The Amish Cook: Chalupas add a Tex-Mex twist


Last week we talked about the little fishing trip we had for Daniel’s birthday. Now this week, I’ll fill in a bit about his birthday supper. At our house, whoever is having a birthday gets to choose his or her meal. Daniel chose one of our all-time summer favorites: chalupas. Now if you’ve never had a chance to give them a try, today may be your chance. It’s like going out in the garden, combing it, coming back to the house with all sorts of goodies, and then laying it right on top of a deep-fried tortilla along with some fried burger and cheese.

I know not all Amish are the same, but in this community where I grew up, everyone has a garden. From young children to Grandma and Grandpa, most folks are involved with gardening in one way or another. Besides eating lots of fresh goodies, Mom would always make sure we had plenty of canned and frozen supplies.

Now I’m not a little girl anymore, and the weeds don’t just go marching out of the garden on their own, neither does the hoeing happen on its own.

This year with having a handful of little children, I just wasn’t sure if I would get any gardening done at all. As you can imagine, Daniel enthusiastically declared that he and the children would be happy to look after it. I was tickled, after all, I really couldn’t imagine a summer without one. As the veggies began ripening, Julia and Austin had a real party helping harvest it.

I wish you could see Austin bounding into the house with both hands behind his back, asking, “Which hand, Mom?” Then I guess, “Your right one!” and he proudly pulls out a fresh cucumber he found in the garden. For me, watching the children’s delight indeed has been one of the best parts of gardening this year.

They love it when I send them out to pick vegetables. Julia was delighted to be the one to get veggies for Daddy’s chalupas.

I wish I could serve you a fresh chalupa loaded with garden goodies, but since that won’t be happening, I’ll share the recipe with you. Be sure not to stay stuck on the recipe, add anything like radishes, peas, cabbage, or even olives — anything that strikes your fancy, and no, you don’t have to use onions also, though we think it does make it a lot better.

Besides chalupas, Daniel chose to have his favorite dessert, apricot pie with homemade vanilla ice cream. Funny as it may sound, we started splitting the birthday meal into two hitches. We have the main course one night and dessert another to kind of space it out a bit more and be able to enjoy it all to the fullest. On the evening of Daniel’s birthday, we had the hot dish. As a little add-on to finish it off, Julia helped me quickly whisked up a chocolate cake, which we frosted with his favorite caramel frosting and then decorated it using candy to spell his name. I made a mocha smoothie to go with it.

With Owen’s help, the children decorated the table with a yellow table cloth, pretty plates, balloons, and streamers. It was a full-time job for me to keep the four one-year-old hands from tugging on the bright table cloth or trying to drink from the pretty glasses. All is well that ends well. At last, we had everything ready for Daddy. As he walked into the kitchen, we all sang Happy Birthday and gave him his cake. I’m not sure who had the most fun, Daddy or the children.

In response to those of you who have been asking for updates on the adoption: last week we were devastated to learn that the foster system missed a step. They kindly informed us that it could go months, instead of only a few weeks, until the adoption. Needless to say, it did take some processing on our end. The biggest whir for me was to not worry about the children’s future. As we prayed, we sensed God’s faithfulness and love like never before; I feel so deeply blessed and unworthy of all the prayers who have also been offered on our behalf. Now a week later, we still don’t know what will happen, according to their report it could still be months or only a few weeks . We don’t know what to expect yet we do know it is in God’s hands.


Flour tortillas

Sour cream

Browned hamburger, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste

Lettuce, chopped,

Onions diced

Peppers, diced

Cucumbers, diced

Tomatoes, diced or salsa sauce

Shredded cheese or cheese sauce

Deep fry tortillas on both sides until golden brown. Prepare one or two tortillas per person. Everybody can then layer the toppings of their choice onto their tortillas. Sometimes we snip or tear the tortillas in small pieces before adding the toppings to make it a bit easier to eat. This works exceptionally well for children.

By Gloria Yoder

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427

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