Editor’s Note: The Amish Cook column will be posted here each week. I try to encourage people to read the column HERE or in their local paper. The column is posted here each Monday and we can discuss it, get your feedback, etc. So join in the discussion each week:)
THE AMISH COOK
BY LOVINA EICHER
We are now a week into 2012 and a whole new year lies ahead of us. I hope you readers had a blessed holiday season. This week husband Joe is back to work after a two-week break and our six youngest children will also go back to school. It was wonderful having everyone home but it is always nice to get back to a normal schedule.
Friday, January 6, we went to Jacob and Emma’s house for dinner. We had a breakfast haystack which is almost like a regular haystack but you use breakfast foods. We had biscuits, broken into bite-sized pieces, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, sausage, ham, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, shredded cheese, onions, salsa, cheese sauce, and sausage gravy. By the time you put a little bit of everything on your plate you have a nice-sized haystack. This is the first time I had breakfast haystack. I think I prefer it over a regular haystack. A lot of people in the community have breakfast haystacks when they have their family Christmas gatherings. There are a variety of other foods that can be added to breakfast haystacks like olives, mushrooms, bacon, smokies and so forth. Also on the menu were Long John Rolls, cinnamon rolls, peanut butter bars, rhubarb, orange and V-8 juices, coffee, tea, and chocolate milk.
After all of that delicious food, the afternoon was spent playing Aggravation which was enjoyable for everyone. We had snacks later on then . It was an great day to spend time together with family.
On Saturday we had Joe’s family here for a late Christmas gathering. We had a carry-in brunch. Ten of his 12 siblings were here so we had almost 90 people at our house. We made fried potatoes, biscuits, and sausage gravy and the rest of the food was brought in. Among the foods brought in: three big breakfast casseroles, cottage cheese, sliced Swiss, pepper jack, and Colby cheese., venison summer sausage, and lots of desserts, coffee, chocolate milk, orange, grape, and V8 juices. Later on we had snacks that everyone brought. Games were played and some singing was done. It was a nice, sunshiny day with temperatures almost reaching 50 degrees. The children spent most of the day outside playing ball and other outdoor games. It is not often that you can play ball outside in January. All of our snow has melted from our last snow. We have sure had a mild winter so far!
We were surprised to see Joe’s Uncle Solomon come to the Christmas gathering. We were glad to have him join us. He brought Joe’s sister and family from Indiana. With Joe’s Dad being deceased it was nice to have one of his brother’s here. Joe has four married nieces and nephews and all were able to attend. Joe’s parents would now have 9 great-grand children and 55 grandchildren. Before everyone left the tables and benches were taken down and the basement floor was swept. The basement is where we had all the food and where everyone ate. We were glad for the help in cleaning up. Sister Emma, Jacob, and family came for awhile as Jacob wanted to say “hello” to all his cousins. Jacob is a first cousin to my husband Joe. Jacob’s joined in to help clean up. Before Friday we had managed to complete the 1000 piece puzzle. We received a 750 piece puzzle from a reader for Christmas which will probably be our next project. I would like to thank all the readers for the cards and gifts that were sent to us. They were greatly appreciated. Also, thanks for the encouraging words that help keep me writing this column. May God bless you all in the New Year and always. Try this delicious snack, a twist on the traditional cheese ball!
CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESE BALL
1-8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 /2 cup oleo, softened
3 /4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 /4 teaspoon vanilla
3 /4 cup mini-chocolate chips
Graham crackers or chocolate graham crackers
Beat together cream cheese and oleo until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar, vanilla, and brown sugar. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Shape into a ball and serve with graham crackers.
Editor’s discussion questions: 90 people for a family gathering???? Holy cow! What’s the largest gathering YOU’VE ever hosted at your house? My wife stresses out if 2 people are coming for dinner! The Amish, however, are pros at pulling off large family functions. And I’m still in awe about that breakfast haystack….I’ll repost the photo below…Heart attack on a plate!!! Any other questions about this week’s column? I will be happy to answer.