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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Amish Cook column: Yoders prepare for church services

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, September 05, 2017 12:01 am

We’re in full swing in getting ready for church to be held at our house over the weeks ahead.

“So, what is involved with that?” you might be asking.

OK, usually each family who is practically able, or has enough space in their house, shed or garage who have room for 100 people takes their turn hosting church services for one month. As a preparation for that we generally just make a goal of doing our deep-cleaning for the year just prior to church.

I tell Julia that I don’t have to have everything spic n span, but we need to do many of these chores sometime anyway, for instance, cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, the closets or washing walls and window frames. I have felt so blessed with so many people who have helped me with my cleaning during the busy summer season. Not only that, I have had many offers to prepare lunch for our church Sunday. We plan to have newly dug potatoes, baked until soft, mashed on the plate and then topped with hamburger and a mixture of pizza sauce and cheese sauce Just this forenoon, Mom was here and helped me clean knick-knacks and various items on my kitchen cupboards like my fondue set that is sitting out.

Not only did she come to help clean last evening she asked what dish I would be hungry for so she could bring it along for our lunch.

It didn’t take me long to decide. I love her taco-rice casserole with the biscuit-type crust on top. So that is just what she did. By 9 a.m. her and my youngest sister, Keturah, 11, were here and ready to help.

Julia and Austin never, ever tire of playing with their Aunt Keturah. Today she helped them play “mailbox” which is kind of the hot item around here recently. They take two stryofoam plates, cutting one in half, then they place the half upside down onto a whole plate and staple the two together. This results in a little pocket just big enough to put little notes, cards,, a piece of candy, whatever they want to drop into the other’s boxes. Each box has a name on it and is decorated with stickers.

Not only did they play with their mailboxes, they also helped with cleaning and laundry. Keturah is the perfect “errand girl” for me, whether it’s taking out the slop, burning trash or picking up toys. Her young, energetic ways are constantly saving many steps for me. Her help is especially a blessing for me with my limited energy these days with our little one on its way!

So, here I am, my tummy full from Mom’s casserole and cluing you into our life. Mom just went home with the pony cart and Keturah is here playing with Julia and Austin’s mailboxes. Several minutes ago I got a “suspicious” note in my box, signed “guess who,” so I have been swapping notes with Keturah trying to get her to admit it was her.

Any time, my sister Anna Faith will be stopping in to pick us up along with several boxes of garage sale items that I want to add to my friend’s sale. This afternoon we want to sort and price a bunch of items we no longer need.

I admit, garage sales are on my list of favorite activities. Maybe I should even call it a weakness, I love rummaging through items looking for bargains.

Anyway, I enjoyed my “chat” with you even thought it was one-sided, although I love hearing from you in the mail!

Here’s our taco-rice casserole for you to enjoy! By the way, I use my own “homemade Bisquick” for this recipe, but you can use the store-bought kind.

Taco-rice casserole

1 pound hamburger

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 package of taco seasoning

1 16-ounce chunk tomatoes

1 cup rice, uncooked

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheese

2 cups Bisquick mix

3/4 cup milk

Fry hamburgers and onions until brown. Add taco seasoning and drained tomatoes. Drain juice and cook the rice in the tomato juice. Add enough water to make 2 1/2 cups. When the rice is soft, mix it with hamburger mixture. Pour into 9-by-13-inch pan. Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese. Spread over hamburger mixture. Make a thin batter of Bisquick and milk and pour over top of sour cream mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 15.

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.

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