Amish Cook: Susan’s New Friend and Delicious Marble Cake!

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The past week flew by with the Memorial Day holiday shortening the work week. How hard to believe that 2012 is almost half over! Thursday evening was son Kevin’s kindergarten’s graduation which also makes us see that time does not stands still. The youngest of our eight children is now ready for first grade. And our oldest Elizabeth will be 18 next week. The older we get the faster time seems to go.

On Memorial Day, Joe and I, our eight children, Elizabeth’s friend, Timothy, and Susan’s friend Mose all spent the day in Berne, Indiana. Leah and Paul had our annual family gathering there. The family seems to increase in size every year and there is a new family member or two at least every time. If I counted right we are a total of 84 now. There is always something missing though: our dear parents. How proud they would be to see all their grandchildren and great-grandchildren now. A few of brother Albert’s sons were unable to attend but otherwise everyone else was present. Paul and Leah’s oldest son Ben and family traveled from Wisconsin to attend the gathering and spent a week visiting with his parents. Paul and Leah were happy to see them having not seen them this year yet. As always there was plenty of food to eat. Leah prepared the hot food and the rest was brought in. I am not sure if I can remember all the food that was there but on the menu was mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, barbecued chicken, mixed vegetables, veggies and dip, sliced cheese, taco salad, overnight salad, various cakes, and puddings, cookies, fresh mixed fruit, and homemade pies: oatmeal, cherry, pumpkin, and rhubarb-custard. Outdoor games were played after dinner. Also visiting and singing were done. Everyone brought snacks to eat before everyone started for home. We stopped in to visit with Joe’s sister Ruth and Chris before heading back to Michigan. We arrived back home safe and sound around 8 p.m.

Friday evening Joe and I headed back to Berne, Indiana with a vanload from this area for a viewing. How saddened the community was to hear of the death of a 16-year-old boy in an accident at work. We knew the family so we decided to go along. This boy’s mother died of cancer around 5 years ago. May God help the grieving family through yet another trial.

An update on our house: the drywall is all mudded and ready for the sealer. After the sealer it will be ready for us to paint and put the flooring down. It will sure be nice once the children can sleep in their bedrooms again. Joseph, 9, said this morning that he misses his bedroom. We are still waiting for the windows to come. Benjamin and Joseph were excited to each receive three new pants that a girl in our church sewed for them. How thoughtful and helpful that is. Thanks to my good friend Ruth I now have three nice flower baskets of impatients hanging on our front porch. They were a birthday gift to me. I do not have a green thumb when it comes to flowers so thanks to daughter Elizabeth for taking care of them. I don’t have any problem taking care of the garden but flowers do not do well for me. I think the main reason is I forget to water them daily.

The children have only today, tomorrow, and a half a day to finish up their school term. It will be nice to have them off for summer break. We hope to be able to go to the U-pick strawberry fields to pick strawberries. A lady in our church who always orders peaches for the church women said her supplier is reporting the Michigan peaches were all frozen out this year. She is going to try to find a new out of state supplier. But I may have to do without this year if they are too expensive.

Meanwhile, try this delicious dessert!


1 1 /4 cup brown sugar

1 1 /4 cup white sugar

1 ¼ cup margarine

1 1 /4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 1 /2 teaspoons vanilla

4 cups flour

1 /2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 /4 cup nuts

3 /4 cups chocolate chips

Cream sugar, margarine, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, soda, baking powder, and salt. Spread into a greased  15x10x1-inch jellyroll pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Put in oven for 1 minute. Take out and marblize with knife. Sprinkle nuts. Bake 20 minutes at 350.

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The Discussion

  1. Hi Kevin — I have a question for you and Lovina. At every important meal there is always mashed potatoes, dressing and gravy. (My favorites!) With so many people eating, how does Lovina produce the amount of gravy needed? Does she use her canned meats as a “starter” or what?!

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  2. Linda from KY says:

    Your Memorial Day gathering sounds very nice, Lovina! My daughter and son-in-law were in town visiting for the holiday. We also gathered together as a family to celebrate her birthday 10 days early; she’ll be 28 on June 8, so my oldest is 10 years older than your oldest. :)

    I’m so glad to hear about the progress being made in your home since the fire. You have been in my prayers. I’m so sorry to learn of the death of the young man in your former community.

    Thank you for sharing your marble squares recipe. I’ve been looking for something different to bake for the family that’s quick and easy, and this will fit the bill very nicely!

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  3. Our local family who sells fruit every year also reported no fruit for sale this year as they come from MI and the crop failed. Don’t know what folks around here are going to do as MI was the main supplier around here.

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    • I heard suppliers are ordering from Poland for Peaches this year.

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  4. it is always a bright spot in the day to read the column. It is also nice for Kevin to keep us updated a bit more throughout the week. It is a breath of fresh air to hear what some normal everyday loving folks are doing. I do not know if i should have gotten the info in the column but how many miles did the family have to go in their buggy AND did they have to take more than one since everyone is getting bigger and a couple extra grown male friends are also making these trips.
    is Elizabeth still babysitting and cleaning houses or is her help needed more at home with the extra challenges the fire has brought to running the house ? I am glad that this battery issue has come up as an alert to all of us readers to be more diligent about cking these things. We have so many items with them in them. The larger batteries that are in laptops etc are probably an even bigger challenge.

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  5. Martha Chalupa says:

    Lovina, I don’t know if you can get Missouri peaches up there or not. But last summer we got the best peaches we’ve ever had from there. They were just beautiful-large, perfectly round and hardly any bad spots. I don’t remember the name of the orchard, but when they come in this year(hopefully) I’ll post the name. Enjoy your column so much! Have a great day and God Bless You and Your Family:)

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