worldly and have forgotten – or, worse, never learned … More Talking about Diversity
I suspect that every ethnic group that has its own culinary traditions has some foods that are loved unconditionally by all who claim the heritage. These are the foods that we’re proud to share with outsiders and declare as part of our collective identity. For those of us Mennonites who sojourned in Russia for awhile, … More Summer Borscht, and the Living is Easy
This post first published in July, 2015 under a different title (But am I a real Mennonite?). In addition to changing the title, I have also corrected a typo. Every now and then a blog post gets derailed. This one, for instance, was intended to be a little glossary of Mennonite insider language, a guide … More The Great Mennonite Identity Crisis
Not everyone knows this, but Mennonites are a lot like Wizards. Just without the magic. It’s been almost two decades since the first Harry Potter book was published and over the course of these years, various Mennonites have heaped both scorn and praise on the franchise. We’ve looked at the values taught through the books … More Mennonites and Muggles
This post was first published in August of 2015 on my original blog site. If you only got your news and insights on all things Mennonite from all those unfailingly cheerful food blogs that plague the internet, you would have no idea of the internal strife that characterizes the Mennonite culinary universe. I am here … More Mennonite Girls Can Drink
Dear Swiss Mennonites, On behalf of my fellow Russian Mennonites – and especially on behalf of Josiah Neufeld – I would like to apologize for sometimes forgetting about your existence.* Most of us, of course, don’t actually erase you from Canada’s history in a major Canadian newspaper. But still, we all sometimes get so carried … More An open letter to Mennonites of Swiss descent
I posted this last spring on the old site. It quickly became my most shared blog post, and not just because I send the link to every teenaged girl on Twitter who complains about an outfit making her “look Mennonite.” About 5 years ago, I was sitting in a restaurant nearby and overheard a man … More Looking Mennonite
I hesitate to tell people I’m Mennonite because of the pause and obvious cognitive dissonance that follows. Not always. If I’m anywhere close to Winnipeg at the time, it’s not a problem. The Mennonites around there tend to look like me. And elsewhere, there are always lots of people who have never heard of Mennonites. … More Who you calling Assimilated?