Amish Cook

'Angelic’ touch is a sweet treat


We rounded the corner and started up the long, winding lane. We had arrived at our destination. The usual six- to seven-hour trip to Danville, Ohio, was done in less than six hours. I smiled as the children cheered all the way up to the top of the driveway. Rounding the last corner, we were in full view of the cabin, which would be called home for a couple of weeks.

“Look at that!” I exclaimed. On the patio next to the log cabin tucked among the pines, there was a fire in the fire ring. A picnic supper was spread on the stone bar, and three of Daniel’s siblings, David, Joseph, and Mary, were waiting for us. The minivan circled on up close to the cabin. Six children scampered off and began carrying in our belongings.

The driver got a sandwich and headed back home to Illinois, with the agreement that we’d notify him once we were ready to go back.

The grilled burgers, served with sourdough bread baked by Mary’s friend Nettie, were a hit. The evening passed quickly, and soon, it was time to decide who would sleep where in the cabin. The children were impressed with the loft, and were delighted when I told them we’d find space for all of them to sleep up there. Fleetingly, I thought of being by myself on the main floor where Daniel and I were two and a half years ago when we all came for Christmas.

You know how it goes with little ones, once the lights were out and everything was said and done, half of them were downstairs with Mom.

The following morning, I briefly explained to the children that during our stay in Ohio, we would be settling into a summer routine, which we would then take back home to Illinois.

The first step was a no-brainer and is something that we’ve been working on at home: if you wake up earlier than your siblings, speak softly so as not to awaken them.

Getting dressed and ready for the day has tended to be a drag in the past, so we’re doing that first on the list to keep it from lagging into the forenoon. The first ones to be dressed and combed sit on the couch and recliners with books until the rest of the family has gathered for devotions which usually consists of Bible reading, a little discussion, followed with a song and praying together.

They all look forward to breakfast, which comes next. I don’t know if they’d ever get tired of granola, even if I told them they could eat it three times a day. A sincere thanks to Nettie for providing us with lots of granola for our stay in Ohio. Breakfast is a fun time. The children talk, come up with big ideas, and yes, get a bit noisy if not monitored.

Exercises follow the breakfast song and table clearing. The exercises will vary from week to week. One that we’re doing currently is toe touches with legs crossed, breathing with them, and counting to five while touching toes. The exercises are targeted toward coordination, body balance, and focus. Along with this we often have some sort of practice like acting out a little play of kindly asking for a turn with a sibling’s toy tractor or doll instead of demanding a right to have what I want “because it’s mine.”

After practice is our time for the preschool boys to do their preschool work and the other children to brush up on flashcards, help their younger siblings, and such.

Once the books are shut and the cards stacked, it is time for the children to go run off some energy.

By midday, we usually get out and go see someone. We’ve been blessed with many precious times with family and friends. On Thursday, we were especially thankful to spend time with Johnny’s family, who lost their mother six weeks ago. The evening passed quickly as we shared and had supper together.

That night when I went to bed I was unusually tired, and it seemed like it was an endless battle to get everyone settled down. On this particular evening I didn’t know how I could go on. I had sat up in bed and told Hosanna that Mom is tired enough that it hurts. I was unsure if I should have even said it as I did not want my children to feel responsible for me. At that instant Hosanna said, “There’s an angel!”

Sizing up her statement, I replied, “That’s nice, where do you see it?”

“Right up above your head,” came the straightforward answer.

“Where, where?” Little Joshua wanted to know.

“Now it vanished,” Hosanna stated.

There was not the slightest bit of commotion after that, Hosanna was now ready to sleep, the reality that we were guarded by an angel was real to her heart.

The next day I asked Hosanna about it. She said it was so beautiful she couldn’t really say how it looked. “It was between white and golden in color and had a crown. I was not scared a bit,” she explained.

What more can I say than, “Thank you God, you know and provide for all of our needs all of the time!”

Yes, God sends people too, that remind me of angels. On Friday evening when we came home there was a plate of fresh donuts and note on the table, from our neighbor lady. I marveled at such kindness. Why, she has eight children herself including a special needs child. So, whether or not you are privileged to see an angel today, you can be there for another who needs an angelic touch!

Enjoy some fresh donuts!

Mashed Potato Doughnuts

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

6 1/2 cups flour

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup mashed potatoes

2 cups scalded milk

2 cakes yeast

1 tsp. nutmeg


3 Tbsp. water

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Blend shortening into sifted dry ingredients. Combine egg yolks with potatoes. Add to dry ingredients. Add yeast to cooled milk. Gradually blend into other mixture. Let rise for 40 minutes. Cut and let rise again. Roll dough 3/8-inch thick. Cut into rings (a wide mouth jar ring works well) and remove a circle from the center. Fry in 350 degree oil or fat until each side is golden, about 1 minute on each side. Mix glaze ingredients in a bowl and then dip hot doughnuts into the glaze and cool.


Gloria Yoder is an Amish house-wife in rural Illinois. She is the third writer of The Amish Cook column since its inception in 1991. Yoder can be reached by writing: The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042.