Friday, August 28, 2009

Jalapeno Bites

I am always on the lookout for delicious and yet easy to make recipes and have come across another keeper!

Start with fresh Jalapeno peppers. Cut them in half length wise and remove the seeds. You will want to wear latex gloves to do this part.

Next fill each half even full of softened cream cheese. And then wrap a piece of bacon around it and place on a baking sheet, a jelly roll or cake pan work best. Bake at 350 until bacon has reached your desired crispness.

Serve as an appetizer or an addition to make any meal better. They are surprisely mild once the seeds and membrane have been removed. Even the children have a hard time stopping at only one or two.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Random Thoughts

I was browsing through some of my cookbooks to try and get inspired to make a nice dinner tonight. I stumbled across some meatloaf recipes which reminded me of the time my husband and I went to a restaurant soon after we were married and got seated next to a table where a very noisy group of women were sitting. We couldn't help but overhearing their conversation. I have forgotten most of it by now but the one part will probably stick with me for the rest of my life.

This one woman was telling the rest of this wonderful meatloaf she had invented the previous evening. She started with a pound of hamburger and added spices (which I can't remember) then added a pound of butter and a can of Coca-Cola!

We never tried it but it is one recipe that sticks with us, and every once in a while we pull it out of our memory files for another good chuckle. So if you were that woman in Perkins ten years ago trying to impress your friends with the your meatloaf invention. Thank-you we would not remember that evening if it had not been for you.

I have to smile every time I see this picture of my husbands brothers. I can't believe the hats they used to have to wear. And the expressions on their faces...............

Being a Mom is hard work. Recently Sailor came running into the house all dirty and sweaty after being in the woods for several hours. He was all excited as he told me how he discovered a gold mine out in our little patch of woods.

He told me how deep the hole is that he dug and now he needs something to put the gold dust into.

What could I do? There was no way I could make myself dash his dreams and joy by saying there is no gold there. So I handed him a paper bag and a Gatorade instead and let him go back out in the heat to dig a worthless hole in the woods. And later admired the handful of dirt that twinkled every so slightly if the light hit it just right.

Friday, August 21, 2009

School Picture

I have a fascination with old pictures. Especially if they include people that I know.

Last week we were at my husbands parents for a few hours. In the course of conversation something reminded my mother-in-law about a picture they have.

I was delighted to see it. It's a school picture from the 50's before the Somerset County Amish had their own schools. They generously allowed us to make a copy for ourselves. We felt like we discovered a treasure! Pictures of your parents when they were children is something very rare for anyone who was raised Amish.

My father-in-law is circled and three of his sisters pointed out.

Monday, August 17, 2009


This summer has definitely had it's share of ups and downs. We are so happy that Sunbeam has advanced from this.

To this.

She is also very happy, that she can once again take a few unassisted steps. She described her feelings as "twangled." Happy to be able to walk but wishing she could run and jump.

I liked the description and it's one word that I don't let the teacher in me, correct. "Twangled" sounds sweeter than tangled any day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Time for another giveaway. This time I will let you have a peek at some of the things that will be filling a box for the lucky winner.

Two cups, and saucers. Three vintage Junior Elf books.Two doilies, or whatever you want to call them.

And three cute dry erase boards. They have a magnetic back so they would work great on your refrigerator. I would love to have them for my own, but since I'm downsizing I'll let someone else enjoy them.
I will also include a few other surprise goodies.
To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering at least one of the following questions.
  1. What is your favorite color ?
  2. What is your favorite season?
  3. Where would you like to go for a vacation?
  4. What is your favorite restaurant?
For three more entries post a link on your blog and then come back and let me know you did so I can give you your extra entries.
I will draw the winner on September 1, 2009.
Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Answering Questions Part 3

This will be the last post to answer questions. Who knows I might do another Q. & A. post sometime in the future.

I am wondering what kind of celebrations the Amish have? Do they celebrate Christmas as a celebration of Christ's birth and if so how traditional is it? Thanksgiving?

The Amish celebrate Christmas as a celebration of Christ birth. Usually a few gifts are exchanged, but there is no tree or stockings etc. Extended family usually gather for a big meal and an afternoon filled with visiting and eating candies and snacks that were prepared especially for Christmas.

Thanksgiving is observed differently in different areas. The area we grew up it was treated as a Sunday and everyone went to church. There was no work done on Thanksgiving. Other areas have it as a day of fasting, and still others either have a big turkey dinner or ignore it altogether.

I am wondering if Amish women use birth control?

I am sure some of them do. However it is frowned upon.

What faith or denomination are you now a part of?

We are Christians and attend a non denominational church.

On another topic we had to take Sunbeam to the doctor for another checkup. I had been really hoping that she will be able to run and play like she used to before the accident, but that will have to wait at least another six weeks. She is allowed to use her walker a little bit everyday which is an improvement, it's just not as good as what I was hoping for.

One of my best friends and her daughter were here and brought their little dog along. Sunbeam had fun playing with it and dressing it up in her doll clothes. It is the sweetest little dog and I would be happy to adopt it if it ever needed a new home. (Wishful thinking!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Answering Questions Part 2

At our lake house we see the Amish boys playing in the water fully clothed. But the girls just stand on the shore and laugh and clap. Are the women not allowed to go in the water?

Different Amish communities are different. In the area where we grew up women did not go into the water. There were a few that waded a bit never more than knee deep but even that was considered scandalous. There are many other communities that when their young people go to the beach there is nothing about them that you would know they are Amish.

Do different churches, like Lancaster, Schwartzentruber, Troyer, Nebraska, etc. intermarry? Is it assumed the couple will be members of the husband's church from then on?

I am not very well acquainted with these groups other than Lancaster. So I asked my friend Katie Troyer if she would be willing to answer this question. She kindly agreed to do it for me.

I know for certain that the Schwartzentruber and Nebraska intermarry, for their gene pool has narrowed down to being related to everyone, first and second cousins. These couples remain Schwartzentruber or Nebraska, depending on where they live after marriage. Each couple has to decide where they will live after marriage. The bride doesn't always move to his group. Most from the Troyer group (young men)that don't marry within their own, leave the Amish altogether and marry outsiders. Their few groups have oodles of single ladies that never marry, simply because there are not enough men to reach around.

Lancaster Amish are so vastly different from other Amish groups that it is almost impossible for their marriage partner to adjust to their way of life. Most of the Lancaster couples that intermarry outside their specific culture have met in Sarasota Florida as wild Amish youth. Although I don't know of any Lancaster girl that is married to a boy from Ohio or Indiana, or what Lancaster call the "Western Amish". It is usually the Lancaster boy that marries outside a bride from another Amish community like Ohio or Indiana. These marriages have problems all their own, for you can get a guy to move out of Lancaster but you can't get Lancaster out of a guy. The same is with the bride, she can move to Lancaster but she will never be a Lancaster woman. Their best solution is to leave the Amish altogether and remain in Florida.

I have cousins in Lancaster and Lancaster daughter settlements and have to agree. They are definitely different from other Amish.

I would be interested to know what books you would recommend to learn true facts about the Amish.

You can write for a free catalog from an Amish bookstore

Pathway Bookstore
2580 N 250 W
LaGrange IN 46761

Do New Order Amish evangelise? If they believe in salvation by grace rather than works, what is the main reason for New Order Amish to leave?

Some New Order Amish try to do their own brand of evangelising. When all is said and done they still have a very hard time not dwelling on works salvation.

What is the quintessential Amish cookbook?

There are many Amish cookbooks. One of the basics is called simply "Amish Cooking" and can be purchased at the bookstore mentioned above.

Do Amish women wear canning aprons outside of the home?

Amish women always wear an apron, no matter where they are. Most communities don't allow full or bib aprons. They occasionally wear another apron on top of the one they are already wearing if they are doing especially dirty work.

What do you think of the movie Silent Witness, realistic or not?

I have never seen this movie so I really can't tell you. Other than unless the Amish actually produced it, it probably is inaccurate.

I have always heard Amish don't want their faces shown in photos, but I noticed you post photos of faces. So is this no longer true?

Amish do not pose for pictures because of the commandment"thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image......" Strange as it may sound they are delighted to find pictures of themselves or friends in newspapers. Most Amish families have an album with clippings of pictures of their friends and family members. The "sin" is in posing, not in having the picture that was taken without their permission.

This is one area that we do not share their convictions.

I'm wondering if you or the Amish would have any questions for us? I suppose we are called the English? On our ways of life.

Maybe someday I can have a post with questions for all of you to answer.

I also seen a documentary a few years back about the Amish in Ohio. They said that when the Amish turn 18 or 16 they go to the dentist and have all of their teeth pulled. Is that true and I just didn't understand that.

I have heard about that story already. And please don't feel bad for Amish teens. Their teeth are quite safe when they turn 16 or 18. They don't normally visit the dentist unless they have a tooth that is bothering them and certainly never to have them pulled as a weird rite of passage or something.

Do any of the Amish go on to college to become doctors?

No, Amish do not go to college. If any Amish person would want to become a doctor they would have to leave the Amish to do so. There are quite a few Amish communities that have "braucha" or as called among non Amish "pow-wow doctors" Now that is some seriously creepy stuff! I might share about some of my experiences with "braucha" sometime.

I am wondering what religion you practice now and how your family (especially your parents) responded to you making a different choice?

My parents were devastated when we left the Amish. They have still not accepted it so that part is hard, but it was one of the things we knew would happen if we make this decision so I'm not angry or bitter because of it. I still love them both so much! My husbands parents accepted it much better and will have us over occasionally and my mother-in-law is always happy to baby-sit on the rare occasion that we need a place for the children to stay.

Are marriages arranged or chosen by parents or is everyone allowed to marry whom ever?

You are allowed to marry whom ever, though it is expected that you first ask for your parents approval and blessing.

What do the Amish do about the great commission left by Jesus about spreading the Gospel to the whole world as in the last of Matthew?

The vast majority totally ignore that. They think somehow their clothes and style of life is the only witnessing they need to do.

Answering Questions Part 1

The response from yesterdays post was interesting! I will be doing several posts to answer all your questions .

Why is it so important and why do all Amish wear head coverings? I don't mind them, just always wondering why they do.

The Amish women and girls wear head coverings because of the passage in 1 Corinthians 11:5 where it says; But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. And in verse ten where it says For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

Do the Amish ever listen to music, or play musical instruments?

Amish churches do not approve or allow listening to music (radios, CD's etc) The only place most of them hear anything is when the ride with a "taxi" Most drivers who haul Amish for any length of time know they love to listen to Country and have their radio turned on for them. New drivers usually didn't to begin with and it was torture trying not to think of what we were missing on a twenty minute drive that could have been filled with George Strait and Alan Jackson. (Funny thing is, since we have our own vehicle and I can listen to anything I want to. I have lost my taste for Country.)

A lot of Amish churches have a no musical instruments rule, including the one I grew up in. But a lot of others allow harmonicas.

I find, what little I know of the Amish way of life, very interesting, comforting, simple. Am I wrong? Why would you want to leave it and do many folks leave that way of life? Do you still practice it at all?

The Amish way of life is so much more than what you can see by just visiting Amish country. The majority of those born Amish will remain Amish until they die. But there are always some who will leave for many different reasons. For some they leave as rebels, others want to see what they are missing in life, others change their religious views, and other similar reasons. We no longer live like the Amish in most ways, but I am sure there are little quirks that we have and some views on different things that our Amish roots show through.

Why did you leave the Amish? Were you shunned?

Since I am chronicling my journey from a little Amish girl to where we are today I will come to the part where we made the hardest decision in our life, that of leaving the Amish. I will share the details then. And yes we were and are still shunned.

Do the kids in the Amish community know about all the stuff as far as technology goes, and have they seen it, and how do they feel about the way other kids dress.

Amish kids know far more about technology than most people give them credit for. They don't think anything about the way others dress. They have seen it ever since they can remember and to them that's just the way non-Amish dress. No big deal to them at all.

How do the Amish view the outside world in general? Do they see the people who do not live as Amish as sinners or just as "others"?

To the Amish the outside world is a dangerous place. Though they would not go as far as to say you have to be Amish to go to heaven they do believe it enhances the chance to get there.

Well, this is something I've always Amish women have home birthing? Do they have one particular lady as a midwife?

In the area I grew up most of them went to the hospital to have their babies, but there were a few brave ones that did home birthing and yes there was one particular lady who enjoyed being a midwife. There are other Amish areas where home birthing is the preferred method.

If a bad farm accident occurred would they utilize an ambulance and ER?

If there is a need, ambulances and ER are welcomed by the Amish. And have been used often.

Do the women gossip? Are their any meddlers?

Gossip, sadly is one thing very common among the Amish, and "oh, yes" there are definitely meddlers.

I always kind of wondered why they weren't supposed to attend professional sporting events?

They used to quote scripture, in German of course to warn us about sports. "For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

What do you still retain from your life as being Amish, like what WON'T you change?

This one is a little harder. One thing we still retain from being Amish is the language. It is still the easiest to speak and the one we use 90% of the time we are at home. Some other things are some of the convictions we have, that we were taught by our parents. We see no reason to throw all such things to the wind just because we are no longer Amish.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Looking For Inquisitive Minds

Inquisitive minds like to learn new things. They enjoy exploring and discovering and finding answers to things they have questions for............ It is something I still possess and find myself looking for answers to things I am curious about.

I'm in the mood to do something different today. Ever since I started blogging I have been getting emails from people who have found my blog and had some questions. I enjoyed reading all of them and try to answer every one but sometimes it takes a while until I have time.

So I'm giving all of you the opportunity now to ask me anything you want to, about the Amish, or anything else you feel like asking me, and tomorrow I will have a post to answer your questions.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Monster Cookies

Our family enjoys good homemade cookies. I have three recipes that we really like that I usually choose from when I feel like baking cookies. Which is kind of sad considering the fact I have lots of other recipes to choose from.

I was looking through one of my old Amish recipe books recently and found the recipe for Monster Cookies that my Mom used to make when I was a little girl. And last week I finally got to go to a bulk food store and purchased a big bag of M & M's. I forgot to buy peanut butter though so I will have to wait a little longer to bake them, but that doesn't keep me from sharing the recipe with all of you. (I dare you to make a whole batch.)

Monster Cookies
12 eggs
4 cup white sugar
4 cup brown sugar
2 cup softened butter
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 lb peanut butter
18 cup oatmeal
2 cup flour
8 tsp baking soda
1 lb M & M's
1 lb chocolate chips
Beat eggs; add sugars, vanilla, and butter. Mix and add peanut butter. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix very well. Shape into 2" balls. Flatten slightly and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

On another note. Rosebud was so excited about all the M & M's that the first thing she told her Daddy when he came home that evening was. "Daddy, Mom bought a lot of enemies today!" It gave us a good chuckle and showed me that I really need to buy M & M's more often since our children don't even know the proper way to call them.