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If at first you don’t succeed, try again

Another week has passed and not much has changed around here. We did have the temperature go down in the 20s one night.

My husband, Joe, didn’t expect it to get that cold and had his plants in the greenhouse. Unfortunately, it is too late for some of his plants. It was so disappointing for him on his first year of planting indoors. He was ready to just give it up, but such is life at times. If at first we don’t succeed, try and try again.

We really need to find a way to put a little heat in the greenhouse so he doesn’t have to move the plants in and out of the house all the time. He moved the plants that are OK to the basement by the walkout windows that get the morning sun. This way, he can keep the plants there until it warms up to stay.

Last week, we had around 5 or more inches of snow, and we had moved the plants inside through all that. Then when it warmed up again, Joe decided to move everything back to the greenhouse.

The early flowers peeping through the snow looked so pretty. It was snow that packed well for making snowmen. I’m sure a lot of the children home from school during this COVID-19 had some fun making snowmen. They probably lasted only a few days though as the snow was gone as fast as it came.

My friend Ruth sent my mail from the Illinois post office box to my home here in Michigan. She does a good job of helping me out even when there are hundreds of miles between us. Bless her good heart! She is truly a great kind friend and does it all for free.

Now I can answer my mail and get the letters back out to you readers. Thank you for your encouragement. I needed that extra boost with not leaving the house much and a houseful of my loved ones to cook and clean for.

It is true, as the saying goes, “If Mama isn’t happy, no one is happy.”

After weeks and weeks of being on shutdown from the virus it tends to take a toll on all of us, doesn’t it? That’s why we need to ask God to lead the way.

It seems like we keep cleaning corners we don’t usually get cleaned before we host church services. And in our minds we know we need to keep everything that was cleaned staying that way. Maybe I could relax better if our turn would be past or maybe I just should not make such a big deal out of having a little dirt around because that is not at all why we go to church. After this many weeks of not seeing our church members, we will all just be happy to be able to gather for church. I’m sure the last thing on people’s mind is looking to see if everything stayed clean.

A reader asked me for a recipe for caramel pecans, which I don’t have. If anyone does and cares to share it, I’m sure she would be happy to have it.

I appreciate all the ideas for raised garden beds that were sent to me. I passed them on to Joe and hopefully next spring, we will be able to try them.

A reader asks what I use to clean my walls with. I use a Stanley product that used to be called Try-It but the name is now Multi-Purpose Cleaner. They also have a product called Degreaser that I use with it in the kitchen area where it tends to get greasy around the stove.

Also a reader is wondering where I get the flour cloth to clean windows. I buy the flour sack towels, which can probably be found by the other dish clothes in stores such as Walmart. It has saved me from using paper towels.

I use white vinegar and warm water and a clean rag to wash off, and then wipe the windows with the flour sack towels. Keep in mind to never wash the towels with fabric softener though.

I will answer more questions next week. Until then, God be with all of you

Strawberry Freeze

Crust:

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup flour

Filling:

3 egg whites

2 cups crushed fresh or frozen strawberries

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup Cool Whip or whipped cream

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a stainless steel bowl and bake in bowl for 20 minutes, stirring often. Cool. Crumble 2/3 of crumbs in an 8 x 8-inch pan. Save the other 1/3 for the top.

Filling: Put egg whites, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl and beat until mixture holds its shape, about 15 minutes. Mix in Cool Whip and spread over crumbs. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Freeze at least 5 hours.

The recipe doubled will fill a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan. If using frozen strawberries, drain off some of the juice.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She, her husband, Joe, and their family live in southeastern Michigan. Contact Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and the message will be passed on to her to read.

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