This article is a part of "The Amish Cook Column", a weekly series of featuring a story & recipe from Gloria Yoder, Amish widow & mother of six from Flat Rock, Illinois
Hi there, good evening, It’s... well, I won’t tell you what time it is. We’ll just say I’m usually in bed at this hour of the day; why lay there with sleep out of sight? Why not seize the moment touch base with you all and enjoy a chocolate in the meanwhile? That’s right, a Lindor chocolate from a reader and dear friend, and no little ones asking if they can have one too! Mmm. It’s delicious, I mean both the milk chocolate and the moment of solitude. And some apple cider to go with it.
Can you imagine that Christmas is actually just around the corner? Honestly, I can’t. Today my mother and I were tossing around ideas of what we want to do on Christmas day. In a way those plans make it more real, still, it seems like so much less than a year has elapsed since a year ago.
And guess what, that's also a year closer to the day we are called home to be with Jesus! We are so blessed in the here and now, yet surely nothing will compare with being in His very presence with not a care in sight.
It would be quite interesting to hear more of what you do for Christmas- especially those of you who do not have family, or have faced painful situations, causing Christmas season to cut deep. I know. I care.
This is the first year my parents and siblings are gathering for the holiday. In past years Christmas has usually been spent with my mother’s family. This year we look forward to spending the day at my parents new home where they moved into a few weeks ago. Their cute little cabin is perfect for them and the attached garage ideal to host all their children and grandchildren.
I loved Mom’s ideas about Christmas day. She’s planning a little program of everyone getting a slip of paper then doing what it says, such as “tell of a sweet smell that brings back a favorite memory of your past, share the greatest example of love you have personally seen, or tell of a teacher who has blessed your life“.
The children will sing a few songs then we'll also have songs sung by all. As long as I remember Mom was especially fond of songs rejoicing over the birth of Jesus, so I’m sure we’ll sing our share of those. In the afternoon, we plan to fix love bundles for those in need, and perhaps the thing that is closest to my heart is having a time of prayer for those who are having a difficult Christmas. If you have any specific prayer requests for yourself or others around you, going through hard times over the holidays, don’t hesitate to let us know. We’d be blessed and unworthy to join you in prayer about it.
Before I head back to bed, I’ve got to tell you about our Christmas surprises today. Mr. and Mrs. Kittlitz, from Pennsylvania had made arrangements to come to our house this forenoon. After chatting a bit, Mr. Kittlitz remarked that they could use help to bring packages from the car. Eager little children ran out the door and came beaming back to the house with package after package.
When I told the children to all sit down, they promptly sat on the floor right next to the packages. Their smiles widened even more as Mrs Kittlitz handed them their very own packages. Surely she had gone above and beyond. Happy voices chattered as they showed each other gifts of tennis balls and racket, squishy balls, tea shirts, tablets for the girls, and blankets for all of the children.
It was an amazing start to their Christmas season. Surely we had done nothing to deserve these love gifts, but then isn’t that a beautiful picture of the Father Himself? We have done nothing to deserve the gift of Jesus becoming man on earth to show us the way to heaven!
As much as I would love to send a Christmas card and letter of thanks to all who touched our lives this winter, time will not allow me, so a heartfelt thank you is extended to each and every one of you. Your tokens of love are a true blessing! It makes me eager to meet you someday, if not here, then in heaven.
Lastly, I’ll be sharing my mom’s lasagna recipe with you. She has used this recipe countless times for guests who have passed through our home. If you have an opportunity to cook for others over the holidays, give it a try for yourself. It’s like Mom used to say, “No one would ever know how simple this really is!”
Amish Cream Cheese Lasagna
- 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 1 ½ pounds hamburger, fried
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder,
- 3 cups pizza sauce, divided
- 2 cups water
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- Fry hamburger with seasonings, add 2 ½ cup pizza sauce.
- Next layer noodles and meat mixture alternately in a 9 by 13 pan, beginning and ending with 4 noodles.
- Pour water over all, then spread with remaining ½ cup pizza sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 ½ hour or until noodles are tender.
- Mix cream cheese, milk, and onions together and spread on top.
- Sprinkle with cheese then return to oven until cheese is melted.Note: One cup sour cream may be used to replacethe milk and cream cheese.