I first heard of Amish Wedding Nothings from my colleague, Lovina Eicher, author of the syndicated newspaper column, Lovina’s Amish Kitchen. (MennoMedia/Herald Press began syndicating her long -running column in 2014, and she had given us the opportunity to publish her next cookbook in 2017!)
Last August (2015) Lovina’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, got married (well-documented on the blog we keep for her column, here). Lovina mentioned how she had wanted to serve this delicate wedding pastry then, but didn’t get it done. It is common to have “Nothings” as a type of appetizer or snack set out to decorate the tables while people wait for their food at the dinner or lunch following a wedding in certain Amish communities.
This August, her second-oldest daughter, Susan, got married. The family and Lovina especially were delighted to include this special wedding custom from the community where she grew up near Berne, Indiana.
I tried the recipe myself earlier this summer and had fun making them. I would recommend them for a holiday weekend breakfast (Labor Day coming up?) or other special occasion where you have time to fuss and fry these up–and have fun with children decorating them with various types of sugar, whether white granulated, powdered, or a cinnamon flavored sugar. They’re not quite as much of a challenge as homemade donuts or funnel cakes, but do take some time. We shared these fresh warm pastries with our neighbors across the road!
*The above photos were taken by Ruth Boss at an Amish wedding
Amish Wedding Nothings
Please note: the first item on each list is exactly the way the recipe was given to me from Lovina, which Lovina got of course from her own mother. The additions in ( ) came from online sources that gave some exact quantities, along with the step-by-step directions.
3 large “cook spoons” of heavy cream (3/4 cup cream)
1 egg well beaten
Flour (2 cups)
Sugar (for topping only)
Shortening (for cooking)
Beat egg and stir in cream, salt, and enough flour to make elastic dough. Make 6 or 7 balls out of the dough. Roll out each ball of dough into very flat and thin circles, about 1/16″ thick.
Cut three one inch or so slits, one above the other, in the middle of the circles.
Heat shortening in a large kettle over high heat (or use an electric frying pan with a temperature control.) When the shortening is 365 degrees F, try testing a piece of dough to see if it cooks or sizzles; put the rolled out “Nothing” into the kettle or fry pan (fry one at a time, unless you have a huge kettle). Turn each piece over with two forks or large spatula once it turns golden on the bottom. Remove from oil and place on plate covered with paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle powder sugar over top while warm. Stack all the nothings on top of each other to serve.
P.S. We tried these with plain white sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon powdered sugar, and white sugar with cinnamon. All go well with milk or coffee!
Source www.recipelink.com from The Amish Cook: Recollections and Recipes from an Old Oder Family—compiled by Lovina’s mother, Elizabeth Coblentz.
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Melodie M. Davis is the author of nine books, most recently, Whatever Happened to Dinner: Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtime (Herald Press, 2010). She writes the syndicated column, Another Way, serves as a managing editor for Herald Press, and is also editor of a local family publication, Valley Living. She keeps a blog where she features frequent recipes from her home, family and church life. She is married and the mother of three adult daughters and two grandsons.