The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

A Few Thanksgiving Recipes....

I hope everyone is gearing up for a wonderful holiday with family and friends.  It looks like here in Ohio Thanksgiving will be greeted with a few flakes of snow, which just adds to the holiday feel.   The Amish - and these are solely my observations - simply don't seem to mark Thanksgiving day as fervently as the rest of us do.  One Amish lady shook her head when I asked her about how her family celebrates the day and simply said: "we give thanks everyday."  That seems to be a common sentiment.  Some Amish families barely mark the day at all, others acquiese to turkey traditions and have a special supper.  Still, others celebrate the day in much more elaborate fashion with turkey, trimmings ,and 40 guests.  So I guess like most things Amish it depends on where and with who as to whether the day is observed.   Here are a few recipes, though, that you'll find on Amish Thanksgiving tables among the ones that do observe the day:


 1 pound fresh chestnuts
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
4 cups bread crumbs
2 well beaten eggs
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup chopped celery

Wash chestnuts, make two slits on each shell, and bake for 15 minutes at 475 degrees. Shell, boil in water to cover for 20 minutes. Chop fine. Mix with the melted butter, bread, crumbs, salt, poultry seasoning, egg and celery. Toss well. Yields enough to stuff a 18 pound bird



5 medium potatoes; cooked in their skins
1 cup whole milk
4 average slices whole-grain bread
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup finely-chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
Salt ; to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper ; to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the cooked potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and place them in a large mixing bowl. Coarsely mash the potatoes with 1/2 cup of the milk.
Cut the bread into 1/2-inch dice. Place them in a small mixing bowl and pour the remaining milk over them. Soak for several minutes. In the meantime, heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and celery and sauté over low heat until the onion is lightly browned and the celery is tender.  Combine the onion and celery mixture with the mashed potatoes in the large mixing bowl. Stir in the soaked bread, parsley, and seasoning mix. Season to taste with salt and lots of pepper.  Pour the mixture into a well-oiled, 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is a crusty golden brown.

This recipe yields 6 servings.




1 can creamed corn or equivalent homemade

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Mix cornstarch with milk. Warm milk mixture with butter. Mix beaten eggs and sugar with corn. Add milk mixture. Put into greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes




1/2 cup butter, softened

 1/2 cup brown sugar

 1 cup all-purpose flour

 1/2 cup rolled oats

 2 eggs

 3/4 cup white sugar

 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the crust: In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar then mix in flour. Now add the oats to make an oatmeal crumble crust to press inside a 9x13 inch baking dish. To set the crust for the pie filling bake it in the oven for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, make the pie filling to add to the crust. In a large bowl, beat eggs and mix in white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust. Return to the oven and bake in heated oven 20 minutes, until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.


SIGH, Bye, Oprah....

So, what are your thoughts on the annoucement of Oprah's departure from her show.  I'm not a core Oprah watcher, but I really like her and her show and I think an important voice will be lost when she leaves her show.  She comes across as so genuine, relatable, and real.  I guess we'll all have to savor the final 18 months of Oprah!  By the way, how many of you remember Phil Donahue?  He was really the one that blazed the trail for the likes of Oprah, Rachael Ray, and others in the genre.  And, on this topic, does Jerry Springer still do his show? (Not that I care, his show was always pretty trashy, as was Maury's)

Flag Silliness Continues in Pennsylvania....

I just don't understand the flap over flags in Pennsylvania.  So a general store doesn't sell American flags?  Big deal.  I know a lot of places that don't sell American flags.  I didn't realize it was a requirement that a Mom & Pop general store stock flags.  I feel like I am repeating myself here, but most little convenience stores or general stores - Amish or non-Amish owned - that I have been to don't sell American flags.  The gas station a block away from my house doesn't sell flags, they have Twix bars, soda, and gas and that works just fine with me.  I'm unclear why this one tiny store chain in Pennsylvania is being singled out?  I think there is some "chatter" in cyberspace that the owners have shown a disdain for the flag or something like that, but I'm not so sure that is the case...anyone can post anything online but that doesn't make it fact.  There are plenty of places one can buy an American flag.   You don't even need to leave your house, just go to:   To read the latest about the "flag flap", click here.


Has anyone been following the clash of the culinary titans?  If not, check it out here.  I guess I'll stay neutral in this, since, in theory, I could try for an Amish Cook segment on either show.Smile  I do think, though, that it's very difficult to compare Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart.  I actually think Martha's comments weren't necessarily mean-spirited, she was just pointing out the obvious.  Rachael Ray is more of an entertainer vs. Martha's more nuanced, textured teaching.  Soooo, anyone have any thoughts?

WGN Clip

I just got back from Chicago where I did the WGN noon news today.  Okay, I am NOT fishing for compliments, but I HATE the way I look on TV....really....I'd so rather Lovina be able to appear on TV instead of me! The WGN segment is online for those who didn't see it, I know a few of you did.  It was a crazy morning.  First of all, the sweater I was going to wear...a nice, rust-colored sweater...I put it on this morning (I picked it up from the cleaners yesterday) about an hour before I was supposed to get to the station and discovered that it had shrunk to about 1 /2 its size.  Someone at the cleaners didn't read the "care tag" on it.   Thankfully Rachel had packed an extra sweater for us to go out for supper last night (can't pass up pizza in Chicago!).  So I wore that. Then about 30 minutes before I was to go on the air, I was sitting in the "green room" (the place where they put guests prior to airing) and I reached into a magazine rack for something to read and ended up cutting my thumb on the tip of a decorative metal leaf on the rack.  So I had to go to the rest room and keep a bandage on my bleeding thumb and hope it stopped before the segment.  Nothing more unappetizing than a bleeding thumb while cooking.   And then, yes, some of you noticed, during the segment I discovered my sugar had somehow gotten moisture in it during the trip because it stuck in the bowl like porridge as I attempted to prepare the pie.  So I just sort of glossed over it.  It really is so difficult to - in the span of 4 minutes - talk about the book, the column, build a rapport with the host, and make a pie.   So I am ready for a break from TV for at least a couple of weeks before hitting the road again in early December.  Anyway, if you really want to watch me on WGN, here is the clip.

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