It is Ascension Day, so we have spent a relaxing day at home. Amish-owned businesses in the area are closed in observance of the day.

It is Ascension Day, so we have spent a relaxing day at home. Amish-owned businesses in the area are closed in observance of the day.

We were very surprised to hear earlier in the week that brother Albert and wife Sarah Irene were bringing in dinner for us today. They brought a delicious meal consisting of chicken, which Joe and Albert grilled, and also potato casserole, corn, salad, dill pickles, cake and ice cream. Joe also put some asparagus and mushrooms on the grill. Our children had a fun day playing together. We don’t get to see each other too often, so this was time well-spent together.

Albert’s family recently had church services at their house a few days after my surgery. We had plans to drive the 20-plus miles by horse and buggy to attend their church services. We had estimated the ride there would have taken our horses around two hours. Our plans were to eat our breakfast as we traveled; it was going to be a meal of homemade “breakfast burritos” we had prepared the evening before. Due to my unexpected surgery, our plans were changed.

We still haven’t been to the new place Albert’s moved to yet. We hope to reschedule and make a buggy trip down there sometime this summer. Maybe we will take a few tents and stay the night. Our children enjoy sleeping outside, but to us adults, we miss that good soft mattress. But the fun it makes for the children is worth a few extra aches and pains.

Tomorrow morning, Joe is planning to take me out to breakfast for my 38th birthday. I told him it is just another day and not necessary, but he thinks it is. Actually I am looking forward to a breakfast I don’t have to fix myself. Although I hope it won’t mean adding a few unwanted calories. I remember my mother always teasing about the middle age at 40. I guess I don’t want to admit I am that close to 40. Joe told me not to worry because the 40s make me even wiser. He turned 40 in December, so maybe that makes truth to the statement that once over the hill, you begin picking up speed.

On the sadder side, our minds went back again once again to my dear father’s death nine years ago this week. He was a great father to us children and a loving husband to our dear mother. Also on May 20, 15 years ago our horse Diamond was born on our parents’ farm. That is where we lived for a few years after we got married.

God’s blessings to all you dear readers. Try this delicious recipe to use up some of your fresh asparagus. Store-bought canned asparagus also can be used. Homemade mushroom soup (yum) can be used in place of store-bought canned.

Layered Asparagus Casserole

2 bunches freshly picked asparagus or 2 (15-ounce) cans of asparagus

6 to 8 hard-boiled eggs

2 (10.75-ounce) cans cream mushroom soup

8 slices cheese

1 cup cracker crumbs

Arrange 1 bunch of asparagus in the bottom of a 9- by 12-inch casserole dish. If you are using canned asparagus, drain it before pouring. If you are using fresh asparagus, cook in a saucepan until tender before putting in it in the casserole dish. Spread 1 can of cream of mushroom soup on top of the asparagus. Then layer asparagus on top of soup layer and then spread next can of soup over the asparagus. Place cheese slices over the mixture and then cover with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Amish Cook

Friend Club

New members are still being sought for The Amish Cook Friend Club. The quarterly newsletter in the year ahead will offer up tips about simpler, self-sustaining living and Amish “recession recipes.” The support levels have been streamlined and simplified this year:

• $25 Basic: Thank-you letter and a Lovina Eicher name card.

• $50 Gold: Thank-you letter, name card and quarterly newsletter, The Amish Cook Extra.

• $75 Editor’s Circle: Thank-you letter, name card and single sheet 2010 wall calendar with picture.

Membership dues can be sent to: Oasis Newsfeatures, P.O. BOX 2144, Middletown, OH 45042.