Archive for June, 2011



Church services were held here at our house on Sunday. Our church district has around 175 people, with over 100 being children under the age of 16. We had very nice weather on Sunday and now today it is rainy. The rain took laundry off of our list. It is a relief to have all of the cleaning done for now. Our garden is doing very well so far. Corn has really grown and is pretty tall already. I had enough lettuce to serve with the church lunch. The services were held in our basement. After the services, tables were set up and lunch was served to everyone.
Our menu consisted of egg salad, peanut butter spread, red beets, hot peppers, lettuce, freezer pickles, dill pickles, rhubarb jam, butter, homemade wheat and white bread, and chocolate chip, sugar and oatmeal cookies. We also served ice cream to everyone in honor of Father’s Day. Along with the lunch, coffee and iced tea were also served.

Sister Emma made the tea fresh from her garden. The flavors were spearmint and peppermint. It is a good thirst-quencher on a hot day. She also made the rhubarb jam fresh from her rhubarb. We made the egg salad using 15 dozen eggs and 15 pounds of hot dogs. Some say that it resembles a ham salad. We had plenty of leftover egg salad. It is nice having our own chickens, so I didn’t have to buy any eggs. I cooked a kettle of chicken noodle soup for the younger children and older babies. Our church has a container that they call the “cookie jar.” The last lady who hosts services has to fill the container with some kind of homemade baked goods. They then have to deliver it to the next house where church services will be held. This helps the next lady preparing for church services to have a container of goodies on hand. The baked items can be used as either a snack for helpers , something to put in her husband’s lunch pail or just to feed to her family. I think it is a very good idea since it is hard to find time for baking while preparing the house for church.

The lady that brought the container to our house had whoopie pies and monster cookies in it for us. This was a treat for us all and was a good snack to put in my husband Joe’s lunch for work. Needless to say they did not last long around here. We made cookies to fill the container to pass on to the next person.

This is late afternoon now and I need to finish this. The sun is shining and it turned out to be a nice afternoon. The clothes might have dried after all but I am glad we have the basement back in order again. We cleaned it up instead of doing laundry. The bench wagon stores all of our benches and the church dishes. I remember when I used to hold church services in Indiana we had to use our own dishes. That was a lot of coffee pots, coffee cups, plates, glasses, and silverware to store every time in between. Now when the ladies help wash dishes after church they go back in the containers and into the bench wagon again. Sure saves a lot of work.

I told the children they can have the afternoon off to do whatever they want. They all did a good job helping with the work the last few weeks. Daughters Elizabeth, 17, and Susan, 15, were to help clean a house in town today but it has been rescheduled for another day. I think they were glad not to have to go today.

Corn de-tasseling will probably be starting soon. It is hard to believe it is that time of year again. Here is the recipe for egg salad that we served for church.Published with permission from Oasis Newsfeatures.Richard from Amish Stories.

Egg Salad

6 pounds of hot dogs

5 dozen eggs, hard-boiled

6 c. salad dressing (Miracle Whip could be used)

2 c. mayonnaise

Salt and ground pepper

Grind the hot dogs in a meat grinder. In a large bowl, stir the ground meat, eggs, Miracle Whip, and mayonnaise together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be stored.     New post on Friday. 

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

We have a new addition in our family, for a little while anyway, He is our first foster child. David and I had taken courses for this last September. We were surprised when we went because many of the people there were Mennonite from Gorham, Romulus, Penn Yan, and Waterloo, One of the teachers was a Mennonite. As yet, we had not decided if we were going to take Foster Children, but they called us and asked us to take this young man. He asks that we not use his real name so we will call him Michael. David and I told her we would call her back so we prayed and decided to take him. They wanted us to take him because he is in his school district and they want him to complete this year of school there. He is in 8th grade, which is the last year in our school-but Michael has four more years to go in another school. He will be ending school this coming week. When he arrived, I did not sleep all night. Wondered what he did that he was taken from his parents. Would he hurt the children. Would he steal. Would he run away. Finally David took my hand and we prayed. I got a little sleep. After Michael got to school we called Social Services to find out what he had done. It turns out he had done nothing-it was his parents that were the problem. After he had been here a few days, David, told Michael the story. Michael said women worry a lot over nothing . Michael is good in school although he wishes he could end at the 8th grade. The first morning he went to the barn with David and learned how to milk the cows. It took him a couple of days to get good at it-but he can do it now. When it came time to pick strawberries for the Farmers Market he was right out there with us. Any chores we ask him to do-he does it although we still have some to teach him. On Saturday, I made the mistake of letting David go to buy him some clothes while I was at the Farmers Market. They finally agreed on some shirts, slacks, and underthings (underwear). Michael dresses different than we do, but there are certain things we will not allow-but somehow they agreed on everything-even dressing for Sunday. Today Michael wore a white, shirt, black tie, black slacks, and a black jacket. It was a bit different than what we wear, but we approved. Many were surprised that he would come to our service-but when asked he said he would and did. What got me with their shopping was the shoes. David bought Michael a pair of black loafers and for causal shoes Nike. The loafers didn’t’ bother me but the Nike did. David said he was wearing a pair of Nike how could he tell Michael he couldn’t have a pair. David doesn’t understand that he is full grown and chances are his feet will not change, but Michael is 13, growing, and he could change sizes in a few months. David said Michael could have out grown the shoes by the time he needs a bigger size. David and I had words, but when I saw Michael heard us and said we could take them back. I felt terrible. I told him to keep them this time. His face lite up and said he had never had shoes like this before. He would take care of them. He old shoes had holes in them that’s why we bought him new ones. That smile and the shine in his face were worth the cost of the shoes. When Michael does chores he still wears his old shoes with the holes in them-I told him to wear the new ones-but he said he wouldn’t ruin them. Once chores are done he puts his Nike on. I felt bad that I got upset over those shoes. I told David in bed that was the best set of Nike shoes we ever bought.

Someone asked how much of our food to we grown. I would say 80 to 90 per cent of it. We drink the milk and ,get cream from our cows. We get eggs from our chickens. Some of our animals are raised for our meat-beef, pork, and chickens. We grow our fruit or maybe I should say our family grows our own fruit. We grow strawberries, blueberries, and apple trees. We get peaches and grapes from David’s father because they grown them on their far. Raspberries, blackberries, and cherries are grown on my parents farm so we get some of that fruit and give some of ours. As the fruit comes in we ladies get together to do canning and make sure we share them among us and have some for Farmers Market. Also, we set aside some of our canning for those who are unable to do it or as gifts. We also make our own maple syrup, and butter. Most of the time we make our own ice cream and cottage cheese. We have my garden and the crops that we have. My garden is four our family and lots of vegetables, I don’t know if I can remember them all: potatoes, tomatoes, celery, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, radishes, peppers, asparagus, cauliflower, peas, green beans, yellow beans, corn, pumpkin, and more. We eat these and store some of them up for the winter. Cucumber we also make pickles out of. Also, we grown our own herbs that we use and some we sell at the Farmers Market and stand in front of our house. We even make our own Root Beer.

Susan and I also bake our bread, rolls, muffins, pies, cakes, cookies, etc. Now there I go to the store for flour, salt, pepper, baking soda, etc. Of course, I bake for the Farmers Market, our road stand, the sick, and just as a gift to someone. Sometimes I bake things up and freeze them in the freezer in the barn. When we get out new house, the freezer will be in the basement. David said maybe we can get a smaller refrigerator rather than the one long deep one we have now. I have a hard time reaching into the bottom of the freezer we have now. If I need something I have to get David or now, Michael, to get it out-they can reach farther than I can. Of course, we might keep them both. This time of year I start stocking it up for the winter. Michael was shocked that we had all these baked goods in our home and it was homemade. I make sure he gets something when he gets home from school. Also when he and David are doing chores in the morning and afternoon they get a beverage and something to eat. In the evening we usually have a snack also.

In the fields we grown a lot of corn, potatoes and some other vegetables. We have an agreement with the government. They want us to sign a contract but because of our ways, we would not sign one. Anyway much of our crops goes to the government to feed the army. Some people get upset because David would not go into service. Also they get upset because we worship God and not Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc. We are thankful because these people serve for us and those that have died for us. We pray for them. When someone says we do not honor the military service-David always gets a smile and says I don’t serve in the military-but I feed them-and we do.

Well some changes in our new house. Not just one level-we will now have two levels, a basement and an attic. Someone asked me if I have a clothes driver for the winter and I do not. We are leaving our washer when we move from this house so we will get a washer and dryer for our new house. So then, I will have a dryer for the winter. I do not want to use it all the time-there is just something about that natural smell from being hung outside. It would be great to have a dryer with all of baby David’s dippers. We are not allowed to have a microwave and I really don’t want one. I feel that’s what the oven is for. Many people like the microwave, but we are not allowed to have one and I don’t really want one. I do have an electric mixer, toaster, coffee pot, refrigerator and a slow cooker. I don’t use the electric coffee pot very often.

We are also trying to figure how we can fit our green houses over by our new house. I start flowers and plants in two of them and David starts is tomatoes in one. We started and gradually grew. As David said we must have some yard for the children to play in. As yet, we still do not know when our house will go up.

Well, I started off and still didn’t get on the subject of David’s chores in farming. I hope to get to that next week. When school lets out I am having Michael bring some of his friends home to sort of a party. We will have treats and they can play baseball behind the barn or talk or whatever they want to do within reason. He was suppose to go to one of his friends house, but I wanted them to come here. I wasn’t sure he would agree until I asked him what he and his friends would like to eat. Once I agreed to make his requests, I won out. Some of his friends I may know because they live near us, but some of them I want to meet. David is going to be here, also, just to keep an eye on them in case something gets out of hand. Michael has never been fishing and wants to go. So we agreed while he was here-I would pack a picnic and all of us would go fishing. We know some of our ways are hard for him. He likes riding in our buggy but prefers to travel in a car. We don’t let him stay on the telephone all the time that he wants to and a few other things are different, but he told me my cooking made up for all the things he can’t do.I do make my clothes, Susan’s, some of David’s shirts and slacks and baby David’s. My Mother taught me to sew and there was no pattern. She just taught me how to measure someone and to make our clothes. I am so used to making our clothes I don’t need a pattern. Now I will be making Michael some more clothes and had to get patterns because his dress style is different from ours. I do not make David’s jeans because they are sometimes less expensive in stores than they are to make, but his slacks I make.

Be with God,

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Amish woman mowing the grass
A bird house that the Amish love so much

Horse in the background grazing

 Its always a treat for me to see what Lebanon counties Amish community is up to, and as you can see the landscape is benefiting from the warming-up and sun we now are receiving in Pennsylvania. And the Amish woman in the image mowing the grass with her Reel mower, I almost bought one myself but decided at the last minute not to take the plunge. But if I ever see one being sold at a garage sale cheap I may buy one to try it out, I just wasn’t sure it would do the job cutting my own grass. The biggest grip that I have using a gas mower is the noise, watching that Amish woman mow using that mower was so peaceful. So all that quiet only added to the relaxing country feeling on that day. Richard from Amish Stories.Dont miss Jeans post this Tuesday.

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Country-Style Scrambled Eggs

In a large skillet, sauté potatoes, onions, and green peppers in butter until tender, stirring often. Beat together eggs, milk, and pepper. Stir in ham. Pour over potato mixture. Cook without stirring until mixture begins to set on bottom and around sides. Using a large spatula, lift and fold the partially cooked mixture so the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking until done. Sprinkle with cheese. 4 cups coarsely chopped potatoes
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced green pepper
6 tablespoons margarine or butter
12 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups fully cooked ham, diced
2 cups shredded cheese

Taste the old fashioned goodness of Amish style chicken, experience the delight of mouth watering apple pie. If you want authenticity – then get a piece of homemade goodness – Cooking with the Horse & Buggy People II. This 320 page spiral bound cookbook has over 600 recipes.To order this book please go to             Richard from Amish Stories…………… New post this Monday.

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Young Amish woman enjoying some milk under this giant cow
Entrance  to  the Intercourse Heritage festival
A 1960s police car complete with doughnuts
1950s police car, doughnuts are extra.
Amish and non-Amish children enjoying a tractor ride around the festival.
Amish youth enjoying a friendly game of volley ball

Good food was front and center, with cheese burgers my personal favorite. 
Even some adults got into the act
Amishman taking everything in
There were classic tractors for show, and did they all look great

Im not sure what this was, all i know is i really want one
Lots of classic American cars, hey i didn’t know.
Amish scooter
The kids really liked this small petting zoo
Reminds me of Mini-me and doctor evil from the Austin Powers movie
I really liked this yellow one,notice the Amish children in the back ground
Orange never looked so good
A  car parking lot that turned into  Amish buggy parking
Intercourse fire dept  had a booth  here, with many Amish  volunteer fire fighters in attendance

This event in Intercourse was something that i had put on my refrigerator a few weeks ago, to remind myself that this was taking place on this date. Its something i always do which is to place something that i may be interested in on the frig, and i always have a few events that i stick on there. And how i am very glad that i did go, it was great in a way maybe only some of the non-bloggers would understand. Now don’t get me wrong it was fun and the food was great, but its the images that i was after. And did i hit the mother load as i was able to finally in the end take almost 100 pictures for Amish Stories. If your a blogger you can understand my joy because now i was able to make 4 post just from this event alone. And to the readers let me say that and i say this with honesty, i could have made maybe 10 post with all these pictures. But you know what, and maybe I’m a little crazy but just think of me as a cook in a diner who’s serving healthy portions to his customers. So part 1 through part 4 will have at least 15 images in them, and i didn’t use every picture because they didn’t make the cut. In the next post of part 2 i might get into a little of the history of the little town of intercourse, and i did buy a book while i was here on its history. There was a building with images past and present that really almost made me teary eyed looking at some of those pictures especially of the late 1960s-1970s. And i was not the only one who felt that way, and ill get into that in one of the other post of this festival. I will comment more the next time on what i was seeing, and about the Amish that were there. I try not to just take pictures, but try to observe what’s going on around me so i can write about it. I hope most of you will enjoy the images taken from this day for this series, and that some of the pictures will in the end be telling their own stories. Richard from Amish Stories. Please stop by for a new post this coming Monday on Amish Stories.

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Congratulations to the winners of the “Witness” farm tour contest John Panek and Marilyn Burke. Well done and thank you to everyone who entered this very first contest on Amish Stories. With  special thanks to  Brad Igou from the Amish experience at the Plain and fancy farm for providing the prizes for this contest.

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories

Jean’s homemade Whoopie Pie Recipe

2 cups sugar

1 cup shortening

2 eggs

4 cups flour

1 cup baking cocoa

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 cup  milk

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup hot water

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cream sugar and shortening togther-then add the eggs. Sift flour, cocoa and salt together then add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Add vanillaand dissolve soda in hot water and add. Mix well. Using rounded teaspoons full drop dough onto cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.


Jean’s Filling

1 cup (sour) milk (to make sour milk just add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the cup of milk, then stir)
1 cup shortening

4 Tbls flour

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sugar

Heat milk and flour together until thick. Do not let burn. When thick put in a small mixing bowl-add sugar, shortening and vanilla and mix until spread thick. Place on cookie bottom side up and frost. Put another cookie on top bottom down. Look for a new post this Friday of the Intercourse Heritage festival in Lancaster Pa.

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