Monday, July 2, 2012

This week on Jean: Jean pays tribute to her maid this week, and explains how someone who is old order Mennonite becomes one.

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.

I thought you might be interested in our Maude (maid).  All girls are taught jobs around the house as soon as you can teach them-put their toys away, bring down their clothes, etc.  The older they get  more jobs and responsibilities like: setting the table, doing dishes, cleaning their rooms, and more.  The same for boys learning men's work.  When they leave school, at age 14, girls should know how to cook, clean, sew, do laundry, work in the garden - everything one should know to take care of a house and garden.  

 Also girls know how to do farm work like milking cows, cleaning the barn, helping in the fields, etc.  Also at 14 they can do small jobs outside the home, if it is with someone  who is Old Order Mennonite or someone known really well among her family who is an outsider.  At age 15 or 16 girls, if allowed, can work outside the home as a maude, sometimes in restaurants, bake sales, etc.-if the family allows.

Bridget (named changed at her request) has been my maude.  She is 17 years old.  Usually the maude comes a day or two before they start to see what has to be done and how I like it done, but because of my emergency she came and did whatever, and she saw what was needed to be done.  When I got out of the hospital and stayed with David's parents, Bridget cleaned the house from top to bottom-better than we did after the fire.  She did all the laundry, watered the plants, mended all the items I had in the sewing basket and made sure the men had meals while working in the farm fields.  She would come in during  the morning and go home in the evening as her parents live a couple of miles down the road.

After my arrival home from the hospital, Bridget would come on Monday morning and stay until she left on Saturday evening.  Bridget would be up before we were every day starting breakfast, packing Susan and Michael's lunches for school.  After David and Michael came in from chores we would all eat.  Bridge ate with as, but some people who have maudes like her to eat before or after they do, but we treat Bridget like a member of our family while she's in our house-she eats her meals with us.  She makes sure David Jr. is up, bathed and dressed when he comes to breakfast.  After doing the dishes after we eat, she made all the beds, straightened the bedrooms and bathrooms-brought down any clothing or towels that needed to be washed. 

 She would do the laundry after which she would do the baking, and somehow she fit in playing with David Jr.  At noon time was lunch which she prepared.  After dishes she would go through the house and do any dusting, cleaning the bathroom, sewing, watering my plants, etc. She would see that David Jr. was put to bed for his nap.  Also, we would decide on the evening meal which she would start.  When Susan and Michael came from school, she would have milk and cookies or a piece of pie or cake for them before they did their chores. 

After evening milking, we had dinner after which she would do the dishes.  After prayers, she would put David Jr. to bed and help Susan to bed if she needed any help.  The rest of the evening she would sit with us talking, sewing, quilting, knitting-whatever she wanted to work on.  Of course during all this she was taking care of me-helping me around the house when I needed it, putting David Jr. on my lap and talking him off, changing my hospital dressings-anything I needed done. 

Right now, we are back to her coming every morning and going home every evening.  I am up and able to do some of the cooking and baking.  Lifting the laundry is still too heavy for me so she does that. she still Takes care of David Jr as I can't lift him right now and more.  Now sometimes she and I sit and have a cup of tea and just chat.  She is also planting some of my flowers for me and weeding my garden.  She doesn't stop.  She is almost always going unless I order her to sit down and have a cup of tea,lol. 

The best  part is that she gets along with the whole family.  I worried about Susan and David Jr., but they really love her, too.  Sometimes they mind her better than they do me.  LOL   After my next visit to the doctor, I think we will be able to let her go, but I am not sure.  David says he would rather have her on a little  longer than we need than to let her go and have to try to get her back.  We were just lucky to get her when we did as she is a hard worker and many people have  tried to hire her. 

Marilyn asked me to put in how much we pay a maude.  The running price in our Old Order Mennonite is between $10.00 and $15.00 a DAY.  (Note that is not by the hour, but the day-Marilyn).  As Bridget does such a great job and handles the children so well, David and I decided to pay her $20.00 a day which she wanted to refuse, but we insisted.  So we pay her $120.00 a week which we pay every Saturday before she goes home. 

Some Old Order Mennonites take the money from their children, but Bridget's parent don't.  Bridget has a savings account at the bank where she puts a least half of her money every week.  The other half is her spending money-although it is very rare that she spends that much money  a week except at Christmas, and Birthdays.  She does give part of her money to the church when they come-but her parents do not tell her what to give-she decides on her own.  From her Mother, Bridget is as generous as they come!

So I hope that I was able to fill you in more about Bridget  our maude (maid),  She is a great help and an outstanding worker.
Be With God,

Red white and blue chocolate cup cakes

2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa or Hershey's European style cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder                          
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt                                                                                                
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract        
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line (2 1/2 inch diameter) muffin cups with paper bake cups.

In large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be very thin).

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.

Frost cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Garnish with blueberries and strawberries.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

5 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                          
Fresh blueberries and strawberries

In medium bowl, cream together the butter and confectioners' sugar. Add the milk and vanilla extract, beating until frosting is of spreading consistency.

Makes about 2 cups of frosting.    From www.Recipegoldmine.com


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