By Kevin Williams
We have lots of Amish in the News today,plus some delicious Amish Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts, so let’s get right into it:
AMISH AND MENNONITE WEEKLY WRITERS
SARA MILLER’S AMISH CORNER: Sara Miller is an occasional columnist for the Geauga County Maple Leaf in Middlefield, Ohio, home of the fourth-largest Amish settlement. I love her writing because it is very traditional, hews very close to the format of The Budget. She describes a trip to Cook Forest in Pennsylvania, man, after reading that dispatch, it makes me want to go there, here is an excerpt:
Our three-day vacation in Cook Forest was much enjoyed by five of us friends. It rained quite a bit on Friday, but cleared up enough that we were able to go up to the fire tower. It was an 80-foot climb and the view was breathtaking. We also went over the swinging bridge. Most exciting of all was we saw a bear. He came up right behind the cabin next to ours and was eating garbage from a garbage can he tipped over. We watched him for around 20 minutes, and then he slowly ambled into the woods. Cook Forest is located in Clarion, Pa. The cabins are quite rustic, but comfortable. Over 8,500 acres of forest with trails to walk, plus many other activities to do such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, picnicking, boating and more. There’s a 13-mile stretch of the Clarion River that flows through Cook Forest State Park and is popular for canoeing, tubing and kayaking. There is lots of fun for everyone.
Mennonite Memoirs – Zucchini Dessert: I love Rosann Zimmerman’s Old Order Mennonite perspective. Hers is a weekly column in a small Pennsylvania newspaper, I absolutely love it. While she does not include a recipe every week, this week she did. Here is an excerpt of her column:
Almost apologetically August finally gave us one day of comfortably cool weather to work in my garden all day. I pulled out my two rows of spent string bean plants, marveling again at the potential productivity of one bean seed. I cut broccoli one last time from my spring plants before I yanked them out because my fall plants are yielding new, bigger heads. There were a few cucumbers and some red raspberries to gather but by far, the biggest crop for August’s last day, were tomatoes. Once again I reached for empty jars to fill with summer’s juice.
Millie Otto’s Amish Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts: Millie Otto is an Amish columnist that writes for a handful of Illinois newspapers. I love her sense of humor and she does include a recipe each week. Here is an excerpt of her column this week:
I really don’t like to cook on Sunday. Too lazy, I guess. But if I don’t fix a meal, we’ll end up foraging and grazing all day. Mostly we do that anyway! Not really, but …
Below is her recipe this week, but you can read all of Millie’s column here.
Amish Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
4 cups safflower oil
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, combine butter and brown sugar. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs, pumpkin and vanilla; mix until combined.
Add about half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Add milk and mix until blended. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until blended.
Add safflower oil to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 340 degrees..
While oil is heating, make sugar coating. In a small bowl, combine coating ingredients; set aside.
Remove donuts from oil and place on prepared cooling rack. Let set for a few seconds, then, one at a time, place into coating mixture, flip to coat.
Serve warm or cool completely and transfer to an airtight container or freeze for longer-term storage.
AMISH PUMPKIN CAKE DOUGHNUTS – Printer friendly version
- 4 cups flour
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup milk
- 4 cups safflower oil
- Doughnut coating
- Sugar coating
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp cardamom
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, combine butter and brown sugar. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs, pumpkin and vanilla; mix until combined.
- Add about half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Add milk and mix until blended. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until blended.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour and scoop dough out of bowl. Roll dough out to ⅜ thickness. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut dough in circles. Using a 1 ½-inch round cookie cutter, cut holes in the center of the circles. Reroll scraps and repeat, cutting until all dough is cut into donuts and holes.
- Add safflower oil to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 340 degrees..
- While oil is heating, make sugar coating. In a small bowl, combine coating ingredients; set aside.
- Once oil is hot, begin frying donuts in small batches. Cook donuts for 1½ minutes, flip over, using tongs or slotted spoon and cook an additional 1½ minutes.
- Remove donuts from oil and place on prepared cooling rack. Let set for a few seconds, then, one at a time, place into coating mixture, flip to coat.
- Serve warm or cool completely and transfer to an airtight container or freeze for longer-term storage.
AMISH AND COVID
AMISH AND COVID IN MINNESOTA: I’ll be honest, this article was a bit of a disappointment. I mean, this newspaper took the time and trouble to send a reporter out to an Amish community to see how they are holding up with COVID, but then I feel like they left a lot of loose ends….well, you know, I don’t know that the article itself is that bad, I think the photos could have just been better…I didn’t come away from the article with a good sense of what this community is like. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Economically speaking, the pandemic hasn’t affected the community much. “It hasn’t affected us as far as business, and we’ve had as much as we can do. We work together three days, sometimes more, sometimes less. We have other work, and right now we’re behind. We do roofing and a garage down the street … also pole barns,” says Miller. “The only thing different is we have to wear a mask when we go certain places. Our traveling has also been affected. We don’t want to get it, but we’re also not as worried as a lot of people are.”
MENNONITE COVID PHONE LINE: A Mennonite man in Canada has created an information clearinghouse that conservative Mennonites can access by phone. Here’s an excerpt:
One challenge, he said, is just how fundamental communal activities are to everyday Mennonite life. Families can be large, and people meet family and friends for many reasons, including church, work bees, sewing bees and singing.
“One of the defining features of being a Mennonite is singing together with our friends, and singing for our older family members,” he said.
RELIGION AND THE AMISH
AWAKEN THE DAWN: Not an article about the Amish per se, but kind of interesting to see an Amish family participating in an interdenominational prayer event in Culpeper, Virginia. Not all that common, the article describes Awaken the Dawn as:
Part of a national movement, Culpeper last weekend participated in Awaken the Dawn, a three-day tent revival hearkening back to times when religious groups would travel from town to town, stirring up inspiration with 24-hour worship.
worshipers from Baptist, Methodist, Amish, Charismatic and nondenominational congregations gathered outdoors beneath tents and pavilions starting Friday, Sept. 4, through noon Sunday.