Just recently I finished reading one of my Amish books. It was a Novella 'An Amish Second Christmas' The last story in the book was about a mothers prize winning, secret recipe, which she hands down to her daughter. The recipe is 'Vanilla Crumb Pie' .The story made the pie sound so delicious I checked to see if they had included the recipe at the end of the book (as they often do), and they had ! So once I finished the story I decided to make it, and it was very good. I doubled the recipe and made two pies and invited family around to share it. Everyone loved it !
This pie was even nicer after it had been chilled overnight. The filling was set more and the crumb topping just a little bit softer. Recipe below is for one pie.
Vanilla Crumb Pie
1 x Pie crust
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Cup light corn syrup
1 t cream of tartar
Pinh of salt
3 teaspoons Vanilla
2 eggs beaten
1 1/4 Cups Water
3/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
Pinch of salt
90 grams of butter (3/4 stick)
1. Preheat oven to 350 C degrees. Lay the pastry in the pie dish and flute the edges.
2. In a large saucepan combine brown sugar, flour, corn syrup, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla and eggs. Slowly stir in water and cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture boils and rises. (I stirred it until it was thickened too.)Remove from heat.
3. In a medium bowl, mix crumb topping ingredients until crumbly. Pour cooled brown sugar mixture into the crust to 3/4 fill the dish There may be some mixture left over.
Note: Their was for me, so if their is any extra pastry a mini pie could be made too.
4. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top.
5. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and set.
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A video about a lovely Amish family
'My love for the Amish'
I was not a Christian at that time, but still even as a young woman I loved homemaking and old fashioned ways. Most woman I knew growing up, all either worked outside the home, or desired to and many were not interested in being a full time homemaker. I can remember felling quite odd that I did. When I was out at social events, other woman would ask me what I did?, as in where did I work. I normally responded with, "I am a full time homemaker". Often they would give me a blank look and became uninterested. Often woman would just walk away or else respond with, "So, what else do you do", inferring that something more was required eg. Was I at least studying for a future career?
So I can't even begin to explain what it meant to me to discover woman living a traditional lifestyle in this modern world.. They inspired me then and even now influence a lot of my ways.
That initial interest spread to all Plain People - Mennonite, Shaker, Quaker, Old Order Brethren, Hutterite etc etc. although the Amish & Old Order Mennonite/ Mennonite remain my main interest still. Now I have quite the library of fiction and non-fiction books about their lives. So far as I know, there are no Amish or Mennonite people living in New Zealand.
People often ask me "What is it that interests you about these people? " .To be honest, I can't give a simple answer, other than that they seem to give me a quiet feeling of peace, just knowing that it is possible to choose to live a life quite differently to the way of the world.
I know I deeply respect their values, their simplicity of lifestyle and their hard work. I love that they train their children to also work hard and respect their elders. I admire the way their lives are lived in submission to God, loving and serving their families and church community and that they are obedient to the rules of their church district.
The Amish have a sort of code of conduct (the Ordung), which they follow. I'm not sure its necessarily written down, but all Amish seem to know it. It seems to dictate along with what their bishop says, about what they can and can't do/wear etc. These guidelines/rules are there to protect their identity or 'Amish-ness', the family unit and to help them live lives avoiding opportunities for pride to develop. Humility appears to be valued and sought above all else.
When it comes to theology, there are things I don't agree with, but that is by and by for as far as I'm concerned, as I see so many things in their lives that are of great value and seem to work for them. In comparison there is a great lack of values and morals in our world today and in comparison, I believe the Amish are richer for their 'rules'. (Just my thoughts). They somehow still remain uniquely 'themselves' among all the insanity in this world today, and are able to be in the world (as many of them have jobs among the 'English'), but yet they are not of it. That in itself is deeply inspiring, worthy and refreshing. Having said all this, I know they're still just people,like all of us and I'm sure as within any Church, there will be true Christians and then those that are merely religious. And even though they don't evangelize non-believers, there very lives are a testimony to Christ, his peace and a quiet simple faith in God.
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