My Amish Home: Watching some idyllic summer days fly by
"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee." Psalm 63:1-3
This Wednesday as I write this, the clouds are appearing. Maybe it will rain.
I guess we could use some rain. At least it's warm again. For that, I am glad. We did have some really nice weather, I just wasn't ready for that cool stuff.
Late evenings and early mornings have been so awesome. The moon comes up, it's clear and quiet.
This is such an idyllic summer day. I sure would like to be doing something other than pecking away on my typewriter, but first things first, deadlines must be met.
This day almost makes me wish I was a child again. What would I do on such a day as this? I'd lie on the hot grass and look for cloud shapes, I'd ride my bike for endless miles around the place. Anyway, that's what I did way back when. I guess I didn't get a bike until I was a tween. And I didn't have a pony, but I had an imagination.
Oh, we had to work. We did tons of canning. Or so it seemed! Back then, my mom canned her corn instead of freezing it.
I remember one summer when we lived close to Cadwell on Clifford Martini's rental property. One day, we had bushels of sweet corn.
Edwin and Martha Yoder worked for Clifford and lived across the road from the Martinis, and across the field from us. Somehow, Martha found out about our corn. She came bustling over, armed with pans and a knife. We kids husked corn; Mom and Martha cut it off the cobs. We had tables set up out in the yard; knives and kernels flew. In short order, we had the corn in cans and cooking.
We did bushels and bushels of peaches and apples for applesauce. Lots of tomatoes were made into juice and canned. I liked to help cut up the tomatoes. I always had a salt shaker close by. Mostly — anyway, when I was smaller — I was the designated can washer.
We had a room above the kitchen that had a separate stairway. We kept our empty cans up there, among other things like junk that wasn't worth anything but still you didn't want to throw it out. It was hotter than hot up there in the summer and equally cold in the winter.
Anyway, it was my job to go up there and get down the cans.
My dad would make root beer in the summer. We loved that stuff — probably because that was the only pop we got to drink! But anyway, he would put it in glass jugs and take it up there to "work." One day, for some reason, a jug exploded. All I can say is Ma wasn't happy!
And I feel sure the summer didn't fly past with record speed as it seems to now.
Already the school doors have opened and the bells are ringing. Before we know it, they'll be practicing Christmas songs!
We did have an idyllic summer evening recently. Our family, grandchildren and all (well, not Freemans, who live down south), went to husband Erwin's sister Dorothy and Ervin Hostetlers'.
We traipsed out to their timber and cleaned up brush piles, picked up sticks and trash. We had several fires going. The guys had the skid, chains and saw to do the big stuff.
Ervins have this donkey running loose out there. I'm not sure whose it is, but he was very tame and friendly. He also possesses a twisted sense of humor.
I had a stick and was trying to bat some walnuts. Well, you guessed it, out of six tries, I missed six times.
This donkey stood behind me and goes "EEEE-HAW HAW HAW!" Very funny! I know I could detect derision in his "HAWS"!
Anyway, it was an enjoyable evening, especially sitting around the fire eating noodles, baked beans and roasted hot dogs. Also the s'mores. To me, that is the best!
In closing, a man's real worth is determined by what he does when he has nothing to do.
This week's recipe is a different kind of pizza, especially for chocolate lovers.
CHOCOLATE-PEANUT BUTTER PIZZA
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup peanut butter
1 (4-ounce box) instant chocolate pudding mix
11/2 cups milk
16-ounce container Cool Whip
Blend butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs. Gradually add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in nutmeats.
Spread in greased 9-by-13-inch cake pan or 12-inch pizza pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from pan. Spread with peanut butter while still warm. Let cool.
Mix milk and pudding mix. Fold in 8 ounces Cool Whip. When partially set, spread on top of peanut butter. Top with remaining Cool Whip.
Garnish with shaved chocolate, chocolate syrup or caramel syrup. Any one or all three. If that doesn't put on enough calories, sprinkle some Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits on it.