Friday, December 9, 2011

Martha : Life on the farm during apple season. With a recipe for apple butter bread, and an egg nog recipe from Jean!

Martha and Joseph are old order Mennonites who live on a farm in New York state with their family, and like the Amish use horse and buggy when traveling.
 Jean thought you would be interested in our Apple Season activities on our farm. This was originally started with several farms with each farm having a different activity, but as their children grew or they got older and people couldn't do it anymore each activity was discontinued. One year us Old Order Mennonite Farmers with children thought it should be brought back so it was. All activities are held at our house, but many people help. Martha

We felt that there are many young people who live in cities, towns, or their parents don't grow apples on their farms and want to know about apples. So during apple seasons we invite 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other groups to come on our farm one Saturday or school holiday during the month of October and we teach them about apples. Right now we are booked up for this month. We will give the groups that come this year a chance to book for next year and then we take on any new groups that would like to come. We even have adult groups that come for the day during the week.

When the young folks arrive, we explain a little bit about our religion and way of life-so the children can understand us a bit. We tell the children to ask questions so they will be comfortable with us. One of the questions a little boy asked this year is if we eat pizza. Joseph explained we eat pizza, Chinese food, Italian food, Irish food and all different kinds of food. Most of our meals are Mennonite or the same thing they would eat. But, the pizza delivery knows where we live-we don't have to leave our address with them-just our name. The delivery car always shows up with our pizzas.

After that Joseph takes the young folks to our apple trees and explains how trees got started. What we must do to take care of our trees and harvesting. Then the children see us make some of things we make with our apples. Sometimes the children want to help and depending what it is-we allow them to give a hand. First we have the apple butter-I like to have Jean make that. As Jean has bake sales when some of these occur, we get in Joseph's Mother to fill in. Then we show them cider being made. Next they go into our house and see us make apple pies, apple sauce, jelly and more. Each cooking gets explained to them. The kitchen is where we get the most requests to help and we sometimes let the children help depending on their age. Once all this is shown the young folks sit down for a lunch with apple pie for desert. Everyone leaves with an apple.

One of the Boy Scout Troops and one of the Girl Scouts camp overnight on our property for a weekend. The boys come one weekend and the girls another. They come over  on Friday evenings, so we have pizza, salads, snacks, soft drinks, cider and a bond fire going. We use to have games for them, but our age and theirs is different so we let them have their own games. We do have some mores made over the camp fire we have. On Saturday is the day we show and explain about the apples and after lunch they do as their leaders have planned. We provide the lunch but they have to provide their own breakfast and dinner. On Sunday after they make and eat their breakfast they back up and leave. They are each given an apple before we go to meeting (church).

When adults come during the week we show them everything that  we show  the young adults, but after lunch I have a table set up with items they can buy and take home like apples, pies, apple butter and jelly, cider and more. Many people buy from this table. We also charge the groups when they come, but we believe they get their moneys worth. We haven't had any complaints. Many of the groups come back every year-in fact even some adults come every year.

We also do something similar to this during maple syrup season. Our trees have buckets on them and we explain to the young folks about the trees and the syrup. We then show them how maple syrup, maple candy, maple cakes and more are made. Then they have pancakes, bacon, ham and homemade maple syrup. Everyone receives a piece of maple candy as they leave. At this time of year, we do not allow the scouts to camp on our property. They would like to, but we don't want to take the chance in these low temperatures. When adults come we do the same thing and again have the table with maple syrup. maple candy, and maple baked goods. Again we make money on the charge to see all that we have and lunch. Many of the adults buy from our table.

We divide the money up between all that helped and ourselves. Much of this money is put away for the expenses during the winter when farming is coming to a close. We were asked by one group if Joseph and David could get together and do a weekend on wood carving. Also, we had another troop that wondered if we could have a weekend on quilting. Right now we are seeing if we could work these out next year.

Just thought this is something that we do that your might be interested in.

Be With God, Martha

Apple Butter Bread

2 cups self-rising flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 eggs

1 cup butter or margarine, melted

3/4 cup apple butter

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup golden raisins

Combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon; set aside.

Combine eggs, butter, apple butter, and milk; beat well. Stir in pecans and raisins. Add flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 F for 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to wire rack and cool completely.      Apple butter bread from  the Recipe goldmine. Richard from Amish Stories.

Yields 8 servings.

Egg nog recipe  from Jean

Egg Nog

2 eggs

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 qt milk

Whipping cream


Beat eggs, add Eagle Brand Milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat and add milk. Whip 1/2 pint of whipping cream and fold in. Sprinkle nutmeg over top, amount you desire. When sets a while cream will come to top so stir before pouring. If you double it, it makes 1 gallon.

Enjoy. Jean

Dont miss Marth'a Christmas post on Dec 23


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