My Amish Home: Summer's a breeze if Sparky's happy

My Amish Home: Summer's a breeze if Sparky's happy

"Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provisions for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Romans 13:13-14

Well, well, I would say 90 degrees at 2 p.m. is warm. Right? But I'm not complaining. Not at all.

Matter of fact, if it weren't for my deadline and hurting feet, I would probably be out mowing. There's enough of a breeze to keep things a little more in the comfort zone.

Unfortunately, it is mostly out of the west, so our east-end apartment doesn't catch a lot of the breeze. Actually, I have a small fan going by my desk.

I did get a bit of mowing done this past Tuesday evening. I went out after supper. That doesn't happen often, but I love to do it then. The dishes done, the house in order, I go out to mow. It's relaxing, I think.

But so often, I'm really way too tired or the dishes are stacked or the house is messy. Of course, for now, I have a lot of feet pain, so that kind of takes away from the enjoyment.

What I really like is when I'm done, I'll come in and have a bowl of ice cream or a cone. With ice cream in it! Duh!

Ah! Summer, I love it!

I don't know if it was the weather or what, but Sparky seemed to have a bad morning. Maybe because his breakfast consisted only of hay and a few dry dusty granules of grain. Would that be kind of like toast and over-easy eggs that were fried too hard?

I had forgotten to order horse feed so I would have it by Monday, so I had to wait until Wednesday. He has some fresh now.

But anyway, Sparky tried, or maybe it REALLY was an accident, to step on my foot. His foot grazed the top of my foot as I jerked it back.

He may be a smallish horse, but I'm sure he would have broken my foot.

Then when I was hitching him up and walked in front of him, he reached out to bite me and got only my sleeve. I gave him to understand that I am basically in the same frame of mind, but I'm not tromping on him or biting him! He seemed to straighten up. As did I!

School bells are ringing once again. Already so soon! I see school children going to school as I slowly wend my way home from work.

I just have to think how many changes have been made since I was in that stage of life. The one-room schools with his and hers shacks out back are only memories. Thank goodness for indoor toilets!

The lunchboxes caught my attention. Way back when, we had no refrigerators in school or insulated lunchboxes with ice packs.

It's almost a wonder we didn't all die of food poisoning. If we operated like that now, we would at the very least get quite sick.

We had these metal lunchboxes with a space in the lid for a thermos. My wire to hold the thermos in place would come loose, then the thermos would fall down and smash my sandwiches and cookies. Seems to me they should have been designed to put the thermos on the bottom and the sandwiches on top.

We didn't always take a thermos. We had these things called "Fizzies." You just dropped a Fizzy in a glass of cold water and watched it fizz. Then you had a "stingy" drink kind of like soda pop.

Ah, yes, changes, always changes. Some good and some not so good. But there's one thing that gives me courage. God never changes. He is the same today, tomorrow and forever.

In closing: To save face, keep the lower half shut.

This week's recipe I got from sis Barb Gingerich. I haven't tried it yet, but if plans hold out, I want to this week. I plan on canning some.

She likes to sprinkle hers with Parmesan cheese when serving.

CREAM OF FRESH TOMATO SOUP

3 tablespoons olive oil

11/2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)

2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)

11/2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup packed, chopped, fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves for garnish

3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup heavy cream

Croutons, for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, or 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that's left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.

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