I was working in the kitchen, making lunch when I realized our supply of home-canned chicken was almost all gone.
On homeschooling days I always go for simple menus for lunch. Canned pinto or black beans with onions and chicken have been a hit at our house ever since a friend shared some of hers with us several years ago. Thinking how I’ll miss not having chicken and beans to serve alongside butternut squash or a tossed salad I told God how much I’d enjoy having chicken to can with beans. Since we hadn’t raised our own broilers this year and I didn’t care for the thought of buying hormone injected meat, I wasn’t sure where to find some. Time and again when I thought about it, I just told God that in His time we’d like to have some chicken for the family.
When my mother-in-law from Ohio visiting was here, I told her about it and said I’m eager to see what God will provide.
A few months later a family in church notified us that they’re needing to replace their laying chickens and were wondering if anyone in the community would be interested in getting their hens since they have a new batch coming in.
My heart skipped a beat. Is God really providing in such a simple way? The Waglers insisted that they are more than happy to just pass them on to anyone who would be willing to come and pick them up that very afternoon.
I explained to the children how God has answered and gave us this chicken. “We need to give them a thank you card,” declared Hosanna. “Yes, you are right, we want to,” I agreed.
We now just needed the perfect day to butcher chickens. It so happened that my in-laws from Ohio came for a visit the following week. “Dad could help us butcher chickens,” Daniel suggested.
As they arrived at our house we told them about the projected plans of butchering. “Last time you were here I told you how I’m praying for chicken, now this time you’re here we are butchering them,” I told my mother-in-law.
We made plans to start butchering at 3 p.m. when Daniel gets off work in the shop. The children and I were eagerly waiting, with their help we had large containers filled with cold water to rinse and cool the chicken. Daniel hung several twines in the barn for butchering, just like my dad always did.
As we butchered those first chickens I couldn’t resist telling Daniel’s parents how I link special memories to a job as yucky as butchering chickens or turkeys. I told them of the times Dad and I would butcher cull turkeys at our turkey farm a mile down the road.
Being the second to oldest in a family of seven children these rare times of having Dad all to myself was a treat even at 19 years old. On these occasions, Dad and I would discuss my special friend Daniel and our upcoming wedding. I glowed with joy as we discussed aspects of developing relations in a Godly way. Both Dad and Mom were my safe place. I would never have developed any friendship with a boy without their complete blessing.
With our wedding day coming up I was elated to soon belong to my beloved fiance. I knew it would be a lifelong commitment no matter what. Now I look back, my heart warms, then I chuckle. Surely it was a precious stage, yet I had no idea what curve balls would be tossed at us in the next 11 years. But then, that’s okay, I’m glad I don’t know what the next 11 years will hold, but I do know exactly Who holds them, so with a renewed love for the Lord we keep journeying hand in hand.
Stay in tune for more on weddings in the weeks ahead. I have a sister, a cousin, and several friends getting married this fall and next spring, one of which will Lord willing be hosted in our shop. I can’t wait to fill you in on it all.
In the meanwhile try our Eclair Dessert which was served on Sunday noon after church. My sister-in-law introduced it to us as a specialty from Allen County Indiana, the large Amish community she was raised in. She is famous for this yummy dessert.
Amish Eclair Dessert
1 1/4 cups boiling water
3/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
1-8 ounce package cream cheese
16 ounces cool whip
Place water and butter in a small sauce pan.
Heat over medium heat until butter has melted.
Add flour, salt, and eggs one at a time, whisking after each egg.
Press into a greased 13-inch by 18-inch pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
It will rise as it bakes then go back down after removed from the oven, looking a bit humpy.
For the filling, beat all the ingredients
Pour and spread onto cooled crust.
Add your favorite pie filling (apple, blueberry pumpkin) and spread on top of pudding mixture, chill and serve.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427