Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Amish Humor of the Day

                                                     AN AMISH GUY GETS AN IDEA

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Amish Humor for the Day-

We'll be featuring some Amish humor for a couple weeks. Of course, no offense is intended toward the Amish. It's all in fun.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Link to Amish Christmas Traditions

Check out the post on Amish Country News about what the Amish do for Christmas.
We can incorporate some of these traditions with our own. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Link to Authentic Amish Cookie Demo

You all remember, Lue Shelter, who shared an Amish Thanksgiving with us? Well, her Amish mom is baking up some delicious cream wafer cookies. See the recipe and how it's done. And check back on Lue's blog for more interesting Amish recipes to come.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Similar but Different Part 2

              (Crown Heights info: photographer Binyomin Lifshitz’s picture used for the NYposts article 2009)
The similarities in appearances among the men are striking with their wide rimmed hats and beards. The women of both cultures and religions wear head coverings, long sleeves and do not ever wear pants.  However, that is where the similarities end. 
The Amish men shave above the lips. Jewish bearded men do not.
The Amish women do not use buttons and zippers. The Jewish women do.
Amish women never cut their hair. Jewish women can, although their head is covered with a wig or other head covering.
The Amish do not use electricity.  The Jews do. 
While both Amish and Jews often do match making for marriages. Amish never divorce. Jews do, under certain circumstances.
The Amish do not have dietary restrictions. The Jews abide by Kosher dietary laws.
Most Amish live off the land as farmers. Jews do not.
The Amish believe in Jesus Christ as the main part of their belief system. The Jews do not.
There are many other differences, but these are the main ones. Similar or different...both follow a simple lifestyle, have long held traditions, and spend their lives trying to live a righteous good life.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Similar but Different

I live among the Orthodox Jewish people. I have spent time traveling among the Amish in upstate, NY. On the surface, there seem to be many similarities between the two.
In the above photo, one man is Amish. The other is Orthodox Jewish. Both lead simple lives that they interpret through the Bible. Both belong to communities where modesty in dress is prevalent. Both have large families. The men wear similar black felt hats (except in summer, the Amish wear straw ones.). 
Those are some of the similarities that come to my attention. What are the differences? Feel free to comment.  More tomorrow...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Whoopie Pies in Brooklyn!

I was pleasantly surprised to see Whoopie Pies on the bakery table at Stop-N-Shop supermarket in Brooklyn, NY yesterday. $4.99 for four of them. 
If you want to make your own quick version, just use tops of regular and/or small muffins or cupcakes for the sandwich and use vanilla frosting for the cream. (Save the remaining muffins or cupcakes for snacks or top with some of the frosting as shown, and enjoy.)
Here is a pic of my quick version...
                                              (Photos by author)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Authentic Amish Coffee Soup with Bert Shelter

A couple weeks back, Lue Shelter was a guest on this blog  sharing what an Amish Thanksgiving is like.
Today, you can see her husband, Bert, who loves coffee soup, prepare the old time Amish favorite...step by step.

Here is the link:

(Just copy and paste the URL on the address bar of your web browser.)

Proverb for Friday

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Amish Pie Book-

Me, Myself and Pie, by Sherry Gore. 
A great book for this time of year!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Repeat post - Guest, Lue Shelter, Shares an Amish Thanksgiving-

Because so many viewed this blog yesterday for a peek into an Amish Thanksgiving with Lue Shelter, I am re-posting it again today. Five more days until Thanksgiving. 
Lue Shelter from Mount Eaton, Ohio is a guest on my blog.
Welcome, Lue.

Lue is a former Amish woman who is still very much a part of her Amish family. She lives among the Amish with her husband, Bert (also former Amish.) They have grown children and an adorable grandson who visit as often as they can. Lue and I became friends via Facebook and she has been a great help to me in my research and interest regarding the Amish. 
She is a blogger also, and welcomes visitors to connect with her at:   www.lookinginmyrearviewmirror.com 
A truly wonderful and interesting blog. Stop by and see.

Lets begin our interview...

1.       Lue, do the Amish celebrate Thanksgiving in much the same way as the Englisch?

         I think they do. Food, family, fellowship. The meals are usually very organized, the menu planned well in advance and those who are invited are usually asked to bring a dish along. Depending on the size of the family you will need 8-10 pies, so at least three ladies would be asked to bring pie along. The same is true for the other desserts. This leaves the hostess with only the hot food and if there are enough families invited, someone might be asked to bring a salad or corn.

2.        What is typically served for the meal?
Smoked Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Delicious home grown potatoes are carefully peeled, diced, boiled in salt water until fork tender. After the water has been drained off the potatoes the Amish cook will take her potato masher and will begin mashing the potatoes, adding butter, sour cream, cream cheese, warm milk and salt and pepper to taste. The potatoes will be a very creamy and lump free consistency when finished. Once in their serving dishes the mounds of creamy potatoes will get a generous douse of browned butter. It is oh so good. 
Toasted homemade bread cubes are mixed with eggs, shredded chicken, chopped celery, carrots and potatoes, seasonings. Lastly milk is added to get the proper consistency. Some Amish cooks first fry their dressing and then continue to bake it until it is time to serve and other Amish cooks will pour the dressing into well-buttered baking pans and bake until done.

Pan drippings from the turkey, butter and flour turned into a rue and then chicken broth added until it is the correct consistency, seasoned with salt and pepper and you have the best gravy for your mashed potatoes and dressing.

Grown in the Amish cook’s garden, processed in her kitchen, stashed away in her freezer for meals such as this one.

Homemade bread can be found all across the Amish Thanksgiving tables. Served with delicious butter and homemade jams and jellies.

This can be any salad, a lettuce salad, a broccoli and cauliflower salad, or even a taco salad is very popular for meals like this.

Apple Sauce
Home canned. From the Amish cook’s canning shelf to the table.

Very often jello is served at large dinners such as this one. Apple salad, or ribbon salad are two favorites. My mom likes to make triple orange salad for her dinners.

This varies, some Amish cooks like to serve mixtures of their canned fruit, but as the time progresses, they are more “fancy” with their fruit and will mix up fresh fruits with a sweet sauce they cook up to pour over it. The sauce is more like a glaze and made similar as pie filling, only it is clear in color. Frozen, mashed strawberries can also be a choice fruit dish.

Ho Ho cakes are very popular with their creamy marshmallow layer underneath a very thick layer of chocolate. They are so delicious and almost always every crumb is gone by end of day. 
Date pudding, cracker pudding, Oreo pudding. All favorites at a meal such as this one.

Pumpkin and pecan pies are high up on the list. But if the crowd is huge you can add some apple pies and cream pies to the mix. Peanut butter cream is a favorite throughout Amish families.

Coffee and Water

3.       It is a custom for most Englisch households to have a football game on after dinner. Since the Amish do not watch TV, do they play games such as checkers or scrabble afterward?

            A few things come to mind, the first one is that if the men are big on hunting they will take the afternoon and go rabbit or deer hunting. Both are in season during Thanksgiving and so very often you will find a few of the men off hunting in the woods nearby. The rest of the folks will gather in the living room and visit. The ladies usually on church benches and kitchen chairs, the men usually sit on the couches and rockers, only time that changes is if there is an older lady in the group then she would get a rocking chair, usually a homemade hickory rocker. The children do find their way to the kitchen table to play games. They find new ones all the time, but old favorites are Dutch Blitz, Sorry or Chutes and ladders. A newer game they play a lot is Settlers. The young folks very often will play Rook. You can usually find me at that table too, because I enjoy a good Rook game. J

4.       Do you have a favorite Amish Thanksgiving recipe you can share with us?

         Of course I do. There are so many. I think I will share my mom’s Triple Orange Salad Recipe. It is so delicious and anyone can make it.

Triple Orange Salad                              
1 box orange Jello
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 box “cook and serve” tapioca pudding
2 ½ cups cold water
1 can mandarin oranges
2 cups Cool Whip or whipping cream

1.  Bring water to boil. Add orange jello, instant vanilla pudding and cook and serve tapioca pudding. Stir until all sugars have been dissolved.
Set aside to cool. This pudding base needs to be cold before you go on to the next step.
2.  Add drained mandarin oranges and cool whip.
3.  Pour in a pretty glass bowl. I like to add a few oranges on top. In fact, I use more than one can of mandarin oranges when I make this recipe because I like lots of oranges in my jello. As with any other recipe, an Amish cook will always adjust to suit their fancy.

Thank you, Lue, for giving us a glimpse into an Amish Thanksgiving. If we lived closer, I'd be hinting at an invitation to your place for sure and for certain!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Can't Wait to Read This...

Today on Facebook, Sherry Gore tells us: Quick change in plans for the days ahead. UPS just delivered the preliminary galleys (edited manuscript) for The Plain Choice for me to check. I was pleased to read this from one of my editors, Robert Hudson: "I want you to know how beautiful and powerful The Plain Choice is. The opening chapters are gripping, and the compelling nature of your story stays at that high level throughout. Really beautifully done."

Amish Proverb for Monday-

Friday, November 14, 2014

Amish Peanut Butter Pie

    I am told that this pie is a popular one among the Amish and also can make an appearance on Thanksgiving tables along with other favorites.
     Of course, this is a shortcut to the way most Amish make theirs with the vanilla pudding made from scratch. So, to make it more similar, I'd use real whipped cream as opposed to Cool Whip for the topping. Even 'Ready Whip' real whipped cream from the can will do, but use it right before serving as it doesn't tend to hold up for long, as does making it from scratch.
To make real whipped cream, simply use a cup of heavy cream, a tablespoon confectioner's sugar, and a few drops of vanilla extract. Whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Do not over beat or you'll end up with what looks like light yellow lumpy butter.
Amish Peanut Butter Pie
1 (9 inch) baked shell
1 (4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
Milk as directed on pkg.
1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter
1 c. confectioners' sugar
Whipped cream for topping
Mix pudding and milk as directed on package. Cream sugar and peanut butter together until crumbly. Place 1/2 of crumbs on bottom of pie crust shell. Then reserve 2 tbspns. of the crumbs and set aside.
Pour mixed pudding over crumbs, top with remaining crumbs, except the 2 tbspns.
Top the pie with whipped cream, then garnish with the 2 tbspns, remaining crumbs.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Until the Next Visit-

 Hope you enjoyed the photos of  New York's Montgomery County Amish area. Maybe a winter visit is in order. But here are a few remaining November shots.
 (Photos by author)

Monday, November 10, 2014

More November Moments-

                                               (Photos by author - Stone Arabia, NY)