The Amish Cook

Editor’s Note: Gloria will return next week.

Blame me, I encourage Gloria to take some time off when there is a new arrival. As a Dad to a 3 and a 6-year-old myself, I remember how precious those early days are. Writing a weekly column is a lot more difficult than than most people would presume and I just think it is important Gloria stays creatively refreshed and connection with her family. Gloria’s first column appeared six years ago on July 30. Her family has changed a lot since then, so has mine, so has the world. So, as a treat....I thought we’d go back and re-read and re-run her first-ever column. What a journey, and I’m sure Gloria’s got many exciting stories ahead! Enjoy! - Kevin Williams

Hi. I’m Gloria Yoder, age 24. I’m an ordinary Amish housewife and mother and, yes, I love it. My husband Daniel and I have been blessed with over four years of marriage. We were thrilled when God added a baby girl to our hearts and lives 2 1/2 years ago. We named her Julia Rose. She is our little sunshine. We also anticipate the arrival of another bundle in November. Julia is all excited about being a big sister.

We live in a quiet country area and enjoy spending time outdoors, especially going on picnics and camping trips. A week ago, we had the opportunity to go with my family to the Embarras River for a camp-out. We had a wonderful time together.

My favorite part of camping is sitting around the fire after dark singing or swapping stories. A campfire is never complete without having some good s’mores. I love roasting marshmallows to a golden brown, then placing it on a graham cracker square, spread with an ample amount of peanut butter, and topping it with a square of milk chocolate. Presto, you’re done! That’s it all, all except lazily sitting back and munching it down as the fire crackles cozily.

The early morning walks I’ve been taking are another favorite activity. I never cease to marvel over the melodious songs of the birds and the invigorating morning air. It also gives me the chance to spend some quiet moments with God in prayer.

Daniel and my brother Javin are both wood-workers. They build log furniture. Their shop is located at my parents’ home, which is less than a quarter mile from our house.

Julia loves spending time with her daddy and is constantly begging to trail after him wherever he goes. Sometimes she goes with him to the shop and, of course, ends up going to Grandma’s house. Right now Daniel is mowing the yard with our walk-behind mower. Julia is perched on top of his shoulders, something she relishes and makes her feel like she’s on top of the world.

Summer is here in full swing. Along with it comes gardening, canning and freezing. Even though it is the busiest and hottest season of the year, I have found it to have many blessings. There’s nothing quite like eating that first corn on the cob, spotting a red tomato for the first time or picking that tiny cucumber that hasn’t quite matured yet. Gathering fresh veggies from the garden is a highlight. To me, the vegetables taste better than candy.

This year I want to try something I haven’t done before. We are planning to have a fall garden. It’ll give us the opportunity to have fresh garden goodies for a more extended period of time. Another advantage is I won’t have to do as much canning during the warmest part of harvest season.

My parents have a family cow, which we all benefit from. That way I can use all the milk I need and want. We have found it to be useful in so many ways. Julia loves drinking raw milk, while Daniel’s favorite is the chocolate coffee smoothies — watch for the recipe in an upcoming column. I also make pudding, yogurt, cheese, pies, etc., using the fresh milk. I use the cream for making butter and the buttermilk for cookies, biscuits or pancakes.

For my first recipe, I thought I would share something that is a favorite around here: peanut butter crumb pie. My husband’s eyes light up when he finds out I am preparing it, because he loves this pie and it was served at our wedding!

PEANUT BUTTER CRUMB PIE

six 9-inch pie crusts, baked

9 cups milk, scalded

1 1/2 cups flour

4 cups white sugar

Dash salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

9 egg yolks

3 cups cold milk

CRUMBS: 2 cups powdered sugar, 2/3 cups peanut butter, mixed until crumbly

Put some crumbs in the bottom of each pie crust. Reserve the rest of the crumbs.

Scald milk over medium heat.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, egg yolks and milk.

Mix this together and pour into scaled milk. Heat and stir until thick. When cold, add 3 cups of home-made whipped cream or whipped topping. Divide pudding into the baked pie crusts. Spread whipped topping. Top with remaining crumbs.

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