The Amish Cook Column
THE AMISH COOK COLUMN, OVER 20 YEARS COMPRESSED INTO A TWO MINUTE NUTSHELL!
1991 – IT BEGINS
The Amish Cook column began in 1991 as a unique collaborative between a 59-year-old Old Order Amish grandmother and an 18-year-old non-Amish kid (me). Print newspapers were still in their glory days. The internet – which would be print’s undoing a decade later – was still relegated to geeky, shadowy corners of college campuses.
Elizabeth began writing a weekly column, mailing it to Kevin Williams (me) and I started marketing “The Amish Cook” to newspapers. Newspaper editors thought it was a unique offering and, at the time, it was. Today there are several Amish and Mennonite newspaper columnists, but the first was Elizabeth. And at it’s peak The Amish Cook was in over a hundred newspapers from coast to coast. The column never was able to poke its way into major newspapers like St. Louis or Philadelphia or Denver, most newspapers that carried the column were your Muncie, Indianas; Hutchinson, Kansas types, small Rust Belt newspapers. Elizabeth would share little snippets of her life and a recipe each week and readers were smitten and endeared. The column continued and grew to include a collection of cookbooks.
Elizabeth tragically and suddenly passed away in 2002 and then her daughter, Lovina, took over, providing the same folksy glimpses into Amish life.
MEET GLORIA YODER
In 2014, Lovina and I mutually parted ways and the column was taken over by Gloria Yoder, a young Amish mom living in Flat Rock, Illinois. Gloria and her growing family are New Order Amish and live very traditionally. Like most Amish, they worship in their home, send their children to a one-room school, and travel by horse and buggy. Here, in Gloria’s words, are the rhythms of their life:
Other things I do enjoy about our way of life, is having a “quieter” life without radios, television, or other social media. Recently I became appreciative of this aspect in a new way. After we had supper together, Daniel sat on the rocking chair with baby Jesse, singing song after song for Jesse as his big blue eyes gazed trustingly into Daniel’s. It was one of those moments you just wanted to freeze forever. The other children and I joined them in the living room where we sat in front of the crackling fire in the fireplace. Everything just felt so quiet and peaceful, I savored every moment.
And, that, in a nutshell is the history of The Amish Cook. You can read past columns below!