The laundry from yesterday is now up from the basement, folded and awaiting each owner to carry their stack upstairs to be put away. Next is getting supper ready. The menu tonight will be pon hoss (given to us by Dustin, Daniel, and Grace’s family), scrambled eggs, coffee soup, and cheese. That’s a simple meal, so I have a little time before I start that.

I had a short visit today from my friend Barb. She picked up son-in-law Dustin to fix something at her house, so she stopped in for a while. My thoughts go to her often as I know she has many lonely days without her dear husband John.

Everyone seems to be recuperated from being sick. It is always a good feeling when everyone feels good!

Hopefully one of these weeks we can start butchering meat for the freezers. It has been staying cold but we haven’t had much snow this winter yet. We recently traveled to Ann Arbor for appointments, and we were glad for roads that were clear to travel on.

Tomorrow the girls and I plan to go to the bulk food store. It’s time to go stock up on some groceries again. Daughter Verena offered to stay home and keep the grandchildren with her so the mothers can shop easier.

My kind editors printed out the emails that you readers sent. Such encouragement! Thank you! You never know how much those kind words give a writer encouragement to keep writing. May God bless you for that!

A reader asked why candy bars are served at Amish weddings. I can’t say that I myself could answer this question. Any Amish readers out there know? I just know that as a young child we never had candy bars, so when we went to a wedding my little friends and I would look forward to that candy bar we received. Although now the price of candy bars isn’t cheap and son-in-law Dustin and daughter Loretta quickly found that out when they purchased more than 1200 for their wedding last fall.

A reader also asked what clear jel is. Clear jel is a thickener which I use in pie fillings or to make gravy, etc. I usually buy mine at a bulk food store. I also use clear jel to thicken my salsa.

Supper is now over and I still have a habit of cooking too much for our family since we are less to cook for. It seems like I go less and less and it’s still too much. With half of our children not home anymore it takes adjustments.

Daughter Susan will be 26 on Monday, January 24th. This will be her second birthday without her dear husband Mose. Life goes on—memories are all that remain. Our family plans to gather at Susan’s Sunday night in honor of her and granddaughter Jennifer’s birthdays.

Abigail (our 5-year-old granddaughter) recently was upset with her mother (daughter Elizabeth) and she told her that she will get her coal for Mother’s Day. Sweet little girl has no idea of the laugh we got out of that. Needless to say, Abigail was just having a bad day and is usually a sweet, loving girl. A reader requested a recipe for date pudding so I’ll share that this week. God’s blessings to all. Stay safe and healthy!

Date-Nut Pudding (Trifle)

1 (8-ounce) package dates

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1/4 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup nuts

1/2 cup raisins

whipped cream, for layering

Pit and quarter dates, and place in a bowl. Add baking soda and pour boiling water over dates. Let stand until completely cooled.

In a separate bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, and egg until well blended. Add cooled date mixture, vanilla, flour, salt, nuts, and raisins. Stir until well blended.

Spread batter into greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan and bake for 30–35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into 1-inch squares. Put a layer of squares into a glass dessert bowl. Add a layer of whipped cream, then another layer of squares. Continue layers until all the squares are used up, ending with a layer of whipped cream. A few additional nuts can be sprinkled on top.

Can also just be cut into serving-sized pieces and topped with whipped cream.