Letters from Home

November 13, 2017

Dear Friends Far & Near,

     It certainly feels like winter is here. We had a cold 21° on Friday morning which froze the kale that was still in the garden, and we had snow flurries throughout the day. Brrr! It looked pretty but cold. Are we ready for it?

     A few of the events in the area are:

       - The Christmas Live Nativity Parade on November 24 in Berlin

       - Journey to Bethlehem on December 1 & 2 in Walnut Creek

       - Shopping Under the Stars on December 8 in Berlin

       - Christmas in Baltic on December 16 in Baltic

     This Fall season has gone by so fast. Next week is Thanksgiving already and then soon it will be Christmas.

     Last week the church Ladies had a sewing day again and now that the outside work is done it is good time to get started with stitching and sewing projects. Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) is always in need of comforters and clothing bundles to ship to needy people around the world. 

     Would any of you readers want to share what you do with Star Anise? Do you grind them or how are they used? Thank you for a reply.

     Yesterday afternoon I was out for a walk. Alongside the road was a cornfield that had not yet been picked and the dry leaves rustled softly in the slight breeze. The sky was overcast with a few openings in the clouds where the blue sky was visible. A herd of cows in the field were peacefully grazing with the exception of a few that were contentedly laying down. Suddenly I heard the distress call of the American Kestrel. Only then did I notice how calm and quiet everything else was. 

     The coming cold weather is a good time for soup.

     Taco Soup

     • 1 to 2 lbs. hamburger, seasoned & browned

     • 1 quart water

     • 1 quart pizza sauce

     • 1 can hot chili beans or pork & beans

     • 1 pkg or 3 to 4 Tablespoons taco seasoning

Simmer for 15 minute. Serve with shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese, sour cream or taco chips.


Quote: "Always begin each day anew, as each morning is new."

Happy Thanksgiving to All.

- Sovilla

Letters from Home

October 16, 2017

Good Afternoon Everyone, 

     This morning was cool, 48° before dawn. At daylight, the clouds were scattered and the underside was dark, causing them to look cold. 

     The leaves on the trees have started to change color and a lot have already fallen to the ground. The Black Walnut trees behind my house are pretty well bare. There were lots of nuts on the ground, a bountiful harvest for the squirrels.

     Now after lunch I stepped outside the front door at the store and we are enjoying a beautiful Fall day. October clear blue sky with fluffy white clouds. It is warm int he sunshine but the air is cool. Across the road is a young man whipping down the tall weeds in the pasture with a weed-eater.

     Work in the fields and gardens is winding down. One farmer sowed oats for a cover crop. The recent rains we had really gave the fall gardens a boost. The radishes got a second growth spurt, some are quite big. 

     There are not as many events in the area except Berlin will have Christmas Open House on November 10 - 11.

     Cooler weather is also time to think about serving bowls of steaming hot soups for dinner. On Saturday, we will be having French Onion soup to sample at the Ashery, served with a seasoned croutons and mozzarella cheese. It is a very tasty soup. This mix also works well as an ingredient in meatloaf, pot roast, Salisbury steak or as a marinade for steak or pork chops. 

     For folks that look for ways to be frugal and healthful here is a recipe for a homemade mouth wash that I found and thought it may be of interest to you.

• ½ cup water

• 2 teaspoons baking soda

• 2 drops of Tea Tree oil

• 2 drops of Peppermint oil

Keep in a dark place or a dark glass bottle.

Tip: Slowly sipping 4 oz. hot peppermint tea shortly after a meal aids in digestion.

Quote from a flip calendar: "In autumn, nature is painted by one skilled, unseen hand."

Have a bountiful fall season, 

- Sovilla

Letters from Home

September 16, 2017

Good Morning Everyone, 

     This is Saturday morning and we got up to a foggy morning. Yesterday morning was quite foggy also, but turned out to be a beautiful day and I believe today willl be the same. 

     We have been so richly blessed, my heart goes out to the folks that were in the storms in Flordia and Texas, etc. I talked to a lady here in the store that lives in Houston and her house did not get flooded but her neighbors on either side of her did.  It is comforting to know that God is in control. Psalms 34:18 "The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit."

     Some of the farmers have started cutting corn and filling the the silos.

     Some of the gardens are getting cleaned out, at least parts of them, and sown with a cover crop to keep the weeds from taking over and it is also good nourishment for the soil when it gets tilled under in the Spring. Some folks like to have a Fall garden also and those plants look good. I want to sow some lettuce yet. Radishes are started looking good. 

     A few of the activities in our area include: The Mid-Ohio Horse Sale from October 3-7 at Mt. Hope. The Ohio Swiss festival in Sugarcreek on September 29-30. The Apple Dumpling Festival in Shreve on September 29. The Fall Festival at The Farm at Walnut Creek on October 6,7,9 and 13, 14 in Walnut Creek. And don't forget our Fall Harvest Sale on September 21 - 23 at the Ashery!

     A few of our store visitors were: a lady from Hungary that could speak German and we tried to see if we could converse in German. Folks that were from England came in with their friends that are regular customers here. Also folks from Wyoming and Canada. It is always interesting to meet folks that have never been here before. One forenoon we had 3 different parites that were new. 

     I found a recipe that helps use up zucchini, it is called Zucchini Pie.

4 cups zucchini, shredded; 1 cup onion, chopped; ½ cup butter. Sauté 10 minutes then add: 2 eggs lightly beaten, 8 oz. shredded cheese, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon basil, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder.

Crust: 1 Tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup milk, 1½ cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 3 Tablespoon shortening.

Mix crust ingredients and pat into 9" pie pan. Spread 2 Tablespoons mustard over pie shell. Pour zucchini mixture into shell and bake at 350° for 35 - 40 minutes.

This recipe is taken out of the Family Life Magazine.

Thought: "Here is the test to find out whether your mission on earth is finished. If you are alive, it isn't." - Richard Bach

Have A Good Day!

- Sovilla