By LOVINA EICHER

Today daughter Elizabeth celebrated her 15 birthday. It doesn't seem possible that Elizabeth, our eldest child, is 15 already.   As parents Joe and I have a hard time seeing our children grow older.   All we can do is hope and pray that life will be kind to them and that most of all they will always believe in their Heavenly Father.  

We have had an eventful weekend.   Uncle Joe and Uncle Betty came from Indiana to stay with us for a three-day weekend.  

Uncle Joe went fishing with my husband Joe and sister Emma's husband, Jacob.      

Joe went fishing Friday evening also with a friend and they had a lot of luck then, too.   They came home with a lot of bass and bluegill, more than 40 on Friday evening alone.  

I'll probably bread them and fry them, but  I'll probably also deep fry some of them. I prefer the bass because I like a whiter meat.   The bluegill are nicer for deep-frying, though, than the bass.   I have put plenty of fish put into the freezer which is always good for a later fish fry.  

Right now, Uncle Joe and Uncle Betty have taken the children for a walk.   With a little peace and quiet I decided to take advantage and write this column. Today we went over to Jacob's for a cook-out.   I took cake, ice cream, and strawberries in honor of daughter Elizabeth's birthday.   The strawberries were out of my garden.   Also on the menu were grilled hamburgers and a soup that we made over the open fire.   It was a beautiful day for outdoor cooking.  

Saturday we also cooked outdoors all day.   It sure keeps the house cleaner and also cooler.   We have had a very cool spring.   It makes it nicer to work in the garden when it is this cool.  

This is now Monday morning and Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty have left. Today 14 years ago sister Emma and Jacob were married.   We wish them many more happy, healthy years together.   Daughter Elizabeth was a year old the day before their wedding.   We made a little cake for her and set it in front of her.   She was the neatest little girl and would not  touch the cake with her little hands.   After we gave her a spoon she started to eat it but wanted a washcloth to wipe her mouth between bites. She also wouldn't   put anything in her mouth that she found on the floor.   This spoiled us so that when the others came along they would put everything they found in their mouth.  

Our hay looks like it will be ready to go in tonight. It should have been cut last week already but we had a very rainy week.  Since this is strawberry season I will share the recipe for my pie from our cookbook, The Amish Cook at Home.

STRAWBERRY PIE

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons sugar

Filling

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 cup water

3 tablespoons strawberry flavored gelatin

Few drops of red food coloring (optional)

6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

  To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Stir together the flour, salt, oil, milk, and sugar in a medium bowl. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. To make the filling: Combine the sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the gelatin and food coloring. Let cool until lukewarm. Add the strawberries and pour into the cooled crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

To learn more about a 90 minute online course being offered called "Introduction to the Amish",  visit amishcookonline.com.

The course will cover the differences between various plain churches and explore the basics of the Amish faith