The Amish Cook: A quail of a week at the Yoder’s

Published 11:57 am Sunday, March 28, 2021


The Amish Cook

The children have been waiting for weeks, 21 days, to be exact.

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Last fall, we purchased 30 quail. Quail eggs are easier to digest than chicken eggs, motivating us to buy these cute little fowls. Naturally, their eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs. Five of these mini eggs equal to one chicken egg. Austin is our “egg boy” and has fetched dozens off eggs for me.

Now, as you can imagine, it takes some time to break so many eggs when you are in a hurry to whip up a cake, especially so, with the outer layer of the egg shell being extra flaky. Daniel purchased egg scissors which work well. Austin does super with it, and in no time, he can snip up a whole pile of eggs for me.

We’ve been itching to hatch some quail. Bless Daniel’s heart, he took charge of it, and finally, 21 days ago, he placed 30 eggs into our incubator.

He turned them several times a day. The children watched and waited, wondering if the eggs would ever really hatch. Honestly, Mom and Dad were beginning to question the possibility and even have some doubts.

Once, one of the children accidentally cracked a couple of them. On another occasion, little Joshua, who is quite the explorer by now, pulled the cord, unplugging the heat for who knows how long. We were waiting on the 18-day mark for these tiny creatures to hatch. Nothing happened. We prayed about it, knowing that God can keep them safe, even with so many odds pointing at them.

Only an hour ago, Daniel was ready to return to the shop after lunch but first opened the lid to check and turn the eggs. There was an urgent, “Gloria! Come here!” By his voice, I immediately knew it must be something good and something very extraordinary.

I rushed to his side. There in the office, he stood next to the incubator, holding an egg. “Watch it. It’s moving. The shell is beginning to break open!” he said. My eyes widened. Could it be true? He had caught it at the perfect moment, or perhaps God arranged really so absolutely perfect?

Daniel placed the egg in my hand. Never have I witnessed it as firsthand as such. The seconds that followed, the egg, only a bit over an inch long, was pecked open from the inside, forming an exact ring around the egg for it to break it open. The children crowded around, completely fascinated.

There were squeals of delight accompanied by Elijah’s shutters and emphatic statements that he wants Daddy to hold him. “It’s a boy- so cute!” Hosanna exclaimed as she noted the black color as its little head made its appearance. “Mom, help it come out,” Austin begged. “I wish I could, but then the chick wouldn’t be able to exercise its muscles and would never make it,” I explained. My mind flashed to my Father in heaven. How often does he long to just deliver us from our trials, but he knows we should be strengthened in our journey as we face difficulties, else in the end, we’d never make it.

Looking at the children, I marveled, “Who but God could make a chick from an egg? Really now, there are bones, there’s the two perfect little feet, its tiny bill, and that fuzzy hair- all instead of an egg!”

Even with all the talents and smarts stacked together, of all the intelligent people, around the globe, there is still no way anyone could possibly think of performing such a wondrous miracle. Three weeks ago, it was an ordinary egg, ready to be fried for breakfast. Today it’s a perfect chick, uniquely different from any other.

As you know, 3 ½ years ago, we became foster parents of these two most precious foster children. You’ve been with us, on our journey, waiting for our dream of adoption to “hatch.” It feels like the impossible is actually about to happen! On March 24th, we had a court date to have the final adoption. “Praise God” is all we can say!

OK, on the egg subject, try this yummy egg salad recipe. Our children like when I save a couple halves of hard boiled egg whites to fill with egg salad.

Classic Egg Salad

6 hard boiled eggs

2 tablespoons red onions, chopped fine

1/4 cup bacon bits

1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice

3 tablespoons mayo

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons pickle relish

1/2 teaspoon salt

A pinch of black pepper

Mash or finely chop eggs. Add remaining ingredients, stir gently to combine. Chill an hour or until ready to serve. Delicious on toasted bread, as a wrap, with crackers, or with fresh veggie slices such as carrots or cucumbers, or tomatoes.

Cover and refrigerate leftovers.