Herald Press to launch 40th anniversary edition of More-with-Less cookbook

News release
September 15, 2016

Herald Press to launch 40th anniversary edition of More-with-Less cookbook
Author Rachel Marie Stone updated content and recipes

more-with-less40th_cover_smHARRISONBURG, Va., and KITCHENER, Ont.—How do you update the holy grail of thrifty and thoughtful cooking? Doris Janzen Longacre’s More-with-Less cookbook, compiled from hundreds of recipes submitted by Mennonite cooks around the world, has almost a million copies in print. But it is four decades old.

Leanne Brown, author of a cookbook titled Good and Cheap, was asked to write a foreword for the 2016 edition of More-with-Less. She suddenly realized the request brought to mind a sacred space in her own mother’s kitchen.

“This was the book my mother kept on the kitchen shelf,” Brown writes in the foreword to More-with-Less. “The kitchen shelf was sacred. Small and rickety as that shelf was, only that which was always in use deserved that hallowed spot. Seriously, you want me to write the new foreword for my mom’s kitchen shelf book? Sign. Me. Up.”


Rachel Marie Stone. Photo credit: Lisa Beth Anderson/Spark + Tumble (www.lbanderson.com)

Food writer Rachel Marie Stone, author of Eat with Joy: Redeeming God’s Gift of Food, was contracted to update and edit the 2016 edition of More-with-Less. The first edition launched before she was even born. Those of Brown’s and Stone’s generations think of More-with-Less as much more than a cookbook; they see it as a movement that now includes such terms as “slow food,” “locally sourced,” “hundred-mile diet,” “meatless Mondays,” and more.

The beginnings for the original cookbook were humble. Two families—including that of Doris and Paul Longacre—gathered around a picnic table and discussed global hunger and the world food crisis of 1974. The nonprofit Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) had asked constituents to examine their own food habits, and challenged people to “eat and spend 10 percent less—both as an act of voluntary simplicity in solidarity with people who were poor, and as a practical move toward actually consuming less of the world’s limited resource” writes Longacre in the book’s original preface.

Stones’s research for the new edition included a visit to Mennonite Central Committee U.S. headquarters in Akron, Pennsylvania, where she devoured Longacre’s original notes in a file on possible names for the book, along with an afterthought scribbling of the phrase “More-with-Less.”


Herald Press file photo

Stone also writes of Longacre’s death from cancer just three years after More-with-Less
was first published, when she was 39. “She could not have known that eating locally and seasonally would become a mark of hipness, and that many people would begin to spend more time watching cooking shows than actually cooking,” reflects Stone. The book champions “simple food, well prepared from whole, fresh ingredients, eaten with gratitude,” she writes.

New features include a new size, lay-flat binding, some new recipes containing fresh and healthy ingredients, updated nutritional information, and expanded cooking techniques. The recipes also include labels indicating vegetarian or gluten-free. Stone worked with an advisory group that included a dietitian, representatives from MCC and Ten Thousand Villages, and other cookbook users. Fans of More-with-Less helped choose which recipes to include through an online survey conducted in spring 2015.

Filled with colorful pictures of people and food from around the world, as well as recipe photos, the new volume still includes much of Longacre’s writings, including chapters on the idea of having less with more, making changes as an act of faith, tips on building a simpler diet, and eating with joy.

Theologian Malinda Berry, who also grew up eating many dishes from More-with-Less, says that “Longacre’s voice resonates with prophetic witness and pastoral concern for her neighbors both in North America and around the world.”

Longacre was also the author of Living More with Less, which her husband Paul completed during and after Longacre’s 31-month battle with cancer.


More-with-Less and the entire World Community Cookbook series is commissioned by Mennonite Central Committee, a worldwide relief, development and peacebuilding ministry of Anabaptist churches. All royalties benefit the work of MCC.

The new edition launches September 27, is 319 pages long (with indexes and notes), and is $22.99 USD. It is available from www.mennomedia.org or 1‑800‑245‑7894, as well as Amazon and other online and local bookstores.

MennoMedia Staff
High resolution photo available.

For more information on news release
Melodie Davis
News manager


Extending Our Family Food Challenge: Six Weeks with Extending the Table

Special Mennobyte series: Six Weeks with Extending the Table by Ben and Heather Kulp

Extending the TableFor those familiar with us, Ben and Heather Kulp, you know that we have been seeking to make more intentional choices about our lifestyles, especially as we spend time getting to know our son, who was born in February. After hearing about a fellow church family’s own transformative experiences around food choices, we were inspired to take on a food consumption experiment. During Lent, we spent 40 days cooking exclusively from More with Less. We learned about food-as-comfort, hospitality, even how to bake with soy flour. But what ultimately came out of our 40 days (other than some wonderful meals and some money saved) was a sense that we want to simplify many other areas of our life as well.

pizzaPizza from refrigerator leftovers from Forty Days of More with Less

So, we’ve begun exploring other ways of getting rid of stuff in our lives—possessions, tasks, relationships—that consume too much time and energy. We’ve discovered Be More with Less, a blog with regular “homework” to help us simplify. Heather has dedicated herself to trying Project 333 starting in July, after she hosts a clothes swap to share the fun with friends. And we’re going through our many years of photos (both print and digital) to focus on the few treasured pictures we’d like to keep.

When we share our simplicity challenges with others, we’ve found a few common trends. There’s the “Oh, I should really do that, too,” conversation, where we’re able to share tips we learned from our More with Less journey. There’s the “Why would you want to get rid of all your stuff?” surprise. But the most striking comments are those from folks who have traveled and/or lived abroad for periods of time who say, “Well, we lived that way for years when I lived in Kenya [insert Guatemala, Thailand, etc.]. . .”

This global perspective on our desire for simplicity made us think about how we could capture some of those lessons while living here in the States. Whenever we asked to hear more about people’s international experiences, we repeatedly heard stories about a common aspect of community life abroad: food.

So, what better way to learn more about simplicity abroad than to share in the mission of another Mennonite World Community Cookbook, Extending the Table? The introduction to the 2014 edition shares that the intention of the book is “to take us to the tables of people for whom food is the staff of life.” So, for the next six weeks, you can follow us as we eat exclusively from the tables of people from countries around the world. We’ll share stories from our adventure as well as brilliantly colored photos from the new edition.

Our first story actually begins with a recipe that is in our dog-eared 2003 edition of the cookbook. Before taking our 40 day Lenten journey using More with Less exclusively, we flipped through all the Mennonite Community Cookbooks to see if there were recipes particular to celebrating a newborn. In Extending the Table, an accompanying note to the Spicy Cinnamon Cup recipe states that Arab families used the beverage to welcome guests who came to visit a new baby. We made this recipe multiple times during parental leave. Unfortunately, this recipe is not included in the new version. (Pictured below is a spiced tea which is included in the new book.)

02_SpicedTea_ExtendTable-4231Spiced Tea in new Extending the Table cookbook

However, we were struck by another story about an infant, this one in the 2014 edition on page 120. Linda Nafziger-Meiser narrates a visit from Zambian friends when her baby was only three months old. She was struck by the simple gift that her friends gave her baby: a cup and plate that her friends had received from the airline along with their in-flight meal. Linda reflects that we often have so many plates that we never use them all; we buy separate plates for our salads, desserts, main dishes, tea cups, even bread rolls. Yet, her friends saw usefulness—even specialness—in the utensils that we would throw away.

We look forward to this journey opening our eyes to the many extraneous “plates” we, as middle-class Americans, hold onto. Our sisters and brothers around the world have much to teach us about seeing the beauty—and simplicity—of what’s right in front of us. We look forward to learning alongside them.

To buy Extending the Table on special sale, click here. Ends May 8, 2014.


Ben Kulp is a cellist, Suzuki cello instructor, and entrepreneur. Heather Scheiwe Kulp is the Clinical Fellow at the Harvard Law School Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program. Along with a son born February 2014, they live in Boston, Massachusetts, and attend the Mennonite Congregation of Boston. Together, they enjoy hiking, listening to live music, and enjoying good food with friends.

Look for their posts each Wednesday thru June 11, under the special series category, Six Weeks with Extending the Table. Or sign up to receive all Mennobytes posts by subscription from the SUBSCRIBE button on the right side of the blog.


Lifechanger: How would you like to live better in 2014?

The folks at Simple Living Works recently did an interview with Valerie Weaver-Zercher, compiler and editor of the updated 30th anniversary edition of Living More with Less (released in 2010).

ValeriePaulPaulEditor Valerie Weaver-Zercher, left, with Paul Longacre, spouse of writer, Doris Janzen Longacre, right, and original book editor from 30 years ago,
Paul Schrock (now deceased, back).

Gerald and Rita Iversen, who began SimpleLivingWorks.org, say Living More with Less changed their lives. Gerald calls Living More with Less the “seminal book for modern faith-based voluntary simplicity.” Simple Living Works is now the homebase and publisher of the Alternatives resources for Christmas, Advent, Lent and Easter that have helped so many of us really ponder the meaning of, and frequently change, our holiday customs and traditions.

I feel like I know Gerald a little from his frequent postings in the Living More with Less Facebook group where diehards share their latest finds, comment and compare the experiences of others, and in general keep pumped for doing what sometimes takes more work. (Okay, often takes a lot more work. Like recycling. It is amazing how many people and communities still don’t do this basic task.) Gerald works professionally for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a ministry associate.

Gerald puts together a twice-monthly podcast of interviews with people working at voluntary simplicity, so he interviewed Valerie about the book and her ideas. Gerald has spoken to over 300 groups in 40 states, continuing the mission that Doris herself could not continue when she died so young at age 39 of cancer.

You’ll find the interview with Valerie here.

9521Living More with Less was of course originally written and compiled by Doris Janzen Longacre as mentioned in the interview, (more information about Doris here).

doris-headshotShe was also the author of the well-known and bestselling More-with-Less Cookbook. The two volumes of Living More with Less (1980, 2010) are packed with ideas and actual life experiments in how real people do with less of everything.

We heartily support the goals Gerald Iversen lists at the Simple Living Works! website and blog, which, as they say, keep the spirit of Living More with Less alive:

1) To maintain the spirit of the five Life Standards of Living More with Less, the classic book by Doris Janzen Longacre

2) To continue Alternatives’ mission – “equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly,” to answer the question, “What might a Christian life look like?”

3) To offer – for free – Alternatives 150+ educational resources: text, video and audio, all under the Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial license.


Simple Living Works! is based on the simple proposition that voluntary simplicity is a faithful, satisfying and effective lifestyle. At a time when millions of North Americans (and billions of humans) are living simply INvoluntarily, we hope that Simple Living Works! will serve to show that simpler living is NOT deprivation. It is such a joy to get the burden of stuff off our backs! We focus on Enough, not Growth.

Simple Living Works! does not sell anything, nor ask for money. It is a completely voluntary educational organization. They do accept donations through their non-profit collaborator, Jubilee-Economics.org.

Their honorary board includes people like Walter Brueggemann, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Ron Sider and David Beckman and more.

In short, we are thrilled for the podcast Gerald did with Valerie, and Simple Living Works’ ongoing efforts in this area.

Doris Janzen Longacre would be proud, in a humble sort of way.

*** TshirtTo salute SimpleLivingWorks, we’re sending them a free Living More with Less T-shirt (picture) and will also put your name in the hat, so to speak, to win one of three T-shirts, if you leave a comment on this blog about how you have used ideas in Living More with Less, or any relevant comment or critique on voluntary simplicity. We will also appreciate it if you share this blog post with your friends and invite them to comment/win a shirt. We have a variety of sizes, but not all sizes. We’ll discuss that with the winners! (You can also buy shirts here to help spread the message.)

We also have many more resources on the Third Way Café website pages for Living More with Less including video shorts, radio spots, photos and comments from people sharing “How I live more with less,” excerpts from the book, and more.  http://www.thirdway.com/living/


How have you used any idea or ideas in either edition of Living More with Less? What is your best Simple Living/voluntary service activity or endeavor?
(It doesn’t have to come from the book!)

Drawing entries close midnight January 8, 2014. Tell your friends!



Melodie Davis, writer, author, producer, editor