Amish Cook, Week of Dec 17: Shoofly Cake

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Nice and sunny but cold day.  After a few cloudy days we welcome the sun even more.  When our batteries on our solar-powered freezer start blinking low we are even more happy to see the sun.  It seems like one sunny day always recharges it for awhile. We are still glad we invested in the solar-powered freezer.  Since having it installed we havent’ had to pay a cent to keep it going.  With the propane prices high it is good to not be buying for the freezer yet.  Our refrigerator, stove, lights,  nd water heater run off of propane.  Also our water is powered by a propane motor.  Last week we had a problem with the motor not kicking in when the water supply in the house was low. Susan and I wanted to do the laundry and there wasn’t any water.  We decided to see if we could start it manually and it worked until the next time.

My husband Joe checked it out and called the man who installed it and asked if it could be the starter batteries. We bought a new battery and it fixed the problem.  It has been almost six years so that battery lasted its money’s worth.  I told Joe I guess we are spoiled now thinking we always have hot and cold water in the house.  Before our move to Michigan almost 9 years ago we always had to pump and carry our water.  If we wanted hot water we had to heat it.

Our motor for the water is in an outside building and the water runs to the house underground.  We had two storage tanks and when the pressure got low the motor automatically kicked in.

Joe also installed a new gas light in the boys bedroom on Saturday.  They haven’t had a light in their bedroom since the fire in May so they were happy.  At this time of the year it works as a heater as well.  I think now except for a few doors we have to paint we have everything normal from the fire we had.  Although since getting more coats out for the cold weather we are starting to see how many of our extra coats were burned.  It was our extra coat storage closet too.  We are thankful that it was all replaceable things we lost.

I am trying to sew new outfits to give to the children for Christmas.  It is getting closer and I am not sure if I will get them done.  Daughter Elizabeth helps sew me when she gets home from the factory.  Daughter Susan is doing most of the housework and laundry the past few days so I can keep sewing.  Today Susan is baking two batches of outrageous chocolate chip cookies to take along to church services on Sunday.  Elizabeth leaves on Friday evening with Timothy’s family to attend his family’s Christmas gathering.

The gathering will be at Timothy sister’s Miriam near Maysville, Kentucky.  It is a 7 hour drive one way so she won’t be home until Sunday sometime.  The house will seem empty with her not around.

If you have heard of shoofly pie try this recipe for shoofly cake.


2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 /2 cup butter, softened

1 cup boiling water

1 /2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine flour, sugar, and butter by hand to make fine crumbs.  Reserve three-fourths cup crumbs to put on top of the cake.  Mix together water, molasses, and baking soda.  Add to the crumb mixture and combine.  Put in a 9 X 13 greased pan and sprinkled with reserved crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes or until done.

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The Discussion

  1. This was facinating; I learned some things. Specifically, about the light/heater in the boys room (would love to see a picture) and about the solar powered freezer. Maybe that gives you a reason to make a trip–and get us a picture!

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