Our biannual supper at the Robinson Community Hall was a week ago. Us Amish ladies had been busy baking and preparing all kinds of dishes to be served at the supper, which is a fund-raiser for our parochial school.
With this being a project for the school the couples who are on the school board were responsible for planning the event. They spent an evening together planning what foods were to be made and how much it would take to feed the approximately 400 people expected to attend.
Using slips of paper they jotted down what foods each lady was to prepare. This time my slip of paper requested eight chocolate pies. It did not take too long for my husband Daniel to get his mind spinning ahead. “Maybe we’ll have some leftovers,” he stated hopefully. He does enjoy any kind of pies and chocolate definitely sounded like a treat. I decided to make some extra so he gets his fair share.
On Thursday afternoon daughter Julia and I set to work rolling out pie dough. Julia was impressed to have the opportunity to use her mini rolling pin that grandma had given her for her birthday. Carefully, she rolled out several small crusts for her mini pie pan. By supper time the 10 crusts had been baked and the chocolate filling was cooked and ready to pour into the crusts. Now they all needed to be refrigerated. I removed a shelf from the fridge so I could fit in a large wooden pie stacker that grandpa had made years ago before he passed away. The stacker holds seven pies and is quite space efficient.
Ah what a good feeling to have all those pies completed and ready to go. Now for the mountain of dirty pots, pans, bowls, and everything else that goes with baking. Who feels like doing dishes once you’re ready to just simply relax and take it easy after the baking is done and your family has had supper? Bless my dear husband’s heart, before I knew what was happening he had hot, sudsy water and was scrubbing away. In the meantime, I cleaned up the kitchen. Before long we were ready to relax and have some time together in front of the fireplace.
The following day a tractor and enclosed trailer made its way through the community, picking up food that each of us ladies had made. After lunch those on the school board along with the youth group headed for the community building in Robinson to set up tables and prepare for the evening ahead. Some hired drivers with vans while others made the nine mile trip with horse and buggy. A flatbed trailer was parked at the side of the parking lot where everyone could tie their horses and give them hay or feed.
At 4 p.m., people began arriving to eat their dinner in exchange for a donation. The line filed past the tables while Amish youth spooned out the foods of the guests’ choice. The menu consisted of mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, chicken, ham, noodles, and tossed salad. Also served were white, wheat, or cheese and pepper bread with butter or homemade apple butter and peanut butter spread, plus over 60 pies and vanilla ice cream.
Mmmm, talking about some good, old-fashioned cooking, what beats mashed potatoes, gravy, and grilled chicken? The pie flavors were, of course, chocolate, and also lemon, apple, peach, coconut, and oatmeal.
We chatted with friends as we ate. My favorite part of the evening was to come. Twenty youth gathered as a group to the side and began singing. Chorus after chorus rang out proclaiming the love and redemption of Jesus. I felt inspired and motivated to keep looking to Jesus and my source of hope and joy. Is there something about singing that can comfort, administer hope, or impart gladness in whatever we may be facing? Even in difficult situations when singing is the last thing we feel like doing, God does bless our hearts as we raise our voice in song to him.
How about making a chocolate pie? Here is the recipe!
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons butter
Mix first three ingredients. Beat egg yolk and milk together and add to dry ingredients. Then add vanilla and butter. Cook until thickened then pour into an 8 inch baked pie shell. Cool, spread whipped cream on top.
Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish go to www.amish365.com.