Thursday, February 21, 2013

10 Weird Things About Me

As I was unpacking groceries, I caught myself pulling far away from the paper bag as I reached in to lift out the contents. I stopped to think about why I do this. (The answer is number one on the list below.)

 All that pondering led to this post: 10 weird things about me. I bet you have some odd behavioral coping mechanisms, too. And I know that's what my odd foibles add up to: coping. Baring my soul here, and my oddball behaviors.
  1. I lean away from paper bags because, over the years, I've discovered I'm short enough to get paper cuts ON MY LIPS, if I don't. Yes. And heaven forbid I lose my ability to communicate just because my lips hurt when I talk.
  2. I hate oatmeal. It is slimy and sticks on you after you eat it. Not a sticks-to-your-ribs kind of thing, but sticks ON your skin. No matter how hard I try not to let any oats escape the bowl, I always find a stray gummy oat somewhere on my arm after gagging down oatmeal. For that reason, I only eat oats raw. In cookies. With chocolate chips.
  3. I have to smooth the blankets and sheets when I crawl into bed. No wrinkles. Every night. And since I am a night owl, my long-suffering husband has learned to deal with me padding around the king bed re-tucking the sheets and blankets on his side, as he sleeps, before I get into my side. I circle more than once, tucking and pulling and smoothing. Like a dog trying to get comfy in his doggy bed. 
  4. If I find a human hair on anything while eating, I am instantly not hungry and will not be hungry for hours. I have a strong hair gag reflex mixed with strong memory recall. Just thinking about it very long can make me gag. I could use that aversion as a diet aid, but then I think I would die of starvation. There is no middle ground with hair on food for me.
  5. I can only buy candles with food smells: flower smells will give me a migraine.Certain perfumes, air fresheners  and plastic bags will make me sick with nausea and migraines, too. It's all in the scent.
  6. When I see white chocolate bunnies, I have a bad flashback to an Easter from childhood. White chocolate is a LIE from the pits of Ad Hades. There is nothing chocolate about it, and devouring an entire white chocolate bunny on your way to Sunday school leaves an oily slightly cod liver oil taste on the tongue. Along with a roiling tummy later. Trust me on this one.
  7. I have a weird fascination about fruit flies. Ever since I had to anesthetize my group of vestigial winged fruit flies for genetics class, I have wanted to try that again, There is nothing more funny than spying with a microscope on a fruit fly as it awakens from anesthesia. They actually rub their teeny tiny eyes.
  8. I would love to have a powerful microscope at home. I love microbiology and it was the most fun I ever had while studying science. I wonder sometimes if my draw to homeschool our son was nothing more than a powerful desire to play with science at home. 
  9. If people talk about gross things at the table, I will not be able to finish my meal. But I love to sit and watch medical programs with all the gory details.
  10. A man with long fingernails makes me feel queasy. It is so wrong. And gross. I can't watch a male guitarist pluck his strings using his un-trimmed nails. I have to shut my eyes or I will never hear the music, just see the claws. Pluck. Pluck. Pluck. I SO want to wrestle him to the ground, clip those nails and hand him a guitar pick.
Wow. Reading back over this list, knowing there are hundreds more I could have written, I realize I am one odd lady. Odd, but fun. I hope.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Amish Heritage Recipes

I've been asked to share a few favorite Amish heritage recipes. First I'll share a wonderful Kasekuchen (German cheesecake) recipe that I've made for years. It's a bit fussy, but so worth the work. In Germany, this is often served with coffee at breakfast.

Next I'll share my husband's very favorite dessert (and it tends to show up at the Yoder family reunions, as well), Graham Cracker Fluff.

Lastly, I'll share from Esther Keim's cookbook Homemade Goodies an awesome traditional peanut butter spread. Everyone loves Amish peanut butter spread, and I think the recipe from Esther Keim is the BEST! (To purchase her book, filled with authentic Amish recipes, click on the book title above or click this LINK ) Enjoy!

Kasekuchen (German Cheesecake)

*Preheat oven to 450
1/3 C margarine or butter
1/3 C sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 C flour

Cream margarine or butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in egg. Add flour in small amounts until blended. Pastry dough will be soft. With rubber r silicone spatula, spread mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a 9 1/2 inch springform pan. Place in 450 degree oven for 5 minutes. Set aside.

*Lower oven temperature to 250.

3 -  8 ounce packages of cream cheese (room temperature works best)
3/4 C sugar
2 TBS flour
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 TBS milk

Combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Mix at medium speed until well blended. One at a time, add eggs, making sure to mix well after each addition. Stir in milk. Pour filling into pastry-lined pan.

*Bake at 250 for 15 minutes.

*Turn oven temperature up to 300. Bake until set--about 25-35 minutes.

Cool. Remove side of pan. Allow kasekuchen to chill for several hours--best if chilled overnight. Add fresh sliced strawberries to top or topping of choice.Cut into 16 slices.

~ * ~

Graham Cracker Fluff
(Mrs. Eli J. Yoder)              1 C whipping cream
2 egg yolks                          1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C sugar                         3 TBS butter, melted
2/3 C milk                           3 TBS sugar
1 pkg. Knox gelatin             12 graham crackers, crumbled
1/2 C cold water
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Beat egg yolks. Add sugar and milk. Cook on low heat until slightly thickened. Soak gelatin in cold water. Pour hot mixture over gelatin and stir until smooth. Chill until slightly thickened. Add stiffly beat egg whites and whipped cream to mixture. Combine melted butter, and sugar. Mix well. Sprinkle half of graham cracker crumbs in bottom of dish. Add filling. Sprinkle remainder of graham cracker crumbs over top. Let chill until set. Serves 8.

~ * ~

Amish Peanut Butter Spread
(Esther Keim)
2 C brown sugar
2 TBS corn syrup
2 C peanut butter
1 C water
1 tsp maple flavoring
1 (16 oz) jar marshmallow creme

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, water, and maple flavoring in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Blend together peanut butter and marshmallow creme. Stir cooled syrup into the peanut butter mixture. Serve with crackers, bread or muffins.