By Kevin Williams
SARA MILLER'S AMISH CORNER: If you are looking for authentic Amish writing, Sara Miller is the real deal (Well, okay, so is Gloria Yoder who pens our weekly Amish Cook). Sara Miller writes a weekly column from her home in rural Geagua County, Ohio's Amish community. Her folksy, authentic writing really reflects the goings-ons in a typical Amish family and it's because the writing is very authentic. It appears each month in the Geauga County Maple Leaf and you can tell she is writing to mainly an Amish audience and that is why it is so authentic. Click here to read this month's installment.
WHOOPIE PIES: MAINE VS. PENNSYLVANIA - NEW THEORIES: Odd that the earliest reference in a cookbook that the Lancaster paper could find for whoopie pies was only 1988? That just seems surprising. I can't immediately put my finger on an older one, but I know our first cookbook was in 1993 and we have a whoopie pie recipe in that. I'm not sure we'll ever know where the recipe originated even though it seems to be, relatively speaking, a newer recipe. But here are some new theories.
A GATHERING OF SECRETS: I feel like I've sort of soured on Amish fiction, I was never a huge, huge fan to begin with...I think it just feels like all the ground has been tread like there's not a ton left to say....But if the Washington Post does an article about an Amish fiction book,I'll pay attention. Sounds like Linda Castillo's book treads some new ground, delving into some of the more secretive aspects of their culture and might be worth a read. Click here to read the review. Still, I think this would be a tough topic to cover without being a member of the church.
MILLIE'S PEANUT BUTTER SHAKES: Check in with Amish writer Millie Otto who shares a recipe for peanut butter shakes this week. Man, these sound good. My only suggestion? Add more peanut butter! You can never have too much peanut butter in something like this. Click here for the recipe.
VISITING THE TENNESSEE AMISH: The Nashville newspaper had a great article about visiting the Ethridge, Tennessee Amish community. I have been to this settlement before and it's a "tough nut to crack" so I kind of agree with the article's recommendation about taking a buggy tour. I usually shy away from organized activities like that, and instead prefer just to roam a community on my own, but for the Amish of Ethridge, the $10 tour sounds worth it. Click here to read more.
7-UP CAKE: This is a nostalgic treat that is actually pretty popular in Amish kitchens, so I thought I'd share a recipe for it that ran in the Chicago Tribune. Click here. The article also shares some of the backstory behind the cake.
Those are not hay bales--they are shocks of some kind of grain--oats, wheat-- which are bundles of grain that were made by a grain binder which is a piece of machinery that cuts the grain and ties it into bundles before dropping to the ground and then put together by hand to dry before separating the grain from the straw by a threshing machine. I grew up on a farm in southern MN and that is how it was done many years ago! Lots of hard work.
Oops, thanks, I will change that!