Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
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By Gloria Yoder, the Amish Cook
I simply forgot how good sunshine feels. You know, those perfect spring days when even a sweater is no longer needed and the sun gently bestows the most gentle rays, relaxing every muscle of your body. Elijah has been begging for me to go outside and play ball with him in the yard. At long last, it's actually possible; it's not too muddy, neither is it bone-chilling cold. How can it go from zero to 70 degrees in only a month? I don't know, but I know that there are no complaints of spring on the way!
On Sunday, the children came beaming in the door with flowers for me. Yes, they were real flowers from the flower bed in front of the woods. We placed them in vases on the kitchen table for all to enjoy. And oh, for pony rides. Last fall, we loved piling onto our pony cart and going for pony rides. For some time, the chilly weather kept us from doing so. It really is a pile of us on the little pony cart if all eight of us decide to go. We want to buy a wagon to use instead, but so far, nothing has materialized.
This afternoon Daniel plans to work in the garden, hoping to beat the rain that's coming our way by tonight. He's a gardener at heart which blesses my heart to no end. I keep wondering how things would turn out if I'd have the sole responsibility of gardening. Why this year, he even got our seed order together and sent it to Amish folks in Berlin, Ohio, who sell seeds, plants, and the likes.
Now after work, providing the rain holds off, he'll try out the new tiller he bought last fall and work in the fertilizer he had spread on the garden last year after harvest. Once the soil is ready, he'll have five little helpers, that is, ten hands and 50 fingers, to help him plant and cover seed potatoes.
Austin was wondering if they could have their own garden this year, so we'll see what works out. I'm amazed at what children can do if they have the motivation to carry them through. It's easy for me to become too distracted, and not take the time needed to help them set a goal, then stick with it until it's accomplished. Take, for example, when I was a young girl, I loved organizing all my dresser drawers, then I'd set these lofty goals of keeping them that way, only to have those ideals crashing time and again. Now I'm a mom. Not so long ago, it dawned on me that if I am being less organized than my ideal, I'm training six little ones to be just like me. Oh my! I didn't like that thought at all. So, tackling one weak area at a time, we'll hopefully climb on top and refocus for more ways to increase efficiency in our household. Believe me, this spring I'm especially grateful to my husband for taking the lead with gardening and all it takes to keep up with it.
The children and I enjoy working in flower beds, at the same time I'm trying to condense my time spent with them, simply because they aren't as important as my six flowers 'running around,' as Aunt Edna would call the children. When evaluating what will be the most important thing for me to do inside or out, I have to think of the verse, 'Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.' I muse over it, I ponder it. I wonder, 'Really what was Jesus saying when he spoke those words?'
What would my life look like if I were only to care about having food and clothing for my family? Really what would it look like? By His grace, may my life look more and more like the life of Jesus himself.
OK, on the subject of food, I was so deeply blessed when I got the message this forenoon that my dear neighbor and friend, Sarellen wants to bring a hot dish for our supper. It's like I told her, I take her act of kindness as a touch of God. God wanted to show me he saw that I was having an especially difficult forenoon.
And to all of you out there having one of those difficult days, I care. We are here to support you and pray for you. Your life is not in vain. When we see Jesus, love will be there in absolute fullness, deeper than we will ever know on this side of eternity.
Seek the Savior's face, it will be worth it all!
I'll wrap up with a recipe similar to what Sarellen used. She is the type of cook that tosses in a bit of this and that to have it come out tasting like a grand slam even without using an exact recipe. I'll do my best in telling you how she related to me, on how she put it together.
SARELLEN'S MAPLE CHICKEN
3 pounds boneless chicken thighs
4 potatoes, cubed
1⁄2 pound carrots, sliced
3⁄4 cup chopped onion
1 stick butter, melted
any herbs of your choice
1 cup maple syrup
Place chicken, potatoes, carrots, and onions in a 9 by 13 inch pan. Add butter and seasonings of your choice. Cover and bake at 350 for an hour or until veggies are tender and chicken is done. Add maple syrup last 10 minutes of baking.