Chicken of the woods mushroom

This is a chicken of the woods mushroom growing in the woods. 

On Saturday, sisters Verena and Susan hosted the annual family reunion on my side of the family. It was greatly attended, with only seven of my parents’ grandchildren not attending. 

We were served a good meal of chicken, barbecued ribs, hot dogs, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, corn, and all the side dishes that were brought in. There were salads, desserts, and fruits too numerous to mention. Snacks were brought for the afternoon before parting ways to go home.

Of course, with my family the water hose was discovered, and the water balloons were soon put to use. Sister Liz and I tried to keep up with the younger ones. Some managed to stay dry. On that hot and humid day, it helped us stay cool.

Grandson Ryan was the youngest there, being 3 weeks old that day. He seems to be gaining weight really well.

The new deck and ramp at  Verena and Susan’s house came in handy.

Recently, son-in-law Mose, husband Joe, and sons Benjamin and Joseph built the 12- by 24-foot deck for them. Son-in-law Tim also helped. On Saturday, they had tables set on it for some to eat while others sat at tables set up in their pole barn with a canopy attached.

Sunday, we had brunch at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. Tim made sausage gravy and fried potatoes over the open fire while Elizabeth baked biscuits and fried eggs in the house. Abigail and T.J. were so excited to see us. T.J. is now eight months old and all over the house, so he needs to be watched closely. He sure is active.

Susan, Jennifer and baby Ryan, daughters Verena, Loretta, Lovina, and I helped Elizabeth can salsa yesterday. When we left, T.J. was waving at us.

I have corn and tomatoes that need to be canned or frozen. I will make vegetable juice with the tomatoes and the corn will probably be bagged for the freezer. That is the last of the sweet corn for us this season.

Son Kevin is getting adjusted to the new schedule of going to school each day. He gets on the bus more easily since he had surgery earlier this year. He is still not released from therapy, but is slowly learning how to continue it here at home. It’s hard for him to find energy after a day at school.

One evening, James, a friend of ours, brought us some chicken of the woods mushrooms he found. This was the first time we had that kind of mushroom. The name comes from it resembling the taste of chicken. Everyone seemed to like it. It’s always nice to try something different. I seasoned it and fried it in olive oil. James had 25 to 30 pounds of mushrooms.

Monday, daughter Susan and her children came here for the day. She brought her laundry and we washed it after we did ours. We were glad to have a nice day for the clothes to dry quickly on the lines since we had a lot to hang out.

Susan and Mose had company again the day before so she was tired. I told her to rest while we washed the clothes. She still needs to regain her strength. Jennifer was contented watching me hang out laundry and playing with a doll. She tries to act like she’s taking care of her doll when Susan takes care of Ryan.

Tim brought in a 25 1/2-pound watermelon out of their garden when we were there yesterday. He sent half of it home with us. 

This week I will share a recipe I received from a reader. Thank you, Barb!

Snickers Pie

Crust:

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup oil

2 tablespoons milk

Filling:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 8-ounce cream cheese

1 Snickers bar, chopped

1 24-ounce Cool Whip (or a little less)

1 3-ounce box instant chocolate pudding

Crust: Mix dry and wet ingredients, press into a 9-inch pie plate, and mold to fit. Bake at 400 degrees for 21 minutes. Cool.

Filling: Thoroughly mix powdered sugar and cream cheese and scoop into cooled crust. Sprinkle 1/2 of chopped Snickers bar on top. Put Cool Whip into a large bowl and stir in chocolate pudding until smooth and not gritty. Spread on top of other layers in pie crust. Sprinkle remaining chopped Snickers bar on top. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight before 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.

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