Saturday we attended my family gathering at my sister Liz and brother-in-law Levi's place in Berne, Ind. All eight siblings were in attendance. Some of the married nieces and nephews didn't attend, but we still made a nice-sized group to enjoy the day.
Like every year, our parents are greatly missed at these family gatherings. Everyone took some food, but Levi and Liz furnished the hot food. The menu included barbecued chicken and pork steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, corn, peas, homemade bread, plus all the dishes that were brought in.
Nephew Ben (age 32 and the oldest of my parents' grandchildren) and his family recently moved back to Berne after living in Wisconsin since 2007. My parents' youngest living grandchild is Steven, 8, in second grade (Jacob and Emma's son). The youngest baby present was Lyle, born Aug. 13 to niece Susan and Joe. He was born the day before Timothy and Elizabeth's wedding.
The afternoon was spent playing outdoor games, visiting, and singing. Snacks were served before everyone left for home. We arrived home around 7 p.m.
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This week and next week the evenings will be short. The children are leaving every night to take German classes. Our church has these classes for the children that attend public school and don't have the option of learning to read German in school. It seems empty when they are all gone in the evenings until 8:30 p.m.
Lovina and Kevin seem to be enjoying learning the new sounds of the German alphabet. Every evening they come home excited about new words they learned. A special thanks goes to the ones that donate their time to teach these classes.
Yesterday our school had to cancel school due to water issues they were having. I don't think the children were too excited that this also happened to be the day we had to go pick grapes. It sure did help, though to have them along to help pick them. There is an Amish family in our community that has a "U pick" for grapes.
Today we are canning grape juice. I have two steamers which speeds the process. I don't add sugar until I open the jars. I can the concentrate and add sugar and water when we open the jars.
Daughter Elizabeth and Timothy went to pick their grapes last night. I want to let her use my steamers to can her juice. It's hard for her to get things done with her working every day at the RV factory.
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups finely grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Beating well, combine sugar and oil. Add eggs; beat until well mixed. Mix in flour which has been sifted with cinnamon, salt, and soda. Slowly mix in carrots and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9x12-inch pan. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done.
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut
2- 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Soften cream cheese. Blend in butter, then add all other ingredients.
Lovina Eicher, an Old Order Amish writer, is cook, wife and mother of eight. Readers can contact Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.