Amish in the News: The Atlantic Monthly, Amish Wood Milk?, Abduction Update Final

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Got a hodge-podge of newsy items related to the Amish that I'd like to share today.  Here's a menu and you can pick and choose what interests you: THE ATLANTIC: The Atlantic Monthly used to be a prestigious journal that showcased the best of the best when it came to literary writing and news.  I actually used to read the Atlantic Monthly when I was a teenager, but it's probably been 25 years since I have bought a copy, but the name still is prestigious. So I paid attention when an article showed up about the Amish "bearding cuttings" the other day, but, really, the article doesn't break much new ground.  It's an okay article and I am sharing it simply because its the esteemed Atlantic, but I think most of the points in the article are ones we've discussed here a lot already. But click here to read. DUTCH GLOW AMISH WOOD MILK:  Okay, my opinion, but I'm dubious that this polish has any connection to the Amish at all. I maybe wrong, but it just seems like another company parachuting in and trading off the Amish name.  Again, as I wrote the other day, I have no problem with Read More…

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Ah...birthdays.... Birthdays are celebrated and cherished among the Amish, just as they are in the general population. I feel like I read somewhere in some book someplace that there are some Amish sects that don't like, and even forbid, "surprise parties".  But I've never run into that. In fact, I know of some Amish who have thrown surprise parties. But I suppose somewhere that could be the case that such parties are forbidden.  I mean, most Amish birthdays by their very nature are going to be relatively low key: cake, family, food.  Not often will you find party hats and streamers for an adult's party, anyway.  Homemade cakes are always popular, but so are Dairy Queen ice cream cakes (no, thanks....if I want ice cream, I'll get ice cream...if I want cake, I'll get cake...don't mess up two great things by trying to mish-mash them) So I turned 42 over the weekend.  On one hand, every year is a blessing, every day is a blessing that one gets with good health, family, and the ability to fill one's lungs with fresh air.  Still, there's a lot that I wanted to have accomplished by Read More…

The Amish Cook: Plucking Chickens, Homemade Tomato Pie, and Summer Ponies

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CAPTION:  Gloria's pony cart   THE AMISH COOK BY GLORIA YODER Greetings from the Yoders! We’re enjoying our stay with my husband Daniel’s family in Danville, Ohio.  Our 2 1 /2 year-old daughter Julia’s highlight this week was going to her Uncle Tobias and Aunt Fannie’s house.  They have a nice pond where we go fishing and boating. Julia gets all excited when Tobias offers to take her fishing. I love watching the delight on her face when she discovers a fish on her line, although she gets worried sometimes when she has a tough time reeling them in. Daddy is always right there to give her a helping hand. Julia was especially impressed last night when she saw the three little swans that live on the pond to help keep the moss cleared off. Today we tackled the job of butchering chickens.  The men’s help was a big asset and greatly appreciated.  Some of you may have heard your grandmothers talking about the “old-fashioned method” of plucking chickens.  It worked well and was quite simple.  The old-fashioned method involves dipping the chickens (after they have been Read More…

Pennsylvania Dutch Bacon Mashed Potatoes

Bacon definitely seems to occupy a larger spot in Mennonite and broader Pennsylvania Dutch culinary culture than it does in Old Order Amish kitchens.  This recipe comes from a Mennonite woman in central Pennsylvania were old Dutch cooking customs still old sway.  This really seems like a fascinating spin on traditional mashed potatoes, not just with the bacon but with the added crunch of onion and celery.  If anyone gives this a try, let us know how it turns out! Print Pennsylvania Dutch Bacon Mashed Potatoes   Ingredients 4 pounds white potatoes, peeled and quartered ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 stalk celery, finely chopped 6 slices bacon, fried until crisp, drained and diced 1 cup milk Salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Instructions Cook potatoes until tender, drain. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter skillet. Add onions and celery, cook until soft. Add the rest of the butter to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Stir in onions and celery. Add milk a little at a time until Read More…

Two Sides to Every Story

By Kevin Williams Sam Mullet and his Bergholz clan have been made into monsters in the media over the past few years due to the beard cutting attacks.   Now, hear me out...I don't want anyone thinking I am condoning the attacks. I'm not.  I'm a very forgiving, open-minded person but no matter how you square or spin the story there were people who were attacked, terrified, and suffered bodily harm and you just can't run away from that.  On the other hand, there are almost always two sides to every story.  It's so easy to just gobble up media stories like a kid with Halloween candy.  The purpose of this post is to just remind people of that, to read between the lines, to think critically. I spoke with Sam Mullet's attorney, Ed Bryan, for a long time this afternoon and (yes, he is Sam's attorney, of course he is going to be an advocate for him) but if you listen to him, he paints Sam as a much more sympathetic, theologically grounded man who is a doting grandfather and Dad.  So which is he: a cult-leading monster?  A doting granddad and devoted husband who wanted to start a more Read More…

Huckleberry Pie, Huckleberry Shakes (and you can use blueberries also)

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Huckleberry season is now in full swing out west and this means the Amish of Montana are enjoying one of the delicious local delicacies.  The wild huckleberries grow high up in the mountains and begin to ripen mid-summer.  Huckleberries also happen to be a favorite food of grizzly bears, so gatherers have to be aware of their surroundings.   Amish cooks in Montana use the huckleberries in pies, milkshakes, shortcakes, and coffeecakes. Look at this delicious huckleberry milkshake I enjoyed while visiting the Rexford, Montana community. This is a huckleberry pie filling recipe.  You then pour this into a pie crust and bake at 425 for about 10 minutes and then reduce down to 350 for another 30 minutes. Yum!  This same recipe can be used interchangeable with blueberries, so there is some versatility here. 5.0 from 1 reviews Print Huckleberry Pie Filling   Ingredients 1 cup sugar 1 cup water ¼ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 1 /2 teaspoons butter ¼ cup clear jel or cornstarch 2 cups huckleberries Instructions Boil together sugar, Read More…

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