We all enjoy a good homemade Amish sugar cookie every now and then, but what about an Amish breakfast? We’re talking about a morning meal filled with warm, homemade goodies—and no technology. While you might not collect your own eggs or milk your own cows, you can easily incorporate Amish traditions into your life, starting with the most important meal of the day. Get up with the birds, pull out a cookbook and ask the kids to stash their electronics. It’s time for breakfast—Amish-style.
1. Plan a Family Breakfast
Amish families eat breakfast together every day—something that isn’t a priority in many other homes. In fact, sometimes we don’t eat breakfast at all. Making the effort to plan and host a morning meal for the whole family is a lot of work, but it’s a wonderful start to any day. Get up early to host one during the school week, sleep in a little so you can have Saturday brunch together or, like the Amish, share a meal with friends and community after Sunday service. (Here are a handful of heavenly breakfasts that will feed a crowd.)
2. Be an Early Bird
It’s pretty common for Amish people to rise as early as 4 a.m. While waking up long before sunrise might sound like torture to most of us, those extra hours are ideal for prep. If you’re making a big breakfast, you’re going to need to start early. (Good thing the Amish drink coffee!)
3. Make Some Dishes Ahead of Time
To save precious morning hours, Amish women often fry cornmeal mush at night to eat for breakfast the next morning. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, try our overnight oatmeal recipe—it uses the same time-saving smarts.
4. Use up Your Leftovers
The Amish are experts at repurposing things, including leftovers. When you don’t have a refrigerator to keep leftovers fresh, you have to get creative. Use last night’s dinner in today’s breakfast by stuffing extra meat into omelets, turning potatoes into hash browns and making fruit into a salad.
Looking for other ways to use up leftovers? Find more creative ideas here.
5. Add Salt to the Oatmeal
You can’t go wrong with a bowl of traditional Amish oatmeal, which is filling and flavorful. When you’re making the recipe, however, keep in mind this old secret to bringing out the flavor in rolled oats: Salt the water. Even though it might seem trivial, this tip will make your hearty breakfast even more delicious.
6. Let the Kids Help
If your kids aren’t out collecting eggs or milking cows, they’re free to lend a hand, right? If you don’t need any help with the actual cooking, they could still bring you ingredients, set the table or rinse dishes. Everything’s easier with helping hands.
7. Perk up Your Butter
The Amish add flavor and flair to every dish by spicing up their butter. Why go with the same old flavors when you can spread pancakes with cinnamon butter, toast with rosemary butter and omelets with red pepper spread? Copy the idea at home by using these delicious butter recipes, and you’ll never go back to the plain ol’ stick.
8. Eat More Soup
You’ve heard of Chicken Corn Soup and Old-Fashioned Beef Stew, so it should come as no surprise that the Amish love soup regardless of the season. In fact, they eat lots of things in soup form—even breakfast! A typical Amish breakfast includes coffee soup, a bowl of creamed coffee served with freshly baked bread for dunking.
9. Feast at Breakfast
When there’s a lot of work ahead, a good breakfast starts the day out strong. Amish workdays are rigorous, beginning early and ending late, which means folks have to stay energized throughout the day. They eat a large morning meal, making hearty dishes like scrapple and waffles. And after a big breakfast, Amish families have a lighter lunch, so they don’t get drowsy in the afternoon.
10. Ask Everyone to Help Clean Up
You did most of the cooking—you don’t need to do all of the cleaning, too. In Amish families, even the youngest children are responsible for household work. To get your kids off to school or activities on time, make sure they assist in cleaning up, just like those in an Amish family would. Not sure which tasks are appropriate for the smallest in your bunch? This list of kitchen chores for kids of all ages will help you divide the workload evenly.
With these Amish breakfast tips, we hope your mornings are all about food and family. And remember—no phones allowed!