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Nice and sunny but cold day. After a few cloudy days, we welcome the sun even more. When the batteries on our solar-powered freezer start blinking low, we are even more happy to see the sun. It seems like one sunny day always recharges it for a while. We are still glad we invested in the solar-powered freezer. Since having it installed, we haven’t had to pay a cent to keep it going. With the propane prices high, it is good to not be buying for the freezer yet. Our refrigerator, stove, lights and water heater run off of propane. Also, our water is powered by a propane motor. Last week we had a problem with the motor not kicking in when the water supply in the house was low. Susan and I wanted to do the laundry and there wasn’t any water. We decided to see if we could start it manually and it worked until the next time.
My husband Joe checked it out and called the man who installed it and asked if it could be the starter batteries. We bought a new battery and it fixed the problem. It has been almost six years, so that battery lasted its money’s worth. I told Joe I guess we are spoiled now thinking we always have hot and cold water in the house. Before our move to Michigan almost nine years ago, we always had to pump and carry our water. If we wanted hot water, we had to heat it.
Our motor for the water is in an outside building and the water runs to the house underground. We had two storage tanks, and when the pressure got low, the motor automatically kicked in.
Joe also installed a new gas light in the boys’ bedroom on Saturday. They haven’t had a light in their bedroom since the fire in May, so they were happy. At this time of the year, it works as a heater as well. I think now except for a few doors we have to paint, we have everything normal from the fire we had — although since getting more coats out for the cold weather, we are starting to see how many of our extra coats were burned. It was our extra coat storage closet, too. We are thankful that it was all replaceable things we lost.
I am trying to sew new outfits to give to the children for Christmas. It is getting closer and I am not sure if I will get them done. Daughter Elizabeth helps me sew when she gets home from the factory. Daughter Susan is doing most of the housework and laundry the past few days so I can keep sewing. Today Susan is baking two batches of outrageous chocolate chip cookies to take along to church services on Sunday. Elizabeth leaves on Friday evening with Timothy’s family to attend his family’s Christmas gathering.
The gathering will be at Timothy sister Miriam’s near Maysville, Ky. It is a seven-hour drive one way, so she won’t be home until Sunday sometime. The house will seem empty with her not around.
If you have heard of shoofly pie, try this recipe for shoofly cake.
* 2 cups flour
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup boiling water
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
Combine flour, sugar, and butter by hand to make fine crumbs. Reserve 3/4 cup crumbs to put on top of the cake. Mix together water, molasses and baking soda. Add to the crumb mixture and combine. Put in a 9x13 greased pan and sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until done.
Lovina Eicher and her husband Joe are raising eight children on their Michigan homestead. Lovina inherited the column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz. Write The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 157, Middletown, OH 45042.