The Amish Cook: Back-to-school surprises at the Yoders’


It’s been hanging in the balance for days, even weeks. For some people in church, anticipation mounted at the thought of home schooling our children this term, for others with multiple children, it looked like a tall order. We talked, we weighed pros and cons. Our children, who loved school last year, declared they would like to have school at home this year. In my heart I wanted to teach them more than I could ever tell, yet I realized that daily my time was already stretched to the max as I did my best to care for our six young children and squeeze in house work where I could. I wondered when I would write the column.

I know that many of you have been forced to home-school this past year with COVID. Really now, I cannot imagine what it was like for you, especially for you who were balancing a job and home-schooling children, all in one. For me, my entire life revolves around our children day and night, so it’s not like I have another job to juggle, (besides writing to all of you, and I do not consider it a job at all. You all have become friends and family).

The young girl who had planned to teach our lower grades this fall started courting this summer. Concerned that she would not have adequate energies to put in school while entering this new phase in her life, she opted to not teach while dating. Though we hated to see her go, we released her knowing that she made the wiser choice.

As we pursued various options on who could teach the lower grades in her place, each door closed. Finally, we questioned if perhaps having the children being taught at home by their mothers could be the thing to do for the upcoming term. I told God how much I wanted to teach my children and have them with me whole days, and yet how I didn’t know how I could manage doing it. I simply left it in His hands. Julia hoped we wouldn’t find anyone to teach. With Daniel being on the school board he made more calls than I could count, and discussed more options than I could tell. Still nothing materialized.

Last week we spoke with a young girl from Ohio, who we idealized as a Godly example and a dedicated teacher at heart. It was our last attempt; if this was to fall through, homeschooling was the next option. Once more we prayed earnestly for God to have His way. She promised to get back with an answer first of the week.

This afternoon I had a surprise waiting for me when the children and I came home from being at a tea party. Jumping off the cart, I tied up the pony and headed toward the barn where Daniel was working on his old Ferguson tractor. “Well, do you want to know what her answer was?” he asked.

I gasped, “Did she call?” Daniel’s teasing grin spread across his face. “Okay, please tell me!” I urged.

“She said she would’ve liked to teach, but didn’t feel God leading her in that direction.” Shrieking with delight, at the thought of teaching my children, I forgot that I was not a little girl myself, as I sprinted toward the children. Stooping down I caught both Julia and Austin in my arms. “You’re going to be my students!” I declared, looking into their eager faces. In a moment Hosanna was there too. Though she hadn’t been impressed earlier about the idea of having kindergarten at home she was obviously shifting gears.

So here we are, getting all geared up for the term; no, we do not expect an easy term without difficulties to work through, but I do trust that the same Guide that has brought us so far won’t drop us, as long as we keep crying out to Him! And as Daniel always says, “If we expect things to go perfectly or just as we want them to, we will become disappointed and frustrated.” So with that in mind, we’ll take the first step of school at home and we will keep you posted on how it’s turning out.

Now here I am, it’s 11:30 at night, I’m too wound up to sleep. You know, just maybe I did discover when to do the column, even when I’m a homeschooling mom! Okay, who’s going to have a midnight snack with me? Well, I won’t be cooking too much right now, but I do know one thing, I’m hungry for onion rings, so that it will be tomorrow night for dinner!

Onion Rings

1 egg

¼ cup milk

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon seasoning salt

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 onions

Cooking oil or shortening for deep frying


Pour one inch oil into a deep frying pan, heat to 375 degrees. Beat egg then add rest of ingredients. Cut onions in ¼-inch rings. Separate rings and dip into batter, one at a time, then drop into hot oil. Fry until golden brown; flip and continue to fry other side. Place onto a paper towel-lined platter.

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