Life

The Amish Cook

Yoder's Savor Strawberry Soup

After an extraordinary amount of rain this spring I just relish these sunny days. Not only do I enjoy them; the children simply thrive on being outdoors.

Green grass, mud puddles and wildflower bouquets, are all a big part of the moments that make up our days. As for the mud puddles, even though they are supposedly off limits, I have found they’re just like a magnet to one-year-old boys. So yes, I am thankful for simple things like wash machines, a wash line, and even sunny days to dry clothes into a soft fluffy dry. As for the wildflowers, this spring when the children brought me their first bouquets of dandelions my heart melted. Is their any bouquet more beautiful than a simple one picked with love, by innocent little hands? After a long winter indoors we are all enjoying lots of flowers, from daffodils and irises to dandelions and wild mustard, they are all treasured. Matter of fact, at the moment I have my windowsill by the kitchen sink lined with five vases with flowers.

For weeks we have been waiting for the day the garden would dry off enough to plant it. Finally, the day is here. It is a perfect day, the sun is shining its gentle rays, awakening the earth with its warmth. The garden has been tilled as is ready to have seeds dropped into it. Is there anything like digging bare feet into that loss garden soil for the first time in spring? Ya, perhaps the first strawberries would run a race. The first berries will be ready in only a couple more weeks. If you happen to be in the area, just pop in and we would be more than happy to share some with you!

One interesting dimension of gardening is having one- and two-year-old children “helping” without having any plants trampled and only the weeds pulled. Julia has done well this spring in taking an interest in helping me with our flower beds. With my mother being a flower gardener at heart, I was blessed with beautiful, established flower beds right off the bat when we moved here to the “home place.” My favorite flower bed at the moment is the one in front of the woods where all sorts of lush pre-annuals are growing in leaps and bounds. My mother used to tell me, “The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap.” That’s about it, they are growing in leaps and bounds, thriving on this warmer spring weather. As they grow less hoeing and weeding is needed.

Last fall, Daniel transplanted five maple trees from the woods to our front yard. We kept hoping and praying they’ll take off this spring and not go into too much shock from their move. A couple of weeks ago when Dawdys were here from Ohio, Dawdy was the first to discover tiny buds pushing their way through. We were thrilled.

Besides the maples, he also planted a long row of pine trees alongside our driveway and another row along the fence between our house and the gravel road we’re on. Most of those are doing well, much to our delight and especially Daniel who had put in all the hard work of planting them then straightening them up time and again after all the high winds we had the last couple months. It seemed even after he had staked them the wind managed to find various angles, challenging the freshly dug root systems. At any rate, we are thankful for pine trees and each new bud that is making itself known.

STRAWBERRY SOUP

1 cup chopped strawberries, partially frozen

2 cups milk

Sugar to taste

Saltine or Ritz crackers

Mix berries, milk, and sugar. Crumble a handful of crackers into your bowl. Ladle strawberry mixture on top. Stir and enjoy.