We have entered October, which brings us closer to the end of 2020. Leaves are falling, farmers are harvesting corn, gardens are being cleared out and tilled. All of these events are a sure sign that autumn is here.

We went to the local U-pick orchard and picked grapes and our supply of apples. I have lots of jars of grape juice concentrate again now. We put the grapes in two big steamers/juicers, and the juice comes out through a hose that we use to fill the jars.

Daughter Verena went over to help daughter Elizabeth with her two bushels of grapes. Daughter Susan brought her three bushels of grapes here to can since she doesn’t have a steamer. I have two, and it helps so much to be able to do two batches at a time. Susan wants to can applesauce yet. I still have enough, so I didn’t get apples to can — only for fresh eating. We did also get cider. Nothing is better than a cold glass of cider and a bowl of popcorn and apples for a snack on these cold evenings.

My husband, Joe, started our coal stove in the basement. It was getting quite chilly in the house, with rainy weather and temperatures going down in the 30s. This week is milder, and the sun is shining every day. Some windows are open, so we are debating whether to keep the stove going or let it burn out. Our coal stove is a hopper-fed coal stove, so it doesn’t let us burn wood in it. It feels much more comfortable to work when it’s not cold in here, though.

Yesterday, daughters Verena and Lovina went over to help daughter Elizabeth. Church service hosting is now over for them. Tim, Elizabeth and their three children will travel to Kentucky today to attend the wedding of Tim’s sister Miriam’s daughter, which is tomorrow.

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I sewed Abigail’s dress and apron a few weeks ago, and yesterday, I sewed Allison’s dress and apron for the wedding. Elizabeth sewed her dress, cape and apron. Lots of packing, even for just a few days, for three little children.

On Sunday, Tim and Elizabeth hosted council (rule church) meeting services. Communion will be in two weeks, with intentions to ordain a deacon, Lord willing.

Tim was planning to have services in the tent, but when it decided to be so cold and rainy, they cleared more things out of their basement and set the benches down there. There was enough room since usually there are not visitors at rule church. Around 11:15 a.m., a few benches of people at a time will come up to eat. There is a men’s table and a women’s table. When someone is done eating, a new setting is put there for the next person. Elizabeth’s dining room table was opened all the way (10 feet) and set for the men and boys. Then two 6-foot tables were set for the women and girls. Sixteen settings to each table.

Four big 12-quart kettles of chicken and noodles were made to serve, along with homemade wheat and white bread, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, ham, pickles, pickled red beets, hot peppers, butter, jam, cookies, coffee and tea.

Today looks like a nice, warm day to wash windows. They always seem to get dirty, and of course, with five little grandchildren coming often, the little handprints are there. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I enjoy having them come.

It looks like I will be helping paint at Mose and Susan’s house later this week. Their kitchen cabinets are coming next week. It is coming along pretty good!

Oct. 8 is Loretta’s friend Dustin’s birthday. Happy birthday, Dustin! We appreciate all he does for Loretta and for our family. May God bless him for all his kind deeds!

I will share the chicken noodle soup recipe for those of you who need a kettle in that amount. God’s blessings to all!

Church Noodles

3 quarts chicken broth with meat

6 quarts water

3/4 cup chicken soup base

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 of a 10.5 ounce can of cream of chicken soup

3 pounds homemade noodles

Drain broth off meat into a 12-quart kettle. Set meat aside. Add water, chicken base and salt to broth. Heat to boiling. Add meat, noodles and cream of chicken soup, and bring to a boil again. Put lid on, turn off heat, and let sit for one hour. If you can’t let it sit for an hour, simmer for 10-15 minutes, and it should be ready in 30 minutes.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write to 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.