Today, July 14, is son Benjamin’s 16th birthday. We want to bake him a cake, but I forgot to ask him what kind he wants before he left for work at 5:30 a.m. With eight children it’s hard to remember which is everyone’s favorite.
Tomorrow, July 15, my husband Joe and I will have our twenty-second wedding anniversary. Where have all the years gone? It hardly seems possible that it’s been that many years. We have so many blessings to thank our Heavenly Father for. I remember on the morning of our wedding when my mother, some of my sisters and I got all the chicken in skillets on the kerosene stoves to fry. Mom, sister Liz, and her husband Levi took care of the chicken until the cooks came to take over. Eighteen skillets of chicken were used to fry 300 pounds of chicken. We started frying chicken at 4:15 a.m. I helped until it was time to get ready before the guests started arriving between 6:30 to 7:00 a.m.
Daughter Elizabeth is back to work at the RV factory after two weeks of vacation. I think she is probably having more of a vacation back at work! She put in some long days helping clean and sew here at home. It’s hard to get her to take it easy, but I told her she has to be careful with having had double pneumonia. She still feels weak from it.
Timothy and Elizabeth’s wedding is now a month away. Elizabeth sewed everyone clothes for the wedding except she still needs to sew her and Susan a white cape and apron that they will wear at the wedding. Mose and Susan will be their witnesses. The bride and groom both choose witnesses so Timothy will choose someone from his family. I still need to cut out and sew my dress for the wedding.
We have three bedrooms cleaned upstairs and still need to clean the boy’s bedroom. We are also cleaning the canning room. So, lots of jars to clean and put back on the shelf. Joe has been working evenings on making a bigger closet in our bedroom. That will need to be painted when he is finished with mudding the drywall. He installed a new shower in the bathroom, so the bathroom needs to be repainted too yet before the wedding.
Daughter Susan had a nice vacation. We are glad to have her home again. They could feed the deer from their hand in the cabin where they stayed and also saw black bears. They had a nice fishing trip.
We were surprised on Thursday with a visit from Uncle Joe and Betty from Geneva, Indiana and Uncle Menno and Martha from Phoenix, Arizona. Menno and Martha were out in the Berne, Ind. area to attend the annual Coblentz reunion. We were unable to attend but sounds like the Coblentzs had a lot of fun—like usual. Menno and Joe are my Dad’s brothers.
Sunday evening Timothy’s family surprised Elizabeth with a birthday cake for her June 14th birthday. Timothy’s sister-in-law Rachel made and decorated the cake.
This is now Wednesday morning and I need to finish this. We ended up making a chocolate cake for Benjamin’s birthday last night. He didn’t want us to put candles on it. I’ll share the chocolate sheet cake recipe I use. A reader requested a homemade cake recipe. God bless you all!
Chocolate Sheet Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10 x15-inch baking pan.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to blend. Combine the margarine, water, and cocoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the hot mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well. Add the eggs and beat well, then add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Whipped Topping Frosting
1 4-ounce box instant pudding mix (any flavor)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce container frozen whipped topping
Add pudding mix, powdered sugar, and milk to a mixing bowl. Mix until blended. Let mixture stand three minutes then fold in defrosted whipped topping. Frost and keep refrigerated.
Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.