Honoring birthdays, weddings and death
We are having rain this evening. I hear thunder in the distance. Daughter Loretta, 19, has two whole chickens on the gas grill on the porch. Red potatoes fresh from the garden are being steamed as well.
Daughters Verena, 21, and Lovina, 15, should be coming home soon. They left this morning to go wash laundry for Mose and daughter Susan. It was a nice sunshiny day, so I hope the clothes were dry before the rain.
I canned 14 quarts of vegetable juice today while Loretta did the daily cleaning and dishes. I like to cut up all the vegetables on the porch and put them through the Victoria food strainer. Filling the jars on the porch keeps all the mess out of the house. I have a garden hose on the porch to wash off all the mess after I’m done.
Four years ago, on Aug. 14, daughter Elizabeth and Tim were married here. What a big undertaking to prepare for the wedding, and to have the first of our children move out of the house. Aug. 5 was daughter Susan and Mose’s third anniversary. Happy anniversary to both couples. May they have many more happy, healthy years to go.
On Saturday, we received the sad and shocking news of Joe’s Uncle Elmer’s death. He would have been 75 next month. He went out to do the morning chores in the barn and his son-in-law found him lying there, where they think he had a massive heart attack.
Elmer’s wife Sylvia delivered my first six children and was a great midwife. She delivered many babies in her lifetime and has been a great friend as well. Our deepest sympathy to Sylvia and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Joe’s family were neighbors with Elmer and Sylvia, which made for a lot of memories between the two families.
Aug. 15 was my oldest sister Leah’s 60th birthday. Her husband, Paul, invited all of Leah’s siblings to surprise Leah on Sunday for her birthday. Sisters Verena and Susan, sister Emma, Jacob and their son Steven, my husband, Joe, and I and son Kevin had a driver pick us up after church on Sunday. We headed south to pick up brother Albert, Sarah Irene, and their daughters Susan and Sylvia.
We joined the rest of the family at Paul and Leah’s house. Paul’s married children, sister Liz and Levi and their daughter Elizabeth, Samuel and family, sister-in-law Nancy and her children, Sam and Laura and Laura’s special friend Enos were also there.
We all stayed in the living room when Leah came home and entered the house. As she walked in we started singing “Happy Birthday” to her. She was surprised and happy to see all of us there. We were served a good supper and enjoyed visiting before we all parted ways to go home.
Brother Amos was missed not being with us. We stopped at the viewing of Uncle Elmer before heading back on the two-hour drive to Michigan. On Tuesday, Joe and I attended the funeral of Uncle Elmer.
Before heading home, we gathered with some of Joe’s family at a pizza place in honor of Joe’s sister Carol’s birthday. She turned 53 on Aug. 12. They live in Tennessee and had an eight-hour drive home from there. We saw a lot of family on both sides this weekend.
School doors open for son Kevin, 13, on Aug. 20. This is his final year of school — eighth grade. Kevin will be 14 on Labor Day, Sept. 2.
On Saturday, my sisters Verena and Susan have invited all the family for the day. More on that next week since space is limited. I’ll share the recipe for chocolate marshmallow bars that I made to take along to Leah’s birthday supper. Until next week, God bless.
Chocolate Marshmallow Bars
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups Rice Krispies
In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; gradually combine dry ingredients with the creamed mixture. Stir in nuts if desired. Spread in a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with marshmallows; bake 2-3 minutes longer or until melted. Place pan on a wire rack. Using a knife dipped in water, spread marshmallows evenly over the top. Cool completely.
Topping: Combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until blended. Remove from heat; stir in Rice Krispies. Immediately spread over bars. Chill until set.
Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She, her husband, Joe, and their family live in southeastern Michigan. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her latest is “The Essential Amish Kitchen,” is available at 800-245-7894 Contact Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.