Archive for the ‘The Amish cook’ Category




Following is a diary of this past Saturday:

7:30 a.m. We slept in this morning. It was a nice break to sleep later after another week of a busy schedule. Last night we got home later as we went to Jacob and Emma’s house for supper in honor of Jacob’s 39th birthday which was November 1. They had a delicious supper of barbecued pork steak and ribs and a haystack supper. Emma presented Jacob with a big ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. After dishes were washed singing was done and some of them played Aggravation.

8 a.m. Everyone is awake now and the girls and I are making breakfast. Joe and the three boys are doing the morning chores. It is relaxing to have a Saturday morning that isn’t so rushy. We made a breakfast casserole layering scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, and cheese with sausage gravy poured over everything. Yum!

9:15 a.m. Breakfast is ready. We have the casserole along with frosted sugar and ranger cookies, milk, and grape juice. Elizabeth and Susan baked almost 200 cookies on Thursday. Some are for church services on Sunday and the children wanted to take some to their teachers. They are delicious and disappearing fast.

10 a.m. Joe and the boys are working at odd and end jobs outside. Verena and Loretta are sorting potatoes for the winter. We like to sort through all the potatoes we pick up from the fields. We separate the good ones from the ones with cuts and bad spots so they can be used first. Elizabeth and I start with the weekly cleaning while Susan and Lovina wash the breakfast dishes.

1 p.m. The cleaning is done and everyone takes a break from work. We eat a light lunch of sandwiches, apples, and bananas.

1:30 p.m. Joe leaves to go get some repairs done on our buggy.

3 p.m. Joe is back home and him and the boys start on the evening chores. Taking care of the stove is another chore on his list during the winter months.

3:30 Joe’s brother Junior comes for a visit. We haven’t seen him in almost 7 years so our younger children do not remember him. He had lived out of the area but recently moved back. Joe tells him to stay for supper.

5:30 p.m. Joe starts the grill outside to prepare some chicken. I make a chili soup in the house.

6:30 p.m. Suppertime and Junior joins us and also Elizabeth’s friend Timothy.

7:30 p.m. Junior leaves for home and everyone gets cleaned up and ready for church tomorrow. Our time will go back an hour tonight which we will be glad for the extra sleep. Both our buggies are repaired so we will be able to take both of them to church. Our single buggy had not been usable since it flipped over several weeks ago. Our 17-year-old horse, Diamond, felt his harness catch on the shaft and this scared him enough to take off and flip the buggy. But now the damages are all repaired.

8:30 p.m. Everyone is ready for bed. With Thanksgiving on the way I have a great recipe to use up some of the leftover turkey.


3 slices of bread, cubed

2 cups cooked turkey pieces

1 egg

1 can of chicken noodle soup

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of cracker crumbs, crushed

1 /4 cup of margarine, melted

Place cubed turkey pieces and bread in a greased casserole dish. Combine egg and soups and pour over meat and bread. Combine cracker crumbs and melted margarine Sprinkle on top of the casserole. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Dont miss my part 2 post on Lapp’s woodshop as i tour its production area. along with an Amish recipe.

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This is the last day of October. It is hard to believe there is only two months out of the year left. Yesterday, October 30, was brother Amos’s 50th birthday. His wife Nancy had invited all of us siblings to surprise him and come for dinner. Amos was definitely very surprised, he had not expected anything. It is always easy for me to remember how old Amos is because he is 10 years older than I am. He is the second oldest of us eight siblings.

It was a chilly day outside but it was a sunny making it warm enough so that the men could play croquet outside. The children enjoyed riding their three ponies and taking a pony buggy ride. They also played kickball.

Meanwhile, for the birthday feast we were served a delicious meal of barbecued chicken, hot wings, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, lettuce salad, sliced cheese, banana peppers, kohlrabi, celery, carrot sticks, green peppers, and vegetable dip, homemade bread, butter and jelly, ice cream, peanut butter dessert, four different kinds of cake, and several pies. I brought the homemade bread and a chocolate cake. There were a lot of cakes that were brought in so there was plenty of cake left.

Before we started back for home Nancy heated up some of the leftovers. Some of the family ate some chicken before heading for home. We started back around 5:30 p.m. arriving home around 7:30 p.m. The children were ready for bed early as they had a long day. We had started out at 6 a.m. We stopped and ate breakfast on the way which is always a treat for everyone. I think I enjoy it the most since I don’t have to cook breakfast. We arrived at Amos and Nancy’s house around 9:15 a.m. Paul and Leah couldn’t attend as they were in Wisconsin visiting their grown son Ben and family. Paul’s son Levi stayed home from Wisconsin and is taking care of the chores for them so he was able to attend Amos’s birthday party.

Brother Albert’s family also didn’t get to attend as it was their son’s turn to hold church services.

Amos and Nancy had a nice harvest of endive this fall. I haven’t had much luck in growing it but mother always had nice heads of endive. We would substitute it for lettuce in the fall.

Saturday we had a short visit from Uncle Joe and Betty and cousin Brian and his family. My husband Joe and the three boys were not home when they were here, they were over at Timothy’s helping to build box stalls in his barn. Just before Joe and Betty arrived we had some thunder and lightning and it even hailed for awhile. Later in the day, when Joe and the boys were coming home in the pony cart they said it was sleeting. It had really cooled down by then. Our thermometer showed 28 degrees so it felt good to have heat in the house. Joe and Betty also stopped in at Amos’s on Sunday afternoon to wish him a happy 50th.

I will share the recipe for homemade peanut butter dessert with your readers. The recipe consists of three parts.


1 /2 cup margarine

1 cup flour

Optional one cup chopped nuts

In a bowl, mix together softened margarine and flour (and nuts) and press into a 9 X 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until brown. Cool


8 ounces cream cheese softened

1 /4 cup milk

1 3 /4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

8 ounces whipped topping

In a bowl mix cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and peanut butter well. Fold in whipped topping. Pour over cool crust.


2 3 /4 cups milk

2 3 ounce boxes of instant chocolate pudding

Mix together and pour over filling and top with chocolate chips if desired. Serve.

reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

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We had a thunderstorm during the night but it has now turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. It is now sunny and breezy and temperatures with temperatures reaching the 60s, perfect weather for drying laundry outside! We have our laundry washed and on the line now. Beautiful sunny days like this are numbered before the cold weather is here. Last week we spent time picking a lot of potatoes from a few fields after the pickers were done. We now have more than enough for this winter.

They are the “russet storage potatoes”, so they keep really well in our cool basement. We sure are thankful to be able to get these potatoes since ours didn’t do so well. Right now we are drying them out, these potatoes do real well in storage. Our family enjoys potatoes and there are so many different ways of preparing them. One night I made homemade French fries with the potatoes which everyone seemed to really enjoy. I have been using up the frozen fish from husband Joe‘s summer fishing. Before we know it they will be ice fishing and there will be fresh fish to eat again. Fish and homemade fries are a good meal.

Daughter Elizabeth, 17, made 4 batches of oatmeal cookies last week. We took some to the church services yesterday, but she made enough that we had plenty to eat ourselves. . The children always enjoy cookies and milk when they come home from school. Seems cookies don’t last long around here.

October 1st has made it 9 years now that I have been penning this column. Sometimes I think what life would be like if mother were still here to write it. But God had other plans so we must make the best of everything when situations in life changes. Our oldest child, Elizabeth, was only 8 years old while Joseph was our youngest at just a few months old when mother passed away. Where has all the time gone so fast?

Joe finally did end up starting a fire in our coal stove after some cold nights. Makes it a lot more comfortable to wake up to a warm house in the morning. But on days like today we can have some windows open when it warms up.

Kevin, 6, likes the chore of gathering eggs each day. Although he still doesn’t trust that rooster yet so he has one of the older boys stay close by. Kevin brings them in and sometimes like to wash the eggs at the kitchen sink while he chatters away. Once in awhile he’ll break an egg but most of the time he is pretty careful with them. Last night he found a horseshoe out in the field which he brought in to show us. Horseshoes are expensive and sometimes when the horses lose a shoe out in the pasture field we can still find it. This isn’t the case if one if one of the horses loses their shoe along the road. Unless you hear the shoe come off when it hits the road you usually don’t discover until it is too late to know where it flew off at. Joe always tells the children to always check to see if a horse has all their shoes on before harnessing them up. It can wear their hooves down fast to use them without shoes.

This is a recipe from my mother. My father must have really liked this dessert, since she called it “Ben’s Bars.”


1 package (18.25 ounces) of chocolate cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

8 ounces cream cheese

1 /3 cup sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, mix cake mix, oil, and one egg by hand until the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup for topping. Pat remaining crumb mixture into ungreased 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until fluffy. Spread over baked layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and reserved crumb mixture and bake 15 minutes more. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Martha returns to Amish Stories this Friday with a post about Rumspringa. Along with a Mennonite recipe!

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October 17 is always a reminder to me of my parents anniversary.  They were happily married for 42 years before Dad’s passing away in 2000. We still miss them dearly but they left us many good memories.  
Meanwhile, we received the sad news of the death of Joe’s cousin Ben’s wife Salome.  She was only 46-years-old and that dreaded cancer overtook her.  Our sympathy goes to the family.  They lost a son some time ago from a fall while working on construction.  The funeral is on Wednesday and we hope to find a way to attend.  
Lots and lots of leaves have been raked around here.  Saturday was a windy day and blew away a lot of our leaves which made us all happy.  Last week, Kevin, 6, brought home a pumpkin from school and wanted me to carve a face in it for him.  I told him I don’t have time but he didn’t give up until I took time and carved one in for him.  I lit a candle inside and he was proud of his little pumpkin.
  My husband Joe shelled all the remaining popcorn from our garden.  The harvest wasn’t as much as we thought it would be.  I think maybe I planted it too close.  This is the first year we tried growing popcorn.  Do any of your readers have suggestions on how to grow the best popcorn? We still have plenty to enjoy for quite a few times.  Joe popped some on Saturday to see how it tastes and it tasted very good.  
Friday afternoon Uncle Joe and Betty stopped in for a short visit.  Betty always brings bananas for Kevin.  She knows that he likes them and when he got home from school and saw the bananas he said “Joe and Betty were here!“   Joe and Betty planned to spend the weekend here in Michigan.   They were here on Saturday evening for supper..  Also here were my sister Emma, Jacob, and family, my sisters Verena and Susan and my daughter’s friend, Timothy.   On the menu was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy, corn, cheese, green peppers, and hot peppers, bread, butter, green tomato jam, chips, ice cream, watermelon, and peanut butter dessert.  
Our winter supply of coal was delivered on Friday. It is always a relief once you know you have coal to keep the house warm during the winter months.  We have been hearing that we might have a bad winter so it is good to be prepared.  We heat our house from a hopper-fed coal stove in the basement.  We heat all 3 stories of our house so it takes a lot of coal for a winter.  I am glad that the basement is heated during the winter months to help dry the clothes.    So far we have not had to start our stove yet.  We like to try to put it off as long as we can.  The heat from our propane lights feels good on these chilly mornings.  It usually puts off enough heat to take the chill out of the house.  The thermometer this morning shows 42 degrees but it looks like the sun is coming up now which should warm things up.   We are hoping for a nice laundry day today
This afternoon we plan to pick potatoes up out of a big field close to Emma and Jacob’s.  We are hoping we are going to be able to pick up enough to supply us for most of the winter.  
With the harvesting of pears wrapping up for the season, I thought I’d share this delicious pear bread recipe with you readers.
3 cups flour
1 /4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 /4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled and grated pears
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients until evenly mixed.  Then in a small, separate bowl, combine liquid ingredients together and then blend in with the dry ingredients.  Pour into two lightly greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Yield two loaves.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans.reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

 This Friday image’s of Illinois’s Amish settlement with a whoopie pie recipe! 

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We are enjoying beautiful fall weather. Many, many leaves have fallen from our trees this past week, creating such wonderful autumn scenes everywhere.  Along with it we have been blessed with some nice, warm sunny weather.  Along with the scenery also comes some work in raking up the leaves.  The younger children have been having fun making huge piles of leaves and hiding under them.  On Friday my husband Joe didn’t have any work at the factory so he tilled the garden, which means that is done for the year.  
Sons Benjamin and Joseph also helped him haul manure to the garden and the fields.  
 Last week the girls and I washed all the curtains and windows on the main floor of our house.  Since today is another nice laundry day we are going to wash all the curtains in the bedrooms upstairs.  While they are drying we plan to clean the windows up there.  After all those cold wet days in September it makes us appreciate this October weather even more.  We have been eating out on the front porch quite often this past week.  A person can just sit out there and just take in all the splendid scenes that our Creator has created.  Husband Joe has been doing a lot of grilling outside in the warm weather.  
Daughter Verena has to have therapy twice a week now since her cast is off.  She will get an ankle brace that she will wear inside her shoe to help her support her ankle.  She is very worn out after an hour session in therapy.  It has kept me busier than usual taking her twice a week but I am glad to see her getting help.  We are very thankful that she is not having the post-concussions any more but she does get headaches quite often.  
Communion services were held in our church district last week.  There were three new babies in our church and all of them are neighbors to us.  Two of the babies are a set of twins which brings them even more attention.  It looks like the mother has her hands full with the twins, a 1- 1 /2 year old son and a 5 1 /2 year old daughter.  The twins are a boy, Lyndon and a girl, Lanette,. Our church is having a diaper shower for them and lots of meals are being taken in. It is a big help to the family at such a time.
I did get my red beets and peppers canned last week.  I have some butternut squash here that someone gave to us.  I would like to cook them and make a puree to use for baking.  It tastes very close to pumpkin. 
Farmers are busy harvesting potatoes, beans, and corn.  We would like to go pick up potatoes in some fields to have  to store for winter use.  The picker doesn’t get all the potatoes so the farmers let people go pick up what was missed.  Since our potatoes didn’t do well we will be glad to get some.  

Deer season for bow hunters has also opened.  Joe was undecided if he would hunt deer or not.  He always hunts with a gun, though, and that season opens up later.   It is too nice to be sitting out here writing, time to get started with the laundry

Apple season, though, is still in full swing with lots of fresh cider on the menu and plenty of apples to be made into butter and breads.  This is a delicious recipe for a homemade apple bread.  Last week I shared apple cake, this recipe is just as a good!


1 /2 cup of butter or shortening

2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1 /2 cups of finely grated apples

1 1 /4 cups sugar

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 /4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.  Sift together all dry ingredients and mix in.  Fold in apples.  Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake 1 hour at 350. Makes one 1 loaf. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

New post on Friday of the Intercourse heritage festival part 3. With a new recipe from Jean!

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Editor’s note: a very limited number of Amish Cook “book passes” are available for purchase this week on a first-come, first-serve basis. The passes cover upcoming titles including The Amish Recipe Project, The Best of The Amish Cook Volume 4, Amish Cooks Across America and others. For information or to purchase, click here or visit



It is a cold 40 degree Monday morning. Yesterday morning it was even colder and it frosted in a lot of places. This will probably put the garden season for 2011 to an end. My back porch has red beets and peppers waiting to be canned.

Friday we went to get apples and grapes at the local U-Pick farm. A lady in our church offered me use of her steamer to make the grape juice. I can now see how much easier it is to steam the grapes and can the concentrate, rather than use the method I had used bfore. We put two bushels of grapes into juice on Saturday using the steamer. I hope to get me a steamer before the next growing season.

Husband Joe went back to work after a week at home due to not having work at the factory. Last week was a very rainy week so he didn’t get the garden tilled yet beings that it was too wet. He did get a lot of other odd and end jobs done around the house. The week being rainy it was very difficult to get the laundry dried. We hung as much of it on our porch as we could. We don’t have our stove going yet so not having heat yet in the house clothes didn‘t dry very fast. Even on the porch the clothes did not dry well due to the dampness from the rain. We finally managed to get everything dry by Friday after we had washed everything on Tuesday.

Saturday was cold but sunny and breezy so we took advantage of the weather. We did laundry again and took all the bed sheets. Every week the bed sheets from six beds can make a huge laundry. It is now 8 a.m. and the sun is shining bright. We will do laundry again today taking advantage of the weather. It doesn’t take long for dirty laundry to accumulate with 10 people in the family.

Yesterday Jacob, Emma, and family and Elizabeth’s friend were our dinner guests. On the menu was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, mixed vegetables, macaroni salad, pasta salad, sliced cheese, sliced tomatoes, green peppers, and sweet onions. Also strawberry cheesecake, peach cobbler, peanut butter pie, and watermelon. The watermelon was out of Jacob’s garden. The peach cobbler daughter Susan made with peaches we put in the freezer.

Our neighbor lady gave me the peaches and also gave me the idea of freezer peaches to put in pies and desserts. We had plenty of leftovers for supper tonight. The children enjoyed taking pony rides with Stormy while their cousins were visiting. Meanwhile, the girls went over to our friend Amy’s house to see the newest addition to their family, a daughter, Emily Elizabeth. We used to help her out with her other children. Her twins Joshua and Jacob, 7, would always come here after school while they were in kindergarten.. Her son Matthew we kept here for a few months also while Amy worked. It didn’t take us loing to really get attached to the children. Lovina and Kevin always enjoyed their playmates when they were here. Now time has passed so quickly and they are all in school full time.

Yesterday afternoon we had surprise visitors from Ohio. They were Joe’s Uncle Solomon Eicher, another uncle, Jacob and Mary Eicher, and three of their grandchildren, Susan, Norman, and Ben Eicher. Ben has a special friend in this community. We were glad they stopped in for a visit.

We have three bushels of apples on hand which the children enjoy eating for after school snacks. We are also enjoying fresh cider right now. With all the apples we have on hand, we are trying many new recipes. For instance, try this delicious, fresh apple cake:


3 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cups pecans, chopped

1 1 /2 cups vegetable oil

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups peeled apples, sliced

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an angel food cake pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir eggs, oil, and sugar. In a separate bowl, sift salt, soda, and flour and add to egg mixture. Stir in vanilla, nuts, and apples and pour all into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. When cake is done let cool 15 minutes, loosen in pan while still warm and add topping. Let cool. Here is the topping recipe:


1 cup brown sugar

1 /2 cup butter

1 /4 milk

1 /2 cup pecans

Boil the brown sugar, butter and milk over medium heat for 2 1/ 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pecan. Spoon topping over the cake. Reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

My visit to the town of Jim Thorpe in the Pocono’s this Friday.

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The Amish Cook


It is early on Saturday morning as I write this and everyone else is still in bed. I decided to get up early today to write this column.

A 79-year-old member of our church district passed away yesterday morning. He had been a widower for the past 23 years. While he didn’t have any children, he leaves to mourn a lot of relatives in this area. He had lived with his niece and her family and had his own part of the house. The viewing will be there and the funeral will be at another niece’s house on Monday. I will help out at the funeral.

Meanwhile, we’ve been busy helping sister Emma and her husband Jacob. My husband Joe and I and the children will go to Emma and Jacob’s today to help with final preparations for church which will be held there tomorrow. Yesterday Joe and I also assisted them with their work. I helped Emma do jobs inside the house while Joe worked outside in the building where church will be held. He put up a partition using canvas on one end of the building so lunch could be served there tomorrow.

Jacob’s will have council meeting (Editor’s note: some Amish refer to this service as “rule church”, when , as the name implies, rules of the church are discussed. It is usually held the service before Communion) tomorrow so services are longer than usual, lasting until 2:30 – 3 p.m. Council services are held in preparation for Communion services. Everyone does get a lunch break. Two tables are set and everyone takes turns to come eat starting around 11 o’clock until everyone is fed. Emma plans to have chicken noodle soup, bologna, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, pickles, red beets, hot peppers, jam, wheat and white bread, and four different kinds of cookies. The bread and cookies are all being brought in by women from our church. I made the jam for her which is the green tomato jam recipe I shared in last week‘s column. I used strawberry gelatin so it tastes really close to strawberry jam. Daughter Elizabeth made two batches of peanut butter cookies for Jacob and Emma’s church services.

Elizabeth, 17, and Susan, 15, stayed home Friday to do my work while Joe and I went to Emma and Jacob’s. The girls did laundry and the weekly cleaning and Elizabeth also baked the cookies. Joe and I came home around 6:30 p.m. and it was nice to see the house all clean and the laundry folded and put away. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to get all my work done when the girls were younger.

Joe also mopped the shed floor at Jacob’s yesterday so he could help set up the church benches today. They will also hang chains outside the barn to make room for visitors to tie their horses. I will help Emma prepare the peanut butter and cheese spreads for tomorrow. This morning we had 50 degrees outside and the air feels chilly. Jacob’s borrowed our propane heater in case it is cool and they need to heat the building for church services tomorrow.

Susan managed to finally get our yard all mowed Our mower gave up on us and we have it back now from being serviced. This whole summer the boys had been doing he mowing which really helped.

The leaves are changing color fast The children say autumn is here now maybe it will soon snow. Joesph, 9, woke one morning and asked if it was snowing. He said he heard the wind howling and thought maybe it was blowing snow outside. It’s still a little early for that!reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Here is the recipe for the cheese spread.


6 pounds of Velveeta cheese

1 1 / 2 cups butter

8 cups cream

Put everything in a big roaster and bake around 150 to 200 degrees stirring every 15 minutes until all is melted. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from getting a crusty top while cooling. The spread is served on a sandwich with or without meat and it is good just spread on bread with some pickles.

Don’t miss Fridays post : Amish Stories honors TVs  Bonanza.

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