Monday, November 26, 2012

This week on Jean: When both Michael and Edward grow-up, who does Jean think will likely stay with the old order Mennonite church?

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.
Old order Mennonite buggies. Image from 1941

This may be a question that I answered before, but I will again-Are your siblings and your foster children continuing as  Old Order Mennonites.  Right now they are and I hope they will continue.  With the things in the world today, no one can be sure,  so we pray that they will be.  David Jr. and Susan are more likely to because they are being raised Old Order Mennonite.  They may have their teenage years, but because of their background, we hope will stay.  But no parent can be sure of that.  We know of several people who have had one of their children leave the Old Order Mennonite.  Some have left to join a more modern of the world Mennonite group.  Some have left to join outside religions.  Some have left and are wandering and just searching.

Even though Edward has been with us for a short time, I believe he is most likely of the Foster Children to stay.  He reads his bible daily-because he wants too not because he feels he has to.  His grandmother brought him up in a very religious background.  In his life, he has seen the outside world with the way his Mother went with drugs, and violence.  We have no problem getting him to meetings (church) and he looks forward to them.
Mennonite one room school house. Image from 1942

Michael, on the other hand, had no religious training before he came here.  He goes to meetings (I believe) because he has to not because he wants to.  He does read his bible sometimes.  But he is looking forward to when he becomes age 16 when he feels he can get his drivers license, an outside job, and do things that we don’t allow him to do.  Michael came from a different family.  His parents are in jail.  Before that they moved from house to house and he was not treated with the love given like Edward was  by his grandmother.

Michael and Edward’s ways are different.  When Michael first came he was afraid that when he did something wrong, we would really come down and punish him-maybe hit him or beat him as his parents had done.  Edward on the other hand, when he does something wrong he comes forth and takes whatever punishment we give.  He never thinks of running away.

Michael and Edward were playing baseball where we told them not to.  Edward hit a baseball through one of the windows on our greenhouse.  Even though Michael has been with us for a long time, he was worried about what we would say or do.  When we got home Edward came and told us what happened.  He had no fear to come to us.  For punishment we gave them a couple extra chores for a week and told them they couldn’t play baseball for a week.  We never hit or beat any of the children.

But only the Lord knows what will happen to all the children we have and may get, in the future.  We must trust in Him.  We hope and pray that they will got the way of the Lord. 
Be With God,

Both Edward and Michael know what I am saying here and give their permission for me to put it in. 

Recipes from Jean

This Lye Soap recipe has been passed from generation to generation and now it goes to you.

Lye Soap

ALWAYS use SCRAP FATS (bacon, etc.) this way--DON'T THROW THEM OUT !!!!
Clarify waste fat by melting slowly and straining thru double cheese cloth, then add an equal amount of hot water, stir well and bring to a boil.. Remove from fire, add 1 quart cold water, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool. When firm, the clean fat will be a solid cake on top of water, readu to make soap.

Ginger Ale

2 gallons warm water
2 oz. bruised ginger root
2 lbs. sugar
2 lemons-juice only
1 tbsp cream tarter
1 yeast cake or package in cold water, 2/3 of package in the summer
Let stand in stone jar, covered for 24 hours.  Strain and bottle.  Bottles must be sealed tightly.

Heavenly Jam

3 lbs. ripe peaches, peeled and mashed
3 lbs granulated sugar ( can use Splenda, etc.)
2 oranges, pulp and juice but grated rind of only 1 orange
1 small bottle maraschino cherries cut fine
Combine and let stand over night the mashed peaches and sugar.  In the morning add remaining ingredients and cook together for 1 hour.  Put in sterilized jars and seal.
 Lye Soap

ALWAYS use SCRAP FATS (bacon, etc.) this way--DON'T THROW THEM OUT !!!!
Clarify waste fat by melting slowly and straining thru double cheese cloth, then add an equal amount of hot water, stir well and bring to a boil.. Remove from fire, add 1 quart cold water, stirring constantly.  Set aside to cool. When firm, the clean fat will be a solid cake on top of water, ready to make soap.                                       
USE ONLY ENAMEL PANS. No aluminum.  STIR with WOODEN spoon.


5 1/2 cups strained Melton fat (no oils)
1/2 can Lye
1/4 cup liquid ammonia
1/4 cup borax
1/6 cup sugar

2 teaspoons oil of lemon (or other scent)
Add lye to soft water in quite large enamel kettle, allow to cool to lukewarm. POUR slowly into lukewarm melted fat, with slow even stirring. ADD ammonia, borax and sugar and continue stirring evenly. ADD scent and pure food color if desired.

CONTINUE stirring until like cake batter (about 20 minutes)
POUR into clean GLASS oblong containers.  COVER and keep at room temperature for 24 hours.  Then cut into bars.
This recipe makes 20 - 4 oz bars.
ALLOW soap to age two weeks before using.
All six of us like to go fishing, when we get the chance.  We get tired of eating fish the same old ways of either just plain frying or baking so I look for different fish recipes. Here is one we enjoy:

Baked Fish with Vegetable Stuffing

Fish fillets or whole, cleaned fish
1 tomato
1 stick celery
1/2 green pepper
1 sm. onion
1 T mustard
1 T salad dressing
Chop all vegetables.  Arrange half of fillets in greased baking pan.  Spread with vegetables.  Top with remaining fish.  Brush top with mixture of mustard and dressing.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes in hot oven or until bottom layer is flaky. 

Here is an fast and easy cake to make that is really chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake

1 3 oz. package chocolate pudding mix (not instant)
1 chocolate cake mix
1 6 oz package chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mix pudding according to box directions.  Let cool.  Add dry cake mix, blend and pour into 9" by 13" pan.
Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with
confectionery sugar.

Broccoli Salad

3 Tbsp vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
3 heads broccoli
1 red onion
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup raisins
6-7 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Cut broccoli and slice onion.  Mix with all ingredients.  Let sit in refrigerator a few hours before serving. 


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