Cooking, cleaning, planning, organizing … this basically sums up the contents of our week.
This week we plan to host the 20th annual “Amish Adoption Meeting” next door, at our parents’ shop. Most of us will be having overnight guests to accommodate the out-of-town visitors. Amish families from all over the United States who have adopted children or do foster care gather each year for a time of encouragement, support and fellowship. Several topics which pertain to children, adoption and child training are shared throughout the weekend. I’ll be filling you in on more details in next week’s column about meeting and about Amish adoption as a whole.
Even though we personally never adopted a child, I have always been quite intrigued by adoption. It is a beautiful opportunity to establish security, and pour love into the heart of a child who would otherwise not be likely to experience the bond and closeness of family love.
The families who attend the adoption reunion take turns hosting it in their community. We as a church had the opportunity to host it this year since we have a couple of families here who have adopted children over the past 20-plus years.
Getting ready to host 450 people does require time and effort, yet I have no doubt that it will be worth it. We’re expecting guests from at least 10 different states. The distances needed to travel spans much too far for horses to attempt the drive. Instead, drivers and charter buses and vans are being hired to make the trip.
The Nathan Lehmans, who are one of the couples in charge of planning the reunion, hosted a work night at their place for our church youth group. The youth, most who ranged in age from 16 to 25, joined Nathan in mulching around trees, bushes, flower beds, stacking wood and doing other various outdoor chores.
Nathan’s wife, Barbara, decided to serve “Horseshoe Special Stacks” for their supper.
As always, it was almost impossible to not end up with an extra large serving of food once all the layers were stacked up on top of one another on the plate. The stacks were being piled high. One of the boys literally had cheese sauce dripping off of his plate. Obviously he had done his share of work and had an incredible appetite because, amazingly, he went for a second helping, matching the size of his prior stack.
For something out of the ordinary, Nathan and Barbara decided to add some extra “spice” by asking everyone to only eat with their left hand. Before supper, they announced their plan.
Anyone who forgets and accidentally uses a right hand is required to lead a song.
Barbara knew that we Amish wives and mothers enjoy hearing a report of what our husbands and children had to eat when, for whatever reason, they may have had another meal at a family’s house when we weren’t present. With this in mind, Barbara, in her usual articulate manner, informed the young lad who had taken the second large stack of horseshoe special, “If your mom asks what you had for supper and you can’t remember what it was called, just tell her it was something about shoeing horses.”
It never did make sense to my brothers why it was so important for Mom to have all the details about what they had been served. Even though Dad never complained, he always had a tough time recalling what exactly he had eaten only several hours before.
For some reason, we ladies who are constantly cooking and baking find it interesting and refreshing to hear various ideas of others versions of food preparation.
This week I am including the Horseshoe Special recipe. Be sure to give it a try. It’s really easy to make and more basic than my other stack recipes.
If you like stack recipes, you might be interested in trying my grandma’s “Straw Hats” or our “Cowboy Stew.” Or how about “Mac on a Stack?” Have you ever heard of those? Those are some of my very favorites and I’ll share them in future columns. In the meantime, enjoy the Horseshoe Special. By the way, barbecue sauce and ketchup are optional additions to the below recipe. Experiment and enjoy.
HORSESHOE SPECIAL STACKS
2/3 loaf bread, cubed and toasted
1½ pounds hamburger, fried
2 pounds french fries
4 cups cheese sauce (store bought or use the recipe below)
Fry hamburger with salt and pepper to taste. Bake french fries in the oven. Layer on your plate in order given. Serves seven to eight hungry people.
HOMEMADE CHEESE SAUCE
½ cup butter
2/3 cup flour
2½ cups milk
½ pound cheese, such as Velveeta, Easy Melt or American
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add flour and whisk together well, slowly add milk stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add cheese, heating until cheese is melted. Don’t boil after adding cheese.
Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can to Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish, go to www.amish365.com.