THE AMISH COOK
BY GLORIA YODER
Greetings from Illinois!
So much has happened this last week.
Disappointed, perplexed, grieving, yet rejoicing....
These descriptions all fit well to the feelings and emotions we've had experienced since my last letter. Several months ago my husband Daniel's oldest brother Tobias and his wife, Fannie, shared the exciting news with us. After almost 4 years of marriage they were expecting a baby. We were totally thrilled to hear about it. Tobias has always been outstanding when it comes to taking an interest in his nieces and nephews and now finally it was their turn to look forward to a little one!
Unfortunately they ran into complications that left Fannie on bed rest. We felt sorry for them, yet comforted that it will be worth it all once their little bundle arrived. Daniel and I, along with Julia and Austin and Ohio decided to journey to Ohio to spend time with Tobias and the rest of Daniel’s family. Early one morning we were awakened by dad's urgent voice, telling us that they need help to get some things ready for Fannie to take along to the hospital. Our heart sank. The hospital... What now? Will the baby be okay? What about Fannie?
At noon Daniel and I headed to the Wooster hospital to spend time with them. Soon after our arrival the doctor came in and kindly but firmly informed us that they will need to transport Fannie to a larger hospital. Two hours later Tobias, Fannie and I were on the ambulance headed for Cleveland. Later that evening several more family members also came to show their love and support.
Daniel and I got a bite to eat and rested a while. I was exhausted, and already had a lack of sleep and the unknown hung heavy in the air. This left me feeling totally wrung out. We kept clinging to the Lord and looking to Him as our source of strength.
After resting a while in the Ronald McDonald room, Daniel’s mother came with an update, informing us that the baby would soon be born. We all knew what that meant. With her being only 22 weeks along the doctors wouldn't even attempt to use life-support.
At 10:50 PM their precious little boy, Israel David, was born, the son they had dreamt about so much. He was, oh so tiny, yet so perfect. He weighed 1 pound and was 11 inches long. His heart softly pounded as we took turns holding him and loving him. We gathered around Fannie's bed and grieved together as she held him close. "Let's sing a song ", someone suggested. We softly sang a song that spoke of little children gathering at Jesus's feet and another of children praising the Lord. It was so touching and painful, yet too precious for words.
Little Israel lived two hours and 18 minutes. The following day more of Daniel’s family came to the hospital. This time they brought Julia with them. She was totally crushed when I explained to her that Tobias's baby died
"I don't want the baby to die! "She sobbed. We explained to her that it also makes us sad, yet we’re so happy that baby Israel can be in Heaven with Jesus.
The following day several of us carefully and tenderly got him ready to be placed into a beautiful little casket made by Fannie's father.
Family and friends gathered at Tobias's house where they viewed his little body and grieved with them. After the visitation we had brief services for the family.
Several ministers shared comforting words about Heaven and the brevity of life
we also sang several songs before viewing his body for the final time.
Next, we all gathered around the tiny grave that Daniel and his brother David had prepared several hours before. It is located on a beautiful spot on the edge of the woods. We sang several more songs including the ones we had sung in the hospital while they carefully covered the little grave.
After everything was passed, we went back to Daniels parents again. As we stepped into the kitchen I noticed that someone had brought supper and gotten everything ready for us to eat.
There was a note on the oven that said something like this "there's a casserole in the oven. We're thinking of you. "
How thoughtful and heartwarming! It meant so much having returned from memorial services to come in from the blustery winter weather to warm meal. The casserole was different from any others I have ever tasted. The neighbor was nice enough share the recipe with me so I'm passing it on to you. Whatever I'll be making it it'll definitely remind me of the gesture of love their neighbor Eli showed that day!
DEEP DISH SAVORY COMFORT PIE
One and a half pounds potatoes peeled and cubed
one garlic clove minced
4th cup milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
4th teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1 /8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sliced, fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 /2 cup chopped onion
1 /4 cup chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 cups cubed, cooked venison
1 1 /2 cups beef broth
1 /4 teaspoon dried thyme
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cold water
1 /3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender; drain and mash. Add next six ingredients; set aside. In a skillet, sauté mushrooms, carrots, onion and green pepper and butter until tender. Add venison, broth, time, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until meat and vegetables be tender. Combine the flour and water until smooth; stir into skillet.
Bring to a boil; cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a greased 2 quart baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake five minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield Six serving