Friday, February 1, 2008

Meet Mom and Dad

This is my parents.........

They are quite remarkable for being in their upper and mid 80's.

They live in an apartment here in the same complex but a change is coming. To understand it I need to share a bit about them.

They grew up in the same community in Lancaster County, Pa. (Mount Joy to be exact.) They both graduated from a Mennonite School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It is now Eastern Mennonite University. They married and moved to a small farm in a neighboring town, Elizabethtown. The farmhouse at that time did not have a bathroom. I was adopted in 1948.

The farm had several acres of asparagus, chickens, a huge garden and a wonderful lawn that I spent many happy days playing in. Dad sold chicks and equipment and so was gone during the day and mom did a lot of the work. I remember being in the barn at a very early age. In 1954 dad was exposed to polio and spent 5-1/2 weeks in the hospital. He had a hard time recovering but they give the credit to a chiropractor that came almost every day to massage him and soon dad was walking with a large brace and than a much smaller one and to none at all.

Mom and Dad gave a lot of time to the Mennonite Church in helping at a Mission Church in Harrisonburg and Steelton. When I married and moved to Florida they went as house parents to Honduras. When they returned to the States Dad began working for a new Mennonite Camp in Brooksville, Florida. They bought a house and stayed for over 20 years. They moved to a retirement community in Harrisonburg Virginia.
The camp is called Lakewood Retreat:

When we moved to Florida they decided they wanted to move back and so rented an apartment close by. When John and I were left homeless and sick due to toxic mold and lost most of our belongings they welcomed us in and helped us heal. We moved back to Georgia and they followed and than when we moved back to Atlanta they again moved.

This takes me to now.......another change. They are buying a double wide in Sarasota, Florida in a retirement community. This will take place in a month. I understand this move because they are so excited to get back to a Mennonite Community and they will be able to walk and dad use his scooter to go to church where they attended for 2o years. They will know neighbors that are like them and do activities they will enjoy. Living here in Midtown Atlanta is hard on them. They say they feel like a fish out of water. I will miss them and I feel like I may not see Daddy alive again and that is troubling to me. But a reality I know exists. Because the place is furnished we have a lot of things to go through because they have decided to let much with us. Mom says I lost all of the things that were grandma's and the aunties(due to the toxic mold) and so she wants me to enjoy what she has. I will admit the loss of those things was painful. We will start next week with this process.
Were they are moving:

My parents have taught me these things:
1. Giving to others with your time.
2. How important a regular time is to read God's Word and pray. My dad starts each day with His Bible and it has always been that way.
3. Care for the things you have.
4. A real love for nature!5. Mom is a cleaning frenzy and I need to do better. She is a perfectionist.6. They are married 65 tears...need I say more.
7. Dad is a very balanced man. He knows what He believes and has never been wishy-washy.
8. They adopted me and I was a foster mom and adopted our son. Their example made me know I wanted to open my heart to kids that needed love.
9. Their word means it will be done. Trustworthy is the trait I see here.
10. They love the Lord and are looking forward to Heaven.

I could mention much more. I may not always agree with them but they are good parents and I am thankful for them. So pray for all of us as we make these changes.....we will need all the prayers we can get. As an only child it is a lot of work on my shoulders but it will be done.
My Mom's favorite meal to serve guests:
Ham Loaf
Mennonite Community Cookbook Page 70
Serves 8
1 pound fresh pork, ground
1 pound cured ham, ground
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 to 1 cup milk
Grind the meats and mis all ingredients. Shape in a loaf, dust with flour and place in a roasting pan. Bake at 350 for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
At the end of 1 hourpour over the loaf 1 cup tomato juice or a sauce made as follows:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
Mix and bring to a boil before pouring over the loaf.
~~my notes:
We always had the butcher grind 10 pounds of each and than freeze the ground meat together for ham loaf. This recipe that you can multiply without any trouble. I have made it for 125 people. One way my kids liked this was I made patties instead of the load and I would place a patty in a baking pan than a pineapple ring and repeat until finished. For the glaze I used the pineapple juice instead of the vinegar. This is fun and easy to serve at a pool party. I also have doubled the sauce made with pineapple and added crused puneapple to it and made the hame mixture into ball and served it as a appetizer.
Scalloped Potatoes
Mennonite Community Cookbook
Page 164
Serves 6
6 cups raw potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
4 tablespoons flour
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 onion, minced
2-1/2 cupswarm milk
2 tablespoons butter
Place a layer of potatoes in buttered baking dish add minced onion.Sprinkle with salt pepper and flour, and dot with butter. Repeat until all ingredients are used. Pour hot milk over potatoes and bake at 350 for 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours.
1. Make a white sauce with the milk, flour and butter. Melt 3/4 cup grated cheese in the sauce and pour over potatoes.
2. Top with 2/3 cup soft bread crumbs and stips of bacon
3. Add 1 cup grated cheese on top of potatoes 15 minutes before the cooking is completed.
4. Add 1 cup ham in alternate layers with the potatoes.
~~My notes:
I use half and half for a richer texture (thank my grandma for this!)
I like to add Italian seasonings and garlic.
I have made these with Brie good!
My family likes it with bacon on top...not with the bread crumbs
I have made this with adding salsa to the cheese sauce and they loved it!
She did almost the 7 sweets and 7 sours....I will give you one of the salads she would make. I will save the rest for another post.
Kidney Bean Salad
Mennonite Community Cookbook
Page 177-178
2-1/2 cups canned kidney beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 hard cooked eggs
1 medium-sized onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup salad dressing
2 tablespoons cream
Chop eggs and combine with celery and onion. Add beans that have been drained. Mix ingredients together and chill. Add cream to salad dressing and blend through mixed vegetables.
Serves 6
~~My notes.
I use mayonnaise. I add 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish.
2 tablespoons fresh basil is nice with 1 jalapeno without the seeds, minced and I do not add pickle relish than.
You can add crumbled bacon on top just before serving.
Fresh parsley is good with this salad.
I want to tell you all I could not cook or bake without the Mennonite Community Cookbook. It is the best basic cookbook!
Here is the link for it:
Another cookbook by the Mennonites I use all the time is "More Wth Less". You can see the format and several recipes here:

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