By Kevin Williams
Ham is popular in Amish homes started around this time of year through Easter. It’s popular year-round, but beginning in mid-January and through the next month, hog butchering is a common winter task on Amish farms. Why? Easy: the temperature. Hog butchering is messy, laborious work. You don’t want to be cleaning out pig intestines on a hot July day.
I remember the first Amish Cook, Elizabeth Coblentz, writing extensively about butchering day 20 some years or so ago. Man, I remember when I was marketing the column sending the “butchering day column” to the food editor of the Flint Journal in Flint, Michigan. At the time, that was a very decent-sized newspaper and I was so excited when the editor decided to run the column. But only that column. I could never persuade him to subscribe to the Amish Cook column weekly, he only ran it that once. But for a fleeting moment The Amish Cook column was in a big city newspaper that had over 100,000 subscribers. It was a neat moment. Now, geez, The Flint Journal still publishes, but that city has been clobbered by recession after recession and the paper only comes out 4 days a week with a circulation of 49,000 and falling, that is an over 50 percent drop from 20 years ago. SIGH, pretty typical for the newspaper business.
Now, back to the recipe….This is a classic Ham & Noodle Casserole from an Amish woman in Vinton County, Ohio. Good stuff, classic formulation.
Recipe tester Barbara in Missouri gave this a whirl and had this to say:
“Well Kevin, we had this for supper, it was really good!! We both enjoyed this casserole. In the state of this recipe, it was good. I probably would have put in a bit of garlic and onion powder and maybe a teaspoon or two of dry mustard. Frankly it was good as it was!!!”
So, thank you to Barbara, and keep her advice in mind if you want to add just a hint more flavor to it. You can “cheat” and use store-bought noodles or do as most Amish cooks would and use homemade. And, yes, canned soup is a favorite Amish addition almost anything like this.
Now for the start of today’s show: Emma Yoder’s Classic Ham & Noodle Casserole!
- 2 ½ cups diced ham
- 8 ounces egg noodles (cooked and drained)
- 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- ⅓ cup diced green pepper
- 2 tablespoons diced yellow onion
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- Lightly mix ingredients until they are well-blended.
- Put in a 2 quart greased casserole dish.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top, if desired.
- Bake at 375 degree for 30 minutes.