Monday, September 7, 2015

Amish Recipe Series... Corn

The Amish Wedding

Most Amish weddings take place from late October through December, after the autumn harvest. Traditionally, the days for weddings are Tuesdays and Thursdays, so there is time in between to get ready for and clean up after each. Even so, it can get pretty busy during the "wedding season," with some Amish going to two or three weddings in one day!

A wedding is a particularly joyous occasion, for two baptized members of the church are joining in marriage, continuing the faith, and starting a new family together. While parents do not select who their children will marry, approval must be given, and the deacon usually acts as the go-between. At a church service after fall communion, the couples planning to marry are "published," announced in front of the congregation. But much preparation, mainly by the bride’s parents has already begun, including the planting in early summer of several hundred stalks of celery, an important part of any Lancaster Amish wedding feast.

The church service itself, held in home of the bride’s parents, is similar to the regular Sunday service. But the focus is on the serious step of marriage, for in the Amish church, there is no divorce. The sermons and Bible passages emphasize the relationship between man and wife.

When it is time for the vows, the couple comes forward. Each is asked if they will remain together until death, and if they will be loyal and care for each other during adversity, affliction, sickness, and weakness. The minister then takes the couples’ hands in his and, wishing them the blessing and mercy of God, tells them to "Go forth in the Lord’s name. You are now man and wife."

After the service, the benches used for the service are put together to form tables. During the wedding meal, the couple sits at the corner of two tables called the "eck," with their attendants on either side, and the unmarried boys sitting opposite the girls.

The meal itself is a feast indeed, including "roast," a mixture of bread filling and chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, apple sauce, and creamed celery. Some leafy celery stalks are also put in jars to decorate the table. Among the desserts are pies, doughnuts, fruit, and pudding. There are usually several wedding cakes, some made by the women, but often one from a bakery as well. They are usually eaten later in the day. It will take several seatings to feed 200, 300, or more guests.

In the afternoon, the young people have a singing, and soon it is time for the evening meal, for those who have stayed through the day. For the seating of the young people, the bride makes a list of couples who are dating or interested in each other. As their names are called, they take their place at the table. On the bride’s side are the married or soon-to-be married couples, while the groom’s side has the other couples. Hymn-singing again follows the meal, with the "faster hymns" predominating this time.

After spending the night at the bride’s home, the newlyweds awake the next day to begin helping with the clean-up from the day before. The couple will spend upcoming weekends visiting relatives. Sometimes five or six houses are visited between a Friday and Sunday night. Wedding gifts are usually given to them at this time.

By the spring, the couple is usually ready to set up housekeeping in a home of their own. The groom would be growing his beard, a sign of marriage in the community. As in every culture, a wedding is a joyous celebration reflecting commitments, a new position in the community, and a new relationship as man and wife.

Today's recipe... Remember... Disclaimer: The Amish don't always follow updated USDA canning methods, they follow methods passed down from generation to generation. Use this recipe at your own discretion, or adapt it to your own method. I am sharing these recipes EXACTLY as they were sent to me and take no responsibility for them.

Recipe for Canned Corn - Amish Recipe

I've been asked to share my recipe for canned corn. I confess, I am always tweaking recipes and it's rare that I follow a recipe exactly as it is written. I can't help it--I usually think it can be improved if I added cinnamon or pepper or an extra dose of vanilla. The same goes for when I am using a recipe for canning jams. The recipe I use for canned corn comes from a recipe I modified a little bit. A dear friend of mine, who is Mennonite, gave me her family cookbook and in it are all sorts of lovely recipes; each one I've tried has been declared delicious by my family. She gave me the cookbook when I asked her about canning and said there were some recipes in there for canning. I thought it very generous to give me the cookbook when it was only our 2nd time meeting each other! Anyway, The recipe in the book is for freezing corn and is as follows:

* 4 qt raw corn, cut off cob

* 1 c sugar

* 4 tsp salt

* 1 qt water

Boil all ingredients for 15 minutes. Set pot in ice cold water. Cool completely. Ladle both corn and liquid into freezer safe containers. Freeze. 100 ears of corn equals 12 quarts.

The very first time I made this, we were eating the corn right out of the pan! Oh my! The sugar and the salt make a great salty-sweet flavor and it's Gretchen's favorite corn! She can always tell which corn I am using-- the store bought or my frozen corn. When I got the pressure canner, the instruction/recipe book included different canner recipes; the corn one is a basic one:

Boil corn on cob for 3 minutes. Remove from water and slice kernels off cob. Pack jars with corn then pour boiling water over corn, leaving 1 inch headspace. Pressure cook for 55 minutes using 10 pounds of pressure.

I modified the recipe a little bit and put a cup of sugar and 4 tsp of salt in the water to get that salty-sweet taste my family loves. I had some left over that wasn't enough to fill a jar for canning, and we tried it and it's as yummy as I hoped it would be.

 The sugar and the salt really add to the corn and make it taste great! Happy freezing or canning!


  1. I know the Amish seem to put sugar in almost everything, but to add a bunch of sugar to a high carbohydrate vegetable that is already very sweet seems like over kill.

  2. Gloria, I hope that you will try this this addition to your corn. It is delicious and seeing as how it is not served everyday at every meal it will be worth the requests at the dinner table to "please pass the corn."

  3. I cant find my grandmothers canning book and as she is no longer with us I have a question. She always hot bathed everything. I cannot remember how long to do corn. Can anyone help me out? Thank you

    1. Boiling 4 hours in a hot water canner used to be the standard for corn before the world went pressure cooker and botulism crazy. Cooking altitude and atmospheric pressure does impact the point at which water boils and thus kills bacteria specific to botulism, so, keep that in mind. If you live in the mountains at 5000 feet or higher above sea level, just get a pressure cooker and take the guesswork out of it. 3 generations of my family canned low acid foods like corn and green beans at an altitude of 1600 feet and managed not die or poison anyone with home-canned foods. It just has to be done correctly and in clean conditions. Nobody teaches or endorses hot water canning of low acid foods online because of the liability issues if someone does manage to propagate killer anaerobic bacteria excretions in their canning jars due to poor canning techniques and a lack of common sense.


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