The Amish Cook: Going buggy with the Yoders


Sunshine, clear blue skies, daffodils, and even dandelions, they’re all a part of my favorite season! Spring peepers are calling out their welcome to the awakening of the world around them. The new grass we planted last fall is growing to a lush green. The forest right behind our house is beginning to show its green and, better yet, the birds have begun singing their spring songs.

What could top a day spent working outdoors, soaking in the first rays of sunshine, just feeling it penetrate warmth and health to each cell of your body? Julia and Austin are delighted to play outdoors once more, taking slide rides, playing with their pets, or whatever else their imagination can create.

The horses are also no exception when it comes to adoration of spring. The fresh green pastures are like candy as they constantly munch on it. Our colt, Sasha, (which you may remember from last fall) is rapidly growing. She looks like a lot like her mother with her dark brown coat and graceful Standard Breed features.

We’re hoping to locate and purchase a pony cart that we can use this summer with our pony named Sassy. I enjoy traveling in our enclosed buggy but nothing beats a beautiful day with a cart or open buggy ride. If you ever have the opportunity to come our direction, let us know, we’d be delighted to have you here and take you on a buggy ride. By the way, you need not be scared about it at all Sapphire is a very gentle horse in spite of her amazing speed.

Is it true inside every man is a little boy? My hubby still enjoys having a good horse that can’t be outdone by all the other horses in church!

I can just hear you ask the question: “how fast do horses travel?” That’s a fair question and here’s my answer: when pulling a buggy with passengers, a typical speed is 10-15 mph, but some will travel up to 30 mph.

It’s not unusual on Sunday morning when the horses sense other horses on the road that they’ll pick up speed wanting to stay ahead of everyone else.

An average distance to church may be around 3 or 4 miles but then most horses can easily go up to 10 miles without a problem. Having the horses slow down to walk during the last stretch enables them to breathe more calmly, getting them ready for a nice break of munching on hay and drinking water at their destination.

As the days grow warmer they begin losing their thick winter coats, shedding large amounts of hair, returning to a sleeker summer “jacket.” Their change in coats keeps them comfortable year-round.

Since we are talking about horses how about trying our haystacks? While you may share some with your horses this recipe is really intended for those who have the opportunity to enjoy your cooking. This is the type of meal that can be made for only a few people but is, in a sense, more practical for a large group since there are so many items to be stacked together.

Haystack Supper

1 3/4 cups soda crackers, crushed

3 pounds hamburger, browned, and 3 tablespoons taco seasoning added

3 cups cooked rice, seasoned to taste

4 cups lettuce, shredded

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 cups green peppers, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3-4 cups cheese sauce

2-3 cups tortilla chips, crushed

Put some of each on your plate, one layer at a time.

This will serve a family of 10-12 people, but amounts can be adjusted to suit your taste and other vegetables can be added. Ranch dressing is also a good addition.

By Gloria Yoder

The Amish Cook

Gloria is Amish and lives in a rural horse and buggy settlement in Illinois. Readers with questions or comments can write to Gloria at P.O. Box 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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