www.OASISNEWSFEATURES.com theAMISHCOOK.com theHANDWRITINGDOCTOR.com FAMILY DAZE
HOME ABOUT ON CONTACT NEWSPAPERS WRITERS' GUIDELINES LICENSING


DEADLINES AND VISITS

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

Elizabeth and I have been working on completing her first nationally published cookbook for quite sometime. We are now over 18 months past our original deadline for completion. Without the modern amenities of email, phones, and faxes that I am used to dealing with, work on the cookbook has been molasses-slow.

Elizabeth's book will be published by California based Ten Speed Press, famous for its Moosewood and Charlie Trotter titles. I think Elizabeth's book will be first class - if we can ever get it done! It is tentatively slated for a fall 2002 release.

With this looming deadline in mind, I trekked to Elizabeth's last week - the first week of October - with laptop computer in hand. The book is almost done and I thought if I could just bring the battle to her, we might be able to make much quicker progress.

When I arrived at Elizabeth's the "bench-wagon" was still in the driveway. The bench-wagon is a long, black horse-drawn trailer which moves from place to place within Elizabeth's church district. In Amish churches, members hold services in their homes, all taking turns to have it. Whoever is going to have church next can expect the bench-wagon to arrive about a week prior so set-up for services can begin.

Elizabeth just had church services at her home on Sept. 30. That service was one of only two a year that the congregation holds Holy Communion. The Communion service is a slightly longer one that a usually church service. Church members divide into male and female groups where they participate in a foot-washing ritual. Towels are set out for people to dry themselves off. Communion consists of tiny pieces of home-baked bread. A sip of wine symbolizing the blood of Christ is also offered to each member. The wine is stored in dark brown, unlabeled bottles. It was a very poignant, respectful scene to see the aftermath of such a sacred ceremony.

The weather was so delightful on Oct. 3 that Elizabeth and I sat outside at her picnic table. I sat on one side with my laptop and Elizabeth on the other and we just began going through her almost completed cookbook line by line. I read the cookbook to her and she would stop and interject comments or areas for improvement. Elizabeth has written the book by hand, and I've typed it in. It's been a true partnership of different cultures. I was once again struck by the contradiction of this scene, myself with my portable computer still linking me to the 21st century world, Elizabeth on the other side of the table, still in some distant Swiss century. The warm wind of an October Indian summer blew across the surrounding fields. The first colors of autumn were tingeing the trees. Slowly, we began to make progress and get the book done. Stay tuned to this website for further details.

We did take a lunch break, going over to Elizabeth's daughter, Lovina for a quick visit. Four of her children who aren't in school spilled out onto the lawn as soon as we arrived. They played in the shade of her walnut tree, picking up walnuts and showing me how to crack them open with bare hands - a fear I couldn't seem to master. They press two walnuts together between their palms. They gave me a few and I found the walnuts were quite tasty

[For photos of my most recent visit to Elizabeth's, click HERE.]

[To order Elizabeth's second "Best Of" book, click HERE.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor

Oasis Newsfeatures

CLICK HERE FOR NEW PHOTOS IN THE SCRAPBOOK

CLICK HERE FOR THE READER'S Q&A SECTION, ASK ELIZABETH

CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Copyright © 1991-2000, Oasis Newsfeatures. All rights reserved. LEGAL

The contents of this site may not be reproduced in whole or part without express written consent from the author and editor. CONTACT INFO