www.OasisNewsfeatures.com | The Amish Cook | The Kitchen Scientist | Family Daze | Guest Writer

HOME | ABOUT ON | CONTACT | NEWSPAPERS | WRITERS | LICENSING

BEATING THE JULY HEAT

It was a steamy July afternoon when myself, my girlfriend, my brother, and his wife piled into the car for a visit to Elizabeths. My sister-in-law is expecting a baby this November. I figured if anyone can give advice on having and raising children, it would be Elizabeth, with her large, happy family.

We were a little concerned about the heat, the mercury rose to a sweltering 96 on the day of our visit. Readers have also wondered how Elizabeth and her family deal with sizzling summer days. Terrie from Kansas City asks:

"How do the Amish stay cool in this summer heat, without electricity? She still talks about using the oven to bake. I would be very uncomfortable without a fan of some sort, and I quit using my oven over a month ago. She never mentions being hot, only about being cold in the winter, and the amount of rainfall they get. Just wondering!"

Ive visited Elizabeth many times during summer months, and Ive never found the conditions to be unbearable. Many Amish homes are deliberately designed to be refuges from the heat, situated under broad shade trees or atop a bluff to maximize the breeze. Elizabeths son Amos has a large home atop a bluff. All windows are kept open to allow a cool cross breeze, even on the hottest days. I showed Terries email to Elizabeth and she did bring up a good point about the stoves:

"I usually cook out in the shed," Elizabeth says. The Coblentzes have a large shed a short walk from the kitchen. In the shed are some portable cooking stoves, which allow the warm ovens to radiate their heat someplace other than the living quarters during the summer. Elizabeth also shared memories of the days when her children were younger and living at home and they would sometimes sleep in the damp, cool cellar to beat the heat. Elizabeths cellar is a cool, musty oasis from any hot summer day. On my most recent visit, Elizabeth and I had some work to do on her upcoming cookbook, and I almost asked Elizabeth if she wouldnt mind working on the book in her cellar simply so we would be cooler. But Elizabeths daughter Emma prevented that by supplying us with an old-standby for beating the heat: a tall, frosty pitcher of lemonade.

In other Coblentz news , Elizabeth was in good health and spirits when I saw her on July 21st. She just turned 65 and her newspaper column turned 10 years old this month.

Elizabeth has received a few unfavorable comments from church members about "her presence" on the Internet. I have this explanation posted elsewhere on the website, but it bears repeating: Elizabeth has nothing to do with maintaining this website. I do all the content work. Elizabeth supplies content only when I take your emails to her and she answers them. Even then, she is only verbally answering the emails, while I write down her answer and enter it into my computer when I get home. I am very vigilante about maintaining Elizabeths privacy and abiding by her church doctrine.

While Elizabeth and I were working on her upcoming cookbook, my girlfriend, brother and wife went to Emma and Jacobs to see a newborn foal.

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