I’m hanging out with one of my Amish friends today–she’s writing some poetry for me to use in my next book–and somehow we get to talking about homemade Amish egg noodles. She tells me she doesn’t know how to make them. To put this in perspective, this is a woman who milks cows, raises chickens, grows a huge vegetable garden, and helps butcher her own pigs. The fact that she’s never made homemade egg noodles astonishes me.
It turns out that there is a small local factory that makes Amish egg noodles and all the Amish women simply buy them dried and packaged.
Well–thanks to my mom’s old-fashioned cooking, I have made tons of egg noodles! So I volunteer to teach this Amish woman and her five daughters how to make my favorite dish which I always thought was Amish: Egg noodles and cabbage drizzled with butter and sprinkled with crisp bacon.
So here I am today, with five lovely Old Order Amish girls ages twenty-one to five, gathered around me while we mix and roll and cut. The mother fries the bacon and cooks the cabbage while watching ad commenting from the stove. The littlest one really wants to help, so I let her mix the flour and egg and use the rolling pin. We both manage to get covered in flour.
One daughter is sewing a teddy bear to sell. She turns the treadle sewing machine around facing us, so she can watch our fun while she sews.
The table is magically set–no complaints. The girls just see what needs to be done and do it. No fussing. No arguing. The food is put on the table and then the brother and father comes in from their jobs in the carpentry shop.
We have a silent prayer, and then dig in. Our joke is how sad it is that I had to come and teach the mother how to cook proper Amish food.
I loved every minute of it.
But here’s one thing about the Amish–they share. Before I left, the mother had walked out to the phone shanty and called her sister-in-law, who also does not know how to make egg noodles.
The upshot of this is: Tomorrow it appears that I will be cooking my egg-noodle dinner for nineteen people:-)
I’m a little surprised, but I’m really looking forward to it!