Archive for September, 2011

Amish Stories honors : Bonanza

My thoughts on Bonanza:   Even when as a small child i knew TV shows like Bonanza and the characters that were played on them were not real people, yet every week i too was swept-up with the happenings of the  Cartwright family just like the  millions  of you guys watching On your TV sets in the 1960s or 1970s. What set Bonanza apart from a lot of the television shows of its day was the fact that  “we really liked these guys” and cared about  what was happening to them each week, i know i did. Bonanza was one of the first shows to be broadcast in “living color” as they said in the 1960s, yet i started and finished watching this TV show with a black and white zenith TV set. In fact my family didn’t own a color TV until late 1977 mostly because our b/w set was working perfectly, and also because we didn’t have the money to switch to a color set. I remember watching Bonanza and actually looked forward to the next week when my hero’s would be back for another week  getting through another scrape and coming out somehow on top, and doing it together as a family. And i know your not supposed to say something like this but i really have to, those times really were  the good old days when families actually ate dinner with each other regardless if you were poor or not. Kids went outside to play and didn’t isolate themselves with things like computers and games, and you knew your neighbor . Respect was earned and not expected, and if you made a mistake you most likely owned up to it without blaming a Disease that no one can find or even pronounce! And so Amish Stories honors Bonanza as a wonderful TV show that i still love today.  And they really and truly  were the good old days…………. Richard 

The Cartwright’s

allowed all of us to step into their lives each week

Dont let that smile fool you, you knew little Joe was up to something!
Ben Cartwright was  a fair and honest man who was a great businessman, but cared about his family much more than money.
Ben and the boys on a high and celebrating the moment
And sharing the low moments. You just know little Joe was responsible for this one. Dragging poor Hoss with him!
And you knew the Cartwright’s were in trouble  if  Ben and Adam were in Jail too !
Adam was the  eldest son, he was bright and the more level headed of the 3 sons
In what looks to be a rare moment of Hoss turning the tables on little Joe, as dad proudly looks on

Little Joe and Hoss share a quiet moment together, but you knew little Joe was thinking of a hair brain scam, and that Hoss would somehow go along with it
 Bonaza facts:Initially, the series aired on Saturday evenings opposite Perry Mason . The Saturday night ratings were dismal and Bonanza was soon targeted for cancellation. It was kept on the air as it was one of the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color, including scenes of picturesque Lake Tahoe Nevada. NBC’s corporate parent RCA , used the show to spur sales of RCA-manufactured color television sets (RCA was also the primary sponsor of the series during its first two seasons). Given one last chance, it was moved to Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, for new sponsor Chevrolet (replacing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show). The new time slot caused the series to soar, and it eventually reached number one by 1964, an honor it would keep until 1967. By 1970, it had become the first series ever to wind up in the Top Five for nine consecutive seasons (a record that would stand for decades) and thus established itself as the single biggest hit television series of the 1960s. Bonanza ran on NBC from September 12,1959 to January 16, 1973. It ranks as the longest running western series (behind Gunsmoke).

Ben and the boys might have had their disagreements and fights, but at the end of the day they were a loving family.  a family we were all a part of by only just  turning the TV on every week, and maybe just for that hour we were all  Cartwright’s.

Ben and the boys selling cars for Chevrolet in 1964. A must see video.

1/2 cup shortening

3 medium onions, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

Bonanza Images provided from

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno

8 pounds beef chuck (coarse)

2 (15 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

8 tablespoons ground hot chili

4 tablespoons ground mild chili

2 teaspoons cumin

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon liquid pepper

Garlic and onion salt to taste


Heat the shortening in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, celery and jalapenos. Cook, stirring until onions are translucent.

Add the meat to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is evenly browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours. Stir often. Taste and adjust seasonings.

 Recipe provided from Recipe goldmine. Bonanza facts provided from Wikipedia. The Bonanza TV images used were supplied by  A film review web site and a place to buy classic dvd’s and tapes. And a special thank you to film reviewer Paul Mavis from dvd talk for providing the Bonanza images for this post.          Richard from Amish Stories


 Comic books from the 1960’s. Did you have any of these?
Bonanza Comic books from 1964 and 1965 provided by

1960s Bonanza lunch boxes. Images provided by
Create your own Bonanza art from 1965

Lunch box set from 1965. Image provided by

  Bonanza 1959-1973

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The Amish Cook


It is early on Saturday morning as I write this and everyone else is still in bed. I decided to get up early today to write this column.

A 79-year-old member of our church district passed away yesterday morning. He had been a widower for the past 23 years. While he didn’t have any children, he leaves to mourn a lot of relatives in this area. He had lived with his niece and her family and had his own part of the house. The viewing will be there and the funeral will be at another niece’s house on Monday. I will help out at the funeral.

Meanwhile, we’ve been busy helping sister Emma and her husband Jacob. My husband Joe and I and the children will go to Emma and Jacob’s today to help with final preparations for church which will be held there tomorrow. Yesterday Joe and I also assisted them with their work. I helped Emma do jobs inside the house while Joe worked outside in the building where church will be held. He put up a partition using canvas on one end of the building so lunch could be served there tomorrow.

Jacob’s will have council meeting (Editor’s note: some Amish refer to this service as “rule church”, when , as the name implies, rules of the church are discussed. It is usually held the service before Communion) tomorrow so services are longer than usual, lasting until 2:30 – 3 p.m. Council services are held in preparation for Communion services. Everyone does get a lunch break. Two tables are set and everyone takes turns to come eat starting around 11 o’clock until everyone is fed. Emma plans to have chicken noodle soup, bologna, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, pickles, red beets, hot peppers, jam, wheat and white bread, and four different kinds of cookies. The bread and cookies are all being brought in by women from our church. I made the jam for her which is the green tomato jam recipe I shared in last week‘s column. I used strawberry gelatin so it tastes really close to strawberry jam. Daughter Elizabeth made two batches of peanut butter cookies for Jacob and Emma’s church services.

Elizabeth, 17, and Susan, 15, stayed home Friday to do my work while Joe and I went to Emma and Jacob’s. The girls did laundry and the weekly cleaning and Elizabeth also baked the cookies. Joe and I came home around 6:30 p.m. and it was nice to see the house all clean and the laundry folded and put away. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to get all my work done when the girls were younger.

Joe also mopped the shed floor at Jacob’s yesterday so he could help set up the church benches today. They will also hang chains outside the barn to make room for visitors to tie their horses. I will help Emma prepare the peanut butter and cheese spreads for tomorrow. This morning we had 50 degrees outside and the air feels chilly. Jacob’s borrowed our propane heater in case it is cool and they need to heat the building for church services tomorrow.

Susan managed to finally get our yard all mowed Our mower gave up on us and we have it back now from being serviced. This whole summer the boys had been doing he mowing which really helped.

The leaves are changing color fast The children say autumn is here now maybe it will soon snow. Joesph, 9, woke one morning and asked if it was snowing. He said he heard the wind howling and thought maybe it was blowing snow outside. It’s still a little early for that!reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Here is the recipe for the cheese spread.


6 pounds of Velveeta cheese

1 1 / 2 cups butter

8 cups cream

Put everything in a big roaster and bake around 150 to 200 degrees stirring every 15 minutes until all is melted. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from getting a crusty top while cooling. The spread is served on a sandwich with or without meat and it is good just spread on bread with some pickles.

Don’t miss Fridays post : Amish Stories honors TVs  Bonanza.

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Mennonite church in Lebanon county
 Lebanon county
Indian motorcycle
Classic Ford tractor
  Amish food stand

What Does “Pennsylvania Dutch” Really Mean?

A: “Pennsylvania Dutch” is a phrase commonly seen and heard throughout the Amish Country. It refers to a people, a language and a culture, but it has nothing to do with Holland, as many people think.

The problem word here is “Dutch.” It should actually be “Deutsche” or “Deitsch,” referring to German. For a better explanation, let’s journey to Philadelphia. It was in Philadelphia that various religious groups first arrived from Europe in the early 1700s. Most were escaping persecution and were responding to William Penn’s promise of religious freedom in the New World. They included Lutherans, Amish, Mennonites, Reformed Quakers, French Huguenots and others. These immigrants, many of whom had once lived in countries bordering the Rhine River, now found themselves settling in southeastern Pennsylvania between the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers.

Germans were some of the first to arrive in “Penn’s Woods.” Many German visitors tell us even today that the Lancaster County landscape reminds them of parts of Germany. Perhaps that is why Lancaster was one of the first places they settled. Some people say the word “Deitsch” (for German) was difficult for the non-German populace to pronounce, and so in time it became “Dutch.” Whatever the case, Pennsylvania Dutch refers to people of German background, descendants of German, Swiss and Alsatian immigrants and also to the German dialect spoken here, and their art, foods and culture.

The language is still spoken by the Amish, as well as many non-Amish residents, particularly in the Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks County areas. The dialect is close to Palatine German folk speech. (A publication in the dialect is currently published in Germany.) Interestingly, the language was primarily spoken and not written. (The Amish, for example, write to each other in English.) But in recent years, more people have begun to both read and write the language in an effort to preserve it. Now there are even classes offered locally in the Pennsylvania German language, and a dictionary has even been published.

This German influence is also seen in many local foods. Few people escape Amish Country without sampling such Pennsylvania Dutch specialties as shoo- fly- pie, chow chow and chicken pot pie. This is hearty eating, and we love our desserts, sometimes having as many as four or five at a time!

Finally, most people have seen the folk art of the Pennsylvania Dutch, whether it be in hex signs, quilts, furniture or fraktur. Pennsylvania German art is found in many of the world’s museums. Its distinctive birds, tulips, hearts and other images reflect the region’s religious faith, love of color, and closeness to the land. Published with permission from the Amish country news. Richard from Amish Stories.




Don’t miss this Fridays Bonanza post as i look back and Honor this classic TV show.


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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.

Michael is going to the public school which David and I are having a hard time  understanding the system. All Freshman parents had to come in with their children for a private meeting with a counselor to decide what subjects Michael will take and to get to know us. As we are Michael’s foster parents David and I went to the meeting with Michael. At the meeting I think they were a little surprised that we were Old Order Mennonite, but didn’t say anything. Everything was fine with the main subjects he had to take such as Math, English, History, Science and more. We even went along with physical education, although we thought it was a waste of time. I mean children should be getting exercise doing chores and playing-but we were told many children are inside playing games on the computer and watching TV. Also, we didn’t agree with everything that was being taught in science-but David said it would be good information if Michael decided to go into farming later on . Michael hadn’t decided yet, but thought he wanted to be a farmer. The counselor went on about all the other occupations that Michael could do. We explained that farming is a good job and feeds the people in the world. I guess the counselor did not think farming was a great occupation. Michael decided to take German as a foreign language to learn. The counselor thought he should take Spanish. Michael said he wanted to learn German so he could learn our language. We went back and forth until finally the counselor agreed to let Michael take German. They have classes in everything from music, car repair, wood working, art, cooking and many, many more.The counselor wanted us to wait outside and let Michael make the decisions-we disagreed. Michael asked us to stay. After a discussion he chose wood working, and art (he draws beautiful pictures). We thought we had everything worked out and they wanted to know if he wanted to try for after school sports like baseball, football, golf, basketball and more. If he gets on the team he would have to go to games out of town on the bus. We would like to go, but we couldn’t go on the bus so would have to find other transportation. Also, we are not for football-we consider that a violent sport-although David and Michael talk about football teams when in season. This would also take time away  from doing his chores meaning we would have to do them. I think they believe David and I are backwards. They kept saying that the public school is different than our school. They prepare students to go out in the world to get jobs or go on to college-not to really work on a farm. We understand that Michael came from a different way than we did and he may want to go to college-although he says no. To us certain courses are a waste of time and teach nothing for the ways of the world. The people before us were in and out of the counselor in a half hour-we were there three hours and wouldn’t have left if it wasn’t cow milking time. Finally, we got all Michael’s courses worked out for this school year. Also, we asked what they wore to school. We were told there was no dress code. You can bring lunch from home-but the school has the right to look it over-to make sure lunch is all you brought. All students have a locker and that the school has the right to check at anytime. They have physical education outfits and they change from their regular clothes. When David and I got home we were both upset-but Michael asked us to calm down and said  “it wouldn’t be so bad”. I forgot to mention that the counselors thought we were wrong with an education that only went to the eighth  grade where their school went up to grade 12. On the first day of school Michael rode the bus to school, but David and I went down and parked our buggy in front of the school to see what the students were wearing. I guess we embarrassed Michael, but we had to see. We were upset at what the students wore. Michael wears  slacks, a shirt, shoes and socks which is more than some students wear. Also, we got a call from Social Services telling us that they were happy that we took such care of Michael’s education, but that things were different between our school and the Public School. So the school must have called Social Services. We told them of what we disagreed with. Social Services explained that this is a different school-which we knew. We are considering putting Michael in a different private school, but he does not want to go because all his friends are here. He keeps telling us it won’t be as bad as we think it will be and a private school is just another public school. Another thing that upsets us is Michael gets homework. Our school does not have such and we disapprove of it. We feel that students should do all school work in school. When he comes home from school he should do his chores and not have work to do all evening. Evening should give us time together. Even on weekends there is homework. Martha tells us we are getting too upset. Before she became one of us, she went to a public school and also a Catholic School. Things have changed, but are basic as they were, It is the outside world. We are also concerned about drugs, liquor, boys and girls being able to be together and more. Yes, we do have a concern if someone brought a gun to school. It hasn’t happened at this school, but could. Since school is started if we wanted to go into the school-we have to buzz in-go to the office-give the reason we are there-be given a tag with our names on it. In our school all we have to do is go the school. Maybe if you send children to the public school you think we are wrong, but if we had a choice, we would not send Michael there. He would go to our school. Michael says we are over protective. I would never send Susan or Baby David or Rebeca to a public school. One of the readers asked if we would adopt Michael. We would like to. As yet, he hasn’t been put up for adoption, but we think he will be coming up. Before we got Michael back we discussed this with Martha and Joseph as they have adopted. Of course their children were much younger than Michael. They feel we should wait at least a year. See how things work out between Michael and us. Also, if he decides to be Old Order Mennonite or chooses another. He does attend meetings (church) with us and dresses our way for meeting-but likes his hair shorter. Susan would like us to adopt him so she would have a big brother. Michael says he would like to live with us but we will see how this goes after a year. If we adopt Michael, we can get him out of the public school, which he would like and so would we, but we have to consider a lot of things and so does Michael. It is not something we can all decide fast. We must live together and pray together to make this decision. Another question I was asked and forgot to answer before  is “do the Amish and Mennonites play soft ball”?.

. Yes, we do,  Not all the Amish do but the ones in our area do. We don’t have teams. Usually it’s the young folks that play-but in our one room school there is a game between the students and parents once a year-at the end of the school year picnic. Michael and some of the young folks played here when we had the party at the end of his school year last June. Now that he is living with us, I am sure there will be more games. We have both girls and boys that play soft ball. Will I be helping out a school? Yes, I will be at the one room school house. All parents take turns helping, bringing lunches (usually in the winter), whatever we are needed in. David and I will also be at the parents meetings with Michael teachers at the public school. These happen four times a year. We would be glad to CHAPERONE student activities at either school, if asked. I hope I have asked your questions-please feel free to ask more. Be With God, Jean

                       Jeans homemade beef stew

                                                  2 pounds beef chuck cut in 2 inch cubes
1 Large onion (quartered)
5-6 carrots halved
4 Stalks celery (quartered)
5 medium sized potatoes (halved)
1 Green Pepper chopped
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca (little less if you like more gravy)
2 cups fresh mushrooms or 1 number 2 can mushrooms
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp.pepper
1 16 oz. can whole tomatoes
3/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in large Dutch oven with tight fitting cover. Cook at 300 degrees in oven for 4 hours. Do not take cover off while cooking.

You can also do this in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. Look in booklets to see length of time in slow cooker. I would say 8 to 10 hours.  

A new post from myself this Wednesday with images from Lancaster/Lebanon county’s, and also an explanation of what   Pennsylvania Dutch really is. Then on Thursday the Amish cook, along with a special Friday post honoring the TV show Bonanza. Richard      

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Amish Dressing (Stuffing)

Put eggs in bowl and beat. Add salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. Mix. Add 2 cups milk, onions, celery, potatoes, diced chicken and carrots. Add bread crumbs and enough milk to moisten well. Substitute 1 c. chicken broth instead of milk if desired. Bake in well-greased 9″ casserole at 350° F. 1 loaf bread, diced and toasted
4 eggs
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. sage

1/2 tsp. thyme

3/4 c. diced potatoes

2 c. diced chicken

1/2 c. diced and cooked carrots

3 stalks celery, minced

This excellent collection of authentic Amish recipes will be a treasured addition to any cookbook collection. Includes Amish home remedies. 217 pages, 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″, comb bound, illustrated.

To order this recipe book please visit my Friends at Richard from Amish Stories.

Don’t miss Jeans post this Tuesday as two very different cultures collide. Including a home made recipe from Jean.

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When i first moved to Central Pennsylvania and was able to get settled in , i started looking around for a service  dealership for my Ford Mustang. So after just riding around and finding this really beautiful  and scenic road called 419 in Lebanon county is how i stumbled on this ford dealership. In fact route 419 is a designated Pennsylvania state scenic byway according to the US government, and seems a somewhat UN-likely place for a car dealer among pretty farmland and Amish buggies going by. In fact when i was there for service while standing outside  i saw 2 buggies go right past me, so its that kind of location most would love to have a home built on. Since this family run business was started in 1921,   going inside is kind of like stepping into a museum with old images abounding on most of the walls. In addition to selling cars when the business first started, they also sold Ford tractor’s until the early part of the 1970s. Keller Ford is now celebrating 90 years in business so its really nice still seeing a real family owning a car dealership instead a giant mega-company that is so very common these days. All of the images from the country side were taken on the same day as  the dealership pictures were. Enjoy the recipe from the Henry Ford museum that i was able to find. Richard from Amish Stories.
Note : I received no compensation for this post


Keller Bros. first opened its doors in 1921 on the front lawn of Mark Keller’s family home in Buffalo Springs, Lebanon County. It was an exciting time of ingenuity, invention and adventure when it came to the automobile. An era of depression and war did not still the beating hearts of those who had vision and were fascinated and intrigued by the automobile. With the help of Mark Keller’s brothers in 1921 they opened their garage and soon found themselves looking for additional space. In 1930 a new Ford facility was constructed where it remains today as Keller Bros. Motor Company in Buffalo Springs, Lebanon County.(From the Keller ford web site)

A relic from this dealerships past

Service dept building
Parts dept with pictures of the past on the walls
Old Keller Ford parts truck
Classic Ford tractor being delivered
Leonard a Part time tractor salesman who was a nice guy as we both hanged out in his office and told me about Keller’s history. He lives in Lebanon county and resides in a farm house built in the late 1800s.

gas pumps from days long ago

Leonard showing me the latest product from Kubota
The farmland across the street now has a home or two, but still very much retains its country


customer coffee bar

A car lovers paradise
Trolley car in Lebanon county from the good old days.

Building cost for Keller Ford in 1930. A drop in the bucket compared to today’s prices.


Dealership convention from 1949
Keller ford show room from the 1930s

My baby with a classic ford tractor, hey what can i say i love my Mustang!
One of the many companies that Lebanon county farmer’s sell their products to.
I love these stone farm houses. Right near the Ford dealership

A farm right next to Keller Ford
Mennonite and Amish folks abound  very close to  this dealerships location

Beautiful Lebanon county farmland takes center stage around this dealership

And especially in this day and age, anything being around for 90 years is a huge accomplishment and the fact that its family owned helps make it that much special.

(Image from a Ford factory from the 1930s)Greenfield Village Hobo Bread. From the Henry Ford Museum.

2 cups raisins           
1 1/2 cups boiling water
4 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar   
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon
vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups walnuts
4 cups all-purpose flour
Pour boiling water over raisins; let cool. Stir in soda and other ingredients. Fill 6 or 7 greased and floured large soup cans to half full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour. Cool and remove from cans.

Makes 6 or 7 large loaves or 24 servings.

 Recipe posted with permission from recipe goldmine.  Richard from Amish Stories.

Recipe of the week this Monday on Amish Stories.

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The Amish Cook

This is a diary of this past Saturday.
6:30 a.m. Time to get up. We are going to go help Jacob and Emma today.  They will have church services at their house next weekend.  
8 a.m.  Our family begins the four mile ride to Jacob’s.  Some of the children take Tiger, our miniature pony and the pony wagon.  Some of the girls take the single buggy pulled by Diamond, our 17-year-old horse. Joe and I and a few of our children take the surrey which is our big two-seated buggy pulled by our 7-year-old horse, Ginger.  The girls stay on the road behind the children with the pony wagon to make sure they don’t have any problems.  It is a cool morning and the horses are eager to run. 
9:30 a.m.  Breakfast is ready at Emma‘s.  On the menu is homemade biscuits, sausage gravy, fried eggs, fried potatoes, cheese, sliced tomatoes, hot peppers, V8 juice, orange juice, coffee and sugar cookies. 
10:15 a.m.  A few of the girls washed the dishes, the rest of us start cleaning windows, washing screens, etc.
The men and the boys haul manure.  After the windows are clean we hang up all the curtains that Emma washed the day before.
1 p.m. The windows are done so we go outside to the building where they will have church services.  The windows there get cleaned and the floors get swept and mopped.  Also there is some organizing to do.  The men and boys are still hauling manure.  Jacob helps show us where to put his tools and so forth.
3 p.m. I help Emma get lunch prepared. It will actually be our lunch and supper together.  We ate a late a breakfast so no one was hungry earlier.  They still have sweet corn in their garden so we prepare that.  We also make potato soup with potatoes and onions from their garden.  Also on the menu is barbecued pork steak and ham, tomatoes, cheese, watermelon, Oreo cookie dessert and sugar cookies. 
3:45 p.m. Ready to eat.  Everyone comes in and cleans up. 
4:30 p.m.  The men and boys are back outside hauling manure while we wash the dishes.
5:15 p.m. The five girls leave for home with some taking the single buggy and others taking Tiger and the pony wagon.
6 p.m. Our neighbor comes over to Jacob’s to get Joe to take him back home to help the girls.  They were taking Diamond off the single buggy and somehow his harness caught on the shaft.  This was enough to get him all shook up and he started kicking.  When 17-year-old Elizabeth tried to hold on to him he kicked at her and took off with the buggy which was only hooked by a strap on his harness.  This spooked Diamond even more taking a circle through our yard, tipping the buggy on its side.  He then tore his harness to get away from the buggy, took off down the drive and into our hay field.  He was very skittish and wouldn’t let the girls get close to him.  Our neighbor drove his truck with Joe in the passenger seat. They drove very close to him and after Joe did some coaxing and talking to Diamond, Diamond settled down.  We are very thankful that all ended well and no one was hurt.  Needless to say we had some very shook up girls.  The buggy will need a lot of repair and so will Diamond’s harness.  We are just glad it is all fixable.  It is always surprising that your oldest, calmest horse can turn into a wild one if something unusual happens.  Joe thinks when Diamond felt himself still caught to the buggy he must have panicked
7 p.m.  Our neighbor brought Joe back to Jacob’s and we started for home with Ginger and the buggy.  Everyone gets cleaned up and after the excitement we decide to call it a day.  Our thoughts also go back to 9 years go today when we heard about Dear Mother’s passing.
This is recipe is a great way to use up end-of-the-garden green tomatoes before the first frost hits.
6 cups ground green tomatoes
4 cups sugar
6 ounces raspberry or strawberry gelatin
In a large mixing bowl, mix green tomatoes and sugar. Boil over medium heat for 20 minutes.  Add gelatin.  Remove from heat and stir well.  Put into sterilized jars and seal. (Editor’s Note:  proper canning procedures should be followed.  Consult canning guidelines at or contact your local county extension agent)
Editor’s Note:  For recipes, videos, Amish Cook updates, and Amish-related news stories “like” The Amish Cook on Facebook. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Don’t miss Fridays post of a family owned Ford dealership that’s been around for 90 years!. With images of the country side and a recipe from the Henry ford museum.

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Images sent to  Amish Stories from  reader Lissa Holder of  California who ordered a home canning kit not long ago and seems to be well on her way to successfully canning her very own fruits and vegetables.  I will be now trying to post some pictures from  my readers who have something that i think would  be of interest to everyone, so if anyone makes something like a quilt for example or if your a guy who loves working in your wood shop and making something with your hands ill consider posting that on Amish Stories. Thank you Lissa and please  keep us posted on your progress. Richard
Some canning history : In 1795 Napoleon offered money to anyone who could find a way to preserve foods for his troops. Nicholas Appert of France found a way to preserve food in jars sterilized and sealed with pitch, and had a vacuum-packing plant by 1804. This process was a military “secret,” but by 1810, Peter Durand of England had a patent for tin-plated iron to use in “canning.” Canned rations were on the field at the Battle of Waterloo. In 1812, a small plant in New York produced hermetically sealed oysters, meats, fruits and vegetables in cans. Durand introduced his can top America in 1818. Henry Evans patented a machine that made the tin cans, increasing production from 5-6 cans to 50-60 cans per hour. In 1858, American John Mason invented the now famous glass jar for home canning. By the 1860’s, the process time had dropped from six hours to 30 minutes, making canned foods commonplace. In the heating process, the sterilization destroys bacteria and enzymes that can cause spoiling, and the seal prevents new air or other organisms from entering. Published with permission from Amish country news. Richard from Amish Stories

 Apple Butter and Jelly From Jean  
In either of the following recipes Jean recommends the following apples: Cortland, Jonathan, McIntosh, York Imperial, Beacon, Rhode Island Greening or Rome Beauty.  These recipes have been cut down from her original recipes as they were much larger.
Apple Butter
4 quarts sweet apple cider  (Jean makes her own, but you can buy it grocery stores)
3 quarts pared and quartered cooking apples (about 4 pounds)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Heat cider to boiling in 5-quart Dutch oven.  Boil uncovered until cider measures 2 quarts, about 1 1/4 hours.  Add apples.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until apples are soft and can be broken up with a spoon, about 1 hour.  Press apples through sieve or food mill to smooth the apple butter.
Stir in remaining ingredients.  Heat to boiling; then reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until no liquid separates from pulp, about 2 hours.  Heat to boiling.  Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Wipe rims of jars.  Seal and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.  Makes about 3 1/2 pints.
Apple Jelly
Heat 4 pounds apples (about 18), cut into fourths, and 5 cups water in boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until apples are soft, about 20 minutes.  Strain but do not press pulp through strainer.  Strain juice through 2 thicknesses of cheesecloth.
Mix three cups apple juice and 3 cups sugar in Dutch oven.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat.  Cook until candy or jelly thermometer registers 220 degrees; remove from heat.  Quickly skim off the foam.  Immediately pour jelly into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Wipe rims of jars.  Seal jars. Makes about 4 half-pints jelly
Jeans says:
When I do it-first we make the cider.  Then I have kettles outside in a wood, cobblestone building that David’s Dad added on to one of the barns where it was Outlawed to have fires in the open (except barbeque).  Usually my mother, David’s Mother , sometimes the grandmother’s and Martha get together.  The apples come in the back of wagons. Most of them are from our apples, others are what we purchased from other farmers.  I have kettles for cooking and for straining. Also I have a stove and sink where we can sterilize the jars. We start cooking in early morning and go on until dinner time.  One of us breaks to make lunch .  We take a lunch break and then get back cooking.  We stop when it is time to go home and cook dinner.  This goes on every day except Sunday for a week and a half or two weeks.  We make over 1000 jars when we get done.  At the bake sale people buy both the butter and the jelly. We give some to the sick or housebound.   Also, we give them as gifts at Christmas-and of course many are for our houses.  Most of them are sold though. 
If we get around to building another house David would make this building separate from the barn. Neither his father or himself were firemen when that building was built.  They didn’t think of what would happen if that building ever caught fire.  It never has, but it would be better by itself. 
Hope you enjoy the recipes.  Jean

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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 had been following Hurricane Irene in the local newspaper. When we realized it was heading out way, we knew we had to harvest what we could save before it hit. David and Michael got our tractor and went over to my parents and David’s parents first. Our tractors are steel wheel tractors, When we go on the road we attach rubber across the steel. It is our way that when things like hurricane Irene are coming to help others get their crops done . Our parents were starting theirs, David and Michael came and other farmers knowing they would need help also came. Most were Mennonite, but the Amish also came. After our parents farms, all those willing to help made up a list of those that they knew would need help and went from farm to farm to help. When it seemed that Hurricane Irene was coming the next day, I gave Michael permission to go to the attic and turn the television on to see what the news said. When he came down he said, it was coming our way and could be a direct hit. The people working kept going from farm to farm. They didn’t get to our house until the night before Irene was to hit. They started ours. David’s grandmother was here taking care  of the children, keeping the coffee pot full and sandwiches on the table. She also kept an ear on for the phone in case any emergency came in. David, and the other farmers went out to the crops. Susan and I were pulling up everything that we could save from the garden. After working for quite a while, I realized that Michael wasn’t there. I checked the house, the barn, the field where the men were and I couldn’t find him, I told David. So  David said that Michael wasn’t here long enough to run away he had to be here somewhere. We hadn’t had any disagreements that would upset him to leave yet. I went into the attic to see if he was watching the television. He wasn’t there. Went in the basement he wasn’t there. David’s grandmother hadn’t seen him. I was on my way to see David in the field about calling the police when I passed the barn and out came Michael and a couple of his friends. They had cleaned out the barn. When I looked for Michael in the barn I just opened the door and looked- in I didn’t say anything so Michael thought I was getting a tool out of it. He and his friends were in the back and it was sort of dark-I didn’t see him. David had said before they went from farm to farm that he wanted to clean the barn before the Hurricane came, but he worked in the fields so Michael took it upon himself and friends to clean the barn. He said that was something he learned in his previous foster home especially after he ran away. So the horses and cows were in a clean barn during the hurricane. We got ours done and people were starting to go home when Grandma came out the door and said we had one more to do, The young Amish couple whose house we had built. They had come and helped. Their house was on a list to do, but some how got crossed off but hadn’t been done. So everybody went to their house. Grandma with Michael’s help backed the coffee urns, ice tea , sandwiches, and desert in the buggy. Took Susan, the two babies and moved over to the Amish house. Grandma walked in and took over her kitchen commenting on what a beautiful new kitchen it was. As the Amish don’t have electric Grandma made hot coffee before she left our house so both the urns were filled with hot coffee. The Amish have gas refrigerators so she put the ice tea in there. They set up the table for people to come in and grab some food. The young Amish lady is with child and She is due in January, but she is very large-much larger that she should be. Her doctor tells her she is having one child. Grandma laid her hand on the ladies stomach and said the doctor doesn’t know what he is talking about. Grandma says it is at least twins. Grandma does not believe in witch medicine or fortune telling or anything like that-but she does have a way of telling of babies. Just by laying hand on she knows. As long as I have known her she has never been wrong in how many or in telling if its a girl or boy. Also, the Amish man said the crop was ours and David kept saying it was his. When we sold the property the crop was planted. David told the young couple that property was theirs-the crop on it was theirs. The Amish wanted us to keep it, Finally David just gave orders to put it in the Amish barns to all the workers no matter what he said. They were really appreciative of the crop, but felt it was shorting us. We tried to explain that it wasn’t. We made our money when they paid for the land. We hope we convinced them. We got everything done about 1:00AM. After we all had something to eat and drink in their house we all prayed that God would watch over and protect us, our neighbors, property, animals and crops. Our household got up in time to go to meeting (church) in the morning. It was very windy, but we made it to. After service we went home. We lost some of our crop that wasn’t ready to be harvested. Also, I lost some of the fruit and vegetables out of our garden that wasn’t ready to be harvested. Some of the glass windows on our green houses got broken. Michael and David had to empty one of the green houses into the other two as it had several windows broken. Some trees and limbs fell. We thought the house roof had been damaged, but it wasn’t. We came through pretty well. The glass in the green houses is replaced. The trees and limbs have been cut and moved. We did lose some of the crops, and garden, but nothing that was a great loss. What we are concerned about now are the apple trees. We did lose lots of apples off them because of the wind. We hope there weren’t enough lost to hurt what we make a year. That would hurt the apple butter, cider, apple dumplings, pies, apple sauce, etc. that we make and sell each year. If it does, God will take care of us. David said we couldn’t have made it through this with out Michael. He was a hard worker and did jobs without being told especially cleaning out the barn. Every morning and evening Michael helps David with milking the cows, feeds the animals and more. He brushes the horses, hooks up the buggy and more. He is going to be starting school September 6th. David and Michael both wish he didn’t have to go to school, but he must. Amish and Mennonite get along and help each other in time of need. When they were deciding who needed help-there was no Amish, Mennonite or even outsider considered different than anyone else. Anyone that needs help gets it. Since the Amish have moved in here, I have never seen them refuse help to anyone that needed it. They, like we, don’t care if it is Amish, Mennonite or Englisher-they help anyone. We track weather in the newspaper and on the phone. If someone Amish or Mennonite does not have a phone and we feel they should know about the weather-we go to their house and tell them. News travels fast here. Be with God. Jean             
Jean’s Quick Pudding Pies

Buy instant (non-cooking) puddings in whatever flavor you would like. Also buy or make a graham cracker pie crust. You can use either 2 1oz puddings or 1 3.4 oz pudding. If you are using 2 1oz puddings you will need 2 3/4 cup milk. If you are using 1 3.4 oz pudding you will need 1 3/4 cup milk.

In a large bowl put the pudding and milk. Mix for one minute. Add 1/2 of an 8 oz Cool Whip and mix until Cool Whip and pudding are mixed together. Pour into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate for an hour or two. You can use the other half of the Cool Whip as a topping on the pie when serving or to make another pudding pie.

These pies are quick and during these hot months you don’t have to use the stove oven to heat up the kitchen. I have sold these pies at the bake sale. As soon as I set them out they sell. I don’t put the Cool Whip on the top at the bake sales so people can see what flavor they are even when they are marked. In this weather I would advise you not to take these pies in an area where it is really hot as they can separate if you don’t eat them right away in 80 degree heat.

When I make banana cream I cut up a banana and put them on the bottom and sides of the graham cracker crust before I pour the pudding over them. I have made this pie in chocolate, banana cream, butter scotch, pistachio, white chocolate, devil’s food, oreo, vanilla and more.I have never had one of these pies not sell nor have I ever had a complaint. My family likes dark chocolate the best. Great for your home, bake sales, church socials, gifts and more.  Enjoy. Jean

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Since 1900, John Copes Toasted Dried Sweet Corn has been a unique and favored family tradition rich with Pennsylvania Dutch history. Although available since the 1900’s, John Copes Toasted Dried Sweet Corn gained popularity during President Eisenhower’s term of office. Legend has it that it was a popular ingredient for meals served in the White House. Today, John Copes product graces countless dinner tables year round and is a favored Thanksgiving tradition for many.

Chicken & Corn Pie
Pastry for 2 crust 9” pie
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
¾ cup chicken broth or milk
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1 15 oz can Cope’s Heat & Serve corn
¼ cup chopped green pepper
2 cups cooked boneless chicken

Line a 9” pie plate with pastry. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat to stir in flour. Add milk slowly, stirring until smooth. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. To thickened sauce, add salt, pepper, drained corn and green pepper. Put half of the chick in the pastry lined pie plate. Cover with corn sauce, then another layer of chicken. Cover with top pastry and seal edge. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees and then reduce heat to 325 and bake 30 minutes. Serve hot. Posted with permission from   Richard from Amish Stories.             
 Dont miss a new post from Jean this Tuesday along with one of her homemade recipes!

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