This article is a part of "The Amish Cook Column", a weekly series of featuring a story & recipe from Gloria Yoder, Amish widow. & mother of six from Flat Rock, Illinois. The column this week is from guest writer, Lydia Yoder, mother of Gloria's deceased husband.
A memorable and precious day occurred for us on August 28, 1988, thirty-five years ago when God blessed us with our beloved son Daniel to love and nurture in the admonition of our Lord.
To God be the honor for his Godly examples, and testimony he left behind which inspires us to be faithful in our journey of life. Sixteen days before he left us he remarked to a friend, “I have nothing to hide I'd be ready to meet God.” This has been a great comfort to us.
Before Daniel passed he asked me, “Would you write the column sometime?” I was skeptical about it, but now as his birthday draws closer I desired to write as he had requested.
To all of you who have family and friends, appreciate them for you know not what the future holds. Daniel was here one day then gone the next, leaving our hearts bleeding and broken crying out to God to help us and our family, especially for Gloria and her 6 little ones. God has helped us one step at a time, holding on to his many promises. One thing that has really comforted me is Romans 8:28. “All things work together for good...” Even though it’s been hard and we miss him a lot God has given us grace to surrender again and again then given his peace and strength to accept his perfect plan which brings healing and comfort.
The children are still being molded by Daniel’s foundational teaching and under Gloria’s constant watchful and loving care. We are especially grateful for her teaching them Godly principles.
Gloria keeps teaching and training her children good work ethics. It’s already very noticeable how well the children can take on greater responsibilities making her work load lighter. It’s been a concern that she doesn’t over do herself; family and church family have also been a huge blessing with helping. I sincerely want to thank all who blessed their family with cards, letters, money, packages and words of encouragement since dear Daniel went to his perfect unending vacation in heaven.
Recently when we were there Hosanna and I were in the entrance, and as I was sweeping, Hosanna picked up a pair of shoes and said, “these were Daddy’s shoes”. In a glance I took it all in seeing they were actually Daniel’s Sunday shoes he wore the evening before his accident. It brought back memories, and feelings of sadness. Then I heard Hosanna say,” We are 1 day closer to heaven then we were yesterday!” Oh yes that’s right, it brought my focus to the eternal again and cheering me up right then and there. How amazing coming from a seven-year-old. Later Gloria kindly told Hosanna to put the shoes back where Daddy had put them. These little things show us the adoration Gloria still has for Daniel. She was his sweetheart and the love of his heart, after twelve years of marriage.
We are also grateful for the 5 min walk through the woods to Gloria’s house. We have enjoyed having them here for meals. The children are really growing and so are their appetites, which makes cooking for them more delightful when you see that sparkle in their eye when they see food! I told Gloria I’d take care of the children for a few hours on Thursdays unless something else comes up. I enjoy planning what I could do to make it special for them. It is amazing how snack time is always a highlight for them. When they are happy it splashes sunshine on me.
My mind goes back to a few months ago when Hosanna, Jesse, and Elijah were feeling sorry for us. They told Gloria they want to get a gift bag ready for us because our son died. Then here they come all excited, little eyes watched me as I peered into the gift bag. The sympathy card was signed by all three, here was a candle for Ephraim and one for me, 3 books to read to them, a note pad & a few other items.
Remarking on some things I asked, “How did you know I needed that?” Their faces beamed. It brought joy to them seeing how happy this made me. Already they are sharing the comfort to others- because of God’s and others’ comfort to them through their journey with grief.
Julia, eleven, sometimes says,” Grandma, if there’s anything I can do to help you let me know.” She has helped me out many times. Austin is also helpful in running errands for me, saving my time and energy.
Little Joshua with his golden curly hair, and bright blue eyes and ready smiles reminds us of Daniel when he was little, which gives extra comfort to Ephraim and I.
And talking about recipes, our garden is producing an abundance of zucchini. I made this recipe often, as our six sons and daughter were growing up. My 91 year-old dear mother in Ohio sent this into a newspaper and later it was printed into a recipe book complied by the newspaper cook.
📜 Editor's Notes on Summer Zucchini Bars with Mouth-Watering Cream Cheese Frosting
Ah, this seemed like the perfect recipe for a summer dessert, so I eager jumped in to try it and it did not disappoint!
I realized, though, midway into the recipe that I was short on flour. The recipe called for 2 cups and I had about 1 ½ cups. Ugh. Almost close enough. I almost chanced it and just made do with that, but the batter was too liquidy. It was too late at night to bother a neighbor and most of the groceries in my area were too far or closed on a Sunday night.
So I motored off to my corner gas station which sells all sorts of sundries. And, alas, they too were out of flour. Discouraged, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. Maybe just save the batter for the morning until I could get some flour. But I knew it'd be a busy day and I wanted to finish it. So then I spied a box of pancake mix on the shelf. Looking at the ingredient label, the main ingredient was flour. So I figured, why not? I'd only need a half a cup.
So I bought the Pearl Milling Company mix and dumped half cup into the batter. And it ended up working just fine.
📷Editor's Recipe Photos
Here are some photos and more thoughts about this recipe:
Just use a big bowl and start out with the dry ingredients.
Grating the zucchini was a bit of a pain, but it was late at night and I was tired and I don't have the best grater in the world, so if those two factors aren't working against you, you should be fine.
The only thing I think the use of pancake mix into the batter did was add an extra leavening agent (baking powder or soda) which probably turned my bars into more of a cake. But I like bars better, so we'll keep this bars and I think if you didn't have pancake mix, but flour, it'd be more of a thicker bar. If you prefer more cake consistency, use a smaller 9 X 12 type pan.
You get a nice dark cake after about an hour in the oven.
I doubled the frosting recipe as given here. But you can see how thick it is in the photo below. I like my frosting! If you don't want it that thick, the recipe as given is fine.
All in all I'd give this recipe a A-plus, delicious taste, easy to make, and even easier to eat!
🖨️ Full Recipe
Summer Zucchini Bars With Mouth-Watering Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups zucchini peeled and grated
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powde
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix together oil, sugars, and eggs.
- Beat well until creamy.
- Then add the rest of the ingredients.
- Last, stir in zucchini. Mix well.
- Pour into11 X 15 inch pan for bars (a small pan would give you more of a cake).
- Bake at 350 for 50- 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Mix frosting ingredients and Spread frosting on cooled cake.
ZUCCHINI BARS WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Mix together oil, sugars, and eggs. Beat well until creamy. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Last, stir in zucchini. Mix well.
Pour into11 X 15 inch pan for bars (a small pan would give you more of a cake). Bake at 350 for 50- 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.