Monday, May 7, 2012

This week on Jean : Farming life continues along with an update from Jean on how she is doing

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 have started planting our new crops for the year.  While we were at David's parents house they planted the field behind it that had not been planted in about 10 years.  As the weather has been changing from the 80's to the 40's and back-we wanted to plant something that the change in temperature wouldn't hurt.  After discussion potatoes were planted in this field.  It can take the change in temperature and make it.
Because of the freezes we have lost about half of out strawberries for this year.  Others have lost a lot more strawberries than we have so we are thankful that we have the half we have.  With the freeze coming this week, we hope we can save what we have left.


David, Michael, my Father and David's Father are all working the fields. Of course Michael still goes to his public school so he works the fields when he can. Susan's Old Order Mennonite school will be ending the school year in two weeks. Her school closes sooner because they started earlier and don't take all the holiday's that the public school does. I will tell you about the activities we go to when the school closes. Hardly seems it is that time of year already.
                                                                                                                                                                  I am not use to a maude (maid) in my home. She does all the laundry, cleaning, cooking, looks after David Jr. and more. I can do the sewing without any problems, so I do that. In fact, I think I could do more in our home, but David doesn't want me to over do it. David won't even let me plant my garden. David, Michael and I were out there the other day. David and Michael planted what and where I told them to put in. We still have to wait on some vegetables until the weather warms up and stays.

Last Sunday was my first meeting (church) since my operation. Everyone was glad to see how well I am doing. When we got home there were breakfast, lunch and dinner on our porch. I think they were left from different families. We don't know who left, but will next week when I bring the dishes to meeting next week so I can return them. Our maude does not work on Sunday-it is the day of rest-the Lord's Day. So these unknown people wanted to make sure we had meals to eat today. I didn't want to say that our maude cooked us meals for Sunday before she left on Saturday. I know the food came from our Old Order Mennonite's. None of the food will go to waste - we will eat it all !

I am feeling better and getting my strength back. Sewing and reading are mostly my activities lately. Oh yes and rummage sale's. David said I must go to the next doctors appointment before he will let me do anymore work. It is hard to see someone else cooking in my new kitchen and cleaning my home.

Hope to have more for you soon.

Be With God, Jean
Recipe from old order Mennonite Martha
                                      Someone had asked for the recipe of rye bread. There are several different recipes for it like: Rye Sour, Old Milwaukee Rye, Russian Black Bread, Triple Rye Bread and more. I am giving the recipe for the Triple Rye Bread as this is the one I use the most for my family and for selling at my roadside stand. Martha

Triple Rye Bread


2 cups rye flour

1 cup rye flakes

2 packages dry yeast

2 cups hot water (120 degrees - 130 degrees)


1/2 cup of rye berries (seeds)

3 cups water


1 cup hot water (120 degrees - 130 degrees)

1/4 cup molasses

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup rye flour

3 1/2 cups bread or all-purpose flour, approximately

1 egg, beaten, mixed with 1 tablespoon milk

Baking Sheet: 1 baking sheet greased pan for conventional loaves.

To make the sour, 2 days before mixing the dough pour the rye flour and flakes into a medium bowl. Add the yeast and hot water. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to ferment. To grow the sprouts, measure the rye berries into a medium bowl and cover with the water. Put aside to soak for 8 to 12 hours. Drain. Cover the bowl with tight-fitting plastic wrap and leave to sprout for 24 hours. The sprouts will be small, just peeking out.

To make the dough, pour all of the sour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the hot water and molasses. Add the sprouts, salt, and rye flour. Beat with a wooden spoon or a mixer flat beater to combine thoroughly. Add the white flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a shaggy mass that can be lifted to the work surface, or until a mixer dough hook can move the dough in a piece. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add small sprinkles of flour.

Kneading by hand: Knead the dough with a strong push-turn-fold motion until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If under a dough hook, knead at low to medium speed, adding sprinkles of flour if necessary, until the hook moves the dough cleanly around the bowl. If it does not, add a bit more flour. Knead for 10 minutes.

First Rising: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (If prepared with a new fast-rising yeast and at the recommended higher temperature, reduce the rising times by about half.)

To make the dough into round loaves, divide into 2 pieces and with your hands, push and pat into smooth balls. Press on the top lightly to flatten the loaves somewhat. If the breads are to be made in a pan, press each piece into an oval the length of the bread pan, fold down the middle, pinch the seam to seal, and tuck in its ends. Drop into the pan and press into the corners.

Second Rising: Cover the loaves lightly with wax paper or a Teflon Sheet, and leave at room temperature to double the bulk, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees about 20 minutes before baking-if using a conventional oven.

With a razor, cut a design on the hearth loaves and slashes down the lengths of the other loaves and slashes down the lengths of the other loaves. Brush with the egg-milk wash and place the loaves in the hot oven. Midway during baking, turn the loaves end for end to equalize the heat on each loaf. The loaves should be baked in 35 to 40 minutes. Turn one over and tap the bottom. If the loaf feels hard and crusty, the bread is done.

Remove the bread from the oven and place on a metal rack to cool.

Recipe makes two large loaves.

This recipe is for called Pan Paint. It's to cover your pans when you make cakes, muffins, etc.

Pan Paint


vegetable oil


Mix equal amounts of all ingredients together until smooth. Store in plastic container on cupboard shelf. Keeps indefinitely. Use pastry brush to coat cake pans, muffin tins, etc.
Enjoy: Martha


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