The laundry is on the line, and we have a nice sunny day to dry it. Mornings have been cool with temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s. It warms up during the day but sure makes for nice sleeping weather at night.
We had a busy week last week with lots of home-canning on the list. We canned salsa and tomato juice. We also put peaches into the freezer. I still have plenty canned. I put some orange juice concentrate and sugar on the sliced peaches for the freezer. It gives it a little orange flavor in the peaches. I fill a lot of small containers so I can put them in Joe’s lunch or the children’s for school sometimes.
This week, I will can some more hot peppers. Our favorite are Serranos. They don’t seem quite as hot as the jalapenos, but I will still can some jalapeno and banana peppers.
On Friday, the children’s school took two busloads to the zoo as part of a summer field trip. Benjamin, Loretta, Joseph, Lovina and Kevin all went along. They went to the zoo in Toledo, Ohio. They sure enjoyed their day and had lots to talk about when they came home around 5:30 p.m. School doors will open again in a little over two weeks.
This summer went way too fast, it seems like school just let out for the term.
Daughter Verena, 13, is still doing okay, and she will have her cast removed Sept. 15 if all goes well.
Meanwhile, sisters Verena and Susan had our family together for a belated 2010 Christmas gathering at their place on Saturday. All of us siblings take turns, rotating from oldest to youngest who holds the annual gathering. Verena and Susan wouldn’t have enough room to have us all together in the winter time so they decided to wait until summer.
They had the community tent — shared by three churches in this area — up and had the gathering in there. Our family total comes to 82 now but four grandchildren and families were not present. Uncle Jake and Mary Coblentz from Wisconsin stopped in and stayed for dinner too. In all the total there was 75 with the family from farthest being nephew Ben from Wisconsin.
The dinner menu was mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, barbecued chicken, corn, cole slaw, cucumber salad, veggies and dip, cake, pecan, blueberry, cherry and oatmeal pies, butterscotch pudding, Oreo cookie dessert, mixed fresh fruit, finger jello, cookies, etc. The 2011 family gathering will be at Paul and Leah’s unless they decide to wait until summer.
The afternoon was spent playing games, and Susan and Verena had lots of gifts for the winners. We also had plenty of snacks to snack on. Susan and Verena had a pinata for the younger children to enjoy. It made for a lot of excitement when it broke and the candy flew everywhere.
Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty Coblentz came to visit after dinner. Brother Amos’s daughter Mary Jane is in the hospital since Wednesday due to having complications with her gall bladder. Plans are to do surgery today to remove her gall bladder.
Mary Jane and her husband have two boys. The baby is four months and their other son is 2 years old. Brother Amos and Nancy are taking care of their two grandchildren, while Mary Jane is hospitalized and had them along to the gathering. We wish Mary Jane a complete and speedy recovery.
Yesterday afternoon, sister Susan had invited our church, cousins and friends for sister Verena’s 45tth birthday which is today. Verena was really surprised when everyone started arriving. Everyone enjoyed barbecued chicken, hot dogs, fruit, mixed fruit, vegetables and dip, cake and ice cream. Also, lots of snacks were brought in. This was all in the tent where our gathering had been held the day before.
Since it is almost autumn and people will have their squashes from the garden soon, this is a great recipe to try:
BUTTERNUT SQUASH BAKE
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1-5 ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups mashed and cooked butternut squash
1/2 cup Rice Krispie cereal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Stir in squash. Mixture will be thin. Pour into a greased 11 X 7 inch baking pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes or until almost set. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over casserole. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.
In appreciation for 20 years of the Amish Cook column, visit www.amishcookonline.com and sign the guestbook. The guestbook will be kept up until Aug. 31. Comments left will be printed out and presented to Lovina to celebrate two decades of Amish Cook columns.