Thursday, April 21, 2011

Answering Questions ~ Part Four

How has all this change affected your children?

They were still young enough, that it didn't really affect them.

I have a question about preserving foods, which Amish folk would obviously be adept at doing. Would you mind giving a brief description of your method of making sauerkraut? (I am growing cabbages for the first time this year, and there are about thirty of them in the garden.)I have the Ball Blue Book, but I would like to learn how Amish folk put up kraut. Thanks so much!

Actually I have never even tasted sauerkraut. We used to raise a lot of cabbage and always made sure to plant plenty of the late variety, Danish Ballhead. We would leave them in the garden until just before the first hard frost when we would remove them by pulling them out leaving the roots attached. We would place them upside down in a cool dark spot in our basement and then got to enjoy fresh cabbage for quite a while in the winter.
We never made sauerkraut so I'm sorry that I can't help you on this one.
Do you still wear aprons or head covering?
I no longer wear Amish headcoverings or aprons.

Do you bless the food silent with the head of the table clears his throat?Or do you all bless the food?
We no longer have a silent blessing. At breakfast and dinner my husband asks the blessing. And at lunch when he is at work either one of the children or I do.
I am wondering if the Amish have mirrors, because they do not like their photos taken for vanity reasons, so wondering if they look in the mirror to see how they look?

The Amish don't pose for pictures because of one of the ten commandments where it says not to have any graven images.

They do use mirrors, and know how they look.

Now that you have left Amish how does that leave you standing with a legal binding wedding? or how does that work ? Does it still get recorded through the State? or would one have to remarry again..

We have a legal binding marriage. Amish get a marriage license just like anyone else does. You can read about the day we went to get ours here.

I read lots of Amish stories by Beverly Lewis as well and was wondering if you could explain courtship/dating? Most of the stories I have read say that dating takes place under the cover of night and nobody knows until the couple decides to publish that they will be getting married.

Our dates were at night, but the fact that we were courting was not a secret. People usually sense when a wedding will be happening soon but other than close friends and relatives they don't know the exact date until it is announced in church.
The thing I seem to miss most in our modern church life is a sense of community and commitment. Do you find that's true? Obviously you miss the family and friends that you can no longer fellowship with, but have you found a close community of Christian brothers to replace the one you lost?
We have made many new friends since we left the Amish and are not lacking in the area of having a lot of people around us.


  1. Well, I'm shocked that you've never had sauerkraut! *chuckles* I did enjoy your description of saving cabbages, though as I am always looking for ways to keep vegetables fresh as long as possible. Thank you so much for taking the time to relate that and the other answers, too.

  2. Let me just tell you, how proud I am of you both! For allowing yourselves the right to use your own minds. And to thus come to our own conclusions, about how to life your life.

    So proud of your bravery!!!!!!!!

    Gentle hugs,

  3. If you've never tasted sauerkraut, you're not missing much. My brother-in-law calls it "sauer-crap" and that's pretty much how I feel about it, too.

  4. My nephew calls sauerkraut "german spaghetti"

  5. I am inspired by your ability to answer all the questions we submit. We have so much to learn.

  6. I agree re us all having so much to learn. How we like to stereotype others and come in with our (sometimes misguided & uninformed) preconceived ideas. [I often am the recipient of such ideas re: being American as I live in South Africa and some of the things people think/say re: Americans are odd, based largely on Hollywood...]

    Thank you for your honesty, your humbleness and your willingness to be open & transparent. Your blog is not a group therapy session by any means, but maybe there's been more understanding and healing for you and many of us non-Amish followers of A Joyful Chaos through this question time as well as your blog in general.

  7. This is such fun, and it was so dear of you to take questions, and to answer them, thank you for your plain answers that all may understand, God bless you, and have a very good day.
    lots of hugs, Barbara♥

  8. I love sauerkraut, especially on reubens or heated with weiners, yum!
    Thanks for taking time to answer all the questions. I'm a little tickled that I had rightly assumed about pictures being 'graven images'.
    Have a nice day:D

  9. Thank you for sharing about your life Mary Ann. I have been telling my husband about your story as well as sharing some with our children. I appreciate your openness as well.

  10. I have read through all your questions and answers here. How very brave of you both to walk away and make your own way in the world.

    I commend you on your openness and honesty!

    God bless and have a fantastic day!

    BTW: I'm havin' a Happy Easter Giveaway over at my place, pop on over if ya get a chance!

  11. Just been reading all your answer posts, and I just wanted to say thanks for the shares. I find it very interesting reading your blog and getting a glimpse in to your world. So much so that I actually spent most of the weekend soon after finding your blog just reading all your posts.

  12. Wow, these are such amazing questions, it is great getting to know these things about the Amish community:)

  13. Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. I enjoy reading whatever you write and look forward to logging on every day. I know it's probably too late for questions and if you don't want to answer that's fine. But I read today an article about the amish and I'm always cautious what to believe about people based on an article or based on the news I hear. Here's the article:

    I'm not sure I understand. Why would they dump their outhouse in a field or would they? I know in Africa (at least the places I've been) fills them in. I'm not quite sure why they've been locked out. The homes they've been locked out of, what about the people who live there? I know you might not know personally what is going on, but could you please give your perspective? Thanks.

  14. Thank you for your willingness to share about your life. God bless.

  15. Did you stop wearing a head covering completely or just the Amish style?

  16. That was weird for me to read the "no graven images" thing (which I knew was somewhere in the Bible) as being in the Ten Commandments. It wasn't in the Ten Commandments I learned in Catholic school!

  17. Mackenzie, In the Catholic bible they removed that specific verse from the Ten Commandments and split one of the other verses into two so that they can still claim to have ten commandments. In the Authorized King James Bible you can find the verse in Exodus 20:4


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.