THE AMISH COOK
BY GLORIA YODER
Editor’s Note: I found this to be an exciting and interesting column but I wanted to add some context. Many people often incorrectly view the Amish as pure farm-to-table locavores. A century ago, that was generally true. But as more and more Amish left an agrarian life behind and the convenience foods of post WWII America boomed, Amish menus changed. Canned soups, boxed cakes and soda were embraced (this depended heavily on which Amish settlements, the ones that were more agrarian were less impacted by these trends). I’ve seen buggies pulling cases of Mountain Dew. The overall pendulum appears to be changing back to healthier locavorism among the Amish, with organic farmers and young Amish cooks like Gloria leading the way – Kevin Williams
Millions of food choices are available for us today. There are healthy foods, junk foods, convenience foods, and the list goes on and on. What do you like to eat? And what are the “stand by” foods in the Yoder household?
Don’t we all like to eat the easiest and tastiest? A Little Debbie cookie or swiss roll sounds easy enough, right? There’s an ever increasing awareness of the detriments of prepackaged foods containing things that really aren’t good at building a healthy body.
The Amish never buy prepackaged foods, though, do they? As any other question, your answer depends on what individual or community you are talking about. My answer is simply this: “Yes, we do try to stay away from things such as prepackaged foods and appreciate homemade things.” But, take my husband Daniel. Even though he loves homemade baked goods he also has a liking for store-bought Swiss rolls. So, what to do when he occasionally comes home with a box of Swiss rolls? Roll my eyes and become frustrated? No, that’s fine. But guess what? I find if I have a good homemade replacement for them it’ll appease his hunger for them. Have you ever tried a homemade Swiss roll? They are amazing. They’re super moist and delicious tasting, a lot like the store-bought kind minus the packaged aftertaste which I have never been fond of.
Here’s my point: if you are traveling on the journey to healthier eating habits don’t lose heart if you get hungry for the foods you are trying to cut back on, simply find a good alternative. Try other drinks to replace some of your sodas or mixed nuts for potato chips. You may even learn to enjoy baking your own cookies rather than buying them. Most baked goods freeze well. I like making large batches and freezing the extras. The path to healthier eating may feel hopeless at times but it also can be an interesting journey as you try new ideas and experimentations to see what works best for you.
One of our favorite healthier snacks are homemade smoothies. We can’t get enough of them. They are a healthy and thrifty alternative. Daniel’s favorite kind is coffee, while I tend to go for fruit ones made with fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt and milk and maybe some lemon. They all have their own unique flavor and you can experiment. By the way, we have solar-powered appliances in our community, like blenders.
My mind keeps going to our daily diet of socializing and living. Isn’t it just like the food we eat? What am I feeding off of? Do I feed from the negatives of others or do I feast on God’s word and the Holy Spirit?
If we have been used to eating what is the easiest or unhealthiest, nutritious foods may not be an attraction to us at all. Not until we’ve had a healthier lifestyle and actually feel the difference will we be ready to take the needed steps to give our body the nutritious foods it needs.
I find this to be true in my spiritual life. At times it looks easier to pursue other things and I cut out m personal time with God each day. So what happens when I do this? If I neglect a healthy, balanced spiritual diet my spiritual body suffers. There is no way I can build a strong spiritual body on my own only Jesus can do this for us.
Just as we don’t eat only fruits and vegetables the same way it would be difficult to spend our days alone with God. Yet it amazes how we develop a taste for the foods we eat. As we invite God to work in our hearts and established a deeper connection with Him we develop a hunger for more of Him. Not only that, we find Him to satisfy us on a deeper level as our cravings for the other things wane. Jesus brings health and healing to our pain, sin, addictions, or whatever is heavy in our hearts. We can be assured that God does hear and answer the cries of those who sincerely seek him.
- 2 eggs
- 1 1 /2 cups sugar
- 1 /2 cup olive oil
- 1 /4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons soda
- 1 /2 cup cocoa
- 2 cups applesauce
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 8 ounces whipped topping
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 1 /2 cups chocolate chips
- Mix everything together and pour into a greased 13 X 17 rimmed cookie sheet.Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Half a recipe can be put into a 9 X 13 pan.
- For filling: Mix powdered sugar and cheese and add whipped topping and maple syrup. Beat and spread on top of cooled cake.
- For topping: Melt butter. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips. Stir until smooth and spread hot topping over the filling.
May you be blessed as you find nutrients on your journey to an ever-deepening walk with your Maker. We need one another just as one food isn’t complete on its own.