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Roxanne Snopek | A Merry Mennonite Christmas

Stranded with a Hero
Karen Erickson, Coleen Kwan, Roxanne Snopek, Cindi Madsen



Barnes & Noble

November 2013
On Sale: November 11, 2013
ISBN: 1622663845
EAN: 9781622663842
Kindle: B00G1IWYK4
Add to Wish List

Also by Karen Erickson:
Christmas in Lone Pine, November 2019
Smolder, July 2016
Ignite, March 2016
Wild Nights, August 2015

Also by Coleen Kwan:
Kissing Her Enemy, March 2017
Best Friends with the Billionaire, April 2016
Unexpectedly Yours, March 2016
Love, Dogs And Other Catastrophes, December 2015

Also by Roxanne Snopek:
Blackberry Cove, December 2018
Driftwood Creek, July 2018
Sunset Bay Sanctuary, December 2017
The Chocolate Comeback, April 2017

Also by Cindi Madsen:
A Cowboy Never Quits, January 2020
Add to review list
Just One of the Groomsmen, June 2019
The Wedding Deal, April 2019
Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny, May 2017


I'm a Mennonite. I know, I know: how is that possible, since I wear make-up and jeans and don't have a little black beanie pinned on my braids? My path branched away from that of my ancestors but there is much I cherish about my heritage.

For instance, the food: Wareneki, rollkuchen, cabbage borsch, plumi moos, that cold, sweet pudding-y soup filled with prunes and raisins and cherries...

Anyway, since I don't spend my days hitched to a plow, I rarely indulge my Mennonite appetite.

The Mennonite love of music, however, is a different story. Especially at Christmas.

Despite a deep suspicion of the arts, it's a culture that embraces music as form of worship. (Nothing you might want to dance to, though. Dancing is Very Bad. There's an old joke among us Mennos: why don't Mennonites have sex standing up? Because it could lead to dancing.)

So although we do not dance, most Menno kids grew up with music lessons of some sort; most of us sang in the church choir. Some of us sang in chamber choirs that even went on tour.

We did not sound like this:

I can still sing along with The Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's Messiah and it remains one of my favorite pieces of music, especially at Christmas.

In SAVING THE SHERIFF, I tell the story of Red, who has lost his love of music and irrepressible Frankie, who loves to sing. I had a wonderful time putting a new spin on the Christmas carols they grew up with. I hope you sing along with them!

And here, just for you, is another Christmas treat I grew up: spice cookies called Peppernuts. (or Pfefferneussen, according to my low German relatives, who liked to dip them in coffee)

These are an understated cookie, plain, nut-sized (hence the name!) and deceptively addictive! Traditional wisdom says these must be made weeks in advance, as they slowly increase in flavor. But truly, there is nothing like a handful of peppernuts, hot out of the oven.

Here's my take on this old favorite:

¾ c butter
½ c white sugar
½ c brown sugar
¼ c corn syrup
¼ c dark molasses
3 tbsp sour milk (or plain yogurt)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp cardamom
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cloves
¾ tsp fresh-ground pepper (peppernuts, get it?!)
½ tsp ginger
¾ tsp cinnamon
3 ½ c flour (I used a mixture of white, whole-wheat and spelt flours)

Cream together butter and sugars. Add syrups and sour milk. Mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl, then gradually add to the wet ingredients mixture. Roll into ropes (or "snakes," if you've got kids helping) then cut into ½-inch pieces and bake on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Merry Christmas!

And for one final treat, here's the famous light show version of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus:





6 comments posted.

Re: Roxanne Snopek | A Merry Mennonite Christmas

Thank you for letting us into a small part of your life!! Being of Polish descent, there are a couple of dishes that sound very similar to yours. This year I just might make those cookies, along with the ones that I usually make. They really sound good!! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and I wish you all the best in the upcoming New Year!!
(Peggy Roberson 1:25pm November 16, 2013)

Thank you for sharing your cookie reciepe and writing such a great book. I remember all the baking of so many different cookies and candies that my mother, aunts and cousins did, and of course we ate lots of them too. May you have a wonderful Christmas and the memories for years to come.
(C Culp 3:43pm November 16, 2013)

Peggy, thanks so much for stopping by! Mennos got shunted
around Europe a fair bit from 1600s, when Menno Simon got
the ball rolling. So there's a lot of crossover with other
ethnicities, which I find quite fascinating. My mom's from
the Russian Mennonites, my dad from the Dutch version, way
back. Lots of great traditions, TONS of great food! Thanks
for the good wishes and I hope your Christmas is everything
you could hope for!
(Roxanne Snopek 2:19pm November 17, 2013)

Carletta, great to meet you! Cookie-baking was a must-do at
Christmas when I was a kid, too. I kept that going with my
own kids and even now that they're grown, it's always
something we do together over the holidays. And the more
versions, the better, right? Have a great holiday and thanks
so much for stopping by!
(Roxanne Snopek 2:22pm November 17, 2013)

Thank you for sharing your cookie recipe. Love new cookie recipes. I love
holiday baking.
(Shari Bartholomew 5:36pm November 19, 2013)

All the wonderful aromas of cookie-baking are almost better
than the flavours! (Almost!)Thanks for stopping by, Shari,
good to see you.
(Roxanne Snopek 4:37pm November 20, 2013)

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