Wednesday, April 30, 2014



1 1/4 cups soft maple sugar
1 1/4 cups sour cream (may use yogurt)
1 Tbsp. flour
1 egg beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinammon
1 tsp allspice
1 unbaked pie shell

Mix ingredients together and place in an unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10  minutes and at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes longer or until pie is firm when tested with blade of knife or toothpick comes out clean.

This recipe goes back a long, long way.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Shortly after we had moved into our house, Elmer and I were sitting down for dinner.  John had been working real hard helping other Amish that had moved into our area move into their houses and had come home, had a quick sandwich and had gone to bed for a nap.  I was to put a plate of dinner in the oven for him when he awoke.  Elmer and I had just finished grace and just started eating when our neighbor came to our house informing us our house was on fire and he had called the fire department.  Elmer and I ran outside.  Then Elmer remembered that John was inside and ran in to get him out.  John is hard to wake up, but somehow Elmer had done it and John came out of the building.  When I asked him where his father was, John told me he was inside trying to find the fire.  Finally Elmer came out and said he couldn't find any fire.  Finally the fire department arrived, went in the house and they couldn't find a fire either.  When the neighbor came back over, he showed us where he saw the fire.  What it was was the smoke from the smokehouse.  When he looked out his window, it looked like smoke on our house and he thought it was on fire.  He was so sorry, but at least we got to meet our neighbor and later to know them well.  Also Elmer talked with the Fire Chief and later joined the fire department so the fire run to our house wasn't a complete loss.

The picture above shows a smokehouse very similar to what Elmer built for me in our backyard.  Most meats must have been curing before it can be smoked.  There are two kinds of meat smoking: cold smoking and hot smoking.  I am going to tell about cold smoking as that is the one I and most people use.

As I said, Elmer built our smokehouse, but I understand that you can buy them already made in stores or mail-order outlet or even on the computer.  Your smokehouse should have a fire pit, smoke chamber and a smoke tunnel.  A fire pit is in the ground and lined with rocks.  The smoke chamber is the area in which the meat is smoked.  It must be large enough to hold the meat being processed.  The smoke tunnel connects the smoke pit and smoke chamber so the smoke surrounds the meat in the smoke chamber before the smoke goes out through the outlet in the top.  When you complete the smokehouse, you must make sure you have protected it so animals can not get in.

There are different kinds of material that can be used for fuel depending on your smokehouse or what you want to use.  We use wood in our smokehouse - hardwood like maple, birch, hickory, chestnut or ash.  Do not use softwood such as pine, spruce, hemlock, balsam, cedar and others as they give the meat a bad taste.

The smokehouse should be about 90 degrees at all times.  Also you must make sure that the meat is set in the chamber so that it is entirely exposed to the smoke to make sure the meat is preserved. No pieces of meat should touch other pieces of meat. Sometimes the degrees you are suppose to use may vary in the recipe you are using.  But I keep ours at 90 degrees.

The time to smoke the meats is different in many meats.  A recipe will tell you how long for what meats.  Over the years, I have gotten it memorized, but still it depends on the amount of meat and size, so I have to be careful,

This is just a little information on smoking meat so that you will know how the process goes.  If someone has a questions, please feel free to ask.

Marilyn said that someone asked about sausage, but she couldn't remember what it was and can't find it.  So if someone has a question, please ask and maybe I can do another post on that.  Yes, we do smoke some of our sausages.

Hope I didn't confuse you.

Trust God's Wisdom,
Anna (Elmer's wife)

Monday, April 28, 2014


On Good Friday, I was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Meetings (church).  I was not the only one, Erin, Bishop Joseph's and Martha's son was also baptized along with other "young folks" as my Mother, Jean, would say.

I remember when Michael went to Jean and David's house.  I was so glad that he got the Foster Home that he wanted and was glad we could still go to school together and be friends.  The thought never came to me that I would need a Foster Home or that when I got one, it would Jean and David's. Michael and I hung around Jean and David's and my Grandmother's house after school or sometimes on weekends when we got our chores done. So I knew Jean and David before I came.

When my Grandmother went to the hospital and the police officer told me I had to go to a Foster Home, I was scared.  I was suppose to be packing for the policeman to take me, but I called Michael on the phone.  Jean let me talk to Michael as it was their prayer time, she usually wouldn't.  Michael told Jean and David what was going on at my house and David got on the phone, told me to give the phone to the policeman, which I finally did.  I finished packing and was so happy to see a car pull in the driveway and David get out of the car.  He talked with the policeman and told me he would stay with me and I was coming to their house.

I am not going into everything we did that night because I think Jean had that on another post and I don't really remember it all.  My Grandmother did call Jean and David up and asked them if they would be my guardian and keep me in their home - which they agreed to. My Grandmother had me come into the hospital and told me what she had done.  I was glad, that if I stay, I wanted in David and Jean's home.  Grandmother knew I wanted life like the Old Order Mennonite.  She told me she wanted me to go to college, but I was to live my life - not her life.  So I was to pray and make the decision whatever decision I felt the Lord was leading me.  Whatever I did was fine with her and I had her blessing.

When Grandmother passed, the thing that got me the most upset is not that I lived with Jean and David, because that is what I wanted, but that none of my family offered to take me.  Not that I would have gone.  That may sound dumb.  They did offer David and Jean money to care for me, but they refused.  My Grandmother's house was left to me and everything in it.  David, Jean, Michael and I went over there and I took whatever I wanted out of it.  Then David let the rest of my family in it to take what they wanted.  Later David, Jean and I discussed what to do with the house.  I never could live in the house again without my Grandmother, so we agreed to sell it.  David and Jean wouldn't let me sell it until a few months after my Grandmother passed to make sure.  When the house was sold, David and Jean set up an account for me in the bank where the money still is.  My family kept thinking that David and Jean had taken the money and were spending it.  They had to give an account of the money which showed they hadn't even kept a penny of it.  Even the money that David and Jean got from Social Services for my being a Foster Child went into the bank.  They used their own money to raise Michael and myself.

Jean and David told me the day after I came into their home that I was a member of their family.  We go through the good times together and the bad times together.  We work together and relax together.  At that time, I didn't realize what that ment.

I had a hard time getting use to calling people by their first name.  At the time Jean and David said I could call them by their first name.  I was taught it was Mr or Mrs , etc.  I call Grandmother and Grandfather by their title as they call it, but the rest is first name.  Now, I also call David and Jean Mother and Father, not because they asked me too, I asked them if I could after a while and they said they would be very happy that if I did, but it was my decision.

I was never forced to change my dress style at meetings.  All they asked was I wear black slacks and a white shirt.  After attending meetings, I wanted to dress like they did, so Jean made me the clothes they wear.

Being without a TV didn't bother me much as my Grandmother only used our television for the news and once in a while a TV show like Lawrence Welk on the special channel.  She thought there was too much violence on television.  My Grandmother also didn't play the radio often because she felt that much of the new music wasn't fit listening too. I am glad that Jean and David's house has electric, running water, in door plumbing and telephone.

When David and Michael were going to New York City for the Yankee's Game, I thought I would be left home, but I wasn't.  David and Jean said I was family and the men were going.  Jean told us all to remember this, because the ladies are going to do their thing too, sometime.

Since, I have been in their home, I have been treated like a member of the family.  I was so happy when they asked if they could adopt me.  I couldn't believe it the day it happened.  Michael and I still can't believe that we are brothers - even though our skin is different colors.  Even before the adoptions Jean and David have always called Michael and myself sons and treated us like them.

Another thing unusual in their home is when major decisions are made, we discuss it as a family.  David and Jean want to know what we think, too.  Even Susan and Katie have a say.  David Jr. is a bit small yet, but if he has something to say, we listen.  Like when they bought the new to us farm, they took us all to see it, before they made the final decision.  They said we will have to live there if they bought it and wanted to know that we approved.

When I wanted to me baptized, the former Bishop thought I was too young to make the decision as I was an outsider joining.  Bishop Joseph had me take the lessons and pray.  He explained that it would be for the rest of my life.  If I changed my mind what would happen - so he made me wait longer before I joined - for me to make sure.  In the outside world, I would still be considered a child, but in the Old Order Mennonite, I am a man.  After waiting, I still wanted to so along with the others, I was baptized.

Michael chose to wait.  He said he hasn't decided what to do, yet.  I hope he decides to join to.  No one is forced to make any decision.

I have a family now.  I never had a Dad.  My Grandfather died when was little, so I don't remember much of him.  I don't know where my natural Father is or if he is even alive.  I had no brothers or sisters.  Now, I have a family of parents, brothers and sisters.  I know I can go to Jean and David about anything.

So when I got baptized, I felt that not only was a member of God's meetings (church), but my family.  My home family and my meetings family.

God Bless,

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Again, I was unable to get a history on this church except that it was formed April 29, 1907.  In all the years I grew up here, I never knew that church was there until I came across it by accident.  I wanted to take a certain road, but I couldn't do to construction so I went down another road and there was this church.


Friday, April 25, 2014


I think this cow area is unusual.  Cows look like they are enjoying themselves.  Took these in an Old Order Mennonite and Amish area.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


I tried to get pictures of the Old Order Mennonite Men loading the barn.  I got out of the car to take these pictures and should have stayed in - I could see what I was taking pictures of inside.  I can't see outside.  Elmer and I tried to figure what blocked the bottom picture.  We finally decided it is my finger.  These are not my best pictures, but I did want you see them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


This is another recipe that we are the first to get.  It is again by Maureen Weidman who works for Cornell University Cooperative Extension.  As her previous recipe, it was presented to our Nutrition Group before anyone else's.  We gave her our approval.  In fact, some even asked for seconds.  I gave it to Jean who said this would be great with the change of seasons - you can change the fruit in this recipe. You can use fresh or canned fruit. This recipe would be great for yourself and your family.  Also would be great for pot luck, church dinner, or dish to pass.


1 (8-ounce ) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8-ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
2 apples, chopped
1 banana, sliced

Mix all ingredients together.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Maureen adds: Be Creative! Try using any canned or seasonal fruits.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hello, this is my first time on a computer.  I didn't want to do this, but Elmer and my son showed me his computer and said I wouldn't be talking to the computer just Marilyn so I agreed.

I want to say something about Olive's canning.  Someone said that many of the Amish still  use the boiling-water method in canning meats and he is correct.  I still do my meat canning that way.  It's the way I always did it and haven't had anyone get sick, yet.  I will not tell you how to do it the way I do as the government thinks it is the wrong way.

Also someone mentioned about Amish and Old Order Mennonites do not make soup anymore.  We sure do. But, like everyone else, we have canned soup on our shelves, to use for a quick meal or to streach it a bit.  Also, many people do not make soups, so we want recipes on New York State of Mind for everyone.  If we have a can of soup and you want to put in homemade soup, that is fine.

I am just going to tell about curing.  If someone is interested in my going into it deeper, please let me know and I can do another post or answer your questions.

All meats have a large amount of water in them that must be removed to prevent spoiling.  Putting salt on the meat takes out most of the water and produces an antibacterial action to prevent the meat from spoiling.  It takes time for the salt to penetrate the meat.  The bigger the pieces, the longer it takes.  A big factor is also, the temperature.  It must be high enough for the salt to penetrate the meat, but low enough so the meat doesn't spoil.

As salt alone can dry out the meat, making it hard or taste salty or discolor it, we counteract it with a sweetener like honey or maple syrup.  I usually use maple syrup and add some of my spices.

There are two kinds of curing - dry cure and wet cure.  The dry cure is faster than the wet cure, but the wet cure is less salty tasting than the dry cure.  You do not use your table salt.  Some use kosher salt and others coarse household salt.  I hand mix the salt, maple syrup and spices I want for my curing, but they do sell Morton Sugar Cure and Morton Tender Quick in some stores, already mixed.

The picture at the top, shows the type of box that Elmer made for me to put the curing meat in.  Ours is made of wood and looks exactly like the picture.  There are racks under the box so the meat doesn't touch the bottom or ground.  There a wholes in the bottom of the box for drainage.

Once the animal is killed, all blood out, the meat is chilled as close to 32 degrees as possible without freeing.  The meat must be chilled completely through.  As we do not have refrigerators large enough to hold all the meat, we do most of our slaughtering in the winter months. Also, we believe that the temperature in our gas refrigerator freezer is not as cold as other freezers.  If we have to slaughter an animal before that, we take it over to Jean and David's and they refrigerate it in their commercial freezers in their barn.

I am not going into all of the supplies you need or how to make dry curing or wet curing recipes.  If you would like this, just ask.  Most of the supplies except the dry curing box, you may have in your home.

I will do the dry curing first as that is the one I use the most.  Once the meat is chilled, cut and your ingredients mixed, each piece of meat should be completely covered with the dry mix.  Make sure you cover around the bones and joint area - and all the meat.  There shouldn't be any part of the neat not covered.  Before putting the meat in, put a thick layer of the curing mix on the bottom of the curing box. Meat is placed on top of the curing mix, large pieces first, skin side down.  Smaller pieces are on the top.  The top of the curing box is then covered with the curing mix, closed  and sealed.  Meat will remain in there for 4 days between 34 to 39 degrees.

On the 5th day, I make up the same ingredients I have on the meat, open the box, remove all the meat and repack it, making sure all the meat is covered with the ingredients.  If there is a spot not covered, I do so and repack in the box again.  Once the meat is repacked, I figure about it staying in the box 2 days per pound of meat. So for a 5 pound of meat - 10 days.  Of course the weather makes a difference.

Wet Cure

You can use the same ingredients for the wet cure as the dry cure, but it should be dissolved in pure cold water.  As we are on town water, I always boil it first as I do not want any of the bacteria that is in our water or chlorine to change the taste.  Once the water is boiled - let it cool.

When the ingredients have been dissolved in the water - fill a container about one third full with the ingredients and place the meat in.  All pieces are to be completely covered. This method is best for small pieces of meat about 2 inches thick.  Put a plate on the top piece of meat to keep all the meat submerged in the brine.  Meat should be un the brine for at least 4 days  at 35 degrees or below but not freezing.  Meat should soak the brine for about 1/2 inch for 24 hours.  During the curing rearrange the meat at least once.  Once you are done get rid of brine - do not use it again.

Pumping Brine

For large pieces of meat you should use pumping your meat.  What you are doing is injecting the brine with a needle that has several holes in it.  There is about 4 or 5 ounces of brine in the needle.  Once the needle is full, it is injected deep into the meat to the bone, joint areas,  and into the middle of the meat.  Injecting will make it more even and quicker cure, if injected evenly.


When all the meat it is cured, soak it in cold, boiled water  from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of the meat.  This will remove all the excess salt from the meat and equalizes the salt content. Once the meat is thoroughly drained, it is ready for cooking, smoking or drying and wrapping.

Wrapping and Drying

Once the meat is dry after cleaning, you may want to add spices as you may want to improve the flavor during storage. Wrap several small pieces tightly in cheesecloth or muslin.  Then wrap them tightly in heavy paper and seal with tape.  Do not use plastic to wrap meat because it will trap moisture and promote mold growth.

In wrapping large pieces wrap in cheesecloth or muslin then in heavy paper or in cloth bags.  Hang all wrapped meat in a cool, dry place  until needed.  Make sure that no strings are directly connected to the meat that will cause a direct where insects can invade and contaminate the meat.

When in storing individual packages of meat, they should not touch each other.  Make sure that air can circulate freely around each piece to keep it cool and dry.  No sunlight should contact the packages, it will cause meat to lose some of it's color.  Also, make sure the meat is protected from insects. There is a mixture you can make to cover all the packages against insects.

I hope you understand what I wrote.  If you have any questions, please ask.  My next post will be on smoking meat.

Trust God's Wisdom,
Anna (Elmer's wife)\\\\\\\


Monday, April 21, 2014


How is my way in the Lord changed me?  It has brought my humor back.  I am more open to people no matter if they are Amish, Englishers, Old Order Mennonite or whatever - I enjoying talking to them whether it be the Lord, our Amish ways, or things in general.  Also, I learned that the Lord is with us no matter what happens.

Anna and I have had a lot of bad times together and good times together, but the Lord has been with us through all of them.  We have had many more good times than bad.  I remember when our daughter had the accident where the car hit her buggy.  We weren't sure she was going to live for almost a week.  After, we found she would live and she was on her long road to recovery, I wondered why the Lord had let us go through that and I can remember what my Father said.  Father said it is like when you were in school and on a certain day you thought you were going to just have lessons that day, but when you get inside the teacher gives you a surprise test on a subject that you weren't so good at.  When you ask the teacher about the test, she says she wanted to know how you were coming in this subject.  So with the Lord, He tests us to see how well we are doing.  He might want to show your strength or maybe you were swaying away a little bit and this is to bring you back.  Maybe it's a lesson.  The Lord has a reason for everything that happens.  We just, at this time don't understand it.  Because of this accident our family is closer together.  We also have more strength in our prayers with the Lord.  We know He can do anything. Sometimes it is not what we think we want.

How do Anna and I make life changing decisions?  Well, we first discuss it and then we pray.  Sometimes, if it is really important, I will ask Anna to pray in one room and I in another, and write what she thinks the Lord is telling her and I will write what I think the Lord is telling me. After praying we compare and see if they match.  If they match, we feel that we should do what we both wrote.  Sometimes it is not that easy.  We sometimes write the good side and the bad side of what we are going to do.  Yes, we sometimes go to our Bishop, but as I said, he is also my closest friend so I go many times friend to friend rather than member to Bishop. But sometimes he says to me: "Do you want my friend advice? Or my Bishop advice?"  I tell him, I will take whatever advice he wants to give.

As far as starting a new business, I went to see the Bishop to make sure what I wanted to do would be okay with the church.  He knows and has approved our house for a Bed and Breakfast with certain regulations, that we knew anyway.  We know he would approve Anna and I buying a cottage in Pinecraft as he has one there, too and would like us to retire there when the time comes.  Anna and I are still tossing that around.

How do Anna and I make financial decisions?  We usually talk it over.  Anna does the books in our home.  Our church does not make us donate a certain amount.  Once a month there is a dark bag in the back of whose home we have service.  We put in whatever we want.  Unless we write a check, no one knows how much anyone puts in there.  Anna and I discuss how much we should put in.

Our church keeps the money for sort of an emergency fund.  Like when our daughter was in the hospital after the accident, the bill was very expensive.  We paid what we could and the Bishop paid the rest from the church fund.  I felt bad, we had to get money from there, but Bishop said, it was partly our money.  We had paid in there many years and never used it.  Now we used it.  Over the years, we had probably donated more money that we received.  He said look at it that way. So we didn't feel so bad.

Not all our helping others is through money.  Shortly after we moved here, one of our neighbors roof came in on his barn because of the weight of the snow.  It killed some of his cattle, but most of them got out.  He had to have a roof on the barn and fast, so many of us: Amish, Old Order Mennonite and Englishers went over and got the roof back on.  We also told him next he has a snow storm to clean the snow off the roof.

Sometimes it is just visiting someone or bringing them dinner or going to the store for them.  If they are farming, maybe it's giving them a hand.  Where we use to live, or neighbors house burned to the ground.  Money was nice, but they needed food, clothes, blankets, furniture, etc.  The ladies were sewing for days and many of us men not only helped with the new house going up, but the making of the furniture.  We help where we are needed, in the way we are needed.  We also know, if it was reversed, they would be here.

We contribute to our local community in many ways.  I along with David - Jean's husband, Bishop Joseph-Martha's Husband and their son Kevin are members of the fire department.  Many items that we make are donated to sales to raise money.  We also donate our time helping them put on these sales.

Not just local, either.  I was down in New Orleans after Katrina.  Was down state after another storm.  We go where we are needed.  Now it is getting so not only do the men go, but women too.  Amish will go where they are needed.

When we went to Katrina, Eli and I went with a minister in his motorhome.  Now that is whole story by itself.  Although there was a lot of tragic and hard work in New Orleans, we did have fun it that motorhome.

I am not bragging, but I want you to know that not only us, but Old Order Mennonite and many others do what we do.  You just don't know about them.

Trust God's Wisdom,

Sunday, April 20, 2014


St. Michael's church was established in 1868.  The church is across the street from the Catholic School I had in Friday's post.  As you can see, St. Michael's is a beautiful church inside.  Picture seven is of their beautiful music organ. Picture nine is a picture of the grotto to Our Blessed Mother that is behind the rectory.  The last picture is of the rectory.  The rectory use to be the convent for the Sisters of Mercy who taught at the Catholic School.  In 1963 there was another building for the rectory, but they had to tear it down do to termites.  I remember us looking out the school window as they tore the rectory down.  When the Sisters left, they turned the convent into the rectory and church office.

Hope everyone has a Blessed and Happy Easter,
Jean and Family
Martha and Family
Elmer and Family

Below is the Easter Basket I got from my neighbor just a few minutes ago. I didn't think they would give me one this year as they did last year.  I had nothing to give them.  Next year, I will be ready.  The lady and her Granddaughter came to my door. I was so surprised.  They gave me a beautiful handmade pot holder, a baby chick, and goodies.


Saturday, April 19, 2014



1 cup shredded cheese
2 10 1/2 oz cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chopped onions
4 Tablespoon butter
4 cups diced ham
2 10 oz pkgs frozen chopped broccoli (or fresh broccoli cooked)
2 cups Minute Rice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Cook onion in butter.  Cook broccoli according to package or cook fresh broccoli; drain.  In very large bowl combine all ingredients.  Put in buttered casserole dish.  Bake 350 degrees uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes.

NOTE:  This is a dish you can make ahead and freeze.  When you need it, put it in the oven covered for 1 1/2 hours at 400 degrees.  Then remove cover for 30 minutes more.  Stir when you remove the cover. This is great for left over ham.  Anna

Conscience is God's presence in man.

Friday, April 18, 2014


St. Michael's Catholic Elementary School opened in 1950.  I graduated from there in 1963 and went on to a Catholic High School.  St. Michael's School closed a couple of years ago.  There was rumor that it would be turned into apartments, and other options, but the decision was to tear it down.  Right now, it is still standing, but I had to take pictures.  I understand the high cost of Catholic Schools and there aren't enough children to fill them, but still it hurts to see my school close and get torn down.  I know it's not the building but the people, but deep down it still hurts.  Another thing were these two signs that still remain on the building.  I would like to get inside the school one last time to take pictures.  I thought Good Friday would be the day to put this on.  Marilyn

Marilyn kept saying chocolate recipe, chocolate recipe, chocolate recipe - well here it is.  Jean


1/2 cup butter
1 pkg, (12 oz) chocolate bits
1 cup chopped nuts
1 pkg, (10 oz) colored marshmallows
1 pkg. (14 oz) flaked coconut

Melt butter and chocolate bits over low heat.  Allow to cool slightly.  Stir in nuts and marshmallows.  Spread coconut on wax paper.  Divide chocolate mixture into two rolls.  Roll in coconut.  Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.  Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Also could be put in a mold and set in frig.  Like this recipe as it can be easily doubled or cut in half - if I had to.

Each day is God's gift to you.
Make it blossom and
grown into a thing of beauty.

Thursday, April 17, 2014



24 asparagus tips
8 long, thin slices of prosclutto ham
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Cook asparagus in briskly-boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain well.  Wrap 3 asparagus in each slice of meat and fasten with toothpick.  Place into greased baking dish; sprinkle with half of butter and cheese; bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and pour on remaining butter and cheese.

God does not comfort us to
make us comfortable,
but to make us comforters.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014



1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 Tablespoons flour
dash of salt
1 1/4 cup milk
grated peel of 2 lemons
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat over to 375 degrees

In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg yolks, flour, salt, milk, lemon peel and lemon juice.  In small bowl using clean beaters, beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry.Gently fold egg whites into large bowl mixture.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes, reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden.  Toothpick inserted should come out clean.  Cool on pie rack.

A happy home is not
one without problems,
but one that handles them
with understanding and love.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


When I am telling of canning poultry I am including poultry in general which includes chicken and turkey.  With poultry you can can with bones or without.  Cooking with bones in other meats are discouraged.  Dressed poultry should be chilled for 6 to 12 hours before canning.  If you would like to make a broth for canning a hot pack, put the bony pieces into cold water, bringing that to a boil and simmer until the meat on the bones is tender.  Remember to skim off all the fat.  You may want to strain the broth, removing the bones. Now you have broth that you can use to fill the jars after the meat has been put in.

Canning with bone in a 1 quart jar you should be able to get 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 pounds in the jar.  Canning without bone using a 1 quart jar, you should be table to fit about 5 1/2 to 6 1/4 pounds of meat in the jar. Again, I am using the dial-gauge pressure canner.  If yours is a different pressure canner time will  be different.  Also if you altitudes are different than mine, that will also change weight.

Hot Pack with bones
Remove bone from the breast.  Saw the drumsticks off short.  You may leave the bone in the other meaty pieces.  Also trim off large lumps of fat off.  If you don't do that excess fat can cause the rubber sealant of your jars lids to deteriorate.  Next, boil, steam or bake the meat until about two-thirds of the way done.  Pack the meat loosely into pint or quart jars, leaving 1 1/4 inches of room at the top.  When packing have the thighs and drumsticks with skin next to the glass.  Put the breasts in the center and surround by small pieces as needed.  Lastly fill jars to 1 1/4 inches from top with hot broth.

Hot Pack without bones
After cooking before packing remove bones-but do not remove the skin.

Raw Pack
Before packing remove bones, but not the skin from meaty pieces.  Then pack like hot pack.

Using the dial-gauge in our area hot and cold pack pints should be 75 minutes, quarts 90 minutes on 11 pounds of canning pressure.  If your pressure cooker or altitude is different so is process time.

Giblets and Poultry Stock
Use pint jars in canning gizzards, hearts, and livers.  You may put gizzards and hearts in the same jar, but livers must be in separate jars.  After cooking follow the process for hot-pack poultry without bones.

If you would like to make poultry stock, cover carcass bones with water, simmer 30 to 45 minutes until meat will easily come off of bones.  Then cool the broth, strip meat from bones, get rid of the fat and fill jars.  Using dial-gauge pressure canning hot pack pints should process time 20 minutes, quarts 25 minutes 11 pounds canning pressure.

I hope that I still have you all with me.  I am ending with this one, but if you would like canning on other meats, please leave a comment and I will see what I can do.

Follow God,

You are the first to get this recipe.  I thank Maureen Weidman from Cornell University Cooperative Extension.  The evening before, Maureen found she had to bring a recipe that we could sample for her program at the nutrition center I work at.  This is what she came up with.  Aside from her family, our Nutrition Center was the first to taste it.  We passed it with flying colors. I asked Maureen if I could put it on here, She was surprised, and said yes.  Aside from feeding your family, it would be great to bring to pot luck dinners, church suppers, dish to pass, etc.  Hope you agree, Marilyn


2 cups fresh or frozen whole kernel corn-cooked and drained
3/4 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fat free Ranch dressing

In a bowl, combine vegetables.  Stir in dressings.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

If God is a reality, and the soul a reality, and you are an immoral being, what are you doing with your Bible shut?


Monday, April 14, 2014


Someone asked about my journey with the Lord and I thought that seeing this is Holy Week, it would be a good time to tell.

First, you must understand that we Amish, and I know the Old Order Mennonite, believe that our children are a gift from God.  So, when I was born, even thought I am a dwarf, I was considered a gift from God.  I was considered, as many special children are, a special gift from God.  As my parents had already had a dwarf child pass on, I guess I was really special, to them.  As I said in a post a while back, my Mother treated me easier than my other brothers and sisters because she did not think I would be on this earth long.  On the other hand, after the doctors great bill of health, my Father said I should be treated like all their other sons.

From the minute you are born, Amish religion ways are present.  My Mother sang religious songs when rocking me, prayed while holding me, and as I got older read Bible stories to me.  I can remember her reading the story of how Joseph's brothers sold him to the Ishmeelitesin in Genesis.  My older brothers found that it scared me, so whenever I didn't do what they wanted, they threatened to sell me to the Ishmeelites and I thought they would.   Years later when my Mother was going to read that story to one of my children, I didn't let her.  When she asked why, I told of what happened when she read it to me.  She nor my Father knew that had happened, until that day.

We start attending church with our parents as soon as we can after we are born.  It is our way that we should try to live as close as we could to the way the Lord would want us to.  We believe that this is our way to heaven.  The Bible, the ordnung and The Martyrs Mirror are our way of life.  The Martyrs Mirror is  a book in most Amish homes that tells of the persecution that our forefathers suffered.

I was a very good child, believed as my parents, did of their ways until my rumspringa.  When I became a teenager, I questioned if this was what life was all about.  Was farming, raising cows, getting married, having children all that life was? Being a dwarf was I any different from others? Is there really a God? If there is a God, would all this get me to heaven?

I didn't give up on religion.  What I wanted to know was - was it real?  Are the Bible, the ordnung  true?  Did our Martyrs suffer for a real, true religion or were we going to burn in hell, at the end?  I wasn't wondering alone.  My best friend Eli, was wondering the same.

People would call Eli and I the double E as we were usually together a lot.  If you saw one, the other was near by.  We went to school together, chores together, spent our spare time together and got into trouble together.  Also, we wondered about our religion together, although Eli accepted that there was a God, but were we following as we should.

Through this time, we went to some other churches: Mennonite, Protestant, Catholic and others.  It seems like we were going to a different one every week.  Of course, we were also going to movies,  watching television at our new Englisher friends home, doing things and going places in the English world.  That was also when my Father took me in the barn and turned me over his knee as I mentioned in a previous post.

About this time one of our new Englisher friends started talking about being "born again".  We were against that.  How can you be born again?  One evening, when Eli wasn't there, this friend took me through the bible showing me where Jesus died for our sins.  That farming, milking cows, getting married or staying single, what clothes I wore, with electric or without and more - made no difference.  He also explained that the Lord created us and then sent his son, Jesus, to die for us.  I remember the quote: "No greater love, than a man who would lay down his for His friend,"  Still I didn't go along with this.  I was afraid that if I took this new religious way, I would have to leave the Amish, leave my family and friends - and I couldn't do that.

Finally, I got Eli and took him to hear this friend.  I can still see Eli sitting there listening to this religious way.  He didn't say a word.  When our friend got done and asked Eli, if he would say a prayer to the Lord giving his life to the Jesus - Eli did.  I still didn't.

But I noticed the change in Eli.  Things that use to bother him, didn't both him as much anymore.   He gave up our rumspringa ways.  His life seemed to change and I wanted this, too.  So one night, I told Eli, I want what you have.  So we sat down together and Eli went through the Bible quotes to me.  The way Jesus died for our sins.  This time I understood.  When Eli came to ask me to give my life to Jesus, I couldn't wait and did.  Things didn't change over night, but it started with my having a clearer understanding of my reading of the Bible.  What before sounded like a story, came true to me.  Slowly my life changed.  I left my rumspringa ways. Did all my problems end?  Of course not.  Are there things in the Bible, I still don't understand?  Of course.  But, I slowly went from the sorry for me dwarf to the man I am today.  My outlook on life is different.  I read other things throughout the year, but the Bible is my most important and I read it several times a year.  Yes, I comply with the ordnung - but the Bible is my most important.

But one thing came up.  How do I explain this all to Anna?  We were courting at the time.  I asked Eli to pray for me, the night I was taking Anna out and going to try to explain my new religious ways.  Would this end our relationship?  I picked Anna up and we went for a ride.  I was afraid and she knew something was wrong.  When she asked what was wrong, I started in on how to be born again-when she stopped me.  I thought this was the end.  She then told me she already knew as she had accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

Today, of course, Anna and I are married.  Eli  is married, has a family and is the Bishop of our church.  The Englisher that first introduced me to the Lord and led Eli to the Lord is now married, has a family and is a minister.

We all learned that farming, milking cows, the ladies washing clothes, cooking, cleaning, etc. is not going to get us to heaven.  Only accepting Jesus as my our personal Savior is going to get us there.  Should we stop farming, washing clothes, cooking, etc.  Of course not, but they aren't going to get us into heaven.

Some of you may not approve of what I said, but I was asked and am telling.  This is the way Anna, Eli, and most of family live by.  Do all the Amish? No, most believe that they must earn their way to heaven.

I know someone asked me more questions about my way with the Lord, but I will leave that for my next post. Please remember that like Christmas, Easter is the same: "Jesus is the reason for the season." Anna, myself and our family wish you a very Happy and Religious Easter.

 I just noticed that at the top, right next to my Journey to the Lord is Anna's Ham.  Is Anna trying to tell me, I am a ham?  Well, I guess I am.

Trust God's Wisdom,


1 3 pound ham
3/4 cup apple juice, divided
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup cherry or currant jelly

Bake ham.  Combine 1/4 cup apple juice and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir until smooth.  Set aside.  Place apples, jelly and remaining 1/2 cup apple juice in a large saucepan.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add cornstarch mixture; cook and stir for 1 minute until thickened.  Serve over sliced ham.

The little things we sometimes do,
For others day by day;
Return quite unexpectedly,
In some peculiar way.


Sunday, April 13, 2014


First group of baptized Christians met on May 29th, 1800 to form a church that would service the communities of Macedon, Palmyra, Farmington, Phelps, Augusta, Bloomfield and Canandaigua.  They met at the home of Lemuel Spear in the town of Palmyra, New York.  Over the years the congregation had grown and in 1803, several members asked to me be dismissed to form their own church in the town of Northfield, which is now known as Pittsford, NY.

In 1808 a meeting house was build west of Palmyra.  Membership grew and many felt hardship of travelling to Palmyra.  In 1832, forty two members broke to form a group in Palmyra (which is the Baptist church on the four corners in Palmyra), and a second church, Second Baptist Church of Walworth.  In 1835, the above church and property became First Baptist Church and Society of Macedon.  The church building was taken down and relocated to the Village of Macedon where it stands and is used today. The rededication took place January 1, 1836.

What is unusual is in looking at the beams in the attic, they found that each one is numbered for when the church was moved in 1835.


1/2 cup butter
Judges, 5:25

2 cups flour
1-Kings, 4:22

1/2 tsp salt
Leviticus, 2:13

1 cup figs
1-Samuel, 30:12

1 1/2 cups sugar
Jeremiah, 6:20

2 tsp baking powder
Luke, 13:21

1/2 cup water
Genesis, 24:11

1 cup raisins
1-Samuel, 30:12

3 eggs
Isaiah, 10:14

Cinnamon, mace, cloves
1-Kings, 10:10

1 tblsp. honey
Proverbs, 24:13

1/2 cup almonds
Genesis, 43:11

Blend butter, sugar, spices and salt.  Beat egg yolks and add.  Sift in baking powder and flour, then add the water and honey.  Put fruit and nuts thru food chopper and flour well.  Follow Solomon's advice for making good boys-1st clause of Proverbs, 23:14.  Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Bake for 1 hour in 375 degree oven.

NOTE:  I bake in a round tube pan, but you can use a round or square pan, just check on baking time.  Also, the cake is very rich and doesn't need frosting, but I do sprinkle confections sugar on top of it.

Soldiers of the cross do their best fighting on their knees!

Saturday, April 12, 2014



2 3 oz pkg strawberry jello
2 10 oz frozen strawberries (or 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled)
13 oz can crushed pineapple with syrup
2 large ripe bananas
sour cream or cream cheese or yogurt

Dissolve Jello in 2 cups boiling water.  Stir in frozen (or fresh) strawberries and stir until almost thawed.  Add pineapple and bananas.  Pour 1/2 liquid into mold and refrigerate (about 2 hours).  When set, spread on sour cream  or yogurt or roll cream cheese balls into chopped nuts and space evenly over the set layer of Jello.  Them pour slowly the rest of the Jello over this.  Refrigerate at least 6 hours.  Unmold to serve.

Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.

Friday, April 11, 2014


I took the pictures of this Amish farm back in December.  Thought it was time, I finally go them on.  I still have more to put on. What made me stop at this farm were all the animals.