By Kevin Williams
Amish Cook Editor
Editor’s Note: Gloria’s column will return in its regular format next week.
Last week I was able to spend a day with Gloria and Daniel in Flat Rock, Illi. Summer in southern Illinois can be brutally hot and humid. I cringe at how old I feel when I say stuff like this, but I can’t help but marvel at what a grounded young couple the Yoders are. There’s genuine affection and since direction in their marriage and flowering adult lives. Daniel and Gloria will finish each other’s sentences and there’s a newlywed’s affection – hand-holding and romantic buggy rides together — even after five years of marriage. Daniel’s got a firm foundation for the future while Gloria keeps the homefires burning. If I could channel my 25-year-old self, I could have learned a lot from them.
The Yoders live a life of bountiful gardens, full supper tables, deep faith and wonderful family ties. A small Amish school serves as an “anchor” in the community and Gloria’s uncle’s bulk food store supplies sundries and staples to the settlement. Gloria continues her “open door” policy of welcoming readers who may want to stop by Flat Rock to say “hello.”
On another note, five years ago I decided to try my hand writing Amish fiction which, at the time, was all the rage. I wrote a 100,000 word Amish-themed novel (which translates into more than 400 pages) and then promptly put it on a shelf, hoping to “get to it later.” Well, later never came. Life brought changes, like becoming a Dad for the first time three years ago. And the book just sat. And sat. And, finally,this year I decided that the book isn’t doing anything for me just sitting there. So I took it off the shelf, dusted it off and released it. The book is called Abraham’s Redemption and I don’t think anything that happens in the book is a terrible stretch. The Amish have generated a lot of headlines the past five years for stranger-than-fiction tales that a novelist would be hard-pressed to make up: the Barbara Weaver murder in Ohio, the beard-cutting posse of Bergholz, Ohio; the “Amish Bernie Madoff” that scammed thousands in Holmes County, the pigeon pyramid scheme and on and on … so, really, there isn’t much in my book that couldn’t have conceivably occurred. Really.
The book, which is set in the Berne, Ind., Amish community. is told through the lens of two protagonists: Abraham Schwartz and non-Amish young attorney, Paige Roberts.
Abraham is basically a good guy who makes some bad decisions and then tries to rectify them and, in the end, find redemption. Does he? You have to read to find out.
I think, in the end, most people are like Abraham. They try. Life can be messy but, I think, in the end everything eventually evens out.m
As a fundraiser for the column, you can order your collector’s copy of Abraham’s Redemption for $25 (that includes shipping) or two books for $40. To order, send to Oasis Newsfeatures, P.O. Box 157, Middletown, OH 45042. Prices include shipping.
Lastly, by the time you read this (although it depends, babies arrive on their own schedule) I will probably be a new dad. So welcome diapers, sleepless nights, and onesies again. An update soon.
Here is a recipe from Gloria that many people have requested over the years since it first ran.
HOMEMADE PIZZA POCKETS
2 tablespoons yeast
1 /2 cup warm water
3 /4 cup warm evaporated milk
1 /4 cup oil
1 /4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 cups flour
1 pound sausage
1 cup pizza sauce
Pocket: Dissolve yeast in water. Add the rest of ingredients adding flour last and let rise once, till double. Then roll dough thin. Let rise again about 10 minutes.
Filling: Fry sausage and add pizza sauce. Layer ingredients as you like on dough circles.. Fold in half and press shut. Bake at 350 until golden brown.
Readers with culinary or culture questions or stories to share may write Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.