This article is a part of "The Amish Cook Column", a weekly series of featuring a story & recipe from Gloria Yoder, Amish wife & mother of six from Flat Rock, Illinois
What would you do if the doctor told you that you have only a couple days left to live?
I don’t know because I’m not there, yet with Daniel having gone home to heaven it becomes quite real that I too, could go home any time.
I have an uncle, who has become quite dear to me, especially after our visit to Haiti to see their family, where they shared the good news of Jesus for years to the natives there. Years have passed since then, and their children are mostly grown, still they remain close to my heart. Now a little over a week ago he was diagnosed with that weighty word of leukemia. Since then he has not set a foot outside those four giant hospital walls. The Lord only knows the rest of his journey, and we trust it to be good, whatever it may hold.
Life from Uncle’s perspective doesn't look the same as it did. While the clock relentlessly keeps going and going he rests in the only One who can bring health, healing, or complete healing of going home to heaven. I think how drastic everything were if he had not been reconciled to Christ. In Romans 3:23 we are reminded that all have sinned, but praise God, His loving arms are there to forgive us and welcome us into the realm of His own dear children the moment we confess our sins to Him!
My mind flips over to a widow friend who lost her beloved to cancer some years ago. When this dear lady was told her husband was likely to only outlive that night, they sat up and talked all night. I can not imagine that scene; it cuts deep into the soul. Surely the angels wept with them in the darkness of the night.
Oh the depth of heartache a soul can go through in life and the depth of love God can pour into that crevice of excruciating pain! Yes, the deeper the pain and surrender to the pain, the deeper the current of divine love flowing through that heart.
I do not know what I would do if I were told I have only hours or days left, yet today as I think that it could be my last day, it has a way of reorganizing my life perspectives. With that way of thinking I shift in the way I relate to my children and decide what to teach them today. Do they know how much God loves them and how He has a plan for every individual no matter what happens next in life? Do they know that Daddy really was right on when he kept saying that life is only about getting ready to die and that it’s up to us how we live the moments of our day at hand?
This reminds me of a note he sent out with all his emails. This is what it said, "-Blessings! Daniel & Family, Not every one that saith unto me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.(Mat.7:21) Lord, help us to daily seek Thy face!"
Now I read it and reread it. The call is to each of us personally. I cannot choose heaven for you; it’s entirely up to you and in the end, the reward will also be entirely yours. Yes, the Christian walk is not simple, but it is truly beautiful filled with the touch and very presence of God himself.
I am reminded of little Joshua who is so excited to see Jesus. Last Sunday he was telling Cousin Judith that he going to run right up into Jesus’ arms. In his heart he knows that Jesus will come to get him as soon as God says it’s his turn to go.
Speaking of loss and death, we are getting geared up for a special event this fall. It is one I have helped with multiple times in past years. This year, however, it holds a different slant for me. I would have been overtaken with disbelief, had I been told that so soon I would be one of the ladies sitting at the table to be served. Yes, the widow supper for this year is viewed from a different angle than I’ve ever imagined.
And dear widow friends, I would be honored to have you join myself with other widows who have walked this path. You are welcome to join us on the evening of October 24 and bring a friend. For more info or to reserve your seat, call my friend Leanna at (618) 554-0378. If you happen to be traveling and need a place to stay overnight we can fix you up with a place to sleep, as well.
I don’t even know what the menu will be for the special supper, so we’ll save that until the event has actually occurred and for now I’ll leave you with apple dumplings to enjoy on these beautiful fall days.
📷 Editor's Notes and Photos On Apple Dumplings
I had never made apple dumplings before, but I had plenty of apples on hand fresh from an orchard, and all the other needed ingredients. So, I figured, why not? I also had a can of Sprite in my fridge and I've heard that it is a great sweetener to add to apple dumplings, so, again, why not? Although I will say, I tried a batch with the Sprite and without the Sprite. And, yes, the Sprite batch were delicious, so were the non-Sprite batch, so if you don't want to add additional sugar, etc, feel free to omit that part.
🍏 What kind of Apples?
I had some red delicious and I had some honeycrisp. I chose to use the red delicious and I'm not sure unless you are an apple connisseur how much of a difference it makes. Really, for me, an apple is an apple. Granny Smiths are more tart so I hardly ever buy them. Honeycrisp are deliciously sweet, so I like them lot. But Fuji, Red Delicious,Gala, Jonathan, I mean, they are all just apples to me. What about you?
📜 Step-By-Step Guide
This is a super easy recipe. So if you are intimidated by making apple dumplings, don't be. Just have a big bowl and mix the dry ingredients first.
Mixing the dry ingredients together in a big bowl is easy.
I try to test all the recipes posted on Amish365 before putting them, including the Amish Cook column ones. But it was late in the evening when I was making these and I was feeling lazy. So I just use my hands to pat the dough down into a rectangle and put it one of these pre-cut rectangles of foil. That turned out to be about the perfect size and it was easy to roll.
The most tedious part of this recipe is the dicing of the apples, 4 cups worth. And I just didn't feel like sitting there and finely dicing a bunch of apples. But I also prefer larger chunks of stuff, whether it's meat or fruit, I like larger pieces. So I just chunked up the apples best I could and spread them on the dough and then sprinkled cinnamon over the top. Then I rolled it up into a log.
I rolled it up into this fat log. You could press the dough thinner and get a longer thinner long and smaller dumplings, but I like big fat dumplings so was fine with this shape.
The recipe never says to set them in the pan sliced side down or "standing up" so I did both. Honestly, I don't think it really makes a big difference. Both turned out great.
The dumplings themselves bake about 45 minutes before the sauce is put on, so while the dumplings are in the oven is a good time to fire up the stove top and do the "syrup."
It is a lot of sugar in the syrup, but stir and bring to a boil. I used a whisk and stirred it as it heated up.
Then I poured the syrup over the dumplings. I had two square pans of them in the oven. On one of them, I poured a can of Sprite over the dumplings and into the syrup. Mmm, nice, sweet, sticky, syrupy.
Maybe these won't win any beauty contests, but I was happy at my first attempt at apple dumplings! These are really, really good!
Like with most recipes, you can tweak to your taste. I loaded up on the cinnamon, but I love cinnamon. You can reduce the cinnamon. You could add some vanilla extract to the dough, you could sprinkle nutmeg or Allspice over the apples.
🍎 More Amish Apple Recipes
Fannie Petersheim's Apple Walnut Cake
🖨️ Full Recipe
Amish Apple Dumplings (with Sprite)
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 4 tablespoons butter (soften, partially melted for spreading on dumpling dough after rolled out)
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 1 /2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 /2 teaspoons salt
- one 12-ounce can Sprite optional
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Crumble in the shortening.
- Stir in milk to make a soft dough.
- Roll out and then spread with butter, 4 cups chopped apples, and cinnamon. Roll up and cut in 1-inch slices.
- Place in 9 X 13 inch pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
- While the dumplings are baking, stir the syrup ingredients into a saucepan and heat until boiling and then remove from the heat.
- Remove the apple dumplings from oven and pour the syrup over the dumplings. You can also separately pour a can of Sprite over them in addition to the syrup.
- bake for 15 more minutes.
- Remove from oven. Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or just eat as is.