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Preparing for a Photo-shoot

Elizabeth's first-ever nationally-released cookbook is getting closer and closer to completion. The last task is to take photographs for the book. Ten Speed Press the book's publisher is sending a professional photographer to Elizabeth's next month to get pictures for the book. Most of you are probably aware of the photographic prohibitions that the Amish observe. They don't allow photographs to be taken of themselves, believing it to be vain. So you can imagine the challenge the photographer will face.

I visited Elizabeth on May 29 to prepare her for the photo-shoot. The photographer will be at Elizabeth's for five days, taking snapshots of Elizabeth's barns, kitchen utensils, farm animals, and artifacts of everyday life - but no people photos. Ten Speed Press has been very sensitive to the situation, but I still think the final product will be wonderfully rich, rare and insightful glimpse into the life of an Amish family. Stay tuned to this website for more details about the upcoming book.

Meanwhile, after preparing Elizabeth for the photographer's visit, we took some time to visit some of her family. The first stop was daughter Lovina's. Lovina's house is always a hive of activity, with 5 children under age 7. When my girlfriend, Rachel, and I, arrived at Lovina's, Elizabeth's daughter, Emma, was also there with her four children. One was her newborn baby, Benjamin, born just two weeks ago. Rachel held the small bundle, dressed smartly in tiny hand-sewn overalls and a hunter green hand-made shirt. We waited for Lovina's oldest daughter, Elizabeth, age 6, to arrive home from school. She proudly shared with us some of her projects and graded work on this last day of school before the long summer ahead.

Elizabeth and her younger sisters also showed Rachel and I a dozen young "chicks" they recently received from someone at school. The 10 hens and 2 roosters are happily scratching around Lovina and Joe's farm.

Rachel and I also visited with Elizabeth's oldest daughter, Leah. I helped myself to 3 of Leah's daughter's homemade mouth-melting chocolate chip cookies. Such a tough job I have!

For regular readers of Elizabeth's newspaper column, you know that gardens in her area of Indiana have been swamped with rain this spring. So nothing is growing well, except for rhubarb. The Amish Cook's rhubarb patch is robust. To see snapshots of Elizabeth's rhubarb and the chicks at Lovina's, CLICK HERE.

Also, go to the Ask Elizabeth section for updated questions and answers.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures