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The Amish Cook/Gloria Yoder

If life gives lemons, make lemonade. How often have I made that statement?

Sometimes it’s through tears that I set my face toward the sun once more and keep on going. Other times there’s just spilled milk, a lack of sleep, or sick little ones that remind me that life isn’t about choosing what I want.

Why, if life would be solely dependent on circumstances, life wouldn’t be worth its ride. Certainly, if it wouldn’t be for the Mender, we would all be torn apart.

I cherish the song, “You Can Fly With Mended Wings.” We all have mended wings, right? If we’d never heal from our difficulties and disappointments, we’d never get anywhere in life.

Perhaps where I tend to get tested the most is holding my newborn, knowing that life will one day bring rough times and harsh disappointments in one way or another. Yes, I’m Mama, yet there is not a thing I can do to make life easy as pie for our little ones.

My mind flips to my own dear mother. As much as she would’ve loved to fix all my troubles as a young girl when I was struggling with my health or the times I watched my beloved stillborn sisters being lowered into a grave, there was no way she could just make everything OK.

How I thank God for those times now. Yes, I’m so glad there was no way she could make my life smooth sailing; why, if she could have, my faith wouldn’t have been strengthened in the only One who is now able to take me through the trying times we face in an adult world loaded with responsibilities amid all the turbulence in the world.

Even 2-year-old Jesse will suggest that we all pray for a sibling who may be crying. If he wouldn’t know how it feels to be sad, would he have a desire to pray for them?

It deeply touches my mother heart each time I hear Austin volunteering to lead all of us in prayer for anyone who may be having a difficult time. Perhaps it really is worth all the batches of “lemonade” that is made day by day!

Julia is growing up in more ways than I could tell. It seems school has a way of adding maturity. Yesterday I was helping her practicing her speed drills. If it weren’t for the times the timer beat her to the finish line, there would also not be the joy of winning the race in the end.

If God really loves us more than I love my newborn, He really must have us covered more than I will ever grasp. I stand in awe. It is too much for my feeble mind to grasp.

Several of you have wondered if we’re staying healthy. Yes, we are blessed in spite of some COVID outbreaks in the neighborhood. No one got seriously ill. It was more like the common flu, and others only lost their sense of taste and smell for a couple of days.

Naturally, over that time, there were extra quarantines and such. The verse in Psalm 29:25 comes to my mind: “Whoso putteth His trust in the Lord shall be safe.” How simple!

I hear my little sunshine, who just came in the door after spending time with Daddy. Yes, Rayni is a ray of sunshine, as I often call her. She has had many deep waters to wade in her 4 years., but then she has the most tender heart. If another child gets hurt, she’s the first to show her compassion, then take their hand and lead them to Mama.

Sometimes I ask myself if she will perhaps someday work with children who have been neglected or a traumatic beginning; no doubt, she could identify with them in ways I never could.

There truly is One who heals broken hearts and lives. Rayni is chatting away here beside me with a snack. With no idea what I’m writing about, she pointed to a motto on the wall with a picture of Jesus snuggling a little girl close to Him.

“That’s Hosanna!” she exclaimed, giggling with delight.

After she was placed in our home by the adoption agency, we were told that she goes by her second name Rayne, only they pronounce it Rayni. When we started working toward adoption, we chose Hosanna as her first name, which means, “Lord, save me; thank you for saving me.” We introduced it gradually; she has now come to love it and actually prefers being called Hosanna.

I asked Hosanna what recipe I should put in the column — she said, “Peach pie!” Well, I shared that with you recently, so maybe we’ll settle with Stuffed French Toast.

By the way, if you do make the peach custard pie, you can also add a beaten egg to the filling, which sometimes helps bring the texture to the tee. After my mother-in-law read the recipe, she said her mother would also sprinkling cinnamon on top.

OK, here is Mary’s version of stuffed french toast we enjoyed during her stay!

STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

  • 2 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 12 slices bread
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour maple syrup into a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan. Next, spread cream cheese on 6 bread slices and lay in syrupy dish, sprinkle blueberries on top. Top with remaining bread slices.

Now beat up the eggs, milk, and vanilla and pour over bread. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Uncover to bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until egg mixture is set. Yummy!

Gloria Yoder is a young Amish mother, writer and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room schoolhouse. Readers with culinary or culture questions or stories to share may write Gloria directly at: Gloria Yoder, 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

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