By Kevin Williams
I've had many, many breakfasts in Amish homes over the years. If I can close my eyes I can hear sausage sizzling, smell the swirly, cinnamon scent of rolls wafting through the air, and see the thick slices of toast awaiting freshly scrambled eggs. Oddly, one of the best breakfasts I've ever had in a Plain home wasn't very fancy at all: a simple egg and cheese omelet at the home of Old Order Mennonite harness maker Lewis Martin in Dayton,Virginia. Why was that one of the best? I don't know. I think it was just the freshness of the eggs, the bucolic surrounding view of the surrounding Shenandoah Valley from their picture window, and their kindness. Sometimes the most important ingredient in any dish is love and kindness and they delivered heaping helpings of that. I do think that the freshness of eggs and butter that is most of found in Amish kitchens can make a huge difference in the taste. Often it is subtle, but very noticeable.
BREAKFAST BURRITOS: Man, this is so "out of place" because you just immediately think "McDonald's" when you hear this, but these are an easy breakfast, a portable breakfast, tasty, and can be made ahead and frozen. And you can make huge batches of these, roll them up in foil or store them in a Tupperware container and freeze them. These definitely make my list of 5 favorite Amish breakfasts.
AMISH CINNAMON ROLLS: I'm not sure I could ever conjure up a perfect Amish breakfast without including cinnamon rolls on the menu. Not all cinnamon rolls are created equal and there are many different recipes and baking skill levels. But this recipe is among the best and would round out any Amish breakfast on a delicious note.
BASIC BREAKFAST CASSEROLE: mmmm, this is one I've had many times while visiting Amish friends in the morning hours. Just a heaping helping of this and you'll be fueled for the entire day. Good stuff.
PINWHEEL COOKIES: You'd be surprised how often cookies are on the menu and the table at Amish homes for breakfast. Pinwheel cookies are a sweet, but not overpowerlingly so, perfect way to start the day. Some call them a "coffee cookie" because they complement a mug of warm coffee so well. Click here for Pinwheel cookies.
EGG-IN-NEST - this is one of my favorites for it's simplicity and flavor. Great dish to make with young kids.
1 tablespoon butter
1 slice bread
salt and pepper to taste
Put one tablespoon of butter into a hot skillet. Butter the bottom of the pan. In the melted butter, put the slice of bread. Take a water glass or cookie cutter and cut a round hole in the middle of the bread. Drop an egg into the hole and fry until toast is golden and egg is done. (toast the cut out round piece too, if you want)