The Amish Cook: Crispy pizza quesadillas


Julia came bounding in the back door on her return home from school. She enjoys her short trek through the woods that separate us from our little country school. “Mom, this is my memory verse for the week!” she exclaimed, proceeding to read it off to me.

“That is an excellent verse, and will certainly be a good one for the younger children to memorize, as well,” I told her.

Julia is a teacher at heart and loves to help me teach the younger ones her verses. The children seem to thrive on the accomplishment of memorizing verses, especially if they hear the older ones chanting theirs.

Recently, when Hosanna successfully recited a verse, I rewarded her with a cookie and a piece of candy perched on top. The moment Jesse spied it, he declared he wants one too. “Okay, I’ll have one for you once you’ve said your verse,” I explained. With his all-boy mannerisms, he launched in, “The Lord is my… oh!” With puckered eyebrows and his expressive eyes holding a bewildered question mark, he asked, “Uh, how do you say it?” His determination, which he had been convinced will get him through, had failed. I chuckled and proceeded to drill him. Enthusiasm may be a major key to life, yet it takes more than that.

When I was a teenager, we girls grouped up by twos to memorize Scripture verses. We took a turn choosing what chapter to memorize, then independently studied the same passages. At my uncle’s country store, where I worked two days a week, I hung up a piece of paper with my verses, then recited them. Today these verses are extra special as I link them to warm memories of memorizing days and how God brought them to life as I repeated them over and over.

Now I have a little sigh. I’m a mom, I’d like to memorize, yet my days are crammed. There seem to be plenty of reasons I don’t; my mind isn’t as young and fresh as it used to be, I don’t really have time, the list goes on. Then I think of Daniel’s words, “We get from life, exactly what we put in.” Hmm. Really? So are you suggesting that if I’d shuffle my priorities, I would indeed have the time and stamina to memorize the words of my Savior? And really, no one said we need to memorize even a verse a day. Just a verse each week or month would help soothe any turmoil within or help ease physical pain.

The children like it when I read or quote their verses during mealtime or while they’re playing. Hearing it cited frequently helps stimulate their brain, getting ready to tuck it permanently into their young hearts.

Talking about the children, I wish you could take a peek in the kitchen where Hosanna and Austin are paging through cookbooks, looking for the perfect recipe for mom to put in the column.

Okay, now they both came up with brainy ideas. Austin chose quesadillas like Aunt Mary made when she was helping us out after Joshua’s birth. The sky is the limit to what can be placed in the tortillas. I’ll give you the chicken version. Be sure to also try it with a fried egg, a slice of cheese, and pepperoni in place of the pizza fillings. Chicken bacon ranch has long been one of my favorite combinations, which also works well in quesadilla style. Each time Mary served quesadillas steaming from the stove, our family thought it was the greatest thing ever!

If frying them in butter doesn’t strike your fancy, simply make them in the oven by placing a tortilla on a cookie sheet, top with double the amount of toppings used for a single quesadilla, then place another tortilla on top and bake at 450 for 10 minutes, or until heated through. Let set several minutes before cutting into wedges, and serve with delight. I just love watching my little children digging in. In their way of thinking it’s as good as homemade pizza, only much easier for Mom!

Hosanna’s recipe idea also really got my attention; matter of fact, I haven’t made it for a couple years. I can’t wait to have the children join me in making them next week. Shaping them will be as fun as eating them. Now, if I’d tell you what it is, you wouldn’t have the fun of waiting, so I’ll hang on. I’ll fill you in next week!

Crispy Pizza Quesadillas

1 flour tortilla

2 tablespoons pizza sauce

1/4 cup sausage

several slices pepperoni

1 tablespoon chopped onions

1 tablespoon peppers, diced

1/4 cup cheese

Spread pizza sauce on half of tortilla, top with remaining ingredients. Note that any other pizza toppings of your choice may be added. Fold tortilla in half and pinch shut with your fingers, working your way around the semi- circle. If desired moisten edges of tortilla with water to help edges stick together. Fry in butter over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.

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