Now if you would tell me what you want to hear about this week I’d know just what to write! I enjoy chatting with you, but I don’t want to bore you with too much rambling about our ‘corner of the woods’. Okay, we don’t really live in the woods, just right next to 300 acres of woods behind and back yonder from our house.
Now, from our front porch, there’s a 13-acre open field in view with woods beyond. With the way the chestnut trees are popping up through their five-foot guards, it doesn’t look like it’ll be a field too much longer. When the chestnuts are all grown, it looks like we’ll just be tucked back in the woods with an open area for the house, our two shops, and pasture area for the cows, horses, goats and sheep.
Sheep, yeah that’s right, I haven’t told you about the latest addition to the farm. So Hosanna is an animal-lover at heart and has these winsome nurse instincts. This year as her sixth birthday approached I had this urge to get a sheep for her. “Before Daddy went to heaven he had said we should get a sheep for Hosanna’s birthday!” Julia declared. That settled it. A sheep it would be. With most ewes lambing in spring or fall I was surprised to find one available.
One morning in June when it was delivered to our house, we put it in the garage. Hosanna stayed in the house while we got it ready. Minutes later we walked in with a large gift bag, singing, “Happy Birthday.” I put it on the floor. Removing the tissue paper, she curiously peered in. Her hand jerked back as what she thought to be a stuffed calf, moved! “Is it alive?!” we asked.
Together we took the black and white lamb from the bag and set it on its feet. Hosanna beamed with delight. I explained to her how this one-week-old lamb would need a bottle two to three times a day until it was big enough to eat on its own.
With Julia’s help we found a bottle with just the right size nipple. I put in warm milk, and with some coaxing it did an amazing job of transitioning from its mother to the bottle.
Now for a name. We discussed this various options, when the suggestion, Oreo, came up. It clicked. Oreo fit perfectly to the black and white spotted sheep.
Several weeks went by, I was paging through a magazine and saw a book about sheep. “This is really what Hosanna needs,” I told myself. I added it to my order. When it came in the mail, I stuck it in a drawer out of her sight until she lost another tooth and we’d be playing our traditional ‘loosing a tooth game.’
I didn’t have long to wait; Hosanna lost another tooth and slid it in a baggie and put it under her pillow for Mom to swap with a little prize, during the night. The next morning she walked out, beaming with her book about another little lamb. Imagine her look of surprise as I read the story of how this lamb grew up and had babies and one was named Oreo! And yes, neither of us had even heard the story before! In this story the twin lambs were born in the middle of a blizzard, so the babies were called Oreo and Blizzard, after an Oreo Blizzard.
“How about if I make an Oreo Blizzard for you?” I asked? Since we hardly ever go out to eat, the children had no idea what an Oreo Blizzard was. Several days later the time was right. We got out the ingredients to make an Oreo Blizzard to cool us off on a hot summer afternoon. They declared it to be a hit and said they want to have it again.
Okay, so here we are, ready for a recipe. Thanks to you, Kathy for requesting Amish Yummasetti Casserole, that’s what you’ll be getting today!
And to the rest of you, if you get an urge to let me know what you enjoy hearing about the most (or the least for that matter) I’ll be happy to take a step in that direction!
Amish Yummasetti Casserole
2 pounds hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teas salt
1/2 teas black pepper
6 ounces macaroni
3 potatoes, cubed
1 cup peas
1 can cream of mushroom soup*
1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups toasted bread crumbs
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
Fry all together until burger is no longer pink, drain.
Place in a roaster or cake pan.
Cook macaroni and potatoes until tender (in 2 separate pots).
Layer on top of burger mixture.
Mix soup and milk
together and pour over all.
Cover and bake at 350 for an hour.
Spread bread crumbs on top, if you like, press down gently with a spoon, then top with cheese.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427