Okay, a lot of Amish in the News today to share, so I'll jump right into everything:
AMISH POT PIES: When I was first offered "pot pies" at an Amish home I was envisioning one of the frozen Swanson kind that we used to eat at home. Those pot pies would be bought frozen, heated up, and I remember having to break open the crust and let all the internal heat escape before eating or I'd need a fire extinguisher for my mouth. So I was surprised when I was instead served something that looked more like a soup. Here is an article about Amish pot pie and a recipe.
This is Elizabeth Coblentz's pot pie soup recipe for comparison's sake:
- 1 ham-bone
- 3 quarts water, plus 1½ cups more for dough
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- In a kettle over low heat, cook hambone with 3 quarts water until meat is soft, about 3 hours. Shortly before ham is done, combine egg and remaining 1½ cups water in a bowl.
- Add flour and mix until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Roll thin and cut into 1½-inch squares.
- When ham is done, scrape meat from bone and discard bone; return meat to kettle.
- Add potatoes and boil 10 to 12 minutes over medium heat until fork-tender.
- With soup still boiling, drop dough squares into pot and cook 5 minutes after last square is added.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Diced carrots can be added with potatoes.
BUILDING CODE ISSUES IN LANCASTER COUNTY: Some non-Amish residents are complaining the Amish are being treated with kid gloves in enforcing codes. I'm surprised to see this issue come up in Lancaster which has a long, established Amish settlement. You'd think these things would have been worked out by now. I know as a society we need rules and I know the Amish guy should follow them. But building a bridge over a stream on his own property? It's too bad government permits are needed for things that are just on someone's own property. Click here to read more.
SMEARCASE: The name of this recipe always sounded rather unappetizing to me for some reason, but it just means "soft cheesecake." This recipe is an example of how Amish culinary traditions get jumbled up with Pennsylvania Dutch food folkways. They are very different in actuality. I remember The Amish Cook getting reader requests for this recipe over 20 years ago and she was not familiar with the recipe. That shouldn't be surprising since the cultural connection between the Pennsylvania Dutch and the Swiss Amish of Berne, Indiana is very, very distant. But Smearcase still gets lumped in as an Amish recipe. Click here to read more and get a recipe for this.
THE AMISH EXPERIENCE: I'm ambivalent about this. On one hand, these seem like really nice tours and the Amish families participating I'm sure welcome the extra income they bring. Farming in Lancaster County is really tough so families have to often supplement their income and this is one way. It's just a shame that such a historically insular people have become tourist magnets. But I guess that speaks more about us as a society than them. Click here to read more about these unique tours. If you are going to tour Lancaster County's Amish community and you want more of an immersion experience, this sounds like a decent option. Pet peeve alert: in the article the writer describes some teenagers as being "in their Rumpspringa." Click here and read Lesson 4 to read more about Rumspringa, it's a very oversimplified and overused term among outsiders. Outsiders use the term far, far more than the Amish actually do.
ANOTHER AMISH EXPERIENCE: I have nothing to add to this one.......click here to read.
I live in northeast pa. Our pot pie (chicken beef or ham) was dropped dough in broth of the meat ,potatoes ,carrots ,celery,and onion. If you wanted a chicken pie or beef came in a pie shell,not called chicken pot pie
Yes, Jackie, you are describing good, traditional PA Dutch pot pies, you live in a delicious part of the country!