My Amish Home | Soldiering on through a series of letdowns

My Amish Home | Soldiering on through a series of letdowns

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." Thessalonians 4:13-15

On this Wednesday as I write, we have had a mix of weather. Now, it is calm and warm, heavily overcast, but still pleasant in its way. We had rain early, I got soaked on the way to work. We had wind and a drop in temperature, then the sun peeked for awhile. I did see some different clouds in the northwest, a bank of white clouds billowing up with a blue tinge along the bottom. I didn't know what to expect. Wind? A cold front? They dissipated without anything developing.

We had another pleasant visit from our dear friend Mona Hunter. She is one brave soul. She brought a load of her dear departed husband's clothes down for the MCC store in Arthur, then took in the Mennonite Relief sale Friday evening and Saturday.

We could not go either time, as we had a wedding to go to on Friday evening, and on Saturday, I had to split my cleaning with going to the reunion.

We had quite a bit of Otto family time this past weekend.

Friday evening was the wedding of Lori Plank, daughter of a niece. Lori is the daughter of Dennis and Rose Plank, Rose being our niece. Then on Saturday, we had a Rudy Otto family reunion. And Sunday afternoon was the 50th anniversary open house for sister Sarah Ann and Marvin Helmuth.

We had actually planned to go to Dale for our grandson's baptismal services, but our driver was a no-show on Sunday morning, so we didn't have any choice but to stay at home. But then we could go to the open house.

I decided the Otto nieces and nephews don't see us often enough. Jerry Yoder, a nephew from Indiana, wanted to pair me up to the wrong Ervin. But I also decided that because he towers head and shoulders above everyone else, his vision might be impaired when looking down.

All in all, I thought it was a fair turn-out. We had way more food than we could possibly eat in one meal. Brother-in-law Joe Yoder thought we should maybe start with dessert first so we'd be sure and get what we want. Sure wish I had some of it now!

Yesterday was what I thought was a series of disasters. Neither was as bad as I thought at the time, just letdowns.

I made V-8 juice, 16 pints, all sealed well. When cleaning up the mess, there was a little bit left over, so I tasted it. Choke — salty. You could use it for ice melt. It was way too salty! I should have realized and used some common sense. But it is hard to use something you don't have. The recipe called for 1 cups of salt. Seriously.

So anyway, another letdown: Hubby and I had been working on getting the big weeds pulled out of the garden, and I was finally ready to till, but I couldn't get the tiller started. Called Barb, as Elmer had fixed it. I messed with it and got it started, but it wouldn't keep running, so I called her again. Messed with it some more and thought I had it figured out. It started and kept running until I was in the garden, then it stopped. Called Bar again — she said they'd be out.

Well, the engine won't run if it is too low in oil. Elmer hadn't put enough in, so when the motor tilted, it stopped. He filled it up, and I was in business.

I had lamented to Barb about my V-8 disaster. She suggested I just make another batch and don't add salt, then mix the two batches together. I guess I'll try that, but 32 pints of V-8 juice? Well, the first batch is useless, so what have I got to lose?

The third letdown is our horse. The vet was out, and yes, the horse somehow injured his hip, and it could take two months to heal. We are allowed to use him some, but only very short trips — more for therapy to keep him from getting stiff. So maybe next week I can report on what we'll do. I vote to get a quad-cycle.

In closing, a man is about as big as the things that make him angry.

Here's the recipe I used to make my V-8 juice, but oh please, cut back on the salt. Maybe use even less than half.


1 peck tomatoes (half of a 5-gallon bucket)

4 large onions

1 bunch celery, chopped

12 sprigs parsley

2 green peppers, chopped

8 carrots, chopped

Salt (recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups, but cut back, maybe use even less than half)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon basil

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon whole cloves

Wash tomatoes but do not peel. Cut in chunks.

Put tomato chunks and remaining ingredients in a big kettle and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Put mixture through a food mill, then return juice to kettle and bring to a boil.

Pour into hot glass jars and seal.

Sections (1):Living
Topics (2):Food, People