My Amish Home: Sweet memories of family celebrations

My Amish Home: Sweet memories of family celebrations

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." Luke 2:13-15

Happy New Year to one and all! As I'm writing this, it is the first day of the first month of the new year — 2014; I really never thought I'd write that. No wonder I feel old; I was born way back in the middle of the 1900s.

Early this morning, the stars were out, and it was a beautiful, quiet, crisp morning. But now, several hours later, it has clouded over.

We didn't do anything special on New Year's Eve. Well, sis Louise and Dale Kauffman came out for a while. That was special, as they don't come very often. We did also have a group of belated Christmas carolers.

We didn't do anything special on New Year's Day, except the kids were coming for supper.

Daughter Jane and Milton Yoders were planning their own little party with their family, staying up until midnight, playing games, etc. I don't know how many lasted until the ball dropped.

I was almost — like I say, almost — envious, but for us, I knew we'd run out of steam about 9 p.m. Guess we're just old! But life has changed, we accept it and move on.

We had our times when the girls were small. I know one year — I don't recall if it was New Year's Day — we spent the day with husband Erwin's sister Dorothy and Junior Hershberger. They didn't have any children, so we shared. The girls considered Juniors as their second parents.

Junior passed away in February 2006. It's hard to believe that it has actually been eight years. Dorothy has since remarried. Life changes and we move on.

But that day so long ago holds sweet memories. And I say sweet with tongue in cheek, as we ate lots of homemade chocolate candy. We adults drank pot after pot of coffee. Not the placebo decaf of nowadays, but the real stuff. And fortunately, Mountain Dew had not yet been discovered. So the girls had water or hot chocolate.

We played games; right now I can't recall what game we played, probably Rook.

That was when we were young, hardworking people with no health issues and our metabolism worked as hard as we did, so eating candy was not really an issue.

In reality, it was a treat for the girls, as I bought very little candy back then. In fact, if the girls went somewhere and the people had candy dishes brimful of that mouth-watering sweetness, they would be envious.

But you know what? We had no dentist bills.The girls had good teeth. So we were actually saving money two ways.

That is actually the way I was brought up, not an excess of candy. Except on Christmas. Sometimes our only gift was a bowl set at our place on the table on Christmas morning.

It held an orange, tangerine, sometimes a grapefruit, mixed nuts (that you had to crack and shell yourself) and an assortment of chocolate candy. Mostly those horrid chocolate drops that I detested.

But I never protested because my dad loved them; therefore, I wanted to, too. They had a horribly sweet cream center. It wasn't creamy cream; it was, I don't know, just awful. I haven't seen any in years. Maybe they aren't made anymore, or then I just don't look for them.

In closing, the optimist stays awake until midnight to welcome the new year in. The pessimist stays awake to make sure the old year leaves!

The children were coming for supper on New Year's Day, so I made this recipe. I tell you what, the crust is awesome. It is now my favorite.

FLAT APPLE PIE

3 cups all-purpose flour

11/3 cups shortening

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, separated

2/3 cup milk

3 handfuls flake-type cereal (i.e., cornflakes)

8-10 Granny Smith apples

1 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon butter

Blend together flour, shortening and salt. Add egg yolks to milk and mix with fork. Add yolk mixture to flour mixture. Mix well.

Divide dough and roll out half of it for the bottom crust to fit a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the bottom crust with cereal.

Peel and thinly slice apples and spread evenly over bottom crust. Sprinkle mixture with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour juices over apples and dot with butter.

Roll out the top crust and place over the apples, sealing the edges. Cut small slits in the top crust or poke holes with a fork.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and spread over the top crust. Bake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.

*I sprinkled the top crust with sugar before spreading the egg whites. Also, you may want to decrease the amount of cinnamon.

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