June 2016 Newsletter

Mrs Yoders Restaurant in Amish Country, Ohio

Last month I wrote about quilting becoming a lost art. I thank you for all the comments and letters I received, most people agreed with me. There was, however, one lady who disagreed with me. Her church quiltings are still going strong. There are about nine ladies, mostly widows, who meet at the church three to four times a week and quilt for a couple hours then go out for lunch afterward. She said it is good to get out of bed in the morning and have a place to go and socialize. I say, good for them, it will keep them young! I think there is something else that’s becoming a lost art and that is gardening, canning, and cooking. It all centers around time. Working mothers have a hard time staying caught up with laundry, keeping the house clean, and running the children around to all their sporting events or club meetings. We didn’t used to be so busy as a society. But as people rely more and more on two incomes to make ends meet, I don’t see anything changing. I remember at home, dad would get the garden ready and mom and I would do all the planting, weeding, and hoeing. Mom would take one row and I the next, and we would talk as we worked. It made the workload light and fulfilling. I loved that feeling of satisfaction when the job was finished. I loved to watch as the seedlings popped through the ground, and then as the plants grew and matured until finally it was ready for harvest, which meant canning and freezing time. I enjoyed the time my mom spent teaching me the art of preserving foods, she never viewed it as such, as it was simply a job that needed to be done and I was her helper.

Another challenge today’s busy women face is coming home from a hard day’s work and trying to get a nutritious, well balanced meal on the table for the family. When you are tired and stressed out it’s not easy. It takes time, effort, and planning ahead. Crock pots help out, but things don’t always materialize the way you envision them. It becomes easy and convenient to just go and buy dinner. Have you ever been at Beuhler’s or Rhode’s at dinner time and seen the amount of meals they’re sending out to-go, or at one of the fast food places and the entire family is dining out together. This can easily -become a habit. What was once a luxury has now become the norm. Even today’s mom could quickly put a healthy dinner on the table if the basement was stocked with home canned meats, vegetables, applesauce, potatoes, and soups. What would be a huge time-saver is simply not available because it takes time and effort to prepare and can all these things. The sad thing is that the next generation of women will grow up without home canned goods even being a part of their lives, so it will become a lost art all too soon. Times have changed, but we can choose if we want to change with it.

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May 2016 Newsletter

Mrs Yoders Restaurant in Amish Country, Ohio

In previous newsletters I have been writing about things of the past. In keeping with that theme I got to thinking about quilting; is it becoming a lost art, or perhaps it already is? My sister-in-law Mary, who is in the quilt business, says absolutely not, and as long as she’s alive she will keep the hand-quilting business alive and well. Mary, along with her daughters, has a team of hand stitchers working for her. She gets quilts from many different states, then delegates them to her team to be quilted. Sometimes Mary will finish piecing the tops together before sending them out to be quilted. Quite a few of the quilts she gets are older ones that were pieced by her client’s mothers or even grandmothers that just never got finished. What a blessing, to be able to have a quilt designed by previous generations that you now get to use and cherish and hand down to the next generations! I inherited all of my Grandma Arnold's quilt tops and patches from my mother and four aunts. It is quite the assortment. When grandma moved from the farm to town her health was failing, but being the hard working woman she had been all her life, she stayed busy making tops and quilt patches by hand. Some are a bit puckered and the seams don’t always line up nicely the way they do nowadays with the use of sewing machines, but I had them quilted just as they were, it makes them all the more unique. They might not mean much to other people, but I cherish every stitch, hand-sewn with love! I am passing them on to my son and grandchildren with the same thought, these are full of love and memories, cherish them! I don’t have the time to quilt anymore and I don’t mind paying someone else to do it for me. The time and talent that it requires makes it justifiable in my mind. I remember the first quilt I had someone quilt for me was by the ladies at the Walnut Creek Mennonite Church about 48 years ago. The going rate at that time was 20 cents a yard. And if you’re not sure what that means, it’s referring to the amount of thread that’s used for that quilt. Today, it can be 70 cents a yard, plus marking and binding. So, quilting a lost art? Mary doesn’t think so, but I talked to several ladies that still go to church sewings and they say it’s slowly dying out. There aren’t enough of the younger generation of women learning the craft and with so many working away from home there simply isn’t enough time to commit for such a project. I know of 5 different churches that have quit quilting for people because they can’t get enough people to show up.

So, what is taking the place of hand quilting? Machine quilting. Recently, at the local Mennonite Relief Sale, some of the machine quilted wall hangers and quilts went for a very good price. I talked to Ellen Lauvray who owns the Golden Thimble in Canal Lewisville near Coshocton, Ohio; and she feels that machine quilting is definitely taking over hand quilting. Her rate for machine quilting is 1 ½ cents per square inch. The average cost to have a queen size quilt done, 84 x 92, is $115.92, and she can usually finish it in one day versus 2 weeks or more if quilting by hand, and about $450 at 70 cents a yard. So with the cost and time it is a good way to go with today’s working women. I guess it comes down to your individual preference, speed and convenience versus carrying on the old traditions, you make the choice.

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April 2016 Newsletter

Mrs Yoders Restaurant in Amish Country, Ohio

Your Responses - Thanks to all of you that responded to my newsletter; it has turned into quite a hot topic. So far there have been more negative responses than positive. One gentleman shared with me how he feels computers and electronics are ruining society in today’s world. Instead of family time, everyone is in their own little world immersed in their devices. When he was a young boy growing up, Sunday afternoon was when everyone gathered around the dining room table and played board games. It was usually quite a riot; but best of all, it was togetherness, lots of fun, and made for some great memories.

Another response I received was how letter writing has been replaced by texting. This gentleman said when he was in the military, one of the things he looked forward to most was mail call. Holding and reading that letter from home felt almost like his mother was standing right there next to him and talking with him. Whenever things seemed bleak he would pull out those letters and read them over and over again. To this day, he still has most of the letters that he received from home. Another example of texting taking over our lives comes from my cousin, who has a daughter that teaches school in Texas. One of her students was busy on her phone and walked right into an open door and broke her nose. She also said that when she gives her class some free time to do as they wish, her room becomes silent as everyone grabs their phones instead of talking and having conversation with each other. Is this socializing? How do they even become acquainted with each other?

Another aspect of this texting is downright dangerous. This teacher shared how the number of accidents in the parking lot after school is skyrocketing. Kids are texting instead of paying attention to where they’re driving and keeping an eye out for other cars pulling out. The faculty is at the point where they wait until the students have left before they even attempt to leave themselves, just to avoid the craziness. Another troubling problem that she sees arising is that the students are now speaking the way they text. For example, instead of saying, “I want to come with you”, now they simply say, “come with”. Is it really that hard to say those four extra words! Or instead of actually laughing at something, they’ll just say “lol” instead. I just shake my head sometimes. Keep those letters coming, I enjoy all of them. I haven’t received any from the younger generation yet. I’ll continue writing on this topic if I keep receiving your feedback.

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March 2016 Newsletter

Mrs Yoders Restaurant in Amish Country, Ohio

The Days of Yesteryear - It’s that time of year again, how often have I wrote this in the first newsletter of the year, but time has a way of flying by, or rolling around, or marching onward; no matter which phrase suits your fancy, it’s a year later yet again. We spent the Christmas holidays in Florida with the family this year. Warmest Christmas ever for me; 87°.

While sitting at the breakfast table one morning with the grandkids they wondered if Grampy and Grammy had to milk the cow first thing in the morning in order to have milk for their cereal. In their young eyes we are considered very old, almost ancient. So it was story time. When we were their age, yes we had one family cow and Eli’s family had a small herd, and no, we did not use warm, fresh milk in our cereal. Bleh! I told them however, that in 1968, when we were first married, how Roscoe Weaver, the Goshen Dairy milkman would come rumbling in our driveway with his milk truck three days a week and we would buy milk, ice cream, and any other dairy products that we needed.

This was very hard for them to comprehend and it opened up a barrel of questions, which led to us telling them about the Nickle’s bread truck coming to our house when I was their age. We bought bread, baked goods, including those oh so tasty Maple Twist Rolls, and at Christmas time Mom always bought a fruitcake. Funny thing, she was the only one that liked it, so she got to eat the whole thing herself. My favorite treat was their yummy glazed donuts. The kids wondered if the bread was fresh, since it rode around in the truck all day. And they were surprised that Maple Twist Rolls had existed way back then. (Another reminder of old age).

This long discussion got me thinking of some of the things of yesteryear that we no longer see today. There was the Watkins man, who came door to door selling soaps, cleaners, and a seemingly endless array of spices in those signature metal containers. While he no longer goes door to door, he still sets up a stand at the Mt. Hope auction on Wednesdays, and I still use the vanilla just like my mom always did. There was also the McNess man who made his rounds every couple of weeks. He had the best Lemon Pie filling around and mom would always buy enough for a couple of pies. I loved to eat it while it was still warm, oh if only I could have a piece right now. I don’t know if there are still McNess products around as I haven’t seen any for years.

Then there were the school kids who sold Cloverine salve, which is still available for purchase in local country stores, and the neighbor boy who came by every week with The Grit newspaper. I remember when in grade school we would get a box of an assortment of seeds to sell the way they now sell candy bars or magazines. Can you imagine if they tried to sell seeds nowadays? People don’t have gardens the way they used to. Think about some of the memories that you have and let me know, I want to hear from you! Write a short story, send it in, and we’ll publish them in an upcoming edition. Three ways to get your story to me, mail it to: Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen PO Box 115, Mt. Hope OH 44660; Email: mykitchen94@aol.com, or give it to a hostess when you come in. I can’t wait to read your stories!

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Amish Restaurant with Buffet in Mt Hope, Ohio

Address:
8101 State Route 241 Mt Hope, OH 44660

Phone: (330) 674-0922

Restaurant Hours:
Monday - Saturday 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Email Us: info@mrsyoderskitchen.com

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