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, 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, Mennonites, her family, and Waterloo Region. Described by Edith Fowke as folklore literature, Staebler's cookbooks have earned her national acclaim. Including this long-anticipated reprint of Food That Really Schmecks in our Life Writing series recognizes the cultural value of its narratives, positing it as a groundbreaking book in the food writing genre. This edition includes a foreword by award-winning author Wayson Choy and a new introduction by the well-known food writer Rose Murray.
Edna Staebler who recently passed away in her 101st year was an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor to Macleans, Chatelaine, and many other magazines. She is the author of Cape Breton Harbour, Places Ive Been and People Ive Known and the Schmecks cookbook series. Must Write: Edna Staeblers Diaries, edited by Christl Verduyn, was published by Laurier Press in 2005. 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. 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.