The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Found: A Mennonite Treasure...

I am a bit of a history when my interest in the Amish and in history converge, I am always mesmerized.  It's just fascinating to me when people discover long-forgotten treasures squirreled away in an attic or a relative's basement.   Momentos get passed down from generation to generation and sometimes, if they are not labeled properly, the meaning behind their sentimentality vanishes.  Yutzy is a very common name in the Amish and Mennonite religions.  A family in Lincoln, Nebraska unearthed a treasure in an attic that connects with that common Anabaptist surname and goes back to the very earliest days of the Mennonite/Anabaptist faith.  I've read some of the works of Menno Simons, one of the church's earliest founders, and they are an interesting read.  But this is just fascinating...well, enough of my observations, read for yourself here!Smile

Interesting Article...

An Associated Press article about Amish business diversification has been running on the newswires the past couple of days.  The article is fascinating.  I think the author could have taken the topic a step further, but he didn't, so I will.   The premise of the piece is that with farming becoming less and less of a viable way to make a living for the traditionally agrarian Amish they are being forced to branch into other endeavors.  This trend has been afoot for generations as Amish men have gone from farming to cabinetry and framing to bulk food stores and produce.  But the Amish population doubles every generation, so the math illustrates how Amish men are going to have to adapt in finding occupations  What today's featured article doesn't talk much about is how this trend impacts the future of the church.  A cornerstone of the Amish church is maintaining a sense of "separateness" from society.   And I just think it will be come more and more difficult to maintain such a separateness when running a global manufacturing operation or a potato chip company.  I am not making a judgment call....It's up to the Amish to decide their future, not outsiders like me.....But I do think that the church is ripe for a major split within the next 10 - 15 years.  The Amish church's history has been full of splits and I just think there will be formal break between a large more progressive bloc while more conservative Amish hew to traditional ways.  This is just conjecture on my part, perhaps these more entrepreneurial/global Amish will find ways to stay separate while keeping their businesses running. Time will tell.  Click here to read this interesting article.

Neat PS To Yesterday's Post About Christmas Cookbook

I actually heard from a reader in Eaton, Ohio who actually does have one of the original copies of "An Amish Christmas."   What is neat about this is in the updated "Amish Christmas" to be released next week I tell the story behind this little book and why most of the existing copies probably would be found near Richmond, Indiana; Eaton, Ohio or Greenville, Ohio.  SIGH, Preble County, Ohio...that is where Eaton is......I once ran for political office there and got clobbered..... But you'll have to buy the updated book to find out why this is the case.Smile  It is so neat that this lady has an actual copy.  I'll be honest, I don't even have an original.  The copy I have is a reprint, although I think I am going to get my hands on an original this holiday seasonSmile (I'll explain more later, I have someone who thinks they can procure a copy for me).  The original copy was such a special little book, but,again, I tell why in the intro to an updated Amish Christmas. 

An Amish Christmas....Our First Book....

CAPTION:  This is a not-so-great photo of one of my copies of "An Amish Christmas".  The book was very plain, in keeping with Amish tradition.

I'm feeling a little nostalgic today, so this is a good topic.  The past 20 years of "Amish Cook" have been, as many of you know, full of highs and lows. I won't rehash that all here.  I often refer to the Original Amish Cook Cookbook as our first cookbook.  That was the first real effort by the late Elizabeth Coblentz and I, published way back in 1993.  But there was actually another cookbook before that.  At the time I called it a "cookbook-let."   It was a tiny 40-page wire bound book called "An Amish Christmas", packed full of holiday recipes and notes from Elizabeth's daughters. I had never, ever published a book before and knew nothing about it, but once word got out through the column that this book was available we were swamped with orders.  It was unbelieveable.   There are not very many copies of this book left...I personally only know of one or two.  There may have been about 800 printed (that was a ton of books for me back then).   Just out of curiosity, do any of our readers out there have an original copy of this book?  I know one copy somehow ended up in the Grant County Public Library in Kentucky.

In celebration of the Amish Cook's 20th anniversary "An Amish Christmas" will be released this holiday season.  It should be ready to ship next week and will be available through Christmas.  There is NO pre-orderingSmile, when it's ready, it's ready and will ship the same day the order is placed.  The book is an updated version with letters from Lovina's children, some new recipes, thoughts from Lovina and myself.  It's not a very large book, so the price point will be appealing to many.  Makes a great gift!

Here is one recipe from An Amish Christmas, a nice fall salad.  Most of the recipes in the book are holiday or seasonally themed and are quite simple, but tasty.


2 cups of diced apples

1 cup of grated carrots

1 /2 cup of raisins

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Peel apples and dice. Add grated carrots and raisins. Using two spoons to mix salad, add mayonnaise. Serve on 4 salad plates.


Amish Cook's Editor's Adventures

Join me as I visit Amish settlements from Maine to Montana and many spots inbetween over the months ahead.  Each Amish settlement will be captured in mini video-documentaries that can be viewed online.  Most videos are 5 - 7 minutes in length and will be emailed to you over the months ahead.  Sign up here.

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