The Amish Cook: Mixing up an Amish wedding salad

Thinking about what I am going to fill you in on this week brought to mind the dearest person to me on earth. Meet my husband Daniel Yoder! I got to know him 14 years ago and was immediately impressed with his easy-going personality and Godly character. To this day, I’m still impressed, and yes, I’m in love; yet how unspeakable are the many changes that have taken place since then. You know they say you spend the most time with the things that mean the most to you, but I’m not so sure about it in this case — that is unless you count the hours you’re sound asleep!

Last night as Daniel was sitting in the living room, and we were ready for our bedtime Bible story, he asked, “Who wants to sit with Daddy?”

There was a quick scramble with a chorus of, “I’ll sit with you!” (Including one from mom.) In moments he was covered up. Of course, I knew it was more needful for the children to have daddy than it was for me, and besides that, there were a couple of children piled on and around me as well. Then my mind flips to my ideal of always sitting right next to Daniel to have family devotions. Gulp. What happened to it? I haven’t discarded the idea, but right now, there are five little “love tanks,” as my dad would call them, who need lots of tender loving care, especially for those who had the trauma of being moved from their home to ours.

I’m okay to share my husband. I’m thrilled to share him with my children; it is of tremendous value for me to observe all of them bonding with him. But then there are those moments where I just need my man. Let me add, though, I have found Daniel’s advice to be profoundly true, though. Recently he encouraged me with the thought that the less we expect out of life, the more joy we have. It’s true. If I don’t expect to have time or attention from Daniel, I am only delighted with little tidbits from him, such as the rare occasions we get to chat a few minutes after all the children have been tucked into bed. Then I think of all the single mothers out there and wonder how they cope, or those whose partners have stayed away from jobs and the likes.

Daniel and I have found, for us, it’s not so much about having what we want or the time we have done special things together as much as having our hearts set to love and please each other and that we have each other’s backs, no matter what. And you know, children are much smarter than we give them credit. They can pick up any riffs that come between parents, and really, what is more, crushing to a child than sensing that Daddy and Mom are not on the same page? With our 10th wedding anniversary coming up in March, we were discussing various options of what we’d like to do. I told Daniel that I don’t care what we’ll be doing as long as I can be with him. Perhaps my favorite thing to do with him is time spent together one on one, especially when we together just kneel and talk to the Lord in prayer.

So, back to Daniel. Besides being impressed with his calm, steady character, I was also intrigued by his beautiful, wavy hair. In the summertime, when he works outside, they turn honey-colored, and in the winter, they return to their darker brown shade. And who gives Amish folks their haircuts, you ask? At our house, Daniel does most of it, and I get to do what is harder for him to reach. And for the boys, I usually do the two little ones, and Daniel does Austin.

Yes, I was drawn to his calm, easy-going character. But I didn’t expect I (impulsive me) would be the one who he would choose! Just after my 19 birthday, my joy knew no limits when he asked my dad for his blessing to begin a friendship with me. Fifteen months later, my dream came true as we stood before my grandpa and our hands were joined in marriage. In a way, it seems like a long time ago, so many things could have changed since then, but then I also stand in awe of the love from our Heavenly Father that does not grow old and even keeps things from tearing at the seams when all odds are against you. Now even though I do love my man like no other earthly love, I am very aware that we are a couple just like any others, and that is solely the Lord who has built and established it all.

Talking about those days makes me want to share a wedding recipe with you that we used on our special day.

AMISH WEDDING SALAD

1 head lettuce

1 /2 head cauliflower

½ head broccoli

1 cup bacon bits

1 1 /4 cup shredded cheese

DRESSING

2 cups salad dressing

1 /3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Put lettuce in a bowl, top with cauliflower and broccoli. Spread dressing over top of it. Put cheese and bacon over it. Cover. This can set for 24 hours before serving. Wait to mix until ready to serve.

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By Gloria Yoder

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