THE AMISH COOK
BY GLORIA YODER
“What about inviting Merlin Eash’s family over to our house for supper tonight, on behalf of Merlin’s birthday?” my husband, Daniel, asked.
It was 4:15 in the afternoon.
Austin had needed some extra attention that day so supper would need to be made and my house wasn’t in company order.
“Um…yes…that would be fine…I think..” I responded, trying to convince myself that it would truly be okay.
“It’s fine with me if you want to ask them and see if it would work out for them or not.” I said, putting on a brave smile.
After Daniel talked with Merlin’s wife, Erma, plans were made for them to come over for supper and spend the evening with us.
“Tell Gloria not to go to a big bother with supper,” she told Daniel.
Some quick calculations told me they would arrive in only 1 1 /2 - 2 hours.
“I would like to grill hamburgers for supper,” Daniel suggested.
While he talked about the grilled burgers, my thoughts rambled on Those potatoes my Mom makes are always so delicious. They would go well with the burgers. Now for dessert: smoothies are always a hit and so easy to make. I’ll make fruit smoothies and a coffee cake to go with it, I decided.
Quickly I set to work, peeling potatoes, scrubbing carrots making up “World Famous Burgers”(recipe ran in the column last week) while reminding myself that Austin has priority above having everything in order before guests arrived. I absolutely don’t want my children growing up with negative memories of hosting visitors. So in an attempt to keep Austin comforted I held him in one arm while I went on working with my free hand.
I gave Mom a quick call to find out exactly how to make her potatoes au gratin.
She gave me the recipe and asked what’s on my menu. I told her what my plans were and mentioned how much I wish that I’d have some bread for sandwiches.
“Oh! I baked a batch of fresh bread today!” she exclaimed “And you can have all you want, I’ll be right over with it.”
Wow! Now if that wasn’t just like Mom! Bless her kind heart. It really was some of the best homemade bread, the type that seems to melt in your mouth and 100 percent whole wheat at that!
Gloria turns some ordinary potatoes into something extraordinary!
I was relieved when the potatoes, carrots and onions were finally sliced, layered in the skillet and boiling away. Glancing out the kitchen window I saw Daniel building a fire in the fireplace getting ready to do his grilling. I admired his enthusiasm in helping me as well as taking the initiative with inviting guests. It has motivated me many times!
Julia was so impressed with the idea of having Merlin’s come for supper. She did well in pcking up her toys and taking a turning entertaining Austin.
Daniel stepped into the kitchen and glanced at the clock
“Oh, I am surprised it is that time already.” He said.
“Yes, the last hour before visitors always flies past so swiftly if you a e a preparing a meal,” I responded.
For Julia time just didn’t move fast enough.
“What time will they come?” she asked again and again.
After a bit I spotted them coming down the road. “Julia, here they come! I saw them!” I told her.
“Where? Where? Where did you see them?” she asked, jumping up and down.
Quickly I grabbed a lighter, lit several candles and put a clean bib on Austin.
Opening the door we welcomed them in.
Yes, it truly was good to have them at our house even if we didn’t have time for fancy or elaborate preparations. And you know, when it comes down to the point, which counts the most? Love and friendship on a comfortable down to earth level or having every fingerprint, smudge or dusty corner spotless?
Our evening of fellowship proved to be a good one and yes we are blessed to have them in our neighborhood in many ways. Recently one morning I answered a knock at the door and found their oldest son standing on the porch with a big smile on his face. Handing me a bag he said “This is for you” . I took a quick peek and found a scrumptious -looking casserole that Erma had made us. That’s the type of wonderful friends and neighbors we have in this community!
Here is the recipe for mom’s potatoes au gratin!
- STOVE-TOP POTATOES AU GRATIN
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 large potatoes, sliced thin
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 1 2 cups shredded cheese
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 /2 cup milk or cream
- Melt butter in a 9 inch skillet.
- Layer potatoes, onions, salt and pepper.
- Pour milk over it and sprinkle with cheese.
- Begin cooking on medium heat until cover is very hot.
- Reduce to low and cook 25 minutes.
- Last 5 minutes set lid ajar to allow some steam to evaporate.