Editor's Note: The column runs in many newspapers next week, so we've turned our attention to New Year's for this column. We do want to thank all the readers for the many letters and cards to Gloria congratulating her on the arrival of baby Austin. And I want to thank Gloria for just doing an outstanding job with this column in 2014 and I look forward to learning a lot more about her family and community in 2015! - Kevin Williams
SAUERKRAUT WITH SAUSAGE
THE AMISH COOK
New Year’s is just around the corner with all its high goals and expectations for the days and weeks ahead!
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? It’s definitely a good time to take inventory of one’s life and courageously make changes and take steps toward the right direction.
I like writer MaryAnne Radacher’s quote about courage: “Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying: “ I will try again tomorrow.”
It would be interesting to hear what some of you do to celebrate the New Year.
New Year’s Eve of last year certainly made special memories for me. The church men and boys treated us ladies like queens as they planned and prepared a delicious full course meal for us including the New Year’s specialty: sauerkraut. They divided the jobs amongst themselves. Daniel was responsible for the noodles and mashed potatoes. Everything was very tasty. The “salad bar” they set up for us was outstanding with all kinds of different toppings. The large selection of cakes and different flavors of homemade ice cream certainly didn’t allow anyone to go hungry. Once everyone had satisfied their appetite the scholars sang several songs followed by some singing from the youth. After that everyone was free to play games, visit or do whatever they pleased. (Editor’s note: the Amish generally refer to school-age children as “scholars” while the “youth” would be young, unmarried church members who have completed the eighth grade)
One of my favorite New Year’s activities when I was younger was to gather at a friend’s house with fellow youth. We spent time together visiting and playing games such as Blitz, Rummikub or Pictionary. Then as midnight grew near we put our games away and got out our songbooks and sang into the New Year. It was a blessing to be singing praises to God as we started out a brand new year.
Several years ago my husband Daniel came up with the idea of taking a calendar for the following year and making little reminder notes of things we’d like to do. For example “have a date night” or “ invite someone over for supper”, or “do something special for each other” or “go camping.” It is a good motivator to concentrate more on what really matters in life. It’s so easy to get stuck in the ho-hum of everyday life and to take enough time for others around you.
Would you like to make a tasty New Year’s dish? How about a pot of sauerkraut? As a girl I thought sauerkraut was just some kind of “awful tasting stuff.” Thankfully I’ve changed my mind since that. I’ve learned to enjoy and appreciate it. Not only for the taste but also the health aspects of it. A few bites of a fermented food such as sauerkraut with each meal is a good health habit. It’ll give your digestive system a good boost. Why not try it today?
NEW YEAR’S SAUKERKRAUT WITH SAUSAGE
1 pound bulk sausage (browned)
1 large can or bag sauerkraut
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 diced onion
1 cup ketchup
Mix all ingredients. Bake at 275 for 4-5 hours. Stir occasionally. You may want to add a little water to desired consistency.