If you’ve ever been to Amish country, you know that it is Good Eating Paradise. Whether you’re in the mood for hearty, light, or countless flavors of pie, Amish country has it all! As a writer of Amish fiction and Amish musical scripts, cooking is not my forte (as you can see by the turkey I made one holiday season). It was a gift from Mark Lowry, but I didn’t realize that “smoked” meant it had already been cooked and only required heating up. I wrapped the poor bird in aluminum foil and cooked it overnight so it would be ready for dinner the next day. But the best laid plans of writer/cooks often go astray, as you can tell by the end result. When I pulled back the foil, this is what I saw!
I’m the opposite of the skilled Amish cook. I’ve had more than my share of kitchen disasters, and for years my family thought mold was a frosting. So with that disclaimer, here is a sampling of some of my recipes – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some of these, along with their “stories” are listed in
Debora Coty’s new, Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook.
Here is a sampling of my recipes that you may or may not want to try out on your company during the holidays:
Martha’s Potato-Garden Salad
One 5-pound bag of potatoes (or more, depending on need), boiled and cut into potato salad size chunks
Add one to two cups of mayonnaise (adjust to desired moisture and consistency)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1 whole cucumber, sliced or diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Seasoned salt to taste
Parsley garnish for top
Paprika, sprinkled on top
Optional additions (I personally love it with tomatoes added):
Tomatoes, fresh, chopped
One purple onion, chopped
Boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
Artichoke hearts, chopped
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate one or two hours before serving.
Martha’s Stuffed Beef Roule
1 large round steak
4 slices of boiled ham lunch meat
Fresh carrots, sliced into 3 “ slices
Onions, peeled and sliced into rings
1 package of beef stroganoff sauce mix
2 cups of water
Take one large round steak and cut into four long strips. Layer slices of the ham onto each of the strips, followed by the carrots and several rings of the onion. Roll each strip into a pinwheel and tie with string, or hold it together with toothpicks. Brown the meat rolls in a skillet until all four sides of each roll are browned. Add the stroganoff sauce mix and water. Lower heat and simmer on stove for approximately 2 hours, or until meat is tender.
Martha’s Spaghetti Sauce
One jar of spaghetti sauce, any size or brand.
With one hand on the jar and one on the lid, twist the lid and the jar in opposite directions. You should hear a popping sound when the lid comes loose. If you cannot get the lid to loosen, you may wish to ask a family member to help. If you still cannot get the lid to loosen, tap it a few times with a kitchen utensil such as then end of a butter knife, a meat tenderizer, or a hammer from your garage. If it won’t loosen still, hit the lid gently against the wall. If the lid still won’t budge, call Home Depot to see what kind of heavy equipment they might recommend.
Bread crumbs, equal parts to beef
Mix all ingredients and bake. Meatloaf is done when knife cannot penetrate it.
Yields: One small patio
Whatever you serve your family and guests this Christmas, remember — it’s not about the food. It’s about being together, sharing memories, and celebrating the reason for the season. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Enter to win a copy of Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook.
Martha Bolton is the author of 87 books, including her newest, Josiah for President, which has now been adapted into a play. She was a staff writer for Bob Hope for fifteen years, and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics. She has also written for dozens of comedians and entertainers, including Phyllis Diller, Wayne Newton, and Mark Lowry. Her popular series of books for middle-agers (Didn’t My Skin Used to Fit?, Cooking With Hot Flashes, and others) have addressed the subject of growing older in a fun and fresh way.
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