Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This week on Jean: The family prepares for hurricane Irene. And Michael disappears for a brief moment, and Jean and David are worried!.

Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.
We had been following Hurricane Irene in the local newspaper. When we realized it was heading out way, we knew we had to harvest what we could save before it hit. David and Michael got our tractor and went over to my parents and David's parents first. Our tractors are steel wheel tractors, When we go on the road we attach rubber across the steel. It is our way that when things like hurricane Irene are coming to help others get their crops done . Our parents were starting theirs, David and Michael came and other farmers knowing they would need help also came. Most were Mennonite, but the Amish also came. After our parents farms, all those willing to help made up a list of those that they knew would need help and went from farm to farm to help. When it seemed that Hurricane Irene was coming the next day, I gave Michael permission to go to the attic and turn the television on to see what the news said. When he came down he said, it was coming our way and could be a direct hit. The people working kept going from farm to farm. They didn't get to our house until the night before Irene was to hit. They started ours. David's grandmother was here taking care  of the children, keeping the coffee pot full and sandwiches on the table. She also kept an ear on for the phone in case any emergency came in. David, and the other farmers went out to the crops. Susan and I were pulling up everything that we could save from the garden. After working for quite a while, I realized that Michael wasn't there. I checked the house, the barn, the field where the men were and I couldn't find him, I told David. So  David said that Michael wasn't here long enough to run away he had to be here somewhere. We hadn't had any disagreements that would upset him to leave yet. I went into the attic to see if he was watching the television. He wasn't there. Went in the basement he wasn't there. David's grandmother hadn't seen him. I was on my way to see David in the field about calling the police when I passed the barn and out came Michael and a couple of his friends. They had cleaned out the barn. When I looked for Michael in the barn I just opened the door and looked- in I didn't say anything so Michael thought I was getting a tool out of it. He and his friends were in the back and it was sort of dark-I didn't see him. David had said before they went from farm to farm that he wanted to clean the barn before the Hurricane came, but he worked in the fields so Michael took it upon himself and friends to clean the barn. He said that was something he learned in his previous foster home especially after he ran away. So the horses and cows were in a clean barn during the hurricane. We got ours done and people were starting to go home when Grandma came out the door and said we had one more to do, The young Amish couple whose house we had built. They had come and helped. Their house was on a list to do, but some how got crossed off but hadn't been done. So everybody went to their house. Grandma with Michael's help backed the coffee urns, ice tea , sandwiches, and desert in the buggy. Took Susan, the two babies and moved over to the Amish house. Grandma walked in and took over her kitchen commenting on what a beautiful new kitchen it was. As the Amish don't have electric Grandma made hot coffee before she left our house so both the urns were filled with hot coffee. The Amish have gas refrigerators so she put the ice tea in there. They set up the table for people to come in and grab some food. The young Amish lady is with child and She is due in January, but she is very large-much larger that she should be. Her doctor tells her she is having one child. Grandma laid her hand on the ladies stomach and said the doctor doesn't know what he is talking about. Grandma says it is at least twins. Grandma does not believe in witch medicine or fortune telling or anything like that-but she does have a way of telling of babies. Just by laying hand on she knows. As long as I have known her she has never been wrong in how many or in telling if its a girl or boy. Also, the Amish man said the crop was ours and David kept saying it was his. When we sold the property the crop was planted. David told the young couple that property was theirs-the crop on it was theirs. The Amish wanted us to keep it, Finally David just gave orders to put it in the Amish barns to all the workers no matter what he said. They were really appreciative of the crop, but felt it was shorting us. We tried to explain that it wasn't. We made our money when they paid for the land. We hope we convinced them. We got everything done about 1:00AM. After we all had something to eat and drink in their house we all prayed that God would watch over and protect us, our neighbors, property, animals and crops. Our household got up in time to go to meeting (church) in the morning. It was very windy, but we made it to. After service we went home. We lost some of our crop that wasn't ready to be harvested. Also, I lost some of the fruit and vegetables out of our garden that wasn't ready to be harvested. Some of the glass windows on our green houses got broken. Michael and David had to empty one of the green houses into the other two as it had several windows broken. Some trees and limbs fell. We thought the house roof had been damaged, but it wasn't. We came through pretty well. The glass in the green houses is replaced. The trees and limbs have been cut and moved. We did lose some of the crops, and garden, but nothing that was a great loss. What we are concerned about now are the apple trees. We did lose lots of apples off them because of the wind. We hope there weren't enough lost to hurt what we make a year. That would hurt the apple butter, cider, apple dumplings, pies, apple sauce, etc. that we make and sell each year. If it does, God will take care of us. David said we couldn't have made it through this with out Michael. He was a hard worker and did jobs without being told especially cleaning out the barn. Every morning and evening Michael helps David with milking the cows, feeds the animals and more. He brushes the horses, hooks up the buggy and more. He is going to be starting school September 6th. David and Michael both wish he didn't have to go to school, but he must. Amish and Mennonite get along and help each other in time of need. When they were deciding who needed help-there was no Amish, Mennonite or even outsider considered different than anyone else. Anyone that needs help gets it. Since the Amish have moved in here, I have never seen them refuse help to anyone that needed it. They, like we, don't care if it is Amish, Mennonite or Englisher-they help anyone. We track weather in the newspaper and on the phone. If someone Amish or Mennonite does not have a phone and we feel they should know about the weather-we go to their house and tell them. News travels fast here. Be with God. Jean             
Jean's Quick Pudding Pies

Buy instant (non-cooking) puddings in whatever flavor you would like. Also buy or make a graham cracker pie crust. You can use either 2 1oz puddings or 1 3.4 oz pudding. If you are using 2 1oz puddings you will need 2 3/4 cup milk. If you are using 1 3.4 oz pudding you will need 1 3/4 cup milk.

In a large bowl put the pudding and milk. Mix for one minute. Add 1/2 of an 8 oz Cool Whip and mix until Cool Whip and pudding are mixed together. Pour into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate for an hour or two. You can use the other half of the Cool Whip as a topping on the pie when serving or to make another pudding pie.

These pies are quick and during these hot months you don't have to use the stove oven to heat up the kitchen. I have sold these pies at the bake sale. As soon as I set them out they sell. I don't put the Cool Whip on the top at the bake sales so people can see what flavor they are even when they are marked. In this weather I would advise you not to take these pies in an area where it is really hot as they can separate if you don't eat them right away in 80 degree heat.

When I make banana cream I cut up a banana and put them on the bottom and sides of the graham cracker crust before I pour the pudding over them. I have made this pie in chocolate, banana cream, butter scotch, pistachio, white chocolate, devil's food, oreo, vanilla and more.I have never had one of these pies not sell nor have I ever had a complaint. My family likes dark chocolate the best. Great for your home, bake sales, church socials, gifts and more.  Enjoy. Jean


I've created this website out of my own interest in the Amish/Mennonite culture and of living in the country. Its a place for people who are interested in the Amish like myself, and its also a place to share Images of the beautiful country side that is all around me. my name is Richard, and I live very close to an Amish settlement here in Pennsylvania. This site is dedicated to my mother, who had started all of this by taking me as a child to Lancaster,pa from our apartment in the Bronx projects..........THANK YOU MOM............... Richard