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: 
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!


  1. I'd be hinting too :) ! I love this, and that Triple Orange Salad looks wonderful. Thank you, Lue and Linda!

    1. You're welcome, Nancy. It certainly looks like a delicious spread. Those mashed potatoes with melted browned butter....uuummmm

    2. Nancy, The recipe for Triple Orange Salad is soooo easy, just takes some time for the first part to completely cool, but you should make it for your family this year.

  2. So awesome! thanks for sharing! Nice to meet you, Lue!

    1. Linda, You are welcome. I love sharing of my heritage. Connect with me on Facebook if you would like to read more and also get updates for when I post on my blog.

  3. thanks for sharing, Linda and Lou.

    Some Amish I talked to mention the adults fast during the morning while the food is prepared. That may vary by district though. :)

    1. Lollipops, Thank you for bringing that up. I honestly can't remember if the Amish in these parts fast on Thanksgiving morning. I know they do have a few days set aside for fasting, before communion time and Easter for sure. Can't remember any others though.

  4. Okay, I'm coming to your house for Thanksgiving. Yum! You'll be serving all Lue's great list, right Linda?

    1. I'll be hoping for an invite ffrom Lue, so you can meet me at her place. :) :)

    2. Davalyn and Linda, of course, stop over for Thanksgiving! Our family is always looking for folks who are alone to invite to our holidays. :) We can add another seat or two. I should say...I'm always looking for others to bring along and my family is always accommodating of who I bring along and now it is almost a given that Lue is bringing someone along...just who is it this year? ha ha!

  5. How fascinating! Thanks for sharing. BTW why do the women sit on the benches? When I was growing up (in a traditional Christian home, not Amish at all), the men would always let the ladies have the more comfortable seats. Politeness/chivalry etc.

    1. Maybe Lue can answer that for us.

    2. Anne, After I sent my answers I almost wished I hadn't added this part because it does depend on the situation. If there is a huge crowd, very often the men will stay with the tables after the meal. They will sing their German songs if they have a lot of "singers" in the bunch. Then after the dishes are done the women will get the comfortable seating in the living room if the tables were not set up in the living room. In that case everyone sits at the tables to play games and visit. But, if everyone fits into the living room and the furniture is in the living room, then the men will get dibs on the comfortable seats because the women have been doing dishes and are last to enter the living room. The men do not get up for the ladies....there are a lot of things that come to play, but lets just say, in my time, I have sat on many a hard bench on a holiday afternoon. :)

  6. Thanks for sharing, Lue. Sounds delicious! That Ho Ho cake looks yummy too.

    1. Kathleen, you are welcome. That cake IS so good! I have one sister in law that can make it just perfect, the chocolate layer on top is so smooth you would think a professional baker might have created the cake. :)