Monday, January 23, 2012

This week on Jean : Winter time for the old order Mennonite's is filled with work and fun

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.

 January 30, 2012 We have finally gotten the snow that we were waiting for. Michael's public school was closed today, but when a couple of his Old Order Mennonite friends found that out they talked him into going to the one room school house that Susan goes to. David got our big sleigh out, hooked the horse's up and picked up the children to go to our school that hadn't walked to our house. I had made Michael along with Susan a lunch for school. Michael had never been to our one room school house as a student, but said he really liked it, and  Liked it better than the public school. He said some older students help the younger students. The teacher did chose him to answer some questions-and he knew the answers.

Seeing we had our first big snow storm of the season, I thought I would tell you about Old Order Mennonites and snow. We feel that snow, like rain is a gift from God. Previously when the snow just covered the ground, David and Michael, would go out in the fields and plow it under the soil. Now, that all the ground is covered with snow we feel that the ground has come to rest. The snow to us is like a ground blanket. We feel that God sends us items in the snow to rest it, that will help it grow produce in the spring, summer and fall. It is our time to leave the fields alone until spring.

Now is the time, David will go over all our machinery-tractors, harvest machines, plowers, and more. All the farm machinery are gone over, any repairs are done so they are ready in the spring. If any repairs need to be made on the barns - they are also done during the winter. When all the farm work is done, David and Michael will start working on David's parents new house and my grandparents house. If they get those jobs done-we would like to modern up our kitchen. Of course all our regular jobs such as feeding the animals, milking the cows, doing washing, cleaning the house, cooking meals, etc. still go on. No season stops those.

Snow doesn' t mean all work. Tonight Michael along with some of his Old Order Mennonite and Amish friends are at a Englisher's house sledding. The house is at the top of a large hill so they allow the young folks to come over and sled down their home. At first, they use to have a dinner for the young folk, but when they saw the young ladies bringing dishes to pass they don't have a dinner. The young ladies bring a dish to pass or a snack. The family whose house they are at furnish cocoa, soda pop drinks, tea, etc. Most of the young folk had eaten dinner with their families before sledding - but they are hungry again. The Englisher allows all young folk as long as they don't bring any alcohol, drugs or cause any trouble.

Tomorrow Martha and Joseph are having the Old Order Mennonite and Amish young folk at their house. It was suppose to be ice skating on a pond near their house, but it's not frozen solid enough. As the Englisher lives down the road from Martha and Joseph, the young folk can go sledding again. This time, when they are done, they will come to Martha and Joseph's to eat and singing. Michael will be going there in our buggy. Michael really knows how to hook up the horse and drive the buggy after David and I taught him.

There are also hills around that the young folk can go skiing on. Finally, Michael is getting to use some of the presents he got for his birthday. He is also glad that Bristol Resort has real snow and not using machine making snow.

On Sunday night, is an evening for young folks, but Michael can not go. It is for young folks that are 15 or older. Young folks that are looking for partners. Even though they asked Michael on the Christmas caroling - here we do not allow young folks under the age of 15. Michael looks older than he is-but we go for age. Some of his friends are 15 or 16 and he wishes he could go, but next year will be his time.

Also David and I take Susan and Baby David sledding. We go to the Englishers house or one of the hills around where we live. Usually a group of us parents take our children so we have company. One of us invites everyone home for coffee or tea for the adults and cocoa for the children. We also have cake, pie or cookies to munch on. When we are with the little ones sledding-David and I also sled, too. When the ponds get frozen solid, we will also ice skating with the children.

Be With God,


From Jean: This recipe came from my Grandmother. When I told her I was giving it to Amish Stories-she said I can't use her name because it wasn't her recipe. It came from the Betty Crocker Cookbook that she had. So all credits for this recipe that has been used by three generations in my family comes from Betty Crocker.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

12 Cabbage Leaves*

1 pound hamburger

1/2 cup uncooked instant rice

1 medium onion, Chopped (about 1/2 cup)

I can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce ( I always use tomato sauce that I canned)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

*To separate leaves from cabbage head, remove core and cover cabbage with cold water. Let stand about 10 minutes; remove leaves.

Cover cabbage leaves with boiling water. Cover and let stand until leaves are limp, about 10 minutes. Remove leaves; drain.

Mix hamburger, rice, onion, mushrooms (with liquid), salt pepper, garlic salt and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. Place about 1\3 cup hamburger mixture at stem end of each leaf. Roll leaf around hamburger mixture, tucking in sides. Place cabbage rolls seam sides down in un-greased square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches. Mix remaining tomato sauce, the sugar and lemon juice; pour over cabbage rolls. Cover and cook in 350 degrees oven until hamburger is done; about 45 minutes.

Mix cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in saucepan. Stir in liquid from cabbage rolls. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Serve sauce with cabbage rolls.
This Friday Martha returns to Amish Stories with a post about how to join the old order Mennonite Church from the outside!


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