Info    About    the    Amish.......

                     *  Exported from  MasterCook  *

                             About the Amish

Recipe By     : The Best of Amish Cooking --- Phyllis Pellman Good
Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : 
  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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     The Amish have captured the interest of the modern world because 
of their quaint clothing, homes and buggies, their striking quilts, 
their lusty food. These people prefer to be regarded as a community of
faith who deliberately seek to live in a way that honors God and the 
creation. They purposely refuse many conveniences to better foster their 
life together; they choose to live close to the land in an effort to 
care for their families and the earth.
     The Amish are a Christian group who trace their beginnings to the 
time of the Protestant Reformation in 16th century Europe. In 1525, a 
group of believers parted company with the established state church for 
a variety of reasons. Among them was the conviction that one must
voluntarily become a follower of Christ, and that that deliberate decision 
will be reflected in all of one's life. Therefore, baptism must symbolize 
that choice. The movement was nicknamed "Anabaptis," meaning re-baptism, 
since the believers wanted to be baptized again as adults.
     Eventually the group were called Mennonites after Menno Simons, 
one of their leaders who had formerly been a Roman Catholic priest. Over 
the years these people grew into a strong faith community, concerned 
with the nurture and discipline of each other.
     Basic to their beliefs was a conviction that if one was a faithful 
follower of Christ's, one's behavior would clearly distinguish one from 
the larger world. These people saw themselves as separated unto God 
because of their values of love, forgiveness and peace. Because they 
were misunderstood and because they appeared to be a threat to the 
established church and government, the people were often persecuted and 
many became refugees.
     In 1693, a magnetic young Mennonite leader believed that the church 
was losing some of its purity and that it was beginning to compromise 
with the world. And so he and a group who agreed with him left the 
Mennonites and formed a separate fellowship. They were called Amish, 
after their leader, Jacob Amman. Today the Amish identify themselves as 
the most conservative group of Mennonites.
     The movement which Amman began reached into Switzerland, Alsace 
and the Palatinate area of Germany. As early as 1727, Amish families 
began to resettle in North America where they found farmland, space to 
live as neighbors to each other, and a climate that nurtured their 
growth as a church family with a distinctive lifestyle.
     The tiny communities struggled to survive in the early years. As 
was true for other pioneers, the Amish invested most of their time and
energy in clearing the land, establishing their homesteads and getting
along with the Native Americans. Most of those who arrived from the 
1720s through the mid-1760s settled in eastern Pennsylvania, yet they 
did not live in sequestered communities. Frequently they had neighbors 
who were not Amish. With that came the opportunity for interchange with 
folks from the larger world. Nor was the Amish church as defined in 
terms of distinctive practices nor as organized under recognized leaders 
as it became following the American Revolution. That event crystallized 
many of the convictions these people held and united them in their 
refusal to join the War, since they were (and remain today) conscientious 
     The Amish intend to give their primary attention and energy to 
being faithful disciples of the teachings of Jesus Christ. They believe 
they can do that best as members of a community who together share that 
desire. Consequently, they have tried to withstand acculturation into 
the "worldly" society surrounding them. They have remained close to the 
land, preferring to farm if at all possible. They believe hard work is
honorable, that church and family provide one's primary identity. Their 
ideal in life is not to pursue careers that lead to prosperity and 
prestige, but to become responsible and contributing members to their 
faith community.
     The Amish have changed throughout their nearly 300 years of history. 
Their intent, however, is to be deliberate about change, to manage it 
carefully so that it does not erode their convictions. The Amish 
continue to grow. Today they live in 20 states and one Canadian province, 
totaling about 100,000 adults and children. There are twice as many 
Amish persons today as there were only 20 years ago. They are a living 
and dynamic people.

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What    is    the    Amish    Food    Tradition    in    the    New    World....

                     *  Exported from  MasterCook  *


Recipe By     : The Best of Amish Cooking -- Phyllis Pellman Good
Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : 
  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
*****  NONE  *****

     Because they are highly disciplined, the Amish are often perceived 
as being grim, austere folks who live as ascetics. They do live ordered 
lives and, in general, are restrained in their outward expression. But
in two particular areas they have exercised color -- in their quilts 
and in their food! In both areas they distinguished themselves only 
after becoming established in North America. By the mid-1850s and during 
the next several decades a food tradition evolved that included an 
amalgam of dishes from a variety of sources: they brought their own 
cultural taste preferences from Switzerland and Germany; that affected 
what they copied and adapted from the diets of their English and Native 
American neighbors; the geography and climate in the area of the New 
World where they made their homes also shaped their eating. In those 
ways, however, they were little different from the other German folk 
who settled in William Penn's colony.
     How, then, did the Amish develop and retain a food tradition that
is identifiable? With their sustained rural base, the Amish have 
continued a productive relationship with their gardens and fields. With 
their large extended families they have not only been able to convey 
the love of certain dishes to their children, but they have also been 
able to show their daughters how to make those specialties, many of 
which are learned best by "feel" than by reading a cookbook. In addition, 
their active community life supports the continuation of a food tradition
-- at gathered times, favorite dishes appear, undergirding the event, 
whether it be a school picnic, a funeral, or sisters' day. 
     Several principles prevail among these people with as much strength 
now as they did when the first Amish built their homestead in 
Pennsylvania: to waste is to destroy God's gift. To be slack, work-wise, 
is to be disrespectful of time and resources. To go hungry is to ignore 
the bounty of the earth (furthermore, there is no reason that eating 
should not be a pleasure!).
     Many myths exist about these people and their food. Separated as 
the Amish are from the larger world in their dress and transportation 
choices, they are not immune to the many food options in the grocery 
stores of their communities. They shop, and so they pick up packaged
cereal, boxes of fruit-flavored gelatin and cans of concentrated soup. 
Although tuna noodle casserole and chili con carne turn up on the tables 
of Amish homes, and chocolate chip cookies and lunch meats are packed 
into the lunch boxes of Amish school children, cornmeal mush and
chicken pot pie are still favorites. Because the Amish are a living 
group, despite their regard for tradition, their menus continue to 
change. Their foods are influenced by their neighbors and the recipes 
they find on boxes containing packaged foods or in the pages of farm 
magazines and local newspapers.
     The Amish are hard workers whose efforts on the land have been 
rewarded with fruitful fields and gardens. And so they have eaten well. 
In fact, their land has been so productive that Amish cooks have 
undertaken massive "pickling" operations, preserving the excess from 
their gardens in sweet and sour syrups. 
     Desserts are eaten daily in most Amish homes. But multiple desserts 
at one meal are generally eaten only when there is company. Thus the 
story of manifold pastries available at every meal has only a shade of
truth in it.

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Yum-a-Setta    ..............

                     *  Exported from  MasterCook  *


Recipe By     : Amish Cookbook
Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : 
  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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   2      pounds        hamburger
                        salt and pepper -- to taste
                        brown sugar -- as desired
     1/4   cup          onion -- chopped
   1      can           tomato soup -- undiluted
   1      can           cream of chicken soup -- undiluted
  16      ounces        noodles -- cooked and drained
   8      ounces        processed cheese -- sliced

     Brown hamburger with salt, pepper, onion and brown sugar. Add 
tomato soup. Add cream of chicken soup to cooked noodles. Layer hamburger 
mixture and noodle mixture in casserole dish with processed cheese 
between layers. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes; serve.

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