The Good Lord has once again taken a loved one on before us. Uncle Chris passed away Monday, Aug. 25 at age 70. Our deepest sympathy goes to Aunt Lizzie and the family. I have a lot of childhood memories of times spent with Uncle Chris. One of my best memories is of how we would always get together to make homemade apple butter in a big kettle over an open fire.The evening before we would go over to Uncle Chris' and Aunt Lizzie's to peel bushels of apples and then go back early the next morning to start cooking them down. I can still remember the smell of the apples cooking down in the kettle with Uncle Chris stirring them. Apple butter sandwiches were one of our main snacks when coming home from school as children. We also liked apple butter spread on our fried mush for breakfast.

The taste of apple butter just doesn't seem to go so well with my children, but they never went through the stages of seeing it being made in such huge amounts. After the apple butter was done, it was put into quart jars to process and we could enjoy it year-round.

Another memory of Uncle Chris is seeing him and his family driving in their bobsled during the winter months. Sometimes they'd pick us up to go on to church or somewhere with them. It was cozy for all of us children to snuggle in the warm buggy robes on top of bales of straw that were used to sit on.

When it was haying time we'd see them come driving in and also at hog butchering time. We would also go there whenever they needed help with any chores. There are lots more memories and I could go on and on. Uncle Chris is the third of eight children to pass away. He was two years younger than my mother and was her only brother. The funeral will be on Friday in Indiana. This is the second week in a row we will have gone to a funeral in the same community.

Once again, our Heavenly Father is warning us to be ready for our Savior when our time on earth here is done. Jacob and Emma and two of their children, Joe and I and four of our children and brother Albert and Sarah Irene and their youngest child, plan to attend the funeral together.

The Alberts live in a nearby community so we will pick them up on the way there. Meanwhile here in this household we are trying to get everything clean and done for church services which will be held here on Sunday, so it's a busy time. Jacob and Emma came for a couple of hours tonight to help us with final preparations.

Jacob helped Joe set up the church benches in the basement and Emma assisted me with finishing sewing the last of the curtains that I had started. Saturday, daughter Elizabeth will attend the detasseling picnic, so she will be gone for awhile. I am sure everyone will be glad once Saturday evening comes and everything is ready for church services on Sunday.

Meanwhile, try this recipe, which is good for using up some of the zucchinis still being picked in the garden.

Banana Zucchini Bread

4 eggs 2 cups sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 2 medium bananas, mashed, 1 cup

3 cups flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons soda 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini

1 cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl beat eggs, blend in oil and sugar. Add bananas and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into egg mixture. Stir in zucchini and pecans until combined. Pour into two greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

The Amish Cook at Home, Lovina's first cookbook, is now available for preordering through Amazon.com. The cookbook should be available at most bookstores on Oct. 1.

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