I learned to cook from my mother at a young age. I liked to sit and watch her mix bread dough. She had a hand-cranked bread mixer, and we would turn it for her sometimes. If she made pie dough, she would give us a small piece to roll out. We would have lots of fun trying to roll out a crust. Mom would sprinkle sugar on it and bake it, and then we ate it. That was all good practice.
This cookbook is called The Essential Amish Cookbook, and while no one cook or person can make an official list, I will share the essentials I always like to keep on hand when I cook. These are ingredients such as flour, sugar (powdered, brown, and granulated), salt, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, spices, butter, yeast, and more.
I also consider eggs and milk to be essential, and we’re so happy to have a cow and chickens so that we have our own milk and eggs on hand. We raise butchering chickens every year for meat, as well as our own beef and pork. So we always have meat in the freezer.
Our garden also provides us with all the vegetables, both fresh and preserved, that we need every year. Some of the vegetables are canned and some are frozen. We also freeze and can peaches, pears, and applesauce, and make juices from grapes and rhubarb. We grow spearmint and peppermint to make our own tea with. Tea leaves can be dried or steeped and frozen in concentrate form for winter use.
While there are many additional foods we buy at bulk food stores and groceries, I hope this book will provide recipes that are easy to follow using the basic essentials that most cooks keep on hand every day.
May God bless you as you try your hand at cooking, and may you enjoy using this book!
BLUEBERRY BANANA BREAD
2 cups sugar
½ pound butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
4 mashed bananas, plus milk to measure 3 cups
2 cups blueberries
In a medium bowl, cream together sugar and melted butter or margarine.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and
bananas-milk mixture; mix until combined. Fold blueberries into batter.
Spoon batter into greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 50–55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack.
We have several U-pick blueberry fields that are a few miles from us, so it is easy to get fresh blueberries in our area.