Archive for the ‘Old order Mennonite’ Category

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.

Please feel free to ask Jean your questions in your comments folks. Richard

It is kind of quiet around our house this week.  Michael and Edward, along with  some Old Order Mennonite young men are down state working on some houses that were damaged by .  I don’t know if all Old Order Mennonite do this, but in our area we have what we call missionary work-where the young folks go for a week or two every year. And in the summer  helping people who need help.  

The boys leave in the morning and return in the evening.  In the 14 and 15  age group that Michael and Edward are in they go some place fairly local.  When they get around age 16 and older, they go some place out of state where they stay for two weeks to work, then come home.  Both girls and boys go along with adults for supervision. 

Thought I might answer some of the questions that were in some of your comments. What kind of games does my family play?  One of the favorites for Susan is a game called Candyland.  We also play checkers, scrabble, domino’s and more.  Before Edward moved in  we were  teaching Michael how to play chess.  Now he is teaching David, Michael,myself and even Susan how to play.
Where do Old Order Mennonites  and Amish acquire fabrics for their sewing needs?  We use to go to Wal-Mart but they have phased out a lot of their sewing materials.  Now we buy at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts. 

The responsibility of the amount of children we have is left up to God.  Most of the Old Order Mennonite families are large.  It is a rare situation where someone doesn’t have children or only one child as David was.  I came from a family of 11 children.  Though they are not our natural children, we consider Michael and Edward our children and as a gift from God.  We do not use any family planning (birth control). 

I really can’t tell you the difference between the Old Order Mennonite and many Mennonites that are in St. Catherine as I have never been there.  In our area there are different sects of Old Order Mennonites and other Mennonite groups that drive cars, have computers and televisions, and more.  We use some of the other Mennonites with cars to drive us.
I am feeling much better,  I am now allowed to lift David Jr which he and I are both happy about.  Also, it doesn’t bother me to ride or drive the buggy anymore.  

Still, I am not allowed to over- do the lifting in moving furniture, lifting laundry, and more.  We are down to having Bridget (maid) come to our home two days a week to help with laundry and any other jobs I have for her.  I have also been told by the doctor not to overwork myself.  David and Bridget are better at seeing I don’t do that than I am. 

Bridget is also working for another Old Order Mennonite family four days a week.  So between the two families we are keeping her busy.  

I still have more of your questions to answer and I will put them in other posts.  Please feel free to ask questions-then I know what you are interested in.
Be With God,

A home made recipe from Jean

Strawberry-Applesauce Salad

1 6oz pkg strawberry Jello

2 cups boiling water

1 15oz can applesauce (I use homemade applesauce)

1 10oz pkg frozen strawberries (I use Fresh strawberries)

Dissolve gelatin in water.  Add strawberries.  Stir (until thawed if using frozen strawberries).  Add applesauce.  Pour into mold or bowl.  Chill until firm.
                                         Enjoy. Jean

Next Monday some of Jeans natural home remedie picks!

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Sara lives in New York state and is old order Mennonite, she and her husband have been foster parents for many years and have taken in all children regardless of their disabilities. This is Sara’s first post on Amish Stories.

If you should have any questions for Sara please ask them in this post and I will try and make sure she receives them. Richard

My husband and I have been Foster Parents for over thirty years.  Some of the children have come for a night or two while a parent or relative came in from out of state.  While others have come into our home as babies, children, teenagers and have stayed with us until they were full grown.  Most of those that have come and stayed for a few years got adopted into our family.  

We have five natural children and eight we have adopted.  Still many more children have come through our doors and left-some to return again.  Over the years we have tried to keep track of all these children and most of them we have. We consider every child that God has sent across our doorway as a gift from Him-even if for a just a day or two.  He had a reason for sending them to our home.  We may not know the reason-but God had one. 

As far as Amish or Old Order Mennonites being mean to a child-we have never seen that in our area.  In our area we have seen many Amish people that have natural handicapped children and I have never seen anyone handle or treat them badly.  But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t people: Amish or Old Order Mennonite or Englishers who do treat handicapped people mean or unjustly.There are all different kinds of people in this world.  

If they are  Foster Parents, that treated children badly handicapped or not-they would not last long in the Foster Parents.  We have strict rules and regulations we must abide by.  Also at anytime a person from the State can come into our home and inspect it unannounced.  Old Order Mennonite and Amish have views that are different than some other people.  We feel that each child should find it’s own potential-no matter how physical or mental their handicap.  

God has given each child a purpose on this earth and it is our job to find it and encourage it.  Our natural children and those we adopt go to the Old Order Mennonite School.  Those we are fostering go to the public school.  Both our school and public school provide extra help with special children in school-children that might need more help than other children.  We also encourage and help them at home with school work.  

This is to see them go as far as they can in their education. In Old Order Mennonite school-education goes to the eight grade.  In public school it goes to the 12th grade and even college. Also, we have chores around our farm that each child can do.  Maybe it’s just setting tables, doing dishes, or bringing down clothes for laundry.  Some of the girls in our home assist in cooking and baking for our meals, house cleaning, sewing and more..  Some of the boys milk cows, feed the animals, plant and harvest the crops and more.  Each child is encouraged.

Many of the children have problems when they come into our home.  Parents can’t handle them.  There parents have abused them.  Parents are in prison.  Other places they have been – can’t handle them anymore.  Both parents have passed on (died) and more reasons.  It is hard for children to have their whole lives changed like that.  We see each child as fresh, new to us.  It is our place to give them a home-a real home where they are loved, fed, cared for, disciplined and trained to go on.  We also teach the word of the Lord.  Some children never knew God or a Bible until they came into our house.

Also we see to any medical attention they need.  Some need medical, and some mental help, but they get it.  All children get a physical before they go into a Foster Home.  The night Jean took in Michael’s friend-the friend went to the hospital for a physical to make sure he wasn’t sick, injured or abused.  Of course he wasn’t-but some children are.  Four times a year, each Foster Child has to go through a physical to check their condition.  Most of the times it is at a doctor, but as Michael’s friend had to go in the night-he was taken to the hospital before he went to Jean’s.  

We give medicine to the children that need it, physical exercise to those that need it, fix special foods if necessary and more. In all the years we have had children-we never sent one back to Foster Parents Office because we couldn’t handle him/her.  We had some children that were harder than others, but we wouldn’t turn any of them down.  Unfortunately three of the children have passed on. Most are grown, have jobs, are married and have children of their own.  

They laugh and say: “Now we know what you went through.” Some of the children will be in our home for the rest of our lives or theirs.  We have an agreement with our oldest daughter, who was a Foster Child-we adopted and her  husband that if anything happens to my husband and I, they will take the children that are in our home.  Some of the “children” are adults but their minds are of a child’s. 

I could go on for hours talking about the Foster Children.  My husband and I have never regretted being Foster Parents. If it is oked, maybe I can do another post sometime telling of some of the children that we had and what became of them. 
God Loves His Children, Sara

Cherry-Chocolate Brownies

1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (scant) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Melt butter and chocolate over hot water. Beat eggs well; add sugar gradually. Beat in chocolate mixture. Sift dry ingredients and mix in. Add cherry juice, cherries and nuts. Spread into a greased 8- or 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Recipe from

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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.

Since our Old Order Mennonite School is closed for the school year-it is now time for the children’s fathers to go through the school and see what repairs it needs.  Almost every year the men give it a paint job on the inside and the outside.  They also check the roof to see if it needs repair or replacement.  Also check the walls, floors, heater, bathrooms, etc.  Anything that needs to be repaired or replaced is done when the school is closed.  They  want everything in working condition when the school opens.

Also the school books are checked to see if they need any repair or replacement.  Should any special books be ordered in for the school year?  Are there enough books for each student?  Does the teacher have all the books and supplies that she needs?

Our school board is made up of some of the father’s of the students.  We have a school board of eight.  If someone has to leave for one reason or another-another student’s father is asked to come on the school board.  In addition to seeing that the school is checked, they also hire a teacher, if it is necessary.
As Susan’s school teacher left to marry-another teacher had to be chosen. 

 As we had a teacher’s aide she was the first that was offered the position.  She accepted.  If she had been refused the school board would have contacted ladies they thought would be a qualified teacher.  Our teachers do not go to college.  Teacher must have completed the eight grade and be 18 years old to be a teacher. 

Most of the girls that complete eighth grade  that want to be a teacher become a teacher’s aide until they are 18.  If the school board does not have anyone who they feel qualified or willing to accept in our group then they look in other Old Order Mennonites groups or area.  As our teacher’s aide has accepted being a teacher the board must find another teacher’s aide.  Teacher’s aide would usually be between the age of 14-18 who would be interested in becoming a teacher. Most of our teachers are women.  Once in a great while you will find a man teacher-but that is rare in Old Order Mennonite.

Our teachers do not rotate for a year. Once in a while a teacher may switch with another teacher for a day to they can see each others students, classroom and way of teaching, but that is rare.  Sometimes a teacher, after teaching for several years at one school, applies to another school for some place different-but that too is rare.  Usually a teacher is chosen and stays until she marries or retires.

It is considered a treasured position to be a teacher as you are teaching children-gifts from God. The salary the teacher makes is decided by the school board.  Our current starting salary is $5000. a year plus room and board.  As our new teacher lives at home with her parents and attends our meetings (church) no extra money is received.  If she does well in her teaching position which is decided by the board she will get a raise every year.

Every year we pay $500.00 for Susan to attend our school, but Martha and Joseph that have 10 children pay $1,500 for all her children.  I guess the payment is $500.00 for the first child and $1,000 for the rest of the children.  No one pays more than $1,500. a year for their children that go to our school.  If, for some reason, someone could not pay that our meeting would take care of it for them.

  I don’t know anyone in that position, but it would be taken care of, if necessary.  All students mothers help at school when necessary.  It could be helping the student that has problem learning a certain subject, bringing a hot lunch in the winter, chaperoning a school trip, assisting the teacher with some project, cookies or cup cakes for someones birthday and more.  If the teacher had her own home, we make sure she has food, clothes, heat, furniture, etc.  At her birthday, Christmas and end of the year, we see that she gets a gift-a quilt, a cape or coat, books, etc.

If the teacher needs anything from books to building repairs during the school year-she tells the school board and they take care of it.  Should teacher have a problem with a student she goes to their parents and if they don’t help-to the school board.  The teacher that just retired had never brought up a problem child to the school board-if she couldn’t handle the problem-she went to the student’s parents.

Every year we have a yard sale, bake sale, and sometimes even a lunch or dinner for money for the school.  This money goes for any repairs, books, school supplies, teachers books, and more.  If we don’t need all the only money it is put in a school fund where it is held until we need it for the school.  There is a discussion about building a new school.  Our school is old and has had many additions and remodeling that a new one would be less expensive to run electric wise and heat wise.  School Board even has the property to build the new one on-it was donated by a student’s family. 
Be With God, Jean

These two recipes are over 100 years old – have been passed from generation to generation.  They are both very refreshing drinks during the summer months and are well worth making.   Jean

Raspberry Shrub
3 quarts mashed raspberries
1 quart (good vinegar)
Pour vinegar over the raspberries and let stand 24 hours.  To each pint of liquid add 3/4 lb. sugar.  Boil for 1/2 hour.  Remove from heat and skim clear, then in sterilized bottles, seal tightly, and keep in cool place.  When wanting a drink add 1 tablespoon to 8 oz. glass cold water. 
1 gallon water
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 tsp. ginger
Stir the ingredients together well and mix with water.  Then keep cool.  NOTE: Try using one cup sugar.  Some people use molasses in place of 1 cup of sugar.
This drink is made for the men working in the fields.  Recipe is easy to make and really refreshing.                   Enjoy. 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.

Jean is still accepting more questions folks about her old order Mennonite lifestyle, so please feel free to post your questions and Jean will answer them in future post’s. Thanks.  Richard

As I mentioned in previous posts, Susan’s teacher was getting married.  Her future husband’s son got married the week before.  The next week Susan’s teacher and her husband will get  married.  Usually our marriages (old order Mennonite) are done in the home, but Susan’s teacher and her husband chose to marry at meeting (church) after service.  Their wedding really had people from both families plus many of her students and former students attended.  The reception was held at Martha and Joseph’s house.  We ladies all worked in the baking and cleaning of the house while the men moved the furniture and brought in the tables.  We also had a dishes, pots and pan carriage brought in to set up the tables for the reception. 

Instead of the usual dinner tea sandwiches, salads, vegetable plates, cakes, pies and cookies were serves plus beverages.  Even though it was not a dinner everyone was filled but we had lots of left overs.  It was a very nice reception.  They are moving into her house as he gave his farm to his youngest son. There is going to be a big yard sale as Susan’s teacher wants to get rid some of her things because her husband moved some of his things in.  Her husband wants to sell some of his items that he has no use for.  His son wants to sell some of things he has as his wife brought some new items in the house.  Some of the folks are helping to get ready for the sale which will be at the son’s farm. 

We do not go to the county court house to get a license when we marry.  Our meeting (church) has it’s own marriage licenses.  The license must be signed by the Bishop or minister that preforms the marriage, the bride, groom, and two witnesses.  Once the marriage is performed and the license signed our Bishop or minister must take it to the county seat or court house to have it recorded.  Now this is how we must do it in Ontario County, New York State.  I know it my be different in other states as  it does not have to go to the county seat or court house to be recorded,  but in New York State that’s how it is done. 

Another question asked is “if we do shunning like Amish”.  We do have shunning, but it is not the same way as the Amish.  When someone does something that they are shunned for, we still can talk with them, do business with them, eat with them, etc.  The person that is shunned can still come to our meeting (church).  We have communion service twice a year and someone who is shunned is not allowed to receive communion.  We hope that they are remorse for their actions or what they did- and have repented to be able to receive communion.  If they have not and are still shunned-they may not attend  communion.

Not many people join Old Order Mennonite. The only person I know that applied and stayed in Old Order Mennonite is Martha who wrote a post about it for Amish Stories a while back.  Maybe she will write another if you are interested.  People find it difficult to give up their worldly items such as cars, computers, etc.

You asked do we believe in salvation-I don’t know what you mean in that question.  We do believe that when we die we will go to heaven if we have lived the way the Lord wanted us in Old Order Mennonite.  We also believe we are all sinners.  If you want to know if we are born again-David and I are-we are praying that Michael will receive the Lord.  Are all Old Order Mennonites born again-no that we know of.  Some are.  If this is not what you were asking-please ask again.
Don’t want to use all the questions on one post-so I will sign off for this week.
Be With God, Jean

2 Homemade recipes from Jean 

I have several different Baked Bean recipes.  Here is just one of them:

 Baked Beans

1 can pinto beans
1 can navy beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pork & beans
1 can Great Northern
1 can Lima beans
1 can green beans
1 can waxed beans
1 lg. hot chili beans
1 can tomato soup
1 small can tomato paste
1 lb meat
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
NOTE: Meat could be hot dogs, hamburger, kielbasa, etc.
Pour everything into large cooking pan.  Mix.  Bake 1 to 3 hours at 375 degrees without lid unless starting to dry out.  This recipe freezes nicely.

Good and Easy Pizza Dough
1 pkg dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
2 1/2 c flour
Mix yeast with water and let set 5 minutes.  Add other ingredients.  Mix well.  Will form dough.  Cover, let set for 10 to 15 minutes in warm place.  Then press on pizza pan round 14″. Can be doubled for cookie sheet pan.  Cover with sauce and desired toppings.  Bake at 400 degrees until light brown on edges or done.  
  Enjoy. 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.

Jean is now accepting more questions about her old order Mennonite lifestyle, so please feel free to post your questions and Jean will answer them in future post’s. Thanks folks. Richard

One of the questions recently asked  is “why Michael goes to a different school than Susan”.  David and I are Foster Parents and Micheal came to us as a Foster Child.  Being a Foster Child we have to go by the rules of the State of New York which means he must go to public school.  Susan and David Jr are David and mine natural children so she goes to our Old Order Mennonite School.  

David and I are in the process of adopting Michael.  When our adoption goes through, which we believe is in October or November, then we can decide on his education.  Our schools (old order Mennonite/Amish)  go to the 8th grade where the public school goes for 12.  Michael wants us to take him out of school when the adoption goes through as he will be finishing 9th grade in the public school in a few more weeks, but this is a matter we will discuss after the adoption goes through.

We recently got one of Michael’s friends at school to our home as a Foster Child.  His Grandmother went to the hospital.  She has cancer and it does not look well for her right now, but she is in God’s hands so He will decide.  We don’t know how long Michael’s friend will be staying but he is more than welcome here.

When school gets out the children there are chores for them to do.  We have the usual feeding the animals, milking the cows, now we have the planting of the crops and the harvesting of what is ready, which will keep Michael and David busy.  Susan and I will be taking care of our  planting of  the flowers, selling at our stand in front of the house, canning, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden  between the flowers and more.  This in  addition to cleaning the house, washing clothes , sewing, cooking and more.   To start the bake sales season of this year Martha and her girls are taking over for me and I will do some baking at home.

I recently went to the doctor check up and he felt going two the bake sales would be a strain on me.  He does allow me to ride in the buggy.  I tried again just a short way and it still bothers me so right now Im only go on the buggy on short trips.  I can resume some more house chores, but he still doesn’t want me to pick up David Jr.  It is hard on me because David Jr. wants me to lift him and I have to call maude (maid) or Michael or my husband.  I will be doing some of the baking for bake sales, but as I said, Martha and her daughters will go to the Farmers Market and the Veteran’s Bake Sale for me. 

When it comes to my garden Susan helps me pull out what vegetables she can, but Michael or David have to pull the rest.  Sometimes if our maude has time she pulls them.  Soon, we will be into strawberry season and I will not be picking.  David said not to worry about it, but I do.  When I do canning, David’s Mother and my Mother will be here to help maude and I.  What is in our favor is that Michael’s friend that is staying at our home has worked  on farms so he is working with Michael and David.  We also found that he likes to cook-and is very good at it especially considering he is fourteen years old. 

I don’t want you to think we always work.  We brought Michael’s basket ball hoop up from the basement so he and his friends use that. Michael and his friends also play baseball at Martha’s house (they have more room that we do).   We also go on walks. David and Michael have been fishing a few times this year already.  Sometimes we sit on the porch or in the living room eating popcorn and drinking soda.  

We also play some games inside.  Susan plays with her friends-playing house, or school.  They also go to the park and swing on the swings and slide down the slide.  This year David thinks it would be nice if we got a Crockett set.  So we are not always working, we do stop and enjoy ourselves.  
Be With God, Jean


With fishing season in force-I thought you might like this recipe.  Jean

Fish Gumbo
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 28 oz can tomatoes ( I used fresh tomatoes I have canned)
1 15oz can okra
1 cup water
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 lb fish fillet, cut in bite size pieces
2 cups cooked rice
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat.  Add onions, green pepper and celery.  Cook until tender (3-4minutes).  Add tomatoes, okra, water, thyme and salt.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add fish and cook 10 minutes or until fish is easily flaked.  Spoon 1/2 cup hot rice into bowls and fill with fish mixture.

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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.

Yesterday was Mothers Day but it really started on Saturday.  As many of the Old Order Mennonite and Amish helped us so much when we had the fire David thought it would be a thank you for us to provide the meat for the Mother’s Day dinner.  He slaughtered some of our beef to provide steaks for the dinner.  Several people came to help slaughter.  Michael had never seen a slaughter before and got a little light in the stomach.  He had to leave a couple of times along the way, but returned. David told Michael that the first time is always the worse.  It gets easier every time you do it.  Usually I am out in the barn helping, but this time I helped maude (maid) make lunch and watched the children. 

As one of our Old Order Mennonite bought the property next to theirs-they were having the Mother’s Day dinner at their house.  There are not many Amish in our area and they also helped when we had the fire at our house-we invited them to attend to.  The Amish loaned us their dishes wagon which has all the dishes, silverware, glassware, cups. saucers pots, pans, etc.  As our meetings get done earlier than their church, we set up what tables we had and they brought theirs after service to set up.  Everyone bought a dish to pass.  It is usual at our dinners that the men and boys eat first while the ladies serve.  

Also the ladies prepare the food.  This time was reversed-we ladies ate first – the men prepared the food and served.  When it came time to serve the men and boys the girls served-we mother’s sat and watched.  Also when it came time to clean up-the men and girls cleaned, packed up the food, dishes wagon, and table wagon.  After that each one of us ladies was given flowers.  Even the Mother’s that were widowed got flowers, too.  We thanked the men for all they had done and one Amish husband told us to enjoy it-because it wasn’t going to happen again until next year.  We laughed. 

Many of the young folks set up a volley game and played while we watched and talked.  What is a bit different is the Amish will allow the children to pay baseball on six days a week-but not on the Lord’s Day, but they will allow volley ball on seven day a week.  Of course Monday through Friday, the young folks usually don’t have time to play baseball as they are doing chores.  It was a very enjoyable day.  We worried a bit it might rain-but it didn’t. 

Also, I thank you , again, for your prayers and thoughts.  I am getting better, but still am not allowed to do some of things I would like to do.  Two things I really want to do is to ride in the buggy again and to lift David Jr., but I have to wait and obey the doctor-and David.  I now can do most of the cooking, some light cleaning and work around the house. 

It has been about a year that I have been giving Marilyn post’s for Richard to put on Amish Stories.  I just would like to thank you all for reading them every week and leaving comment’s.  I enjoy doing them.  I also hope that I have helped your understand our way of life which is quite a bit different than  your own, but in many   ways we are all alike.  In the coming year, I hope that I continue to post items that interest you.  If you have any questions or topics you would like me to tell about, please let me know in your comments. 

                       Be With God,   Jean

As Jean is still looking for her recipes I came across this one I thought everyone that loved peanut butter pie would like. We use to have a restaurant in our town called the Palmyra Home Diner-it has since closed. There were several restaurants in since. For the last 10 years or so it has been an Italian Restaurant. Anyway, the Palmyra Home Diner’s Peanut Butter Pie was known throughout our area. A friend of mine and I use to go into the restaurant and just order a piece of the peanut butter pie and a cup of coffee. My friend and I being chocolate lovers the owner would take his hot fudge sauce and run it very lightly back and forth from the top to the bottom of the pie. Then he would put the whip cream on top of that and lightly run the hot fudge down the whip cream, it was outstanding.   Marilyn      

1 8 inch baked pie shell

1/2 C. sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. milk

3 egg yolks, slighty beaten

1 Tbsp. butter, softened

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1/2 to 1 cup peanut butter, to taste

Stir together sugar, starch, and salt in a 2 quart saucepan. Blend milk and egg yolks, gradually. Stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Blend in butter, peanut butter and vanilla. Immediately pour into baked pie shell. Loosely cover and chill for a couple of hours. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Recipe by: Clarence Bennett, original owner Palmyra Home Diner

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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.

Thank you all for your comments, prayers and thoughts. I recently went to the doctors and received a good report that I am healing well. He told me not to ride in the buggy for a few weeks, but I insisted that it wouldn’t bother me so he said to give it a try. When we got home David hooked up the buggy to go to Martha’s. We didn’t get far done the road when I made him take me home. I never realized the way the buggy would feel and  the bumps in the road and all that  swaying, It really bothered me. So right now I  will have to go places with a driver. The people across the street from us parents are the drivers we use the most. They don’t really want any money from us since we are all neighbours for such trips trip,so we buy them some gas every so often which we have done.

Today was the last day of Susan’s School year. The children went in the morning and the adults arrived before lunch time. We had the children receiving their report cards. All of us knew our children had good report cards or we would have been called before today. The eight graders received their graduation diplomas. None of the children receive awards as we do not believe in vanity. After that we received a shock-our teacher will not be returning for the next school year. She is getting married. This is not usually a shock, but she has been single all her life-she has never married. Now she is in her late 50’s she will be marrying. Her future husband is a member of our meetings (church). He has been widowed for many years. Without any ones knowledge they have been courting for the last three years. He is in his early 60’s and will be turning his farm to his youngest son who also will be marrying. He and our teacher will be moving into her home.

Her teacher’s aide will be the new teacher starting in August. She had made it known she was leaving and told the school board but asked them not to make it public until today-which they agreed with except in asking the aide if she would be the new teacher. The older students and us parents were happy, but some of the younger students cried losing their teacher. She explained that she will still be living in her home and will come to visit. Well all congratulated her and her future husband. Us ladies planned on starting a wedding quilt for them.

Everyone family had bought a dish to pass-so they were laid out on the table. The children ate at the table and us parents ate sitting in our chairs. After dinner we sat and talked for about an hour when the boy school students asked the fathers to play baseball game-fathers against boys. David was asked to play and did. We ladies talked and watched the games. The younger girls played on the swings, and talked. The older girls watched the game. It did not rain today, but it had yesterday and grown was still muddy. Sure was funny watching some of the runners slide on the mud coming into base. This year the fathers won. I was told it goes back and forth-one year the fathers win, next year the boys win.

After the game we ate left- overs. The children felt bad that they were parting. We reminded them that they will still see their friends at meetings, when they play together this summer and more. It kind of softened the going home part. We got home in time to do chores, and David still had mud on him from the baseball game after chores so he took a shower. My maude (maid) took his clothes when he brought them out of the shower and hosed them down in the yard. In fact, we all had mud-so we changed our clothes. Tomorrow  the maude will do a load of wash with our clothes in them. This is one time I am glad I have a maude-she gets to do the wash.

We had a good time although it was a bit sad that our teacher is leaving-we will still see her when she comes to visit and at meetings. Susan will be in second grade when she goes back to school. As Michael goes to public school, he wasn’t able to attend Susan’s school year ending-he had to go to school.

                                          Be With God, Jean            

Susan asked me to bake and bring Corn Flake Crunches which is one of her favorites-so I did. I will now pass the recipe on to you.  Hope you enjoy it. Jean
Corn Flake Crunches                                        

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
6 Cups Corn Flakes
1 Cup Peanut butter
2 Tbsp butter

Mix and bring to a boil the brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a hard boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the corn flakes and peanut butter. Drop by spoonful onto waxed paper. Let cool.

                             Enjoy: 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.

David and Michael are out plowing this morning with the beautiful weather we are having in Upstate New York right now. They have plowed our field, my parents field, the two Amish behind us and David’s parents. David’s parents was the hardest to do as the previous owner had not plowed the field in over 10 years. It will be great land to plant this year as it has not been used and has rested as we say. David bent one of the plows when he hit a rock on his parents field. Michael was right behind him in our other plow when David hit it, but Michael had time enough to stop before he hit the rock. Now the men are considering planting. The weather is beautiful, but it is March and they don’t want to plant too soon, get a freeze and lose all they planted like happened a few years ago. That year they had to re-plant the crops again as the first planting was ruined in the freeze. But on the other hand, they are getting the Itch to plant. The men even plowed for my garden already this year.

Thought I would update and how things are going. Our house is almost all done. The kitchen is completed except for a couple additional cupboards that weren’t in the old kitchen but are going in the new kitchen. Between Michael’s school and David’s plowing they haven’t completed them all yet. Sears delivered the new stove, refrigerator, freezer, washer and dryer so I am able to cook in the kitchen again. David, Michael and Susan agreed my Mother was a great cook, but they were glad I was cooking back in our own kitchen again. We still also have some painting to do where the walls were taken down and replaced for the new plumbing and electric, but they are in our bedrooms. We finished the living room, downstairs bedroom, downstairs and upstairs bathrooms so we haven’t got much left to do.

All my canned goods were replaced by our Mennonite and Amish neighbors – we appreciate it very much. Our Englisher neighbors across the street’s parents have come to live with them. The parents were bored and were looking for a “job”. As they have a car we asked them to drive us to the grocery store so we could replace all the groceries we lost in the fire. We went after the public school let out so Michael could help carry the groceries. We hardly had room for us in the car because I bought lots of groceries and filled the trunk and some in the back seat of the car. I have highly recommended our neighbor’s parents as drivers. They patiently waited while we went through the grocery store and took us to a couple of other places I wanted to stop. When we got home they didn’t want to be paid for doing this, but I explained that if they wanted the job they had to take payment or we wouldn’t call them. Since that day other Old Order Mennonite and Amish have asked them to drive them. It gives us another driver and gives our neighbor’s parents a little extra income.

Regarding the automobile accident that happened where the 6 Amish were killed that David and our Fire Department were at. The man that caused the accident plead guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 12 to 24 years in prison. What may have not been in the paper is that some of the Amish went to prison or wrote letters to him telling him that he has been forgiven. Some of the Amish still visit him in prison. We hope and pray that if this man has not already known the Lord that during his prison time he does and his life changes. Also the Amish have contacted his family telling them they forgive and helping them in anyway that they could.

David and I went to the most recent Town Meeting and a moratorium was put on new dog kennels and dog breeding operations. This was done by the opposition to a plan for the dog breeding facility in the town. There was so much opposition from across our country and overseas by telephone and e-mail. They even had to shut down the phones for a few days at Town Hall because of so many calls. This gives the town board time to review existing laws and maybe enact new ones. After a year the board can renew the moratorium or maybe adopt an ending to the moratorium. So at least for a while they can be no new dog-breeding farms in our town. We hope it remains that way.

As my kitchen was done and all my recipes backed in boxes after the fire I am behind in giving recipes. Now that my kitchen is back I will be unpacking the recipes books, cards, etc. I know someone wanted rye bread, another wanted Amish bread and there was a third recipe someone wanted that neither Marilyn nor I can remember. If you would leave what you wanted in comment-I will see if I have that recipe.

Be With God, Jean

An update on Jean: As of this writing Jean is leaving the hospital today (Monday) and will be going home to rest, with her husband David making sure that  she takes it easy with other’s helping more around the house and farm until she’s better. Jean will also be working on a post of her  hospital stay at some point when she is able, and i will be keeping Jean in my thoughts as she gets stronger and as her health fully recovers. Richard
Ham and Onions over Noodles recipe

This is an old Mennonite recipe.

6 slices ham 3 x 3 1/2 x 1/4 inches

3 onions, sliced

1/2 cup sour cream

Hot noodles

Fry slices of ham until nicely browned. Remove ham from pan and add onion slices. Cook until slightly browned. Add sour cream. Let come to a boil and pour over hot noodles. Recipe from

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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.

  Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Jean and David and family, and we wish everyone a very healthy new year to come. We will see everyone back here on Amish Stories on January 3 2012. 


During the Christmas Season the Old Order Mennonite arrange to make Christmas Food Baskets to people in our area who might need extra food during this time. We help people throughout the year as we find out about them, and at  Christmas we try to make the meal and day a little better for them. Also, if we know they need other items like clothes, money, washer or dryer, or other items we get it for them. Our deacons send someone around to collect money to help others. The deacons do like they do for people in our meetings (church). They bring a bag around and we put in it what we want.



 Unless we write a check no one knows how much we put in there. It is between God and us. This money is used on any person who needs our help outsiders or Mennonite. Also we buy gifts for some people that don’t have relatives or they live far away and won’t be here for Christmas. We have one family of a lady whose husband passed (died) and her children. She is not Mennonite but she needs our help. She did not come to us, but we heard about her and wanted to help her. She is just one of the people we will help this year. We will pack everything up and deliver them. The look on their face when they receive these items are our reward. God has been generous to us so we help others. That does not mean we are rich, but God has been good in His ways to us, we must share.

On Christmas Eve we adults start fast from dinner on Christmas Eve until Christmas dinner the next day. The young folks do not have to do the fast. Many of the young people age 15 and older go caroling. Even though Michael is not 15, the young folk have invited him to come along and we have agreed that he can go. Usually a married couple or two go along to chaperon. We have gone chaperon with some of the young folks in past years. As some of the farm houses out here are a ways apart they sometimes go in a group of buggies or someone gets their flat bed buggy out and takes them all at once. After their goings from house to house singing they end up at one of their homes for coco and cookies. There they usually do more singing and then go home.

Also I Christmas Eve, I make as many of the foods for the Christmas Dinner I “can” ahead of time so they are ready for Christmas day. On Christmas Day I try to do as little cooking as possible. To us Christmas is like on Sunday-we do only what chores we have to. Christmas is a holy day to us. Before the children go to bed, David, reads the about the Birth of Jesus in the Bible. He briefly explains is that what Christmas is all about.

Christmas Day, we get up and go to meeting (church) service. The sermons are on the Birth of Jesus and also the Crucifixion. Jesus only came for us-He gave His Life for our sins by dying on the cross. After meeting we go home and receive our Christmas gifts. All the gifts we give and receive for Christmas are items we can use. One item we are giving Michael is a German / English Bible so he can see the Bible quotes at sermon and to learn our language. This Bible has German on one side and English on the other. I have some hats coming for David that he needs badly. We do buy more than one gift, but we don’t by stacks of gifts for each other.

At Christmas Dinner, this year, we are just having David, Baby David, Susan, Michael and myself at Michael’s request. He has never had a Christmas and wants just a small Christmas. Christmas Day is the day for just immediate family. We would have had our parents and my grandparents, but Michael asked small – this year he is getting it. December 26th is what we calls second Christmas because that is the day we visit family and friends. There is another dinner that day-this one at my parents. If there are presents to exchange we do it that day. On this day, we also only do necessary chores. We spend the day just chatting or if the weather is like it is now the children will be playing outside. If there is snow, they will be sledding or skiing near by. We stay close as a  family on this day.

On December 27th, we will go back to doing chores, but during reading the bible and prayer we go through verses of Jesus. We again thank not only for the gifts we have received but the friends, relatives, good and not so good times we have received. Also, we pray for our friends and relatives that need prayer as we do all year. It is not our way to remember Jesus just at Christmas but all year throughout.

I hope my telling you of our way at Christmas will help you enjoy yours Christmas.

David got a call today from the ambulance crew wanting him to ride with the ambulance because they had a patient who spoke our language. They said they would pick him up. Well they picked up the patient first and she wanted a woman instead of man so I was asked to go. When I got in the ambulance there was the Amish wife of the young couple we had sold the property to and helped build their house. The ambulance attendant in the back was also a woman. The Amish lady was in labor and on the way to the hospital. I did translate what she was saying to the attendant. When we go to the hospital she wouldn’t let go of my arm so I went in with her and stayed with her. Her husband arrived with a driver.

If you remember before Hurricane Irene, David’s Grandmother, had told the lady that the doctor was wrong-she was not having one baby, but twins. David’s Grandmother was right-they had twins. When David and I went into see them they said they wished David’s Grandmother hadn’t passed and was here to see their babies. They had a boy and girl. The little boy came first and a little girl came next. They named the little girl Sylvia Mary, after David’s Grandmother – she was right there were two. Their little boy they named Eli John after the little boys grandfathers. Because of their size (3 1/2 lbs and 3lbs) the hospital want to keep the babies for a couple of days just to make sure they are all right.

The couple had asked David to make them the crib for the one child when she was with child, which he did. This evening David is working on a second crib for them. He wants to get it done before the babies come home. Ladies Amish and Old Order Mennonite are ready to clean the house, make sure they have enough dippers, baby clothes, etc tomorrow. We are also cooking up food for their freezer so they will have food to eat when she and the babies get home. The Father’s parents are the people we sold the lot next to so they are here to help, but we are still working a schedule for ladies to come and help. Men are working a schedule to milk the cows, feed the animals, and more. On the way to the hospital she said she was working on a quilt for the baby so we will be seeing if we can finish that for her and do another for her other baby. With many people and many fingers these make for light work.

The Amish lady spoke English but many times when Mennonite or Amish are in pain, ill, etc. we speak the language we use most. You sometimes don’t think to speak English to an ambulance person. So sometimes they need someone to translate like I had to today. After the ladies children came and she had rested-she was speaking English to the nurses and doctors. David , some of the Mennonite and Amish are having classes for our ambulance and fire department to teach them our language. With the Old Order Mennonite and Amish moving into our area it is becoming a necessity.

Hope you all have a very Merry, Prayerful and Joyous Christmas.

Be With God,



3 C mashed sweet potatoes

1/2 c. sugar

2 eggs, well beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c milk

1/2 c melted butter

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle topping over mixture.


1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. flour

2 1/2 tbsp melted butter

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

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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.



Right now I am making cookies, candy and more goodies for the Christmas Season. For the firewoman,   firemen and ambulance crew where David volunteers, I am getting baskets and putting in jams, jellies that I have put up and a fresh homemade loaf of bread. For friends I am making the baskets with apple butter, bread and some of the jams and jellies. Also, I have made fudge for friends and will put them in little baskets. We do have Old Order Mennonite, Amish and outsider friends that we give to. Some people we give to are unable to make such goodies for health reasons.

At meetings (church) on Sunday, we light the candles for Advent. Each candle is to remind us of the coming and Birth of Jesus. Our thoughts at both meetings and home are of what Jesus did for us. Do we really thank, acknowledge, praise and honor the Lord in both the good times and the times that we feel are not so good? Do we realize that the Lord sent His only Son who died on the cross for us? We don’t only honor Christmas, but why Jesus was born on this earth. The ultimate gift that He could give us was His life for our sins.

We do not put up Christmas trees, lights, honor Santa Claus, etc. Although this year we have allowed Michael to have a very small Christmas tree in his room and lights around the windows in his bedroom. I do make a couple of evergreen arrangements with red bows on them for our house. Also, this year only we will be wrapping our Christmas presents for Michael. We usually don’t do this-we consider buying wrapping paper, tape, etc. a waste, but this year we will do it. Michael has never celebrated Christmas before and wanted a sort of outsiders Christmas. After talking with our bishop and deacons we were giving permission for this year only. Michael agreed he would go with our way next year. In our usual way when we give gifts they are usually in bags or just set out for the person to find in the morning.

December 23rd we will go to Susan’s school in the evening to see her school Christmas. The school may have a play or readings – after which is religious songs singing. When the children are over there are refreshments for both the students and those that attend. The students give the teacher her Christmas gift. Usually it is a gift from all the students like a quilt, cape, sweater, and alike made by the students mothers. Of course, we have done different. Our teacher is an unmarried lady, lives alone and keeps up her home by herself. Her house badly needed to be painted. Her Christmas gift a couple of years ago was that the parents and older students would paint her house-and did when Spring came. Another year they put a new roof on her house. The teacher gives all the students a small gift such as pens, pencils, stationary, etc. In school when it comes to students giving gifts we have each child draw a name from someone in their class. All the girls draw girls. The boys draw boys. All the 1st graders draw a first grader, 2nd grader a second grader, etc. Before school closes on the 23rd, the children will change gifts and open them at school. When students want to give gifts to other friends whether in school with them or not they give them outside of school. At Christmas Time we take the buggy and go out and give our gifts – our children give their gifts at that time. We never want a situation in school where some students get gifts and others don’t or one student gets more gifts than others. That is why we decided to give gifts, aside from the drawing, outside the school.

Martha has told you about our ladies group. We draw a name from a coffee can each year. The coffee can is now decorated really pretty and not the tin we started with. For the whole year, we send notes letting them know they are in our prayers, notes of encouragement, and more. We send them birthday cards, Easter Cards, Christmas Cards and more. At Christmas time we have a dinner at someones home and find out who our writer was and give them a small gift. Our husbands also give their husbands a small gift. Then we send the coffee can around and draw our new person for next year. In answer to Martha’s request-yes it was meant that you draw me and I draw you the first year you were among us. On December 16th, we will be having our dinner this year. Since we have Amish in our area their ladies have joined our group and the dinner is at one of their houses this year. I put someones name back at the drawing one year and the deacons after ward ask why I refused the name I pulled. I explained that I had drawn my own name, which I had. So I put it back and drew someone Else’s. I have drawn my Mother’s name, but even though we know who it is we don’t mention it until the Christmas dinner.

I will continue on Christmas in my next post. Here is a Christmas dish you might want to try.

Be with God,



12 med. sized carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ lengths

4 tbsp butter melted

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tbsp. parsley, chopped

Cook carrots in saucepan, covered with cold water. Cook until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Melt butter in a 1 quart saucepan. Add brown sugar, ginger, and parsley. Mix and set aside. When carrots are cooked, drain and return to pan. Pour butter mixture over them and cook over low heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately. 6 portions.
Next Monday on Dec 19 will be part 2 of Jeans Christmas post. And her last post for 2011!

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