Amish Cook column: Gloria finds many blessings in hosting church services at her home
The first church Sunday at our house is passed. It was a new and interesting challenge for us to host church at our house. Nonetheless it was also a blessing. Hosting guests is something we enjoy. There is a satisfaction all its own to have 100 people seated in the garage that is for once clean and organized with windows sparkling.
One of the biggest challenges, yet the most enjoyable and rewarding, is having lunch ready to feed everyone as soon as the last German song is sung and church has ended.
This time I had a menu that could easily be prepared ahead of time. An Amish neighbor lady, Sarellen, had kindly offered to furnish potatoes for our Sunday meal. I gratefully accepted her generous offer. She explained how they had just dug their potatoes and that they had a bunch of little ones that she’d be happy to share. Not only did she supply us with 5 gallons of taters, she also insisted on washing them and getting them ready for us. Bless her heart, what could I do but accept the gesture of love and friendship?
Besides the potatoes, we planned to have browned deer burger with pizza sauce, barbecue sauce, and various seasonings. I made this two weeks before church and stuck it in the freezer to help reduce my workload in those days before church. This mixture was then to be ladled on top of the potatoes that each person mashed with their forks and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Next were diced tomatoes then a cheese sauce to put on top of the stack. The cheese sauce was made two days before church then heated on Sunday morning.
My husband Daniel chose pie for dessert. Thanks to several ladies in the church who helped with the 15 pies. Varieties served included pumpkin, peach, rhubarb, peanut butter and strawberry. One lady who has two little girls brought several mini pies for the children, which proved to be a hit. “They wanted to bring little pies to share,” their mother explained.
Coffee was also served. In case you are wondering. No, I did not make it. I am not much of a coffee drinker. Thanks to my friend Wanita who kindly made it for me. She really does have a unique way of fixing it for a large group. She simply heats 15 quarts of water in a stock pot and dumped coffee granules right into it and allowed it to steep for awhile and then strained and served it.
When we were ready for lunch, Daniel set up some benches in the woods for the menfolk and some in the backyard and on the deck for the ladies. In the garage we had four food lines, two for the men and two for the ladies where they filed through and filled their plates before heading outside into the pleasant weather. After lunch the ladies helped with the dishes before sitting down and spending more time visiting.
The afternoon passed swiftly as we chatted with Daniel’s family who stayed for the day.
By 7 p.m. the youth were back for a hymn singing of both Germ an and English songs and a brief inspiration shared by Daniel’s father who was here visiting from Danville, Ohio.
When 9 p.m. rolled around people were once more leaving for home with the exception of Daniel’s parents and grandparents from Ohio who were in the area for the weekend and stayed at our house for the night.
All in all, we had a blessed day, yet I could tell you of two people who felt like crashing out by bedtime and we were ready for a low-key Monday.
We are just now heading into “pumpkin season” most places, so I thought this would be a good time to share this fall favorite. Keep this in mind for your Thanksgiving menus also!
GLORIA’S PUMPKIN PIE
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1 rounded tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
3/4 cup cream
1 cup pumpkin
Mix sugar and flour together and blend in eggs. Add remaining ingredients and pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 45 to 50 minutes or until set.
Gloria is an Amish mom, housewife and writer in rural Illinois. Readers with culinary or cultural questions can write her at: PO Box 157, Middletown, OH 45042. The Amish Cook has been publishing weekly since 1991. The column’s creator and editor is Kevin Williams. To learn more about the column visit www.amish365.com/about.