Step into an Amish kitchen and most will find it’s the heart of the home. Daily activities go beyond preparing and eating meals. The kitchen is often the gathering place for the women to visit with friends or family members, read the Bible or write letters by lamp light.
While visiting my old order Amish friend in her home, I was enthralled by the sturdy cast iron cook stove, which consumed a large area of the room. A wood box sat off to the side, filled with various sizes of kindling and logs. Throughout the day, the logs were added to the bed of embers through the side of the stove. Used as the source of heat for the kitchen, the cook stove pumps continuous heat from the break of dawn to well past dark during the colder months, which means in Michigan, nine months out of the year, the cook stove is used throughout the day. During the summer months, most of the cooking is done during the early hours to avoid excessive heat. Several of the cook stoves have side reservoirs, which heat water. In the picture shown, my friend’s stove does not have the additional component. She still heats water on top of the stove.
The day I visited my Amish friend, the yeasty scent of bread baking in the oven made me think about the times growing up when I would watch my mother knead and roll dough. The times I helped, I would be covered in a fine layer of flour dust before any dough was ready for the pan. I regretfully admit that I never past those traditions on to my daughters. They’ve never made homemade pies, bread or pizza dough. The Amish, however, encourage their daughters to participate in all of the daily activities. Three-year-old children will help with working in the garden, cleaning vegetables, or shucking corn, even though their work is often negligible. It’s more important, as I was told by my friend, that the children are involved.
The meat and noodle dish called Yumasetta is a typical Amish dish that my characters in A Woodland Miracle would eat during the winter months in Michigan Upper Peninsula. It’s a hearty meal that goes well with garlic or corn bread.
My family enjoyed this dish and I hope you do too!
*I substituted the egg noodles for gluten free noodles and it still tasted great!
- 2 lbs of hamburger
- ¼ c. of brown sugar
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 can of Tomato soup
- 1 can of Cream of chicken soup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz. package of cheddar cheese
- 16 oz. package of egg noodles
- Brown the hamburger meat.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the brown sugar and onions.
- Add one can of tomato soup to the meat mixture.
- Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles and drain them.
- Mix one can of chicken soup in with the drained noodles.
- Layer the hamburger mixture and noodles in a casserole dish.
- Top with cheese. (Optional: add cheese in between layers)
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth and Amish Wonders series. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Ruth resides in Florida with her husband and three children. Her most recent release, A Woodland Miracle released January 6th. When Ruth is not writing, she’s usually quilting, taking pictures, or just enjoying a peaceful walk with her Wiemaraner.
Purchase Ruth’s books here.
Sign up here to be the first to get exclusive news delivered to your inbox monthly. New books, cover reveals, coupon codes, first-look excerpts and much more.