The Amish Cook: Important lessons from the most important meal


By Gloria Yoder

The Amish Cook

Breakfast menus are on my hit list. What is better than fresh, steaming pancakes or buttery biscuits straight from the oven topped with sausage gravy? My mom had a breakfast specialty: Gold Rush Brunch, which she would make with layers of scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese sauce, and shredded potatoes. Then there were those rare occasions when we children cheered with delight when she made an egg in a nest for each of us. Some morning we had homemade or store bought cereals. To us, homemade chocolate cake and chopped strawberries was a hit with almost any cereal.

For a while, during my teen years, I’d make breakfast on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Etched in my mind is the moment I stepped onto the front porch in crisp dawn of the day to fetch the large pan of enchiladas I had made the evening before. They were all ready to slide in the oven. At first as my eyes swept the scene before me, it didn’t even register what I was seeing. There was the empty cake pan licked out as clean as a four footed creature could lick on the discovery of a fresh breakfast. This specific casserole I knew would be a treat to my brothers and parents, so I had taken the time the evening before to brown the sausage and put it all together so it’s ready to serve by 7 a.m. After staring at the pan for several seconds, I gingerly picked it up and took it indoors. So, for that morning the dog, which skillfully snatched the casserole from the shelf, got enchiladas instead of the Raber family. And no, I don’t recall what I made as a replacement.

My mother recalls oven-baked french toast as the first breakfast dish I made. It was the first of many mornings with this simple but yummy breakfast treat. It just dawned on me that 14 years ago before Daniel and I started dating, their family from the Amish community in Danville, Ohio were at our house for the night and the next morning we served overnight french toast with kielbasa! At that time, I had no idea of his plans to ask me to begin a friendship with him. For only a day, I’d like to go back … no, I’ll keep him as hubby!

Daniel has always been a breakfast lover as well. His all-time favorite is pancakes with peanut butter and plenty of real maple syrup along with some sort of meat like bacon or sausage patties. With me being a fruit-lover, I was quite impressed with a new way of eating pancakes when I was six years old. An Amish 14 year-old boy, from Holmes County Ohio, who stayed with us a few weeks while helping to build our new house introduced us to these cherry jubilees. On top of each pancake we’d place a dollop of cherry pie filling, some whipped cream, and maple syrup. Dad’s mother, who passed away several years ago loved to make pancakes for us if we’d stop by their house on Sunday noon. Without fail, she’d have vanilla ice cream downstairs in her freezer that she’d serve with her pancakes.

Here is another favorite breakfast recipe!


1 cup fully cooked ham or assuage, diced or chopped

1/4 cup onion

5 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1 cup shredded cheese of your choice, divided

1/2 tablespoon flour

1 cup milk

3 eggs, beaten

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine ham or sausage with onions, place about 1/3 cup down the center of each of each tortilla.

Top with 2 tablespoons cheese.

Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish.

In a bowl combine flour, milk, eggs, and salt until smooth.

Pour over tortillas.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.

Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.

Bake covered at 350 for 25 minutes.

Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Let stand for for a few minutes before serving.

I also like sprinkling parsley flakes on top before serving.

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