Archive for October, 2011


Martha is old order Mennonite who lives on a farm in New York state with her husband Joseph and children. She was once an outsider (English) who became old order Mennonite. Martha lives in a small farming community among her Amish neighbors and her very good friend Jean. 

Jean was asked about our Old Order Mennonite rumspringa. As Jean’s children are not old enough to go through anything like that yet-she asked me,  so i will try to answer  this. We have two teenage boys, one 17 and the other just turned 15. Also, Old Order Mennonite discourage any going into the outside world as the Amish allow. Even with all that some of the young folks do it anyway. Another thing you must understand is that I was born in the outside world and became Old Order Mennonite. Some of the things that our children do in the outside world upset Joseph, my husband, – don’t bother me and visa versa. Another difference  between the Amish and Old Order Mennonite, the Amish let their children go out into the outside world to decide if they want to join the church-and they are baptised when they decide to stay Amish. Our children make their decision to stay or leave the Old Order Mennonite first, those that stay are baptised and as much as we discourage it, can go out into the outside world. We have very few children that leave the  Old Order Mennonite church and those that do usually join another branch of the Mennonite. Right now our 17 year old is out this evening at singing at one of our neighbor’s barn. The young folks meet for singing and for   meetings, talking and eating. Sometimes lights are set up outside and they play soft ball or volley ball after the singing. We adults don’t chaperon these singing’s,but they are bringing in food for the table, and soft drinks so they usually know what’s going on. When the singing’s are at our house the younger brothers and sisters like to go up to the second floor, look out the window because they are longing for the day when they can go to these singing’s. From our second story window you get a great  view of the barn where the singing is held. If something happens or goes wrong one of our children comes running down the stairs and tells us. We have a great security system for the singing’s at our house. Most of these go along just fine, but sometimes some of the Old Order Mennonite’s or outsiders come and bring beer or other alcohol or drugs. We do not tolerate this. This has happened at our house twice. Once we found who brought it in and got them off our property and the other time we ended the singing and sent everyone home. Both times we called all the parents and let them know what was going on. That was a long time ago and we haven’t had any problems since. If you read any of those Amish or Mennonite novels where the young ladies hope that a young man will take them home in their buggy holds true with our singing. Many of the young ladies come with their the young man they are going with, but some ladies also  bring by their brother or friend. The single ladies and gentlemen look forward to meeting each other here. The purpose of these singing’s is to meet their future husband or wife. Also we also hold local picnic and games where the young folks can get together and enjoy themselves. Sometimes these are at parents home’s and sometimes it is on the lot behind our church. During the winter we also have skating, sledding, at someones place that has hills along with a bonfire and food. We try to keep activities going all year round. The only problem we have had with our 17 year old is that he has a car that we weren’t suppose to know about, but we knew the day he got it. My parents signed for him to get the drivers license and helped him get the car with our permission. I did not get to upset about it as I use to drive before I became Old Order Mennonite. Our son, has said he will get rid of the car when he finds the right lady and he plans on staying Old Order Mennonite. We live near the city of Canandaigua and I know he drives up there with  his friends to go to movies. He told us he tried drinking and smoking once, but got sick and would never do that again. We do not ride in his car as it is against the Old Order Mennonite rules. The one that has been the biggest problem is our 15 year old. He really shouldn’t even be going out into the world yet,not until he is 16 but he is. Some of the outsiders have parties on these back roads where we live where they serve beer and other liquor. He has ridden in young folks cars to places we do not know where they are going. We have grounded him, but he has sneaked out of the house. As yet, he has not been baptised and this also worries us. Many of his friends are outsiders. His older brother has taken the car out and brought him back several times. He has threatened to move out. He thinks he can get work but in this state he can’t work until he is 16 and any job he would get at that age would not support him. Of course, we don’t want him to leave. Many Sunday’s he does not want to go to meeting (church), but we make him go. We have punished him, spoke to the Deacons, grounded him and nothing seems to work. During the days, he does his chores and says he wants to stay Old Order Mennonite, but wants to enjoy life first. We have even had to go down to the Police Station because he and few other young folks his age were hanging around late at night. Our 15 year old thinks he is older than he is. I now know why my parents became grey so young although I was never this bad. We pray daily for all our children. Our 17 year old has been going out with different young ladies. Lately it seems to be the same one. We do not want him to marry until he is 18. He and Joseph went out and picked out the lot to build his house on when he starts courting. Our son would like the house up when they marry so they could move right in. Along with the house, he gets land enough to farm. We are talking to Jean and David about building on our land instead of where they were going to build their house.   I enjoy my neighbors, we go to the same church, but Jean is my closest friend especially when I was joining the Old Order Mennonite. Several people thought I would not make it as an  Old Order Mennonite, but Jean believed in me and encouraged me. If I didn’t understand something she would explain it. If I got discouraged she would encourage me. She was at my baptism. She and David were at Joseph and mine’s wedding and we were at theirs. Nothing would please Joseph and I more if David and Jean sold that land, sold their farm and built over here by us. I hope this helps you understand our children. They go through the same as all children do. God is With You, You Be with God, Martha

 Rumshpringa:  derived from the German term “herumspringen” or short “rumspringen” (meaning “jumping around”) and the Pennsylvania German term “Rond Springen” or “running around”) generally refers to a period of adolescence for some members of the Amish/old order Mennonites, a subsect of the Anabaptist Christian movement, that begins around the age of sixteen and ends when a youth chooses baptism within the Amish/Mennonite church or instead leaves the community.The vast majority choose baptism and remain in the church. Not all Amish/Menn use this term (it does not occur in John Hostetler’s extended discussion of adolescence among the Amish), but in sects that do, Amish elders generally view this as a time for courtship and finding a spouse Wenger Mennonites youth go through a period of rumspringa between ages 16 and 18. It is sometimes referred to as a period to “sow wild oats.”

Mennonite Old-Fashion Beef Pot Pie

2 pounds stewing beef

6 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

6 medium size potatoes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk or water

1 teaspoon minced onion

1 teaspoon minced parsley

Cook meat in salt water until it is tender. Remove meat from broth; add minced onion and parsley to broth. Bring to the boiling point and add alternate layers of cubed potatoes and squares of dough.

To make dough, beat egg and add milk. Add flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out paper thin and cut into 1-inch squares. Keep broth boiling while adding dough squares in order to keep them from packing together. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, adding more water if needed. Add meat and stir through pot pie.

Serves 6 to 8.

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


To view Martha’s very first post on Amish Stories and to learn why she joined the old order Mennonite church, just click on the link below!

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We had a thunderstorm during the night but it has now turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. It is now sunny and breezy and temperatures with temperatures reaching the 60s, perfect weather for drying laundry outside! We have our laundry washed and on the line now. Beautiful sunny days like this are numbered before the cold weather is here. Last week we spent time picking a lot of potatoes from a few fields after the pickers were done. We now have more than enough for this winter.

They are the “russet storage potatoes”, so they keep really well in our cool basement. We sure are thankful to be able to get these potatoes since ours didn’t do so well. Right now we are drying them out, these potatoes do real well in storage. Our family enjoys potatoes and there are so many different ways of preparing them. One night I made homemade French fries with the potatoes which everyone seemed to really enjoy. I have been using up the frozen fish from husband Joe‘s summer fishing. Before we know it they will be ice fishing and there will be fresh fish to eat again. Fish and homemade fries are a good meal.

Daughter Elizabeth, 17, made 4 batches of oatmeal cookies last week. We took some to the church services yesterday, but she made enough that we had plenty to eat ourselves. . The children always enjoy cookies and milk when they come home from school. Seems cookies don’t last long around here.

October 1st has made it 9 years now that I have been penning this column. Sometimes I think what life would be like if mother were still here to write it. But God had other plans so we must make the best of everything when situations in life changes. Our oldest child, Elizabeth, was only 8 years old while Joseph was our youngest at just a few months old when mother passed away. Where has all the time gone so fast?

Joe finally did end up starting a fire in our coal stove after some cold nights. Makes it a lot more comfortable to wake up to a warm house in the morning. But on days like today we can have some windows open when it warms up.

Kevin, 6, likes the chore of gathering eggs each day. Although he still doesn’t trust that rooster yet so he has one of the older boys stay close by. Kevin brings them in and sometimes like to wash the eggs at the kitchen sink while he chatters away. Once in awhile he’ll break an egg but most of the time he is pretty careful with them. Last night he found a horseshoe out in the field which he brought in to show us. Horseshoes are expensive and sometimes when the horses lose a shoe out in the pasture field we can still find it. This isn’t the case if one if one of the horses loses their shoe along the road. Unless you hear the shoe come off when it hits the road you usually don’t discover until it is too late to know where it flew off at. Joe always tells the children to always check to see if a horse has all their shoes on before harnessing them up. It can wear their hooves down fast to use them without shoes.

This is a recipe from my mother. My father must have really liked this dessert, since she called it “Ben’s Bars.”


1 package (18.25 ounces) of chocolate cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

8 ounces cream cheese

1 /3 cup sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, mix cake mix, oil, and one egg by hand until the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup for topping. Pat remaining crumb mixture into ungreased 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until fluffy. Spread over baked layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and reserved crumb mixture and bake 15 minutes more. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Martha returns to Amish Stories this Friday with a post about Rumspringa. Along with a Mennonite recipe!

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The most noteworthy craze to hit Pop Culture in 1966 was Batmania. The caped crimefighter Batman had been popular in superhero comic books and movies for decades and in January, 1966 finally got his own prime-time TV series on ABC on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The show was an instant success spawning Batmania, a Pop Culture phenomena so widespread that it reached into all other areas of society, too, from music to movies to bubble-gum cards to fashion to dances to coloring books to anything that could be merchandised as Bat-related.

Although earlier incarnations of Batman had ranged from straightforward and serious to grim anddour, the 1966 TV series was colorful, silly and “campy,” emphasizing the concept’s more outlandish elements presented in a deadpan manner, as though the paricpants didn’t know how absurd it all was. This style was pulled off so perfectly by the “Batman” series, that “camp” became a 1966 buzzword and other TV series tried to emulate “Batman’s” style. Extant TV shows that had begun seriously (such as “Lost in Space” and “The Man From UNCLE”) followed Batman’s stylistic lead and became more “campy.”

There had been a connection between teen idol singers and weekly TV series ever since Ricky Nelson became a pop star as a result of his musical interludes on “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.” In 1966, Colgems Records and NBC exploited the rock n’ roll merchandising power of prime-time TV by presenting The Monkees, a pop band that recorded songs by top songwriters and built audience awareness for those records by appearing as themselves in a weekly sitcom built around their personalities, music and fictional adventures. The experiment proved far more successful than anyone could have anticipated, with the records and TV show both becoming enormously lucrative. Although many contemporary critics and ‘serious’ music fans dismissed the Monkees as the “Pre-Fab Four,” an artificial band not worthy of respect, the Monkees’ records have held up extremely well over the decades, even if the TV show can often be excruciating to sit through. The Monkees were still performing in concert for enthusiastic crowds in the early 21st Century, long after their supposedly more respectable contemporaries had imploded or fallen out of favor.

In addition to the rock n’ roll Monkees, genuine simian monkeys also had featured roles in two other new 1966 shows: a weekly seriesbased on the enduring “Tarzan” character and the “Daktari” series about a veterinarian treating sick animals in Africa. Many of the other TV series that debuted in 1966 were the latest entries in some of the genres that were becoming increasingly prevalent on prime-time TV. There were novelty / gimmick shows, like the short-lived, but fondly-remembered astronauts and cavemen time-travel sitcom “It’s About Tme.” In the wake of “Batman’s” success, the same production team develo ped a superhero series based on the venerable “Green Hornet” character. This show was presented in a more serious manner than Batman and failed to duplicate its predecessor’s success; it did, however, co-star martial arts legend Bruce Lee, pre-saging the worldwide early-1970’s karate / kung fu craze spawned by Lee’s later movies. Another new 1966 series that failed to duplicate the popularity of its prototype was “The Girl From UNCLE,” a spy show spin-off from the hit “The Man From UNCLE.”

The increasing popularity of science-fiction lead to new shows in that genre, too. Irwin Allen’s time-travel / adventure series “The Time Tunnel” also ran for just one year. The notorious “Star Trek” also began airing in 1966 and eventually developed into a never-ending global franchise, some of whose fans treat it more like a way of life, an identity and a religion than a space exploration TV series.

Three other 1966 series that have long-outlasted their original incarnations were the daytime game shows “Hollywood Squares” and “The Newlywed Game” and the afternoon supernatural soap opera “Dark Shadows.” The spy craze continued with not only American-produced espionage series, but with later seasons of the UK hit “The Avengers” being imported and run on ABC in America. The show’s off-beat wit and quirky British-ness captivated US audiences and turned Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel character into an international sex symbol. There had been beautiful, strong women on American TV before, but seldom were they tough, butt-kicking, classy dames like Mrs. Peel.

Not all the new shows in 1966 revolved around spies, crimefighters and spacemen. This was also the year that the fairly mundane sitcoms “That Girl” and “Family Affair” began their very popular runs. Other traditional genres like Westerns, cop and lawyer shows and variety programs continued to thrive in prime time, too, but with shows like Batman, The Monkees, The Avengers, Star Trek, It’s About Time and the Irwin Allen series, TV was seeming more surreal and bizarre than ever.

Just about any time a fad or trend or entertainer achieves success of phenomenal proportions, an almost-inevitable backlash occurs. Critics, the more fickle fans or anyone who never entirely shared or understood the fad’s appeal in the first place will start looking for excuses to bash the pop culture phenomenon, gleefully point out it’s flaws or deride it as having deteriorated. By 1966, Beatlemania was firmly entrenched worldwide and that inevitable backlash escalated. Even many Beatles fans were among those upset when the deep-thinking, ever-philosophical Beatle John Lennon expressed ideas that were perceived as sacrilegious and offensive to Christians. Although Beatlemania continued to enjoy widespread support, there was also a sizable groundswell of Beatles-bashing directly resulting from the Lennon musings. This backlash did little lasting damage to Beatlemania, but it demonstrated the Beatles were not entirely the invincible juggernaut they’d once seemed. Some fans never forgave Lennon for his religious viewpoint, including the unstable “fan” who shot Lennon to death in 1980, reportedly citing the 1966 comments as part of his motive.

Although many other British pop musicians also continued their Invasion of the US in 1966, many American acts (some new, some old) racked up impressive record sales that year, too. In addition to the Monkees, the Young Rascals, The Mamas and The Papas and Tommy James & The Shondells all had their first major hits in 1966. Soul music continued to be a favorite, too. In addition to the always dependable Motown artists, soulful vocalists like Percy Sledge, James Brown, Lou Rawls, Dionne Warwick, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding sold records across demographic lines to music-lovers from all ethnic backgrounds.

Although Rock and Roll was developing a harder, more adult-intimidating edge and becoming more musically and lyrically complex, a surprisingly large number of gentle or easy-listening records were also huge sellers. 1966 was the year Frank Sinata sold millions of copies of “Strangers In The Night,” his first #1 single since the mid-1950’s. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass were one of the top-selling musical groups of 1966 and many of the year’s biggest hits were very conservative, both musically (“My Love” by Petula Clark or “Cherish” by The Association) and lyrically (“The Ballad of The Green Berets” by S/Sgt. Barry Sadler).

Anyone trying to graph the direction popular music was taking in 1966 probably would’ve given up in frustration as each week’s pop charts brought new surprises. Just as America’s youth seemed to be growing increasingly removed, remote and alienated from their parents’ generation, a so-called ‘nostalgia’ craze swept America. Although the word ‘nostalgia’ was bandied about a lot in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, this was really an inaccurate nomenclature. Teen-agers and especially college students developed an appreciation for musical, cinematic and other pop culture styles and icons of the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s. Since the audience embracing America’s Pop History was too young to remember the Roaring 20’s or World War II first-hand, they couldn’t really be said to be ‘nostalgic’ about those eras. The hippie-era generation latched on to old-movie icons like Humphrey Bogart, W.C. Fields and The Marx Brothers and the films themselves of that era became popular again both on television and in revival film house screenings, especially in the vicinity of college campuses.

Some pop historians trace the beginning of this ‘nostalgia’ craze to Fall of 1966, when one of the biggest hit singles of the year was “Winchester Cathedral” by the New Vaudeville Band. This record sounded more like an anachronistic artifact of the 1930’s–complete with Rudy Vallee-style megaphone singing and ‘Vo-Dee-O-Do’s’–than a hip expression of the Swingin’ 60’s.

Perhaps young audiences looking for something different latched onto the song “Winchester Cathedral” for its novelty value. Rock n’ roll stars of the 50’s and 60’s (most notably Fats Domino, Connie Francis,The Marcels and Elvis Presley) had frequently taken pop standards of previous generations and re-recorded them for young audiences, but the old songs were usually given fresh arrangements designed to make them sound contemporary and disguise the fact that the songs were from bygone eras. From 1966 on, the fact that the old songs sounded like Pop History relics became their selling point. This fascination with vintage musical stylings lead in subsequent years to retro-hits like “Mama” Cass Elliot’s remake of “Dream A Little Dream of Me” and Tiny Tim’s outlandish rendering of “Tip-Toe Thru’ The Tulips With Me.”

The feature films of 1966 reflected many of the genres also currently popular on TV. Spies (such as Matt Helm, Harry Palmer and Derek Flint), private eyes (Lew Harper), science-fiction (underwater, on the land and in outer space) and rock n’ roll (Herman’s Hermits, the inevitable Elvis) were also a huge part of the theatrical films that year. Even a “Batman” movie with the cast of the TV series was released in the Summer of 1966. The popular TV series families “The Munsters” and the cartoon “Flintstones” also were spun-off into feature film that Summer.

Just as the British were invading the music industry, British films (along with other foreign movies) were becoming very popular with US audiences in 1966. Roughly half the Oscar nominees for acting for 1966 films were from the UK. Some of the remaining nominees were from other foreign countries ranging from Japan (Mako) to France (Anouk Aimee) to Tahiti (Jocelyne Lagarde). British nominees won in the three main categories. “A Man For All Seasons” won Best Picture, with its star Paul Scofield honored with the Actor Oscar for his mesmerizing performance as Sir Thomas More. The London-born actress Elizabeth Taylor was awarded the Actress Oscar for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” The Supporting Actor awards went to Americans: Walter Matthau (“The Fortune Cookie”) and Sandy Dennis (also for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”).

1966 was one of those years in which it became trendy for films to run long: 2 hours (“Alfie”or “…Virgina Woolf,” for example) or even 3 hours (“Hawaii,” “The Sand Pebbles”). Although the content of mainstream movies in 1966 seems somewhat tame by the standards of the 1970’s through the present, commercial filmmakers in the mid-1960’s were exploring frankly what had previously been topics considered too risque or censorable to present on-screen: sexual perversion, promiscuity, infidelity, miscegenation. Each year, films became progressively bolder and less skittish about presenting such matters. While to some viewers, these adult themes still seemed shocking and scandalous in 1966, other moviegoers were starting to perceive them as fairly commonplace.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of old-fashioned, more traditional movies finding audiences that year, too. Also popular were action-adventure thrillers, Westerns, comedies, horror films, fantasies, family-oriented fare, war stories and movies about nuns. Published with permission from        Richard from Amish Stories.
 Shapes of Things” is a song written by Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf, and Jim McCarty, originally recorded by The Yardbirds and released as a single in March 1966 by the Columbia Graphophone Company.

The Amish cook On thursday, and a post from old order Mennonite Martha this 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.

Richard asked what our views were and do we celebrate Halloween. We look at Halloween as getting into the occult, death, worshiping the devil so we do not partake of it. Nothing happens at the Amish/Mennonite school. If one of the students brings it up or asks why we do not celebrate Halloween while their outsider friends do-the teacher explains. Our children do not go collecting candy or dress in costumes, There are no special parties or food. To us the day of Halloween is just another day-there is nothing special. We even sometimes wonder if we should even sell pumpkins like we do. Not everyone that buys them will use them in food-but some will carve ugly faces out of them. Of course we can not control what customers will do with them when they purchase from our fruit stand once they pay us and remove it from our property. So we wonder if we should continue selling them or not. Also, if we do not take our pumpkins in every night of Halloween weekend, we will find them smashed the next morning or several of them missing or both. Young people do not understand that every one they take without paying or one they smash is money out of our pocket. A couple of times we have had our money jars taken in broad daylight. We have our fruit and vegetables priced and leave a jar for people to put their money in as we can’t always be out at the fruit stand all the time. We have that money to buy our seed, pay our medical bills, utility bills, groceries, and more. We are one of the few Mennonites that have a fruit stand in our yard anymore. Many of them sell to the big fruit and vegetable stores along the main highway. Some also sell to the grocery stores as we do. If someone came (young folks included)  to our stand, wanted something and couldn’t afford it-we would give it to them. Taking or smashing upsets us, but we know we must trust in the Lord. We should not worry about it because God will take care of it with them in His own time and in His own way. We are learning things slowly from Michael that we did not know before. David and I knew that Michael was born on October 31st, but we did not know that his parents called him a devil. They told him he would not amount to anything. Now we realize why he tries to please us so much. Almost all the times he does what we ask and more. He does not act like a child as much as Martha’s children do and we know why. David and I sat him down telling him it does not matter what day he is born on-it is the way he acts and what he does that counts. We also explained that Halloween is a man made celebration not a God celebration. He told us his parents were atheists. It was friends of his in school that led him to the Lord. When he lived with his parents he had to hide his Bible and  if his parents found it they would throw it in the garbage like they did the first one he had. Michael never went to any particular meetings (church) as his parents did not allow him to go. The Old Order Mennonite is the first regular meetings he has attended. David and I feel that our meetings, home Bible and prayers is God’s molding Michael. He does not want to celebrate his birthday on October 31st. David and I said to pick another day to have a birthday party. He must give his real birth date when asked, but he didn’t have to celebrate it on that day. As October 29th is a Saturday, we will celebrate it that day. David’s Mother and my Mother have agreed to do the bake sale that day so I can bake for the party. We have some of his school friends over. Also Michael’s parents have asked us to come to the prison as they would like to meet us. We don’t have to go, but David and I are curious about them, also. They would also like to see Michael, but he has refused to go. David thinks he should go-I think  he shouldn’t be forced to go so we called Social Services to see what they think. We also spoke with Martha and Joseph-all agree he should not be forced to go. David still thinks he should go, but he will follow with the others said. Since they are in jail we write letters and take pictures of Michael for his parents. We do not believe in pictures, but Social Services says we should and our Bishop let us do it. Martha and Joseph also do it when they have foster children and the parents wants pictures. As we do not know Michael’s parents yet, we don’t really say much except about things he does, his marks at school, etc. His parents letters always seem down on him. After talking with Michael-now we know why. David and I are going to the prison to meet them. The prison and Social Services approved it. We explained to his parents that he will not be coming with us. They are upset that Michael is not coming, but they still want to meet us. Michael has told us that they are not like most outsiders that are our friends and neighbors. We are not making any decisions about them until we meet and talk with them. It is a long way from our house to the prison, but we have made arrangements with Martha’s parents to take us. Martha’s parents felt that we should have someone from the outside world with us at the prison although they have never been to a prison before either. We previously wrote about the Marvin Hershberger Jr. and his wife that passed (died) do to the automobile accident where six people were killed that lived in Joplin. New York. Just to bring you up to date the people that were coming to take care of the twelve children have sold their farm and moved into the Joplin home with the children. They are in the process of adopting the children and making them their own. God works in mysterious way-the couple had no children-now they have twelve. The family will be having a party for all of us that worked on their farm, cleaned the house, stocked them with food, etc. before they got there. They were going to provide all the food, but their fellow Amish decided they would provide the meat and all of us bring a dish. So we have that party to look forward to when the harvest is over. Harvest season is ending. We are harvesting what is left and getting all out of the garden. The apple trees and grapes are being picked. Apple butter, cider, apple sauce and more are being made. Grapes and apple jams and jellies are made. We are also making some of the items  I sent the grape recipes for. After everything is out of the fields and garden David and Michael will plow them for one last time this year. David is teaching Michael how to drive the tractor. Once the fields and garden are plowed for the last time they go to rest for the winter. In our view it gives the fields and gardens a rest until we start over in the spring. When Michael learns to drive the tractor David is thinking of buying another tractor, it would be done faster if we had two tractors. Once the fields are done David will be looking for construction work for the winter. He looks for work independently or with other construction people. They do mostly interior work during the winter. Sometimes David make furniture for people. Michael also wants to learn how to make furniture and wood item so David will be teaching Michael. Some of the wooden items are sold a craft shows in our area. Right now, David has a items he has made when he had a chance for the Christmas craft shows or sales. He will try to get more made and maybe some of Michael’s items can join his. I tell David the same things every year: “Farm work stops in the winter, but house work goes on all throughout the year.” Be with God, Jean
The following Amish Fried Chicken recipe came from my grandmother who got this from Amish lady many years ago. This is one of the dishes I made when Marilyn was here for dinner. Amish Friend Chicken 1 C. bread crumbs 1/4 C. flour 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. oregano 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 1/4 tsp. onion salt 1/4 tsp. red pepper 1/8 tsp. celery seed 1/2 tsp garlic powder 2 chickens, cut up in pieces 2 eggs, mixed with 1/4 C. water 1 C. water Combine bread crumbs, flour and seasonings. Dip each piece of chicken into egg and water mixture, coat with crumb mixture. Fry quickly in butter until brown. Put chicken pieces in a single layer roasting pan or 4 quart casserole dish. Add 1 cup water,cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes. Enjoy. Jean
Dont miss Martha’s return to Amish Stories this Friday!

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Corn Relish: 9 ears corn 1 qt vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 tablespoon’s dry mustard 1 tsp turmeric 1 medium head cabbage 2 medium onions, chopped 3 red peppers 2 green peppers Cook corn in boiling water for 2 minutes. Dip into cold water and cut grains from the cob. Chop the cabbage, onion and peppers into small pieces and add to corn. Mix vinegar, sugar, salt and spices and heat to boiling. Add the corn and vegetables and boil until tender-20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour into sterile jars and seal. This makes about 8 pints.Enjoy both recipes. Jean



Creamed Chicken and Biscuits 2 c. cooked chicken 1 c. cooked carrots 1 small onion, chopped 1 c. canned, frozen or fresh green beans 1 small can or 4 oz fresh balanced mushrooms 3 or 4 tbsp butter or margarine 1 1/2 c. milk (sometimes I use cream) salt & Pepper Melt butter in medium saucepan. Blend in flour over low heat. Make a roux (thickener) . Add milk and stir to blend and thicken. Add chicken, carrots, onion, green beans and mushrooms. Heat thoroughly and serve over biscuits. (Sometimes I make the biscuits, cut them in half and place on top of the creamed chicken to let some of the cream get inside the biscuits-then serve the cream chicken over the biscuits.) You can also makes this recipe with cooked diced ham or pork.

This Tuesday on Jean she talks about Halloween and how the old order Mennonites view it!


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Special thanks to Alice Aber for these Images of Arthur Illinois’s Amish community, and to Lissa Holder for the whoopie pie recipe.  

Some info on Arthur: Arthur, village, Douglas and Moultrie counties, east-central Illinois, U.S. It lies about 30 miles (50 km) southwest of Champaign. Founded in 1873 as a railroad switching point, it was originally called Glasgow but was soon renamed for a brother of Robert Hervey, president of the Paris and Decatur Railroad. Members of the Old Order Amish settlement, a conservative religious group in the area since 1865 and now numbering some 3,500 to 4,000 members, have contributed to the character of the community. Horse-drawn buggies, the mode of travel for many Amish, share the country roads and village streets with automobiles, and local Amish businesses produce a number of traditional goods. Agriculture (corn [maize], soybeans, poultry, and livestock) and tourism are important to the local economy; manufactures include cabinets, furniture, garage doors, storage tanks, paper packaging, plastics, and farm implements. Richard

Lissa’s pumpkin whoopie pie recipe with cream cheese filling. Preheat oven 350 degrees Bake 10 min.


1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 softened

1 c. packed light brown sugar

2 lg. eggs at room temperature lightly beaten

1 c. pure pumpkin puree

1T. pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 t. vanilla extract

1t. baking powder

1t. baking soda

3/4 t. plus 2 pinches of salt

1 2/3 c. of flour

4 oz. cream cheese chilled

1 c. powdered sugar


1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 t. vanilla, the baking powder, baking soda, and 3/4 t. salt. Fold in flour.

3. By tablespoon, drop 12 generous mounds of batter spaced evenly onto both sheets. Bake until done about 10 min. Cool completely on racks.

4. Cream butter and cream cheese, add powdered sugar and the 2 pinches of salt, 1/2 t. vanilla. Mix on low speed until speed until blended, then on medium high until fluffy about 2 min.

5. Spread filling on one flat side of cake and top with another.

Arthur Illinois’s Amish community information taken from Encyclopædia Britannica. Images of Arthur Illinois’s Amish community from Alice Aber. Whoopie pie recipe from Lissa Holder.Richard from Amish Stories.  

Dont miss 2 homemade  recipes from Jean this Monday!

And next Friday on Amish Stories Martha returns with a great post so please give her a warm welcome back, along with a Mennonite recipe. 

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October 17 is always a reminder to me of my parents anniversary.  They were happily married for 42 years before Dad’s passing away in 2000. We still miss them dearly but they left us many good memories.  
Meanwhile, we received the sad news of the death of Joe’s cousin Ben’s wife Salome.  She was only 46-years-old and that dreaded cancer overtook her.  Our sympathy goes to the family.  They lost a son some time ago from a fall while working on construction.  The funeral is on Wednesday and we hope to find a way to attend.  
Lots and lots of leaves have been raked around here.  Saturday was a windy day and blew away a lot of our leaves which made us all happy.  Last week, Kevin, 6, brought home a pumpkin from school and wanted me to carve a face in it for him.  I told him I don’t have time but he didn’t give up until I took time and carved one in for him.  I lit a candle inside and he was proud of his little pumpkin.
  My husband Joe shelled all the remaining popcorn from our garden.  The harvest wasn’t as much as we thought it would be.  I think maybe I planted it too close.  This is the first year we tried growing popcorn.  Do any of your readers have suggestions on how to grow the best popcorn? We still have plenty to enjoy for quite a few times.  Joe popped some on Saturday to see how it tastes and it tasted very good.  
Friday afternoon Uncle Joe and Betty stopped in for a short visit.  Betty always brings bananas for Kevin.  She knows that he likes them and when he got home from school and saw the bananas he said “Joe and Betty were here!“   Joe and Betty planned to spend the weekend here in Michigan.   They were here on Saturday evening for supper..  Also here were my sister Emma, Jacob, and family, my sisters Verena and Susan and my daughter’s friend, Timothy.   On the menu was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy, corn, cheese, green peppers, and hot peppers, bread, butter, green tomato jam, chips, ice cream, watermelon, and peanut butter dessert.  
Our winter supply of coal was delivered on Friday. It is always a relief once you know you have coal to keep the house warm during the winter months.  We have been hearing that we might have a bad winter so it is good to be prepared.  We heat our house from a hopper-fed coal stove in the basement.  We heat all 3 stories of our house so it takes a lot of coal for a winter.  I am glad that the basement is heated during the winter months to help dry the clothes.    So far we have not had to start our stove yet.  We like to try to put it off as long as we can.  The heat from our propane lights feels good on these chilly mornings.  It usually puts off enough heat to take the chill out of the house.  The thermometer this morning shows 42 degrees but it looks like the sun is coming up now which should warm things up.   We are hoping for a nice laundry day today
This afternoon we plan to pick potatoes up out of a big field close to Emma and Jacob’s.  We are hoping we are going to be able to pick up enough to supply us for most of the winter.  
With the harvesting of pears wrapping up for the season, I thought I’d share this delicious pear bread recipe with you readers.
3 cups flour
1 /4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 /4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled and grated pears
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients until evenly mixed.  Then in a small, separate bowl, combine liquid ingredients together and then blend in with the dry ingredients.  Pour into two lightly greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Yield two loaves.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans.reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

 This Friday image’s of Illinois’s Amish settlement with a whoopie pie recipe! 

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