The Amish Cook: Bossy bluejays and buttery breadsticks

BY GLORIA YODER

The Amish Cook

It’s chilly, as a matter of fact, downright cold! Outside the office window, dozens of cardinals, juncos, some bossy blue jays, a couple finches, and woodpeckers are feasting on and around the large log cabin feeder Daniel made for them this winter.

For years, my husband Daniel has been brainstorming about building a large deluxe bird feeder. Thanks to his ambition, a couple months ago, it came to reality. Now singing their morning songs, the birds seem blissfully unaware of how this cold snap has affected lots of people.

We have a solar power system and a diesel generator we use in the shop. For that reason, power outages don’t affect us as they do for so many others.

Our main source of heat is wood, so it remains toasty warm even in sub-zero temperatures. I simply cannot be thankful enough for this rich blessing. This winter, the children spent hours in the basement, riding their trikes, scooters, and bikes. Other times they pretend to be a train, tying their trikes together in a long line, tooting their way around and around big circles.

As you may remember, we take turns hosting church services at the homes of our families. We, as a family, are honored to be able to host our church on Sunday. These last weeks I’ve been doing some extra cleaning, scrubbing away fingerprints, dust bunnies, and simply organizing closets, and going through all sorts of stuff that accumulates over time.

Not every “i” will be dotted, but there really is a good feeling to have some deep cleaning and organizing off my to do list.

I’ll give you an outline of our menu on Sunday, and by the way, you all really are so welcome to come to join! We’ll be having services for four weeks

OK, so getting back to our meal, we plan to have pizza spaghetti casseroles, breadsticks, chunky applesauce, frozen desserts and hot drinks. Be sure to try my mom’s homemade breadsticks recipe that she’ll be using for Sunday dinner!

For as long as I can remember us children would just rave over Mom’s breadsticks. The secret is to not over- bake and eat them fresh from the oven.

Mom’s homemade breadsticks

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup Italian dressing

2 cups shredded cheese (any kind)

3 tablespoons Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 cup bacon bits

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add vegetable oil, sugar, and salt. Gradually add flour and knead a couple of minutes.

Let rise 20 minutes.

Press into a greased 10 X 15 pan. Top with mixture of melted butter and Italian dressing.

Combine two cups of shredded cheese of your choice, then add Parmesan cheese, salt, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, and bacon bits.

Sprinkle on top. Cut slightly with pizza cutter.

Bake 15-20 minutes in preheated 450-degree oven or until only slightly golden.