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Recipes

Amish Date Nut Pudding???

Often I can "trace" how an Amish culinary "fad" began.  The Hispanic food influence in Amish cooking is easy enough to trace, ditto for pizza and Italian.  Beyond that, Amish cooking is a mixture of plain, scratch-cooking and pop culture influences.  One conconction that has long had me scratching my head, though, is "date nut pudding."  This is a very popular summer dessert in some Amish communities and has been for years.  Dates, though, are not readily available (can you buy fresh dates at your local Kroger?) and this recipe just doesn't seem to "fit in".  But, it's popular and it's great on a hot summer day, so give it a try!

DATE NUT PUDDING

1 package fresh dates

1 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar

1 2 /3 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon soda

4 tablespoons shortening

1 egg

1 /2 teaspoon salt

1 /2 cup nuts

Directions: Pit and quarter dates.  Add soda and pour over boiling water.  Let cool. Cream shortening and add sugar and egg.  Beat. Add flour and salt alternately with date mixture.  Add flavoring and nut meats.  Pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake 40 minutes at 350 and then top with whipped ream. Yield: 15 servings.


Homemade Hot Pepper Butter

HOMEMADE HOT PEPPER BUTTER

This is not a recipe one just breezes through.  This is for the die-hard do-it--yourself-er in the kitchen.  This recipe isn't terribly complicated, it's just a lot of work, a lot of stinging skin (and eyes if you aren't careful), but the reward is worth the work.  This recipe is a classic example of how the Amish have adapted and embraced "new" foods.  Hot peppers have gradually found their way into many Amish gardens and this delicious spread is the end result.  The sugar "tames" the fiery peppers and you end up with a sweet/hot balanced spread that is delicious on a sandwich or just spread on bread.  If anyone actually tries this recipe at home let us know how it turns out! 

42 hot peppers

1 pint of yellow mustard

1 quart of vinegar

6 cups of sugar

1 tablespoon of salt

1 cup flour

1 1 /2 cups water

Grind hot peppers, add mustard, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil.  Make a paste with flour and water and add to boiling mixture and cook five minutes. Pour into pint jars and seal. Makes 7 pints.


Mennonite Summer Salad

Mennonite cooking is closely related to Amish cuisine. I've noticed perhaps a touch more of a German hue to their recipes.  Whatever this recipe's roots, it's a great one for a cool summer salad.

MENNONITE SUMMER SALAD

2 cups raw spinach, finely chopped

1 thinly sliced peeled cucumber

4 green onions, chopped

1 /2 cup sliced radishes

2 cups cottage cheese

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons fresh or bottled lemon juice

1 /2 teaspoon salt

1 /4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

paprika to taste

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Wash the spinach the day before, then wrap it in a cloth and refrigerate it overnight. Chop the spinach, add the cucumber, onions, and radishes and then toss lightly. Arrange in a wooden salad bowl and place a mound of cottage cheese in the middle. Blend the sour cream with the lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over the salad.  Sprinkle the paprika in the middle and the parsley all around. Toss when ready to serve. This is a very good meal in itself but it's even better when served with thin slices of lightly buttered bread. 


Barbecued Chicken

Gender roles are very "set" in Amish society.  Women cook and sew; Men build things and go out and earn the paycheck.  There are, however, certain specific aspects of cooking which the men do participate in.  For instance, you wouldn't often see an Amish man baking bread (I'm generalizing, I'm sure someone can find exceptions) or whipping up a batch of cookies.  Barbecuing, however, is something the men will do.  And Lovina's husband,Joe, will help her with home-canning and other stuff some Amish men might not get near.  Amish families commonly fire up the grills outside during the summer. It keeps the indoor ovens from making their unairconditioned homes even hotter and is a good excuse to eat together outside.  This barbecue chicken recipe from Lovina's husband can be used indoors or outside on the grill.  Some of the ingredients in this recipe I haven't heard of (like onion juice and kitchen bouquet, so if no one here knows, I can ask Joe).  And, if all else fails and Joe just doesn't have time to make his barbecue sauce for the chicken, his favorite store brand: Open Pit Barbecue Sauce.

1 broiler chicken

1 teaspoon onion juice

1 /3 cup cider vinegar

1 /2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder

1 teaspoon kitchen bouquet

1 teaspoon Worchester sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 /2 cup melted butter

Cut broiler chicken in half down the back.  Get the broiling pan hot and grease well.  Lay the chicken on rack and put immediately under hot fire. Seat on both sides. Have ready a barbecue sauce made of all of the other ingredients listed above. Have also a new clean brush and during the broiling process paint the chicken on all sides at least three times with sauce. Make a gravy out of the drippings.


UPDATED: Amish Brown Sugar Cookies

Get a load of THIS recipe! Sheesh. First, in an earlier version of this post I omitted flour from the ingredient list. Oops....sorry, I hope no one is at home with a bowl of brown sugar mush.  So, DO add flour (see list below). Secondly, I must reinterate that Amish homemakers are quite skilled in whipping up plentiful amounts of food from the most mundane items.  Take brown sugar. Who doesn't have a box or two of brown sugar sitting in their pantry?  Enter: brown sugar cookies.  This is an old - but still commonly prepared - cookie recipe in Amish homes.  But, ugh, the recipe calls for two full sticks of butter and a bunch of brown sugar.  Since we have no dessert in this house and I wanted to recreate some Amish ambiance, I made them. Tips when you  prepare them:

1) make sure you crush any chunks of brown sugar prior to adding to the recipe, it'll make stirring easier.

2) These cookies really spread out, so unless you want massive dinner-plate sized cookies, drop by teaspoon full onto a greased cookie sheet.

3) Only make if you aren't averse to two sticks of butter being in your cookies.  Otherwise, these are pretty good!

BROWN SUGAR COOKIES

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix everything together in a big bowl, mixing well.  Drop by teaspoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 - 11 minutes. Cookies will be golden around the edges when done.


Recipe For Amish Cookies

I'd be lying if I were to say these were the best cookies in the world, but they definitely aren't bad (SIGH, my Dad always says "not bad" means "not good", but in this case that isn't so...these are good cookies). Anyway, during these tight economic times the old Amish ways of cooking are starting to look very appealing. Most Amish homemakers are quite skillful and whipping up the heartiest foods out of the bare basics and these are no exception:

AMISH COOKIES

2 cups of oil

3 cups of sugar

4 eggs

7 cups of flour

2 tablespoons of baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 cup of buttermilk or milk and vinegar

2 teaspoons of baking soda

Mix well and drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until golden around edges.


Rhubarb Coffeecake, Don't Knock It Till You Try It!

I've posted before how I have a very mixed relationship with rhubarb.  It's tartness is not my favorite.  However, when the tartness is tamed and tempered with something sweet, I think rhubarb works.   Few Amish homemakers go through spring without making a homemade rhubarb coffeecake.  This is really very good, I think the brown sugar tamps down on the rhubarb's roar.  So, give this a try!

 

RHUBARB COFFEECAKE

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of salt

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2 1/2 cups of fresh rhubarb, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of soda

1 1 /4 cups of brown sugar

one cup of shortening

1 /2 cup of sour milk

Cream shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Add sour milk.  Stir in dry ingredients until flour is moistened.  Mix in rhubarb and spread batter into 9 inch square pan.  Sprinkle with 1 /3 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm or cold.


Carrot & Raisin Salad

Just in case you're seeking a quick, last-minute Memorial Day picnic recipe, this one is a crowd pleaser.   The salad is colorful, creamy, and even for non-raisin fans like me this one seems to work! This is one that Lovina likes to fix for the after-church meal.

CARROT & RAISIN SALAD

4 cups shredded carrots

1 cup raisins

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup salad dressing

3 tablespoons milk or cream

 

Place carrots and raisins in a bowl.  In another bowl, mix together salad dressing, sugar, and milk.  Pour over carrot and raising mixture. Mix well.  Chill and serve.


Memorial Day Picnic Recipe #1

I've got 20 years worth of Amish Cook recipes at my finger tips, so I'll monitor this website today/tomorrow.  If anyone has any requests for unique "picnic recipes" from Lovina or her mother, let me know and I'll be happy to dig through what I've got.   This is a good one for a warm day.   This slaw has a nice, sweet taste.

CREAMY APPLE SLAW

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 teaspoon of sugar

dash of salt

3 cups of shredded cabbage

1 /4 cup grated carrot

2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

1 /4 teaspoon of prepared mustard

3/4 cup of sour cream

2 cups of cubed apples, dipped in lemon juice

3 tablespoons of finely chopped celery

For dressing, stir together vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, and salt.  Stir in sour cream. Cover and chill.  When ready to serve, toss cabbage, apples, carrots, and celery together. Add dressing and toss to combine. Makes 5 cups.


Sweet Dill Pickles

If you aren't in the mood to try Bob's Frozen Pickle pops, you can make your own Sweet Dill Pickles. This is a recipe Lovina makes often during the warm summer days and they are good with a sweet crispness lacking in many store-bought varieties.

 

SWEET DILL PICKLES

2 cups of vinegar

3 cups of sugar

2 cups of water

2 tablespoons of salt

Heat to a boil.  Put pickles in quart jars and pack.  On top of jars put:

1/ 8 teaspoon of garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon of dill weed

Heat and pour liquid over pickles in jars and then cold pack 5 minutes. Makes 3 quarts.