Last week I wrote about my cousin and close friend's house burning down in a fire. After the fire destroyed their house and most of their belongings in it they were faced with countless decisions. As you may know we as Amish folks don't have insurance, instead our goal is to be there to work together helping rebuild or whatever else is needed.
Obviously, Jeremy and Judith needed a new house. The days following the fire a house-plan was designed followed by preparation to start rebuilding on Monday morning.
So it has been quite a week around here. My husband Daniel has been spending quite a bit of time at the building site laying block and getting ready for the frame work. We church ladies are taking turns making lunch for Jeremy's family and the men working there.
Today was my turn to help with the meal. The children and I were both delighted that our turn happened to be on a day that Daniel was working there. As we drove our horse, Sapphire, along with our buggy, into Jeremy's driveway at lunchtime, Daniel spotted us and waved with a big smile on his face.
After unloading the food we set everything on a folding table in the garage, thanks to the firefighters who actually managed to save the garage! It had been black with smoke and had absorbed the nasty stench of it but after being thoroughly washed down and aired out it is usable once more.
Once the mashed potatoes, casserole, green beans, cake, pie and tapioca pudding was set out the men dropped their tools. After a word of prayer of thanking God for the food and blessing for the project everyone filed through, filling their plates.
Daniel, Austin, Julia and I sat together eating our lunch. The sun warmly shone on us as we sat on benches on a cement pad outside the garage. Most days there have been approximately 30 workers to feed, there were about 20 today. Hopefully, Jeremy's family will be moved into their new house several weeks from now.
Once everyone had finished eating the men resumed work while a few of us ladies cleaned up the food and dishes.
About that time a 15-passenger van pulled into the driveway loaded with family and friends from Ohio and Pennsylvania. What a welcome sight! They had simply come to show their love and support by helping build Jeremy's new house. Not only that they also brought some needed materials along such as plumbing supplies and tools to complete the job.
After chatting with them the men put on their tool belts and started helping where most needed. Stepping back and watching was an interesting observation. Everyone filled in where they were assigned, resulting in amazing teamwork in a rapidly developing construction job.
“I wonder if there is anything I could do, I'm not a man like everyone else around here,” I thought. I then noticed all kinds of little pieces of trash strewn over the yard. So I grabbed a few trash bags and set to work. Small pieces of shingles, bits of insulation, even some toys and many little items lay here and there as a result of the devastating fire that made its sweep a week ago.
Before long it was time to head home with my little ones. Now here I am. Austin fell asleep on the way home in the buggy and is still sleeping, giving me a chance to write. Julia is trying hard to be quiet enough to give mama a chance to finish her writing!
As for a recipe to share with you, how about trying my “A Little Bit of Everything Green Beans?” When it comes to cooking I don't like to be tied down to recipes too much so I'lll pass my green bean idea on to you in “Gloria style.” Your imagination is the limit with this recipe. Ham chunks and other veggies or even barbecue sauce can be added!
GLORIA'S A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING GREEN BEANS
1 medium onion, chopped
1 handful mushrooms cut-up
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 quart green beans, drained
Any seasonings that strike your fancy ( seasoning salt, garlic powder, oregano, and lemon pepper are good options)
Cheese of your choice
Cut bacon into bite-sized pieces, fry until almost done (do not drain drippings). Add onions, mushrooms and peppers and sprinkle with seasonings. Fry until onions are tender then stir in green beans and seasonings to taste. Continue to fry until beans are hot and sprinkle with cheese.
Gloria is an Amish mom, housewife and writer in rural Illinois. Readers with culinary or cultural questions can write her at: PO Box 157, Middletown, OH 45042. The Amish Cook has been publishing weekly since 1991. The column's creator and editor is Kevin Williams. To learn more about the column visit www.amish365.com/about.