By Kevin Williams
This is such a treasure that even though I posted it about 3 years ago, it’s worth reposting.
To me, the culinary history of the Amish is fascinating. Their history, their culture, their survival can be chronicle teaspoon by teaspoon in their pies, cakes, casseroles, and soups. This is true, to a degree, of any culture. Food gives a window into the day to day rhythms of life. My Italian-American roots could be traced through the arc of our family menus over the years.
Amish culinary enthnography is so fascinating because it varies greatly from community to community and really helps preserve the culture through generations.
Charles Eicher is a blogger in Iowa who has a church cookbook of his Mom’s from almost 50 years ago…it’s a small book with about 100 recipes collected from Amish farmsteads around Oelwein, Iowa. Interestingly, the recipes were collected for a Methodist Church cookbook, so the ladies of the Methodist church when canvassing the area Amish community for recipes. What a neat idea and we thank Charles for posting it all these years later for us all to enjoy! Click here to download the full cookbook.
Here are two recipes from the book, the first one – salmon loaf – I thought I’d share because we are in the Lenten season and it just looks so classic Amish, simple and flavorful.
The ham and spaghetti is also classic Amish, but beware the instructions….a lot of the recipe instructions, true to Amish form, are sparse and you’ll have to figure them out yourselves…
- 2 cups of canned salmon
- 2 cups soft bread crumbs
- 1 /2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Mix all of the above ingredients well and pour into a loaf pan.
- Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
- 2 cups spaghetti
- 1 cup chopped ham
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cream
- Boil spaghetti and salt until tender and drain.
- Butter a baking dish or pan and fill with alternate layers of spaghetti and ham.
- Beat eggs lightly and pour into the dish followed by the cream.
- Sprinkle top with paprika and add a lump of butter.
- Bake in pan of hot water until firm.