22 Cups of Peanut Butter, Fried Children, and Other Goodies

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I had a text from my mother this morning (still haven’t decided if the fact that my 67-year-old mother has mastered texting is a good thing or not) telling me that the local paper printed this week’s Amish Cook’s Outrageous Chocolate Cookie Recipe with “22 cups of peanut butter.”  Those cookies would indeed be “outrageous!”:)  After receiving the text I hurriedly went back into my email to look at the column I had sent the paper.  Whew, the error was theirs this time, not mine.  What I sent clearly had “2 cups of peanut butter.”  But this doesn’t let me off the hook on errors, I’ve made some beauts over the years.

I’ve told these stories before in my talks and maybe even in some books, but mornings featuring 22 cups of peanut butter make them fresh again.

In one of the early columns, Elizabeth Coblentz — Lovina’s mother and column predecessor — mailed her handwritten column to me as usual. Her penmanship, like Lovina’s, was typically beautiful. But in this particular column her recipe for homemade strawberry jam was a little difficult to decipher.

I couldn’t just cross-check a similar recipe on the Internet like I can today. Calling Elizabeth was out of the question. For her, the nearest phone was miles away.

So I did what any 18-year-old might do. I guessed. And so went in the annals of Amish Cook history one of the biggest recipe disasters ever. What should have said “add some” salt was typed in as “epsom salt.”

Even worse, some readers actually tried the recipe at home.

On another occasion, I erred by instead of typing Elizabeth served “fried chicken” at a wedding, I typed in “fried children” which breezed right through my spell-check, past some copy-editors, and onto newspaper pages.  I know the Bradenton, Florida paper ran the “fried children reference.”

There are probably still a few readers who quit reading the column in disgust if believing that was a typical Amish wedding menu.

If “to err is human”, I must be one of the most human people on the planet. So, if you are in southwest Ohio, don’t put 22 cups of peanut butter in your recipe, OK?

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The Discussion


  1. There is nothing better than a mess of homemade fried children!

    Those are great. Thanks for making me truly laugh out loud today! :)

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  2. kentuckylady717 says:


    I bet 22 cups of peanut butter in anything would be good LOL….we all make mistakes…..and I think most anyone who read that recipe had enough common sense to know that it did not mean 22, probably meant (2)……did you find out if anyone did make the recipe and use that much ?????just wondering……………..

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  3. I am sure you know we are laughing ” with” you. A good chuckle to end
    a very good day for me.

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