Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mock Amish Meal

When a friend of a cousin visited from Germany, she asked to spend some time with the Amish who live in Middlefield, Ohio, about 45 minutes from our house. I suggested we go to the Middlefield McDonalds as it is a great place to meet and talk to the locals, but hearing the word McDonalds, my friend freaked. I told her we could have lunch at an Amish restaurant, but the Amish hostess and servers will be very busy preparing meals and most probably have no time for conversation. My friend decided on going to the Amish restaurant.

When we got to the Amish restaurant she only wanted "salad" bar, which surprised me. I introduced my German friend to the Amish hostess and asked if she might say a few words in her native tongue (a 14th century German -- or so I have read), and she kindly agreed.

My friend and I had no problems understanding the native Amish language (German was my first language). After we both ordered salad bar as I did not want my friend to be alone, the hostess suggested we at least share a typical Amish recipe.

I said great! When it came to our table, my German friend pushed it away and said this is typical German food and that my mother must have made it too! My mother never made anything like it. I not only gobbled it up, but went home and told my husband. As soon as our company left, we drove to Middlefield, ordered a full order each, and now make several variations at home.

The products I use for the quick recipe are pictured below, I only added the can of lima beans as wanted a few more veggies and frozen lima beans, even baby ones, are not tender enough.

The recipe is great for anyone having dental work, but since I recently broke the back of a premolar down to the bone, I put almost everything into the blender until my new crown is ready -- dread this temporary to fall out and expose the bone of my upper jaw!

Directions are as follows: Use only almond milk (I suggest Almond Breeze) to make the mashed potatoes (no butter necessary). To make 2 servings of mashed potatoes (my husband eats two as pictured in the bowel), heat one cup of almond milk to boiling. Take the pot off the heat and stir in 2/3rds cup mashed potato flakes. You can add a bit more of cold milk or potato if too thick or too thin for your taste. Pour the finished mashed potatoes into a serving bowl.

I took about 1/4 of of the can of soup and some lima beans (drained) and placed them in the blender to blend smooth (for me), and left it in the blender until I finished my husband's meal.

After putting his potatoes in the bowl, emptying the pot that still had potato in it, but not washing it, I poured in the soup from the can and the drained lima beans and mixed with any potato remaining in the pot to thicken the soup. One can add more flakes of potato to this soup to make it thicker (it is the secret to thickening anything, add a few potato flakes).

I poured his soup over his potatoes and put the rest in a bowl.

Then in the same pot, I heated my blender-processed soup and put it over about 2 tablespoons of potatoes that I had reserved in a bowl for me.

It is freezing outside today and this is a comforting meal. The Amish add more (homemade) noodles to the soup. I add noodles too sometimes. The very best is when I make noodles from scratch, but that is another blog post and not necessary for this recipe.

I remember having to make great homemade noodles for my Mom when I was 19 as she said, "You can only get married IF you can make good noodles."

Interesting, my Mom used the old German traditions with me, but I do not remember if either of my two younger sisters had to ace that one? Now, if I could only make all of my mother and grandmother's authentic German Christmas cookies!

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