Mennonite Church Canada logo
News » Releases » A ‘cash cow’ or an opportunity to share with others?
Authors of Mennonite Girls Can Cook share personal stories

A ‘cash cow’ or an opportunity to share with others?
Authors of Mennonite Girls Can Cook share personal stories


Mennonite Church Canada/MennoMedia joint release
September 26, 2012
- Melodie Davis

Waterloo, Ont. and Harrisonburg, Va.— One businessman had a hard time getting his head around the idea of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook authors giving all their royalties to charity.

Charlotte Penner and her husband, Tony, live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and she loves to cook. So Charlotte agreed to cook a meal from the popular cookbook she helped to write, Mennonite Girls Can Cook (Herald Press, 2011), at the home of a friend for a group of businessmen. Her friend chose recipes from the cookbook including borscht, zwiebach, red cabbage, kielke, farmer sausage, glazed carrots, cookies, and “pie by the yard” for Charlotte to cook for the group.

“The men were very pleased with the meal,” Charlotte recalls, “but one of the men commented to me that we were sitting on a ‘cash cow’ and someday I would be very rich.” The cookbook is a bestseller in Canada and altogether has sold over 30,000 copies in a year and a half.

Charlotte responded, “I hope so, but I won’t be the one who becomes rich. All the royalties are going to our charity.” She explained to him how the group of 10 women who author the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog and book of the same name all decided that the royalties would go to the Good Shepherd Shelter in Ukraine.

The man said, “I can understand you giving a portion of it to charity, but all of it?”

Charlotte told him about the Mennonite heritage and how of all the cookbook authors, either their parents or grandparents were born in Russia. Moreover, many of them had escaped under what they felt were miraculous conditions.

“I was able to share our story, our Christian faith and how that related to our cookbook. I also said that those of us in North America who own one house and one car make us among 8 percent of the richest people in the world. How could I possibly want more, when 92 percent of the world needs more?”

Mennonite Girls Can Cook, available for loan or purchase from Mennonite Church Canada’s Resource Centre at

for more information
David Rohrer
Marketing Manager