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Welcome & Mailbag

WELCOME

I would like to welcome readers from The Times-Reporter in New Philadelphia, Ohio and the Prairie Advocate in Savanna, Illinois. Both papers began carrying The Amish Cook column this week. The Savanna paper was the 98th newspaper to sign on to the column. Could we hit 100 this week?

MAILBAG

Its February and I am faltering on my resolution to keep this site updated more often. I really am trying.

I will be visiting with Elizabeth sometime next week. So if anyone wants to email a question for me to take to Elizabeth and have her answer posted on this website quickly, please email me at .

Since The Amish Cook column began in 1991 Elizabeth has gotten probably 10,000 letters from readers. Most are warm, friendly and comforting. Many are simple recipe requests. I never thought someone could send hate mail to an Amish grandmother, but it has happened a time or two, proving that no public figure is immune from strange or overly-opinionated people.

I was cleaning out some old files the other day when I came across a file labeled negative mail. Unless the negative mail is a constructive critique of Elizabeths column, I shield her from such diatribes and just save them in a file. One woman from Edwardsport, Indiana really unloaded on Elizabeth in a 1994 letter:

You look down your nose, so to speak, at the world, but you sure dont hesitate to take in the worlds money through the sale of quilts, noodles, and baked goods.

The woman then went on to say that if Our Dear Savior was here on earth, in the flesh, he would use automobiles to get from place to place, as well as other modern conveniences.

Such angry statements are usually made from lack of knowledge. No Amish doctrine forbids them making money. The Amish are extremely capitalistic. They work hard and expect to be compensated for their work. Some people have the mistaken notion that the Amish have taken some sort of vow of poverty. Thats absolutely not the case. They try to be self-sufficient and separate, but they are capitalistic.

Elizabeth has received a letter or two through the years chastising the Amish for not paying taxes.

I always laugh at those. We would all become Amish if that were true. The Amish pay taxes just like everyone else. I am not sure where that persistent misunderstanding originated. The Amish dont accept government subsidies like welfare, food stamps, or even social security. But they do pay into it via their taxes.

A woman from Quincy recently wrote a letter to Elizabeth complaining how she followed the chicken salad recipe to the T and came out with a mess that looked like a cow patty. She said she would tell her entire bridge group about the incident and to boycott the column.

The woman from Edwardsport was courteous enough to sign her name and address. The few mean letters Elizabeth gets are usually anonymous and unsigned.

To all who do write (nice letters!) to Elizabeth, thank you so much. They have kept her spirits up through the years and have been the main reason she has kept writing her column!

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures

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