THE AMISH COOK
BY GLORIA YODER
My favorite season is on its way! Is there any other season so invigorating and exciting as Spring? This Spring I've had lots of fun watching the earth awaken as the first Spring peepers were heard, the grass started turning green, and the trees surrounding our house began to bud. I especially enjoy watching the tulips that Daniel gave me a year ago on Mother's Day, as they poke their lush green heads through the flower bed which I can see from my kitchen window.
Another Springtime highlight we're all excited about is the colt that is to be born to our pony, Sassy. We'll have to wait another month or so. There is something so special about brand new babies, with the best kind, of course, being new brothers or sisters. But then babies in the barnyard always bring excitement around here as the children pour their affection on the latest additions.
These beautiful sunny days sure are perfect for the children to go outside and play! Sunshine and fresh air can do wonders for children who have been in the house all winter, not only that, it sometimes gives mom some quietness to tackle her writing, such as right now. They especially like going out with daddy when he does his chores then gives them swing rides.
I'm eager to plant the garden once it warms up a bit more and the ground dries out to where we can get in with the tiller. This year our garden will be a bit smaller than usual. The little children will take a front line on our priority list. Julia and Austin are always excited to help me work in the garden, especially when it comes to harvesting. I want to plant at least some of their favorites like peas and tomatoes. A year ago I did extra canning with the thought that I may have my hands full this summer, so I a
m thankful for that. Our Amish neighbors have a produce patch, so we can always get more garden goodies there. And of course Mom is always delighted to share from their bountiful patch, so I'm not worried about not having enough fresh veggies this year.
A year ago I started some flower beds here at our new property with perennials such as hostas and such. I would love to work on establishing several more, but then I have to think of what my aunt told me, "Your flowers run around." She was referring to the children as my flowers. Yes, that's right, I do have little "flowers running all over!" The same is true for my houseplants which I have enjoyed so much over the past years. I simply got rid of them, not because I don't like them, but they simply require more care than I'm willing to give with the little ones to care for.
Daniel has been good for me in this area, reminding me of what really counts in life. Someday I will probably have more time for flowers in pots, but until then we'll keep enjoying the best flowers ever- sweet little children!
Perhaps my husband's highlight of warmer weather is firing up the charcoal grill and grilling his favorites such as ribs, burgers, bacon wrapped steak. Last week he tried something that was new for us; he grilled a pizza! Mmmm, now that was a hit for sure. A regular pizza can be prepared and placed in the grill at 350 until nice and hot. Not only do you have the pizza flavor, but also the grilled taste infused right in!
Who doesn’t like pizza? Not everyone cares for the same kind, but most of us enjoy a good slice of some sort of pizza every now and then. My husband Daniel is no exception. In fact, in one of the first years of our marriage I told Daniel I’ll make a goal of making a pizza of some kind for him every Friday for our supper. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been doing it ever since, but that is not the story. Even though my high ideas didn’t last as long as I had hoped they would I still enjoy watching Daniel’s face light up when he discovers a fresh pan of pizza. And Julia and Austin seem to be taking after Daddy when it comes to pizzas. They eat it any time, any day. Julia is especially fond of fruit pizza, she likes it loaded with all kinds of fruit.
I wonder what pizza you enjoy the most? I really, really wish I could give you a piece of this homemade pizza I had last night. My brother Jeriah has a girlfriend who is known to make the best pizzas in the community. Last night we had the opportunity of being at her house for pizza. It certainly was no disappointment at all. The creamy texture and delicious flavors of chicken, ham, barbecue sauce, cheese, and pepperoni blended harmoniously. Mmmm, I can almost taste it as I write. The good news is I’ll passing along the recipe to you to try it yourself. One of the secrets is to not over-bake the crust or over-bake the chicken. Keep everything nice and moist. We had ours loaded with peppers and onions but not everyone does so when I make for guests I leave the one side plain. When it comes to pizzas your imagination is the limit on what can be spread on top of your crust. Whether it is a regular fruit pizza and vegetable pizza or any other kind put on what you like. No one can say you’re doing it wrong; our taste buds just aren’t all alike!
I remember when I was a girl and first heard of pineapple on chicken pizza. To me that sounded quite far-fetched and now that is one of my favorite combinations on pizza. If you like pinto beans, sprinkle a handful of them on your pizza for added protein.
My grandma recalls first hearing about pizzas when they were young and married, about 50 years ago. According to her recollection they were first made in pie pans, resulting in more filling and less crust. They simply browned hamburger, put it into the baked crust, along with some pizza sauce, and topped it with cheese.
Now here we are a half century down the road and there are more kinds of pizza than I’ll ever know. One of our favorite pizza meals is a pizza meal consisting of regular pizza, vegetable pizza, and fruit pizza. This works very well if you’ve got a family gathering or several families coming for dinner. Each family can bring a pan of pizza resulting in all kinds of mouth-watering options. I have included our homemade barbecue sauce recipe below, but you can save a step and use your favorite store bought kind as well.
DANIELS FAVORITE MOUTH-WATERING BARBECUE PIZZA
Cheese of your choice
Sour cream mixed with a dash of ranch dip mix
Grilled turkey breasts, diced
Cheese of your choice
Here is our barbecue sauce recipe.
HOMEMADE BARBECUE SAUCE
1 /2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1 /4 teaspoon liquid smoke (opt)
1 /2 teaspoon chili powder
1 /4 garlic salt
1 /2 teaspoon onion salt
1 /2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Combine until blended.
3 /4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
2 1 /2 teaspoons yeast
2 cups flour (I use a blend of white and wheat)
For added flavor add a dash of garlic powder, oregano, or other seasonings
of your choice. Press into greased pan (18 X11) with sides. Bake at 350 for
10 minutes and then and top with cheese and spread sour cream mixture and
bake an additional 10 minutes. Layer remaining ingredients on top. Return
to oven until thoroughly heated or place in a grill until done. If you plan to do it in a grill you will want to use a heavy duty pan to prevent the crust from getting burnt, also be sure to not have your grill too hot. Cut and enjoy!
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