It is hard to believe we are so far into December already. The days are going by too fast. Before we know it 2011 will be history.
Daughter Verena will be 14 on Saturday, December 10. It just seems short years ago that she was born. Our two older daughters, Elizabeth and Susan, were born on my parents’ farm; Verena was the first to be born on our first property that we bought.
I remember how big the house felt after living in a trailer house at my parents. While it was great living at my parents, it was wonderful to have a place to call our own.
I remember the first years of planting a garden at our new home. We didn’t have any children in school yet, so we would sometimes work in the garden until dark. We would put a blanket on the grass for the children.
When suppertime came, I would go in and fix a picnic-type meal and we would all eat our supper on the blanket.
While Joe and I were planning gardens, the children kept themselves entertained playing in the soil. We put their toys on the end that wasn’t planted yet.
Now as time has gone by, the children have all grown up so fast. These days it doesn’t take long to plant the garden when everyone helps.
Tuesday evening we received 9 inches of snow, which made for some pretty excited children around here. Neighbors all around us were without electric and school was cancelled for Wednesday, which brought on cheering from the children.
Stormy, our pony, got the job of pulling the sled. They tried Tiger, our miniature pony, but he was too small and not fast enough for pulling a sled. It looked like Stormy enjoyed it almost as much as the children.
Our border collie dog, Buddy, runs along side the sled with the children and he looks like he enjoys it as well.
Now less than a week later there are only patches of snow left. It is rainy this morning and 40 degrees.
I am so glad for a heated basement to hang up wet snow pants, gloves, etc that were used over the past week. I will leave them hanging until the next snow, which the children hope will be soon.
Stormy lost a horse shoe while giving sled-rides in the hayfield. The children want to go look for it so we can have him re-shod before the next snow. It can almost be like looking for a needle in a haystack with most of the snow melted. It usually makes it more fun to look when Joe says he’ll give a reward to whoever finds it.
If all else fails, we’ll just buy another horse shoe and hope the other one is found sometime.
Yesterday in church the women all wrote down what they will bring for our annual Christmas potluck, which will be in two weeks. Since the casseroles were all signed up for I signed up to bring a salad. I haven’t decided what kind of salad I will take yet.
Our plans are to have Joe’s side of the family here for Christmas on January 7. We will have a 10 a.m. carry-in brunch and snacks for later on. Our plans are to set up tables in the basement and eat down there.
Joe has 11 siblings. so hopefully they will all be able to come.
Lovina Eicher, a member of the Old Order Amish, hand-writes this column from her Michigan home. Lovina inherited the column from her mother, Elizabeth, who penned it from 1991 through 2002 (see www.amishcookonline.com). Anyone with cultural or cooking questions can send them to: Lovina Eicher, The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 2144, Middletown, OH 45042.
1 cup margarine, melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts
12 ounces of chocolate chips
14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients along with half the vanilla. Beat well and stir in walnuts.
Spread in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake 40 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from pan.
Just before brownies are done, in heavy sauce pan combine chips with condensed milk and remaining vanilla. Immediately spread over hot brownie.
Cool and chill and cut into bars.