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Neighbors Growing Together | May 23, 2017

Amish Cook - A New Year’s Eve night of wild game

By Gloria Yoder | Jan 10, 2017

This week, I’d love to invite you to take a peek at our annual “Wild Game New Year’s Eve” supper. It’s one of those times that everyone pitches to help with the meal and then is followed by activities and fellowship, resulting in one of those “oh so good meals” and rich blessings of family and friends. Thanks to Nate Zehr and family who emptied and cleaned their large shed for the event at hand.

By 5 p.m., the grills were being fired up just outside the shed and a huge iron kettle was boiling away at tasty venison stew that my parents and another couple had made.

Each family brings their choice of wild game and grills it on the grill. It’s quite interesting to mill around the grills watching others cook their favorites. There was a wide variety of steaks, burgers, and, hold your breath, raccoon and squirrel.

Believe it or not, the raccoon was actually good, Daniel thinks it tastes kind of like chicken. This year we chose to take along one of our favorites - bacon-wrapped steaks. All the meats are set out onto a table along with sandwich fixings for people to file through and fill their plates buffet style.

Next to the wild game table was the iron kettle of steaming stew and a table loaded with vegetables, dips, crackers and cheese balls. After that, was a large selection of homemade baked goods, such as chocolate and pumpkin rolls, cookie bars, and cupcakes.

The table next to the baked goods was one of my favorites. There was a huge mound of fresh fruit piled right onto the table. That absolutely topped off the meal in my way of thinking.

Oh, yes, the last table had hot and cold drinks, such as coffee, hot chocolate, cappuccino, punch and water.

I’ll tell you what, no one had to complain of not having enough to eat. It was such a treat for me to sample all kinds of foods from the other ladies’ kitchens.

The dips were at the top of my list. Included in the selection of dips was what we call “Allen County Dip.” My sister-in-law, Regina, formerly of Allen County, Ind., is a whiz at making all of these dips, just like her mother has always been.

After supper, everyone quieted down for a devotional that was shared by my Uncle Paul, who encouraged us to value relationships and connections with each other as parents and children, or even to others around us. Since the evening was about wild game, he brought out examples of helping others be successful on their hunts and working together, rather than selfishly being out for our personal pleasure.

Devotions were soon past and the next project was wrapping bundles of clothing in towels in preparation to be sent to Iron Curtain Ministries, where they will distribute them to less fortunate people in other countries.

The youth wrapped 30 bundles while we “young married people” got to play volleyball. I had a blast playing beside my husband, Daniel, setting for him. Playing volleyball is a very rare treat for us, so we enjoyed every minute of it while Julia and Austin played with other children their age.

Soon, the youth had completed their bundles and they were ready to play some volleyball, while the school-age children wrapped 30 more bundles that will be distributed to children their age.

A few of us ladies helped the preschool children play a game and color pictures. This was one of Julia’s favorite parts of the evening. After coloring her picture and cutting it out, we brought it home and put it on the fireplace mantle in our living room.

The rest of the evening was spent in fellowship, playing games and snacking on leftover goodies. We’re usually the “early to bed” types, but since it was our New Year’s supper, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to get to bed later than usual. A little after midnight, we finally left for home.

Here is the recipe for Allen County dip. We like to use vegetable crackers or corn chip scoopers with this dip. Sprinkling bacon bits on top also makes this delicious.

Allen County Dip

Ingredients:

-8 ounces of sour cream

-2-8 ounce cream cheese

-1 package taco seasoning

-Lettuce, cut-up

-Shredded cheese

-Tomatoes, diced

Instructions:

Mix first three ingredients. Spread in a shallow 9 X 9 container and layer with remaining ingredients.

Enjoy!

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