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The Amish have captured the interest of the modern world because of their quaint clothing, horses and buggies, their striking quilts, their lusty food. These people prefer to be regarded as a community of faith who deliberately seek to live in a way that honors God and the creation.
How did the Amish develop and retain a food tradition that is identifiable? With their sustained rural base, the Amish have maintained a productive relationship with their gardens and fields. With their large extended families they have not only been able to convey the love of certain dishes to their children, but they have also been able to show their daughters how to make those specialties, many of which are learned best by "feel" rather than by reading a cookbook. In addition, their active community life supports the continuation of a food tradition--at gathered times favorite dishes appear, undergirding the event, whether it be a school picnic, a funeral, or sister's day.
An Amish Table contains old recipes, but they are written to be understood and used by those without the benefit of these people's history or the presence of an experienced cook. Here, then, is the possibility of making good food--not fancy, but substantial; more hearty than delicate; in tune with the seasons.