Thursday, December 31, 2009

45 Day Fruitcake

After receiving numerous requests for my fruitcake recipe, I thought I would share it today even though I don't have a picture to show you just how good it is.

45 Day Fruitcake

Day 1- In a large glass bowl or gallon jar combine:
¾ cup sliced peaches (undrained)
¾ cup crushed pineapple (undrained)
1- 1¾ oz. jar maraschino cherries (cut in half and drained slightly)
1½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. yeast

Stir very well and cover loosely. Let set at room temperature the entire 45 days. Stir several times throughout the day.

Day 2 -Stir once.

Day 3- Stir once.

Day 4- Stir once.

Day 5- Stir once.

Day 6- Stir once.

Day 7- Stir once.

Day 8- Stir once.

Day 9- Stir once.

Day 10- Stir once.

Day 11- Stir once.

Day 12- Stir once.

Day 13- Stir once.

Day 14- Drain liquid from fruit. Squeeze enough liquid from fruit to make 1½ cup. Discard fruit. Wash your glass container and once you have it sparkling combine in it:
1-29 oz can sliced peaches (undrained)
2½ cup sugar
1½ cup liquid that was drained from fruit mixture.
Stir well. Cover loosely.

Day 15- Stir once.

Day 16- Stir once.

Day 17- Stir once.

Day 18- Stir once.

Day 19- Stir once.

Day 20- Stir once.

Day 21- Stir once.

Day 22- Stir once.

Day 23- Stir once.

Day 24- Add 2 cups sugar and 1- 20 oz. can crushed pineapple (undrained); stir well.

Day 25- Stir once.

Day 26- Stir once.

Day 27- Stir once.

Day 28- Stir once.

Day 29- Stir once.

Day 30- Stir once.

Day 31- Stir once.

Day 32- Stir once.

Day 33- Stir once.

Day 34- Add 2 cups of sugar and 2- 10 oz jars of maraschino cherries (undrained); stir well.

Day 35- Stir once.

Day 36- Stir once.

Day 37- Stir once.

Day 38- Stir once.

Day 39- Stir once.

Day 40- Stir once.

Day 41- Stir once.

Day 42- Stir once.

Day 43- Stir once.

Day 44- Stir once.

Day 45- Drain liquid from fruit. Discard liquid.

Combine:

1 Butter Recipe yellow or golden cake mix
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1- 3.4 oz pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1½ cups of the fruit
2/3 cup oatmeal.

Mix well with a wooden spoon. (Don't use a mixer) Bake in a greased tube or bundt pan at 300ยบ for 65-75 minutes .

You will have enough fruit to bake three cakes. They freeze really well and we like them so well that the thought of having three large fruitcakes make us happy.

If your family likes nuts you can also add 1 cup of pecans to each cake. You can also substitute the oatmeal with coconut if you like.

Seems like a long drawn out deal to candy your own fruit but it does taste much better than the store bought kinds. Once I actually get to enjoy a piece I always conclude that it was worth all the time it took to make it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunbeam

Sunbeam smiling bravely, on her way to her final surgery. Everything went really well and she was able to come home the same day. She is still dealing with some pain which is understandable considering the size of the hardware they had to remove from her little leg.



She will not to be able to walk for several weeks and is once again sitting on her "throne" same as she used to this summer following the accident.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

As I am creating our traditional Christmas breakfast I would like to take a few minutes to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fruitcake Woes

My husband enjoys fruitcake. I on the other hand have encountered so many bad fruitcakes over the years some of which were so hard and dry that my little brothers converted them to footstools. So I do my best to avoid most of them. However several years ago I found a recipe for a fruitcake that takes 45 days to make from start to finish and I thought it actually sounded kind of good especially since it required me to candy the fruit myself.

I decided to try it. It was somewhat of a nuisance to have to remember to work with the fruitcake everyday for 45 days but the end result was worth it and I had a fruitcake that we all enjoyed.

I made it again this year and today was the day to bake them. This morning after breakfast I drained my homemade candied fruit and got my bowl ready to add the remaining ingredients when I got distracted by a ringing phone. Upon answering it I was dismayed to get rather disturbing news. Somehow the fruitcake got to sit awhile while I was thus distracted.

Once I finally got it mixed and poured into the cake pan I sighed a sigh of relief as I slid the cake into the oven. After the 75 minutes of baking time were over I went to remove it from the oven only to discover I had forgotten to turn it on. I took the cake out while I preheated the oven. After allowing sufficient time for the oven to get hot I went to slide the pan in and discovered that addled brained ninny that I am I again forgot to turn on the oven.

I turned it on. And this time I actually managed to heat it and my fruitcake turned out beautiful. Since I have only one pan and most of my day was gone already I put the remainder of the fruitcake ingredients into the refrigerator to be baked tomorrow. Who knows maybe a 46 day fruitcake might be even better than the 45 day one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Light Bulbs

After years spent wandering about in semi darkness I have come to love light bulbs. The brighter the better. You will not find a 60 or 75 watt bulb if it is safe for me to use a 100 watt. As soon as the sun starts going down or if it's a little cloudy outside you can find me walking through the house turning on the lights. Not only in the room in which I will be working but also in any room that I can see out of the corner of my eyes.

There used to be a time in my life when I depended on flickering oil lamps and later the noisy Coleman lanterns. There was always a healthy supply of flashlights available if we needed to go into a room that didn't have a lamp lit. The only thing a light bulb meant to me at that time was the long boring evenings with a sock stretched over it so I could darn a hole in the toe or heel of the socks that kept filling the darning basket.

So you can understand my love for light bulbs that are actually serving the purpose they were designed for. I how ever do not like the new energy saving style. Imagine try darning a sock with it. But that isn't the reason I don't like them. So far all the ones we tried have not lasted longer than the old regular ones and they are a lot more expensive to buy. But the thing that really made me leery of them was the one evening while we were eating supper the one bulb started smoking furiously. We turned the lights off and removed the offending bulb but were concerned about what might have happened had we not been in the room. Several weeks later another one did the same thing, so now we really don't want to use them, and then recently for the lack of something better to read I started reading all the fine print on one of those energy saving bulb packages and was not at all impressed by what I read. Anything that requires a haz-mat team to clean up a broken light bulb is not something I want in my house.

All that aside. Over the years I have discovered the best place to hide Christmas gifts from my husband is in plain yet not too obvious sight. I had purchased his gift several months ago and hid it in our closet on a shelf hidden among a stack of assorted empty boxes. All was fine as everyday he would get what he needed in the closet and never noticed a thing and I was serenely happy knowing that it would work just as it did for years already.

It all came crashing down on me tonight when the light bulb in the closet burned out and he went to fix it. As he was standing on a chair he called me and asked "I'm really not supposed to see this am I as he pointed at his gift." I choked and stammered while he stood there looking immensely pleased with himself for having discovered his gift. As you can imagine I am not nearly as thrilled as he is and have no idea what else to get for him and Christmas is less than two weeks away. What should I do?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sunbeam Update





We had Sunbeam at the doctor today again, where they were pleased with how she healed and scheduled her next surgery to remove all the hardware from her leg.


We will all be so glad once that is done and the whole accident can seem like only a bad dream.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Answering Questions

I hope this isn't too personal, but I have been wondering why you left the Amish?

Since I am chronicling the journey of a happy little Amish girl to where I am today. Still happy, but no longer Amish. I will come to the part where we made the hardest decision of our life. And will share everything then.

And do you ever see your family?

It has been a long time since I saw my family last. Unfortunately our choice to leave the culture we grew up in put a strain on our relationship.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

Our favorite Christmas tradition is the huge Christmas breakfast I always make. We look forward to it all year long.

Have you any regrets about leaving?

We have no regrets about leaving. Our only regret is that we didn't leave sooner.

What is the most wonderful memory of being Amish?

My most wonderful memory? Hmmmm. This one requires a lot of contemplation. I have many great memories. I don't think it's possible to narrow it down to only one.

I have always wondered if all Amish communities are the same?

There are many differences between Amish communities. Some are so big that they won't even consider fellowshipping with other Amish churches that aren't bound by the same rules.

I was wondering if someone can become Amish?

Yes, there is a possibility to join the Amish. However it is a long drawn out deal, of learning two new languages (Pennsylvania Dutch for everyday conversations and German for church services.) and the quirks of living their lifestyle, and most important would be being accepted as a member of the church. Which is not an easy feat.

I'd be interested to know what church if any you attend.

We attend a non-denominational Bible believing church.

What are your thoughts on 'plain' anabaptism?

I think they have many good points and I still hold some of the convictions of being raised in that type of background. However over the years they have lost their focus on the main issues.

After your years of rumspringa what helped you make your decision on what to do with your life?

The word rumspringa means simply "running around" which is what it is called once Amish youth are considered old enough to join the youth group. Which in the community I grew up in and also a lot of others is not nearly as exciting as a lot of Amish books and movies portray it to be.

I joined the church when I started rumspringa and life was fairly boring.

For another former Amish view on rumspringa visit here.

I don't mean to be rude, but I am curious as to how old you were when you left the Amish?

I was in my twenties.

Do the Amish in your area vote?

No, the Amish in our area don't vote.

Did you all ever go out to eat?

The only time we went out to eat was when our friends from Georgia came to see us and would take us to a nearby Ponderosa. It used to be one of the highlights of each year.

What made you buy a computer when you left and how did you start blogging?

We needed a computer for a business we were in at the time. And I started this blog as a place to jot memories and have something that I'm comfortable with for the children to read online.

I have met numerous Amish people over the years and have noticed they never wear jewelry, not even wedding rings. I have often wondered why they don't at least wear wedding rings.

They class any and all jewelry as unnecessary and prideful.

Do you also speak a German dialect?

We still speak Pennsylvania Dutch at home at least 70% of the time.

I was wondering if after they leave are they welcomed back?

Anyone who leaves the Amish is welcome to come back if proper repentance is evident and they successfully pass a period of proving time. (Anywhere from 6 months to a year.)

Do Amish keep up with the current events?

Most Amish do. Some prefer not to.

Why is going barefoot so prevalent among the Amish?

It's comfortable and freeing to be released from the confines of shoes every spring especially if you are a child. Gardening is much easier if you don't have to worry about getting dirt in your shoes. And since wearing sandals isn't an option in a lot of communities I'm sure that makes a difference too.

My question is whether this was media hype because of one abusive family, which can happen anywhere, or are there some communities who are more severe with their children?

I have never been in any Amish community where it was okay to be severe with children. I have only ever known one family personally where there was a problem of abuse. There is a lot of exaggeration out there of how horrible it is to be raised in an Amish family. Some of it touted by bitter ex-Amish who are trying to inflict as much pain and damage to the Amish communities as possible.

I notice that your girls wear dresses that are plain-ish. Is this a carry-over from your Amish values or a matter of practicality? One more: do you still cover your hair?

I still have a lot of fabric left over from when we were Amish and I enjoy sewing. Also I am allowing Sunbeam to wear some of the Amish dresses Rosy used to wear. So I would call it a matter of practicality. I don't cover my hair at home, but still do most of the time in public.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just Because

Several months ago I did several question and answer posts, and lately I am getting emails asking when I'll do another session like that. So since the house is on the chilly side tonight and everyone else is curled up in front of the fireplace, I am thinking why not have another go at answering questions.

You can ask me anything you want to about the Amish or what ever strikes your fancy and I'll try to answer tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Pudding

As a child the thing I looked forward to the most about Thanksgiving was the layered pudding Mom made as one of the desserts. Wednesday evenings when we came home from school she would be cooking the top part in the double boiler, and I could hardly wait until it was time to eat it.

She would cover it and set it on the porch so it would chill well overnight. On Thanksgiving morning she would bring it inside and put it into the refrigerator. We always had church services in the forenoon and I would be sitting there thinking of the turkey stuffing and the pudding that was waiting for us at home. We never stayed very long to visit after Thanksgiving church but hurried home and got the rest of our meal ready.

This year I tried to make the pudding just the way Mom used to. It was just as good as I remembered and will be making it's way onto our Thanksgiving table in the years to come. It's a tradition that I am comfortable hanging on to.

Thanksgiving Pudding

Bottom layer:
2/3 cup orange jello
1 cup boiling water
½ cup cold water
½ cup ice (approx 8 cubes)
1- 20 oz can crushed pineapple drain all juice off and set aside

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add cold water and ice. Stir until ice is melted. Add drained crushed pineapple. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Refrigerate until firm.

Middle Layer:

1- 8 oz extra creamy Cool Whip
1- 8 oz softened cream cheese

Beat Cool Whip and cream cheese together and spread carefully across the firm jello layer. Return to refrigerator.

Top Layer:

1 to 1½ cup pineapple juice that was reserved when you drained the crushed pineapple for the bottom layer.
Add water to pineapple juice until you have two cups full.
1 cup sugar
3 slightly rounded Tbsp flour
3 beaten egg yolks
Stir all together with a wire whisk and bring to a gentle simmer in the top of a double boiler or another saucepan if you are willing to stir without ceasing. Simmer until thickened. remove from heat and cool. After it's nice and cool spread on top of cream cheese layer and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!