By Kevin Williams
This is sort of a "hodgepodge post", but, hey, I have to keep things interesting, don't I?
First, this post is a mini-search of what looks interesting on Amazon AND Etsy this week. Then a recipe for a nice, tropical pie to brighten up your winter blahs. Oh, for those on my email newsletter list, this is the book I mentioned that is probably my all-time favorite, PrairyEyrth.
VINTAGE BOOK: Wow, I...sheesh...I have to restrain myself. I'd love this book, but I just can't be buying everything I see. Because of the where and when this book was written, I think it'd be a fascinating glimpse into Amish culture at the time. The book's description says: This book is written in an amusing manner to acquaint the "English (thats the rest of us) segment if the population with the customs, beliefs, trials and tribulations of my delightful friends... The Amish" There is only one copy available, you can look at it and snag it here.
PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH FOLK EXPRESSIONS: As a culture anthropologist, this book would be interesting because it might establish some non-culinary links between Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch culture at a time when the two were sort of just starting to be "packaged together." I doubt there are many books out there like this and this book probably really preserves some valuable folk expression traditions. Click here to see.
CHERYL MCNULTY ART: This is the artist who did the portrait of Aster and she does all sorts of dynamite paintings. She has her own Etsy shop that you can browse here.
LANCASTER COUNTY AMISH COOKBOOK: Again, need to restrain myself. Although will say there are a LOT of these books available, some for less than a $1, so I may have to pounce on this: 1000 recipes from Lancaster County kitchens, published in 1982, which is, in my mind, the sort of tail end of the period I am most interested in. After the mid-80s I find the less recipes interesting. Click here to check out the book (Okay, I just pounced and got one, 50 cents is too good of a deal not to).
REBECCA AT THE BEACH: Man, I can't believe I wrote this book back in 2011. And I wrote it fast. Maybe too fast, I'm almost afraid to go back and re-read it. As author, work often "ages" and doesn't look as good years later. But I loved the story and really got into the characters. It was my first attempt at fiction. It's a slender volume and I followed it up with a part two, Searching for Rebecca, Part Three is sitting on a defunct hard drive on my desk. It's about 80 percent finished, maybe more. I need to take the hard drive to a computer repairman at some point, have him extract the file, and then one day, just maybe, I'll finish the trilogy.
SIMPLY DELICIOUS AMISH COOKING FROM PINECRAFT: Sherry Gore is a talented cook and a convert to the Plain faith who lives in Florida's Pinecraft enclave. Her cookbook really features wonderful recipes from the laid-back Amish cooks in west Florida. Check out her book here.
Sherry gave me this recipe for Orange Supreme Pie, it'll add a citrusy splash to your winter blahs. By the way , if you don't have clear jel , you can use cornstarch. Not quite as effective of a thickener, but it'll do the job.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons clear jel or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon orange Kool-Aid
- 3 oranges, peeled and chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 8 ounce container whipped topping, thawed, plus more for serving
- 1 9-inch pre-baked pie shell
- Bring 1½ cups of the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, clear jel, and Kool Aid..
- Stir in the remaining 1/ 2 cups water and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour the sugar mixture into the boiling water, stirring as it cooks.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat when the mixture begins to thicken a bit.
- Allow the mixture to cool, then stir in the orange pieces.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy.
- Fold in the whipped topping until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the baked pie crust.
- Top with the orange filling.
- Refrigerate until chilled and set, about 1 hour.
- Top with extra whipped topping, if desired.