About Gather Around the Amish Table
Gather Around the Amish Table (MennoMedia, September 2015) Straight from Amish kitchens to yours, this cookbook offers favorite family recipes and charming stories from Amish and Mennonite cooks.Bake the pecan rolls that taste best after an ice-skating party, or try the hoagies that a community sold to help an Amish family with hospital bills. Discover the cocoa cupcakes with instructions to “stir by hand” that one young cook took literally, or whip up the whoopie pies that one Amish woman took to market in her horse and buggy.These cherished recipes speak of comforting traditions, lively communities, and strong Christian faith. Gather your family around the table to sample the nourishing fare and trademark charm of the plain people. In the words of one cookbook contributor: “Bake someone happy!”
I was excited to get to review this book. I’m one of those that likes to read cookbooks and this new Amish cookbook with snippets into the various recipe author’s lives is right up my alley. The history behind it and what makes it special.Thumbing through Gather Around the Amish Table I wasn’t sure what to try first. If you’re unfamiliar with Amish cooking many of the recipes make quite a bit of servings. If you have a large family you will love that. And if you entertain big crowds that will work for you too.
I tried two recipes from Gather Around the Amish Table
The first recipe I tried were the Amish Sugar Cookies.
This recipe made 5 dozen cookies so I halved the recipe before starting. Since I began on the fly I ended up having to substitute a few ingredients such as yogurt for sour cream and milk and vinegar for sour milk.
The cookies were easy to mix up.
The thing about the Amish recipes is it’s kind of assumed you’re a decent enough cook to begin with so you’re not going to get a lot of detailed descriptions. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and bake for such and such a time at such and such a temperature. You figure out how big to make them. Whether to grease the pan or use parchment paper. How long to cool. How to store and so forth.
EVEN after cutting the recipe in half it made waaaayyyyy too many cookies for my small family. But they’re not complaining. These cookies were not overly sweet and they came out very soft.
Next up the Whole Wheat Bread was what was really on my mind. There’s a recipe in the book that makes 4 loaves and uses only Whole Wheat and a little wheatgerm. It also included 3 eggs which was new for me. There is no oil in the bread which is fine. I’m just use to seeing oil whenever I see eggs.
I wasn’t sure if my family would like this or not. They’re the kind to gravitate to white bread but I was determined to make it.
I had to pick up a few more bread pans because I only have one. I’ve been meaning to for a while and this was a good excuse. I only got two since I planed on making some cinnamon rolls from the 4th lump of dough.
This Whole Wheat Bread recipe mixed up really easy. For once I DID NOT USE MY BREAD MACHINE! I’ve gotten kind of lazy about kneading bread in the past few years and tend to use the machine to mix it all together. Since this was 4 loaves I knew that would not work.
I started the bread at about 9am before school and it was ready in the early afternoon. My daughter and I dug in. You know. To make sure it tasted good and all.
Yummy! I’m really pleased with this. We’ll be having soup and sandwiches for dinner and I suspect this may get added to my cooking repertoire. It’s an easy recipe to remember.
Originally I posted this review without the bread recipe but I thought, “What good is a review of a book if you can’t test something from it?” So I’ve kindly come back here and added my new favorite bread recipe. We had some again for dinner this evening and it’s time for me to make more. So easy!
100% Whole Wheat Bread
This is my favorite recipe from Gather Around the Amish Table
- 4 1/2 cups Warm Water
- 2/3 cups honey
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 3 ea eggs beaten
- 12-13 cups whole what flour
- 3 tbsp wheat germ
Mix water, honey, salt and yeast together. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Mix in eggs and 2 cups of the whole wheat flour
Cover and let sit for about an hour. Dough will be bubbly.
Add in th rest of the flour and finally the wheat germ.
Knead well and set to rise in a greased bowl until doubled in size.
Shape into four loaves and set in 4 greased 8 inch bread pans.
Let rise another hour or until bread is just cresting the pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes
I’m also going to try Crisp and Tender Chicken one day pretty soon here.
Obviously I’m really enjoying Gather Around the Amish Table. In addition to the yummy recipes the little tidbits from each recipe author add to the whole appeal. I love reading their thoughts and their history with each recipe. That just makes it more special.
Now I need to find a recipe to make for Thanksgiving. I have a few food allergies to consider but it is nice to have recipes that make more than the usual four servings.
Nice book. Glad I have a copy.
About the Author: Lucy Leid is an Old Order Mennonite wife, mother, and cook in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.