Dear Mrs. Yoder: Recipes from an Amish Cookbook

If you haven’t guessed, I like cookbooks. Right now, as I am typing you this article, my foot is resting against a stack of twelve, rummage sale bought, dandies-of-a-cookbook. The trashier the cover the better. A trashy cookbook means it was loved. Rips, tears, splotches, grease stains… I will take it! I hope you enjoy my Dear Mrs. Yoder: Recipes from an Amish Cookbook… I sure have some questions for these gals.

I bought the “Our Favorite Recipes” by the Log Cabin School of Pardeeville, Wisconsin at the Mischler’s Country Store. It was one of the first cookbooks I bought after getting married. I enjoyed their little introduction “We tried to put in something for everyone. Enough recipes for the cooks, a little food for thought, a few laughs, as they are the best remedies, enough mistakes so as not to disappoint those who are always looking for them.”

I’m sure the grammarians and punctuationists have a field day with my articles. Somebody has to keep you folks occupied!

If you’re not familiar with Amish folk, you will find that there are lots of Miller’s, Yoder’s, Bontrager’s, Christner’s, Mullet’s Schrock’s, Mast’s, Schmucker’s. And it is not uncommon to find Rachel, Anna, Katie, Susan, Mrs. E. Miller, and so on. I did write an article about the Amish folk, https://www.mandyandmichele.com/amish-people-in-rural-wisconsin/, in the area we used to live in Wisconsin. Wander back and give it a read!

Photo by Michele Bruxvoort

Log Cabin School Recipes

-Disclaimer. These ladies are no slouches to cooking, canning, and baking. They are very short with most directions and assume you come equipped with a general knowledge of “the trade”.

Salad Dressing Pickles- Erma D. Miller

  • 12 large cucumbers
  • 12 onions- (holey moley, don’t forget some of these recipes are for their picnics, barn raisers)
  • 1-pint vinegar
  • 1-pint water
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper (scant)
  • 2 sweet peppers (if desired) – (I think Erma was trying to play it safe. Didn’t want to get too wild.-M)
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. celery seed

Peel and slice cucumber; let stand overnight in brine made of 1/2 cup salt and 3 quarts water (drain). Add onions. Mix sugar, spices, and vinegar; add to cucumbers. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes and put in jars. Seal. Good to eat on sandwiches or with meat. (I’m thinking the meat is the “chaser” after eating the dressing… uffda!-M)

Spaghetti Sauce- Mrs. Daniel Schmucher

  • 1 scant bushel tomatoes
  • 4 green peppers (sweet)
  • 4 stalks celery (Yes! Celery is a part of Italian cooking.-M)
  • 2 hot peppers
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tbsp. oregano
  • 5 tbsp. slat
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 c. brown sugar

Wash, cut up, and cook tomatoes; put through a sieve. Chop remaining ingredients and add to tomatoes. Cook until thick; then add 1-pint vegetable oil. Cook another hour. Makes 8 – 10 quarts. Add 1 can bought tomato soup for each quart of sauce. Put in jars and cold pack 15 minutes.

Cabbage Salad to Can- Roseanna Miller

  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • celery (optional)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 medium onion (optional)

The Dressing- to put over cabbage

  • 2 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp. salt

Put in cans; then let the water just come to a boil and turn off.-Obviously, Roseanna knew this water bath had an end, go with your “English” (that’s the term for non- Amish folks) canning gut!-M

Tomato Soup- Barb Schmucker

  • 1 lage pail ripe tomatoes
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 7 large onions, chopped
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 butter
  • 1/4 c. salt (yes a 1/4 cup)
  • pinch red pepper
  • 3/4 c. flour

Boil tomatoes, celery, and onions together for 1 1/2 hours. Pu through a sieve. Blend butter with the rest of the ingredients; add to juice. Boil until thickened. Put into jars. Cold pack 30 minutes.

Alright friends! That was just a little taste of Amish cooking. In the next few weeks, I hope to deliver some more recipes from each section. I hope you found the recipes interesting. Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends and a very good life.

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