The sun is trying to peep through the fog. It is very foggy this morning and visibility isn’t very good. The fog light on top of the bus was bright, though, when Kevin left for school. I always pray that everyone will be safe as they leave for work and school on foggy mornings like today.

Everyone had a three-day week for work and school because of Thanksgiving. We had Thanksgiving dinner at sister Emma and Jacob’s house this year. With Jacob and Emma’s family, sisters Verena and Susan, and all of our family, we now total 29. Mose and daughter Susan and children were getting together with Mose’s family this year. Spending time with loved ones is always a good way to spend Thanksgiving Day.

My husband Joe and son Benjamin each received a turkey from their employer. Joe put one on the grill last Saturday and it tasted very good.

The new Weber grill that the children gave Joe last year for his 50th birthday has a lower rack for roasting a turkey. We were surprised that it only took a little over two hours for the turkey to be cooked. It was juicy and everyone liked it fixed like that.

Every year for Thanksgiving dinner, sister Emma and I take turns hosting the meal. We usually set the table, and it seems that we need to keep adding tables in order to set a place for all of us, but it’s always enjoyable. With both of us having married children and we don’t get together as often as we would like. We now have to fix two turkeys instead of one. Our Thanksgiving dinner menus usually include turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, vegetables, cheese, salad, etc. I always like having a pumpkin roll and pumpkin pies on the menu.

Daughters Loretta and Lovina are washing laundry now and Verena is mopping the floors. The girls want to clean a few windows this afternoon. It doesn’t take long to get fingerprints on the windows with the little grandchildren looking out of them when they come.

Daughters Elizabeth and Susan and children came to spend the day with us on Tuesday. They usually come on Wednesdays, but with Thanksgiving, they decided to come earlier. 

On Sunday our family had brunch at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. After dishes were washed, some of us played Ten Thousand with dice. It was fun. As we played, we snacked on deer jerky that Tim made. It was very good and I loved it. I really don’t care for venison so Tim was surprised that I liked it. He asked Elizabeth if her mother knew that it was deer jerky and not beef jerky. I guess he was surprised that I liked it so much. I can’t even explain it myself. I don’t eat much venison, but I love the summer sausage and jerky.

On Sunday for brunch, Elizabeth fixed a good meal of pancakes, scrambled eggs, baked French toast and smoked sausage. She also had dirt pudding and ice cream, and we took cherry and oatmeal pies. Susan brought chocolate milk, and Elizabeth served grape juice and orange juice.

This was the first time that I had ridden in the buggy since my surgery. It seemed like the road was bumpier than usual, and I felt worn out that night. I felt refreshed, though, to not have to cook all day and to get out of the house.

Try this pumpkin roll recipe that we make every year for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Roll

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2/3 cup pumpkin

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 11 x 15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside. On a clean surface, lay out a clean. lint-free dish towel that is slightly larger than the jelly roll pan. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the surface of the towel.

In a large bowl, beat eggs well. Add sugar, lemon juice and pumpkin, and beat well. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, and beat until smooth. Pour pumpkin mixture into the parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan and bake for 15 minutes or until set. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately flip over onto the prepared dish towel. Gently and quickly peel off the parchment paper. Roll up the cake and towel together. Place in refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until completely cool.

For the filling, beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Unroll cake, removing the towel; spread filling over cake and reroll. Refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing and serving.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write her at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read.

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