A sweet and sour visit to the swimming hole


Gloria Yoder - The Amish Cook



“What are we going to do tonight?” I asked my husband, Daniel.

“I don’t know, do you have anything that you would like to do?” he asked.

It was a Sunday our favorite day of the week. After attending church that forenoon and having lunch with our friends at church it was soon time to head for home where we all took a long, delicious nap. For us there is nothing quite like a relaxing Sunday together as a family. Now here we were trying to decide how the rest of our day could most wisely be spent.

“I’m happy with whatever you decide,” I told Daniel.

He then suggested something that brought whoops of delight to the children (and myself, if I’ll admit it). “How about walking down to the creek, splashing in the water, and maybe take a snack along?” Daniel suggested.

In short order we were all buzzing around in preparation of our 1/4 mile walk to our favorite spot at the creek. Daniel got a few snacks ready while Julia made iced tea and I put a salad together. As we went out the door Daniel informed us that he had a little surprise along for us.

After a pleasant little walk we arrived at our lovely little spot right next to a huge 6 foot culvert where the water is constantly trickling through. One of the first things we did was all go inside the culvert where we sang a few songs and listened with the notes echoing through the culvert and back. I was amazed at how Daniel’s deep bass voice vibrated through the interior of the culvert where we were standing.

Of course we were soon asking about Daniel’s surprise which he had brought along. I was delighted when he said “S’mores.” Not only did that mean a tasty treat, it also meant a fire to roast marshmallows. Daniel knew how much I enjoyed cozy fires and brought a lighter to light one especially for me. Bless his big heart.

With Father’s Day being upon us I simply couldn’t ask for a better father for our two little darlings. The children and I are excited to make Father’s Day cards for him and celebrate that special day. He deserves all the love and much more than we could ever give him.

Between adding more sticks to the fire, Daniel helped the children catch a few minnows with the net we had taken along. They were totally delighted and fascinated as we made a “little pond” by digging a hole in the sand and filling it with water for the minnows that were caught.

Austin was convinced that he could catch some minnows. With his pant legs rolled up to his knees he ventured into the shallow water with the net. Soon a triumphant shout came from his direction. “I got one!” he exclaimed, showing us his net with his catch of sand and a few rocks, but no minnow in sight, of course.

Julia enjoys water and loved splashing around in it. She didn’t mind having a soaked dress, she was having fun in the water and that’s all that mattered to her.

After awhile we were ready for our little picnic. The salad consisted of fresh garden lettuce, some onions, tomatoes, cheese, diced hamburgers (that Daniel had grilled a few days before) and was drizzled with homemade dressing. Mmmm, there’s something about fresh goodies from the garden that simply can’t be beat. I can easily eat fresh salads three times a day.

Julia’s iced tea and Daniel’s s’mores topped off our simple meal. Daniel felt badly when he discovered he had forgotten the peanut butter for s’mores, but they were delicious anyway.

I would like to pass along our family favorite salad dressing on to you for use this summer. To us there is nothing like it for salads and, in fact, I like using it as a dip for crackers or veggies or even along side a casserole or however I feel like using it.

SWEET AND SOUR SALAD DRESSING

3 cups salad dressing (like mayo or Miracle Whip)

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1/2 cup vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 teaspoon celery seed

Whip everything together and drizzle on your favorite salad.

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Gloria Yoder

The Amish Cook

Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish go to www.amish365.com.

Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish go to www.amish365.com.