Elephant Stew

Leave it to the Amish…

Elephant Stew


  • 1 elephant
  • brown gravy
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 rabbits


Cut elephant into bite-sized pieces.  This will take about 4 months.  Cover with brown gravy and cook over kerosene at 535º F until tender, about 5 months.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  This will serve 3,800 people.  If more are expected, add rabbits.  Do this only if absolutely necessary as most people don’t like to find hare in their stew.

Recipe courtesy of Toby R. Miller

Savory Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe also works well with leftover Bolognese/ spaghetti sauce.

Shepherd’s Pie has the vegetables already in the sauce, but you can also make them (or other vegetables you like) separately.

Savory Shepherd’s Pie


For the mashed potatoes

  • 6 medium to large potatoes
  • 1 Tbl butter
  • some milk (don’t make the mashed potatoes too thin)
  • salt to taste

For the sauce

  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbl flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn
  • paprika


Peel and quarter 6 medium to large potatoes.  Place in a saucepan, cover with water (just about) and bring to a boil.  Boil until the potatoes are soft.

In the meantime, sauté celery and onion in butter in a large frying pan.  Add ground beef and brown.  Stir in garlic and flour.  Add broth, herbs and corn.  Stir gently until the ingredients are well combined.  Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Then spoon the mixture into a large casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Drain potatoes and rinse them and the saucepan well.  In the same saucepan and while the potatoes are draining, heat some butter and milk, add salt to taste.  Add potatoes when the butter is melted and the milk hot.  Mash potatoes, then spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture.  Sprinkle the top with paprika.

Bake the Shepherd’s Pie until it heats all the way through and turns golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

* We left out the paprika, hence you cannot see it in the pictures, and we had our veggies, corn and green beans, on the side. *

IMG_2481 - Edited


Marinated Chicken

We did not use either the raisins or the chutney, but tried this recipe once as cubes and once as steaks. Very tasty indeed if you like tangy sauce.

This chicken does not have to marinate for very long, and if you are in a real hurry, you can skip the whole marinating process altogether.  Or marinate it longer for stronger flavor – your choice.

Marinated Chicken


  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbl curry powder
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds (optional)
  • 2 Tbl mango chutney (optional)


In a bowl, mix the tomato paste, oil and curry powder to make a paste.  Add lemon juice and yogurt to make a marinade.

Cut the chicken breast into cubes of about 1 inch, or pound it flat and cut it into several larger pieces.  In larger pieces, the chicken needs to fry a bit longer.

Stir the chicken into the marinade, season with salt and pepper, cover and let marinade in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Heat a skillet and fry the chicken in it for about 3-4 minutes.  Then add almonds and raisins (if using) and fry some more until the chicken is not pink on the inside anymore.

Serve with Mango chutney, shredded lettuce and plain yogurt as well as toast or any other kind of bread on the side.

Perfectly Puffy Pancakes

If you do not like baking powder, this pancake recipe is not for you. Otherwise, it’s wonderful, and suitable for sweet or savory toppings.

We found this recipe in an Amish cookbook.  Works out great for us.

Perfectly Puffy Pancakes


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl plus 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of milk


Sift flour, mix together with salt and 1 Tbl baking powder.  Add melted butter, eggs and milk until the batter has the consistency you desire.  Just before baking, add the last 1 tsp of baking powder for extra thick, fluffy pancakes.

Bake in a skillet in batches.  You can slice apples and add to the pancakes in the skillet, or add slices of bacon and onion, or tomato slices and onion, or just fry plain and use sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

In this family, applesauce and maple syrup are a favorite for sweet pancakes, bacon and onion for the savory variety.

Beef and Cheese

Here’s a quick and easy spaghetti casserole recipe.

No vegetables in this dish, so plan on making some on the side for a complete meal, or serve with a salad, or both.

Beef and Cheese


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups cheese


Cook spaghetti until tender.  Brown beef and onion in butter.  Add flour and milk, mix well.  Cook until thick.

Mix 1/2 cup of cheese with the spaghetti and place half of the spaghetti in a baking dish.  Put in the meat mixture.  Add remaining spaghetti.  Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes.




Three-Sisters Casserole

This is an easy one that our girls like to make. They all like it a lot, and so do their parents.

Pasta casserole is always a hit.

Three-Sisters Casserole


  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 2 qts pasta sauce (click if you need a recipe for the sauce)
  • 16 oz pasta of your choice, e.g. penne, wide egg noodles, rotini or farfalle
  • 1 Tbl butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz mild cheddar cheese, shredded


  • Brown the beef until it is cooked through.
  • Cook the pasta al dente, drain and return to the saucepan.  Toss with butter and Parmesan cheese.
  • Heat pasta sauce and add the ground beef.  This basically makes Bolognese sauce.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Layer the pasta and the sauce into a casserole dish: First 1/3 of the sauce, then half the pasta, then another third of sauce, then the rest of the pasta, then the rest of the sauce.
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  • Cover with lid and place in the oven.  Bake for about half an hour or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Enjoy with a side dish of green beans, or try the cole slaw we suggested yesterday as it goes very well with this dish as well.


Mac and Cheeseburger

This is an easy recipe and fun to make with children.

Here’s a variant of the ever popular mac and cheese casserole.  This time, it actually makes a complete meal if you serve it with a fresh salad on the side, or maybe some cooked green beans, or both.  Incidentally, the topping suggested in the recipe can be substituted by Parmesan cheese.

Mac and Cheeseburger
~ serves 4 to 6 ~


  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 4 cups shredded mild (or sharp) cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
  • 1/8 tsp paprika



Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until it is fully cooked.

Cook macaroni in a large saucepan or Dutch oven until they are al dente.  Drain, then use the saucepan to make the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

For the sauce, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Stir the flour into the butter, then add milk, mustard and nutmeg.  Whisk until the mixture is well blended, and bring to a rolling boil.  Boil for one minute.  Take from heat and stir in shredded cheese.  Add macaroni and browned ground beef to the sauce and mix until the macaroni and hamburger are evenly coated.  Pour the mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish.

Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the casserole.  You can just use Parmesan cheese instead, too.

Put the casserole into the oven and bake uncovered until heated through and bubbly, about 20 – 25 minutes.  Serve with green beans and / or a salad on the side.

cheeseburger casserole insta






Pork and Kraut, For Luck

Good Luck with the recipe, and for 2018 as well!

It’s New Year’s Day, and traditionally, in Germany and elsewhere, pork and sauerkraut is served, for luck.  Pretty easy to make as well.  This year I used bulk garlic sausage and sauerkraut from the store rather than our own.  The sausage was fried into little balls in a deep cast iron skillet (see below), then I added the rinsed sauerkraut, seasoned it, boiled some ‘taters on the side, and there was dinner.  Yum!


If you still need a recipe proper, here it goes:

New Year’s Pork and Kraut


  • pork sausage
  • sauerkraut, bagged or canned
  • oregano to taste
  • sage to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • butter to taste
  • for side dish:  potatoes


  • Roll sausage into little balls, or, if you didn’t get bulk sausage, cut sausage in half length-wise and fry in a deep cast-iron skillet.  Drain and rinse kraut.
  • Add kraut to sausages once the sausage is done.  Mix well, add spices to taste.  Butter does well in it as well.
  • On the side, serve potatoes:  boiled in the jacket or peeled, mashed, even fried – take your pick.


Good Luck with the recipe, and for 2018 as well!


Wouldn’t You Rather?

Wouldn’t you, too, rather eat fresh green beans than the canned stuff from the store?

This morning by 10am, I had a good many beans picked, snapped, washed and stored in the fridge for later use.  Tonight we had fried cod fish and chips (yes, fried potatoes, not the non-food kind from a bag), and with it said fresh green beans from our garden.  Simple food, simply delicious.

So here are the rhetorical questions for the day:

which rather green beans

Wouldn’t you, too, rather eat the fresh beans than the canned stuff from the store?

What’s keeping you from growing some in your own back yard, front yard, side yard, along your driveway, on your balcony, or wherever you can dig in the dirt or place a bale of straw?

Learned Something

Fasting can prepare your taste buds for bitter foods because you gut is what determines whether or not you like something.

swiss chard2

Ever since we looked into aspects of a less inflammatory diet as well as carb-free, or at least carb-poor food choices, we learned a lot about the benefits of so-called bitter greens, namely Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, dandelion greens and the like.  And so, following the rule that a healthy meal should be planned around 2-3 vegetables  (2 above ground and 1 below ground) and rounded off with 1 grain or legume and 1 protein, we started eating more and more “bitter” greens.

Come to find out, the bitterness of bitter greens, if you even think they are bitter, is softened if you throw a bland vegetable like zucchini into the skillet as well.  Thus, one of last summer’s staples was a bunch of Swiss chard sauteed with chopped zucchini and some green onion and garlic.  That covered the desired different veggies and took care of some of the overabundance of last summer’s zucchini and Swiss chard plants as well.

Now here’s what I’ve learned recently:  If you have a hard time with bitter as a taste, but have realized that it would be good for you to eat more bitter greens, you might want to try a day of fasting before cooking a batch of beet greens or kale.  Fasting can prepare your taste buds for something new because your gut is what determines whether or not you like/ crave something.  I find this to be quite convincing and a good place to start if you need to do something about your not-so-very-healthy cravings, and also to train your palate to be less delicate.

Other people are much better at explaining this kind of thing, so head over here for more info about all things bitter yet better.

And today, I’ll be a-fasting.

Images:  Young Swiss Chard

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