|The Amish Cooks last post on Amish Stories for 2011. Merry Christmas |
BY LOVINA EICHER
Every morning son Joseph, 9, reminds us of how many more days it is until Christmas. When he told me this morning that there were only “13 days” it really dawned on me just how close the holiday season really is. I think the children are getting a little worried and keep asking Joe and I when we are going Christmas shopping. We have a few of their gifts, but it just seems time goes too fast. We plan to go shopping on Saturday.
(Editor’s Note: Having visiting dozens of Amish settlements across the USA over the past 20 years, my observation is that Christmas is celebrated in different ways depending on the community. Some Amish do incorporate secular symbols like Santa Claus and reindeer-shaped Christmas cookies into their celebration, others do not. Gift-exchanges seem to be common in most communities, although it is often more low-key and less commercial than the non-Amish. Christmas decorations rarely appear in Amish homes and I’ve never seen a decorated tree. One way in which many Amish do expression their appreciate of the season is through baked goods and homemade candy - Kevin Williams, Amish Cook Editor)
Christmas morning is exciting for the children to see their gifts, but lets not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season. Joseph, Lovina, 7, and Kevin, 6, are often practicing their songs for their school Christmas program. It will be held next week on December 20. Joe will have off two weeks from the factory over the holidays. The children will also have two weeks off school. I know those weeks will go fast with us having Joe’s family over for Christmas on January 7. Lots to do during that time to prepare. Some of the time will be spent cleaning the house more than usual. Our basement needs a good cleaning. Our coal stove is the basement so it does not take long for dust to collect. We do laundry down there and the children play down there a lot too.
Saturday we celebrated daughter Verena’s 14th birthday with a fried chicken dinner. She baked a chocolate cake and frosted it. We put on candles and had her blow them out. We also had vanilla ice cream to go with the chocolate cake. For her birthday we gave her a dolphin anniversary clock and an electronic money jar. Verena collects anything with dolphins or dogs so she really liked the clock. She doesn’t remember her 13th birthday due to losing her memory for a year because of her brain concussion in June 2010. We are so thankful she is doing better. She has caught up with her school grades again and is excited to be back on the honor roll list. I took her to the doctor’s for a 3-month check up since her surgery. She still needs to wear the ankle brace but the doctors were very pleased with how she is doing. We thank God for all his many blessings. May He help us to remember to always turn to Him when we feel burdened with life’s problems. He can make our load so much more easier to carry.
Today is laundry day again. We usually do laundry 2 to 3 times a week. The boys cleaned out the chicken coop on Saturday. So now we have some extra smelly coats and pants to wash. When the eggs start coming into the house dirty we know it is time to remind the boys that the chicken coop and nests need to be cleaned again. Our chickens have slowed down in laying eggs since the cold weather began. I must get busy now and hope all of you readers stay healthy over these holidays.
Saturday morning our thermometer showed 11 degrees. Brrr. Today the temperature is in the low 20s. Here is a good peanut butter fudge recipe for the holidays.
HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE
2 cups sugar
2 /3 cup milk
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 6 ounce package chocolate chips
1 /2 of one pint jar marshmallow crème
Butter a 2-quart saucepan. Combine sugar and milk in the saucepan and beat and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook to 235 degrees (use a candy thermometer to measure temperature) Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients stirring until well-blended. Pour into a buttered 9 X 9 X 2 pan. Cool and cut when firm. The Amish Cook is re-published with permission from www.oasisnewsfeatures.com. Richard from Amish Stories.