THE AMISH COOK
BY GLORIA YODER
Hello to one and all!
Many hands make work light has become a reality today at Mom's house. With hosting services at their house on Sunday, there's lots of cleaning and organizing to be done. In our community the church ladies and girls have a work day of scrubbing and cleaning at the home where church services are to be held next.
Today was Mom's turn. With 25 ladies it didn't take long to have windows sparkling and ceilings and walls free of spiderwebs and dust. It's always interesting to see what we'll have for lunch on these cleaning days. We take turns preparing a hot dish while the rest of the ladies bring a salad or dessert of their choice. Today we had a smorgasbord of mouthwatering items to choose from.
On Monday evening we, along with several church families, including my married brothers and their families gathered at Mom and Dad's. The men gave Dad a helping hand with putting sheet metal on the ceiling of the shop where the services are to be held. Each family takes a turn hosting church at their house. Most people have a basement or shop big enough for everyone to fit into and for those of us who don't have enough space we each take our turn at the school house during summer vacation.
Talking about church reminds me of a question a reader asked via mail and suggested that I respond in a letter. The question was as follows: Why do the Amish have church only every other Sunday?
Good question, to be honest, I don't know exactly where that practice originated. Yes, there are Amish churches who only gather every other week but in our community we have Sunday school on the in between Sundays. Sunday school consists of singing, a brief devotional by one of the men, followed by a chapter study. The children are divided into several age groups for their classes. After their lessons are completed they return to the remaining congregation where we sing several songs and have a closing prayer.
If you ever happen to be in the area you're welcome to join us and see what it's like for yourself. I'd be more than happy to meet you and have you here.
The couple hosting the services also serves lunch on the Sundays we have church. In many Amish churches the noon meal consists of peanut butter sandwiches with ham and cheese along with home-canned red beets and pickles.. Cookies, tea and coffee are also served, generally the cookies are baked by friends or neighbors which gives the hostess a nice lift.
The church peanut butter spread is one of my favorite items served. It's both creamy and delicious. It also makes one of the most delicious dips for apples or bananas. In fact, I prefer using it above frosting for cookies or bars. I v'e always liked this type of peanut butter. Now recently I found out another similar recipe that makes it even more creamy, less sticky and easier to spread! I'm eager to share it with you, you'll be sure to like it!
While we meet in one another's homes for services there are other Amish groups who have a church house. No two Amish groups are exactly the same. Interesting there is a huge variety in the Amish way of life, many more than I could count. I have personally read very few books about the Amish. In fact the details contained in the ones I have read, w e find to be quite different from our way of life. We see value in and appreciate the simplicity of a more laid back lifestyle. While we dress plainly, drive horse and buggy we do not believe that is what will take us to Heaven. Rather redemption is found only through Jesus Christ when we recognize and repent our sinful state and look to him for forgiveness. He in return gives us a heart of joy and peace. With Him life is worth living.
- 2 1 /2 cups peanut butter
- 3 1 /2 cups marshmallow cream
- 2 cups white corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- 3 /4 teaspoon vanilla or maple flavoring
- Hot water
- Mix all together.
- Add hot water until desired consistency is reached.
- Maple syrup may be replaced with corn syrup, if desired.