By Kevin Williams
A month or so ago I bought a small Amish cookbook off Etsy for $2. This is a slender collection of Amish recipes from the early 1980s. As a writer, the publishing house interests me as much as the Amish angle. The book was published by Bear Wallow Press in Nasvhille, Indiana, a charming tourist town in south-central Indiana. The book is copyrighted in 1980 and was probably one of the company’s first books. Bear Wallow, against all odds, still exists. Here is their website.
The publishing house is largely based on cookbooklets that tell America’s cultural story:
Recipes told much about the culture people came from, about their economic status and the foods available to them. Recipes provided unique insights into history.
That description from Bear Wallow describes perfectly why I am interested in the recipe aspect of the Amish. Their cooking and recipes tell stories, give historical and socio-economic insights, and cultural glimpses.
This little cookbook has many great recipes that I hope to sample for you, but here’s one that caught my eye. Wow, these sounds good!
- 2 1 /2 cups flour, sifted
- 3 1 /2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 /3 cup butter
- 1 /2 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- brown sugar
- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Blend in butter. Beat eggs and milk together and gradually add to dry. Knead dough lightly on floured surface for 3 - 4 minutes and shape into a roll (like a jelly roll). CUt into half inch slices. Before placing each slice into a muffin cup, drop a teaspoon of butter and teaspoon of brown sugar into the bottom of each muffin cup. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.