Note from Editor Kevin: There is some “back story” to this column and some intriguing stuff, see my note at the end!
And in case you missed her first column, here is a little about Mrs. Yoder: “First of all I will introduce us Yoders, a total of 10 of us altogether. I am age 36, then is the other better half of me, my dear husband is also age 36. And then our dear children Michael 13, Rosalyn 11, Marvin Lee 9, Carolyn Sue 8, Ruth Ann 6, Malinda Kay 5, Martha Fern 3, Wendall James 19 months. We live on a 159 acre farm.”
Sept 7, 2014
MRS. YODER’S JOURNAL
Warm and cheery greetings from our corner in southern Iowa!
We are having some beautiful weather with cool nights and not as warm and humid during the day.
The biggest highlight for this farm is that God blessed us with another healthy little boy. Samuel Jon came to join us on August 28 at 1:24 a.m., weighing 8 pounds and 8 ounces and 20.6 inches long. It is marvelous how perfectly formed he is. Everyone was happy for another boy, even the girls.
We attended a wedding last week when baby was around 1 week old. One of my nieces got married. It was a beautiful day. The services were held in a tent. And a furniture shop was cleaned out where they set rows and rows of tables. Setting them with nice glass dishes and fine China they had about 400 people there.
Around 30 cooks or more were on hand to help prepare the food and 10 to 14 pairs of table waiters to help serve and pass food around. The wedding dinner consisted of mashed potatoes, gravy, bread dressing, mock steak, sweet corn, and layer salad. Dessert was orange cheese cake pudding, strawberry flat cakes, apple pie, and peanut butter cream pie and coffee. Then to the children’s delight , after dinner, they passed around a bowl with assorted candy bars, candy, and gum.
Lots of things have happened since my last letter. Our ewes are starting to lamb. We now have one set of twins and one single lamb.
Robert and Michael were to Farmer’s Market on Saturday. They they also stopped in at a place and bought three geese. So another new animal for our “Old McDonald Farm!”
This past week we canned 60 quarts of pears from our own trees. Several of the neighbor ladies and my mother-in-law came to help. We have hired a maid to help us out on laundry days and canning since all our five big helpers go to school now. We want to harvest our butternut squash this week.We have planted some late fall garden goodies. Well I will close for now wishing you God’s blessings. Mrs. Yoder.
IOWA STIR FRY
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons chopped green peppers
2 tablespoons chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1 /2 cup cabbage
1 1 /2 cup zucchini
Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet and stir fry until tender.
Backstory: I called Mrs. Yoder’s husband (they have a phone shed on their property) and talked to him about having his wife write another column. That was in late August and they both were enthusiastic about it and he said she’s submit the column to me the following Tuesday. Well, he calls me that Tuesday and tells me that his wife is in labor now and could the column wait? I told him “sure, tell her to take as long as she needs.” Well, she didn’t need long because a few days later the column showed up! So she was writing this column with a one-week old to care for and 8 other children, plus a farm to run.
The “maid” reference in the column is intriguing to me. I mean, sheesh, who could blame her? But I doubt she is using the word “maid” in the sense that we think of it. I doubt there’s a worker that comes over in a maid uniform like Alice from the Brady Bunch. If I had to take a stab at it, I would guess that she has hired a young, unmarried teenage girl who is out of school, perhaps a daughter of a friend to come over and help out. That’s not unheard of. Mrs. Yoder’s daughters would be the ones to help with the brunt of the housework, but they are in school now so that would leave Mrs. Yoder to care for the house on her own with a newborn. I will try to get more information about the maid.
Some food references intriguing me too. Amish wedding foods vary from place to place according to local tradition, but these are all new to me: strawberry flat cakes? And the orange cheese cake pudding? Sounds absolutely amazing. So those are some recipes I want to get more information from her about.
Mrs. Yoder is a very conservative, traditional Amish farmwife in Iowa and writing is something she’ll grow into. She’ll be sharing more recipes. And if enough people sign up for Amish365 Plus, I’ll visit there this fall and get some photos and more from them. So stay tuned. Mrs. Yoder will share more recipes throughout the month before her next column next month – Kevin Williams