Birthdays are celebrated and cherished among the Amish, just as they are in the general population. I feel like I read somewhere in some book someplace that there are some Amish sects that don't like, and even forbid, "surprise parties". But I've never run into that. In fact, I know of some Amish who have thrown surprise parties. But I suppose somewhere that could be the case that such parties are forbidden. I mean, most Amish birthdays by their very nature are going to be relatively low key: cake, family, food. Not often will you find party hats and streamers for an adult's party, anyway. Homemade cakes are always popular, but so are Dairy Queen ice cream cakes (no, thanks....if I want ice cream, I'll get ice cream...if I want cake, I'll get cake...don't mess up two great things by trying to mish-mash them)
So I turned 42 over the weekend. On one hand, every year is a blessing, every day is a blessing that one gets with good health, family, and the ability to fill one's lungs with fresh air. Still, there's a lot that I wanted to have accomplished by this age, dreams that remain unfulfilled. And if I could go back, say, 20 years and to tell my 22-year-old self what life would be like at 42....I would have been less than thrilled with some of my professional accomplishments or lack thereof. The original Amish Cook, Elizabeth Coblentz, had a tendency to say "good thing we don't know the future" and she was probably right on that count.
But wisps of melancholy aside it was an enjoyable birthday. Being a Dad for the first time over past year has definitely added a twinkle to my existence. The day before my birthday was Aster's birthday, it simply doesn't seem possible that she will have been with us ONE YEAR next month. Incredible. Rachel saw to it that I had an enjoyable birthday. I guess there was a bit of an Amish touch to my birthday dessert. Rachel made me this chocolate chip cookie cake in a cast-iron skillet. That is the Amish touch. Stainless steel skillets are popular among Amish cooks, but cast iron has always been the gold standard in Plain kitchens.
So, these are pictures of Rachel's skillet chocolate chip cookie. And, yes, it was as good as it looks here. Yum! Want the recipe? Click here.
WARNING: Simply looking at the dessert with add calories to your life, actually consuming it? Be prepared for a rich, delicious dessert that'll have you avoiding the scale for a few days!