Monday, November 21, 2011

This week on Jean : How the old order Mennonites celebrate Thanksgiving. With a homemade recipe from Jean!

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.

Warm thanksgiving wishes from Jean and her family to yours.
Our Thanksgiving Day is a day much like you have. The Sunday before Thanksgiving the sermons at our meetings (church) are on remembering and thanking the Lord for all He has done for us. In our home prayers David quotes verses on thanksgiving to the Lord for all He has done for us. After our dinner on Wednesday, we fast until dinner is served on Thursday. We also remember the gracious things the Lord has done for us. The children have Thursday and Friday off of school including the weekend.

When David and I were about Susan's age (6), all the Old Order Mennonite that went to our meetings would meet and have one Thanksgiving meal together at someones home. Since that time we have grown in size  and that is really impossible today. Today, we rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas among our family. My Mother and Father were going to have it this year, but David's Mother asked if she could do it-as David's Grandmother passed away and she wanted to have a happy occasion in her house. So David's parents are having Thanksgiving, my parents will be having Christmas. Next year one of those will be at our house.

Many relatives usually come in from out of state, but because of the Grandmother's funeral not all of them will be coming this year. David's Father came from a large family and our family is a large family so some will be coming. Also some of our parents families will be going out of state to their children's homes. Some of our my families relatives will be coming here for Thanksgiving so there will be lots of family here.

On Wednesday a lot of us ladies will go to David's Mother's house to clean and help cook the turkey, ham, stuffing, noodles, and rolls. The rest of us will bring a dish to the dinner which will include salads, vegetables, jams and jellies, corn relish, chow chow, cakes, pies, cookies and more. Dinner will be at 12:00 noon on Thursday. We all get there an hour or two earlier to chat, and help David's Mom. When we set for dinner, we have silent prayer and David's Dad offers a voice prayer. He doesn't always do this, but he does this on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. It is not written as a way of our meetings, but something that David's Dad does. After eating as each person is about to the leave the table, he asks the person of one thing they are thankful for that God did for them this year. He asks both children as they usually leave first and then he asks the adults as we sit at the table. Again this is not written in our meetings to do-it's something David's Dad does and my Dad has picked this up as David has, so we do it every year.

After dinner we ladies do dishes and clean up the kitchen while the men are outside chatting (or inside) depending on the weather. When dishes are done the ladies and men might go into the living room to chat or sing. Depending on the weather the children may go out and play games which we watch while chatting. If the weather is bad, we may play inside games with the children. We leave in time to get home and door chores. On this day, as on Sunday, we only do the chores of milking the cows, feeding the animals, etc.-only chores we have to do. That evening before bed, David will read Bible quotes on thanking the Lord.

David says this day is one of the worst day for fires and he will probably get a fire call. People put something on the stove or in the oven and forget about it. Sometimes they don't pay attention to their fire stack or fire place. They seem to get a lot of things on their minds and don't pay attention. Almost every year they get at least one fire call on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

As we have relatives coming in from out of state, some will probably being staying at our house. Of course we will be providing meals, transportation and more for them. They do it for us when we visit in their area.

On Friday, we do not try to get to the sales on at the stores. In fact, if we can we try to stay off the road that day or just go between our family and friends. We don't want to get on the road with all the traffic and people buying. If it is absolute that we go some place that day out on the Main Roads, we get someone with a car to drive us. You have to book ahead because car drivers all seem to be booked up this weekend. If it were an emergency we would call Martha's parents, because they would come. Martha's parents are not consider "drivers" as they do not drive for everyone. They would never turn anyone down in an emergency, but driving is not jobs for them. Martha's Mom and Dad have other jobs so they can't be on call all the time.

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and please remember the good things the Lord has done for you.

Be With God, Jean


2 Cups fresh or frozen Cranberries

1 1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 c. chopped nuts

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine melted

Spread cranberries over bottom of a greased 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and nuts. Beat eggs well. Add remaining 1 cup of sugar gradually and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour and melted butter or margarine. Beat well. Pour batter over the top of cranberries. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Tastes better served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream.


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