Can it be true? My little sister is getting married the day after tomorrow. Twenty-one years ago, I stood by my mother’s bedside in complete awe and wonder; I beheld her tiny face; it was my dream come true. I could hardly believe that Mary Grace was my very own sister. The first question that popped out of my mouth was, “Mom, may I hold her?”
As I cuddled the little bundle who was only born an hour before, my world all came together. Life was complete. Reality knows that life isn’t forever bliss, yet at eight years old, I could play doll with a real baby and a little rocking chair just my size. I rocked away, assuring Mom that I would even take a turn with Mary Grace during the night.
At church, I always made sure I got my fair share of holding her even though the other girls declared that I could have my turn at home. Now a bit embarrassed, I wonder why I wasn’t a bit more considerate of others.
Fast forwarding the clock of time, I’m still pleased to claim Mary Grace as my sister.
She is now on a count down until her wedding day. A month or two ago both her and her fiance made a paper chain just like they did as little children when awaiting a big event. Only this time they made enough paper rings with the exact amount of days remaining until their wedding day, each day they take off one link. Now, at last, there are only two remaining!
On Friday, she will be joined in marriage to a young man who has brought unnumbered stars to her eyes. And guess what? His last name is also Yoder, Mary Grace and I will again have the same last name, even though there is no relation between Jason and Daniel.
If you could take a peek at the young couple this afternoon, you’d be able to see where they are setting up their “eck.” As you may remember, an eck is the corner where the bridal party will be at the reception. You’d love observing it all. Mary Grace is carefully spreading a silver table cloth over their table topped with a lacy white one, next she’ll be setting out their set of dishes. The plates are square in red antique style. Fresh cut flower and white candles on mirrors complete the decor on their eck table. Behind it is a white paneling wall with two red candles on old fashioned holders, more flowers, and their large matrimony motto with their names and wedding date written on the rustic wooden frame gracing a painting with the hands of Jesus outstretched and the words, “I hold your future in my hands, Jesus.”
This forenoon, the children and I got to help set tables for the wedding guests. There are enough settings to accommodate 525 guests. Servers who have been assigned to the job will be serving mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken, salad, fresh fruit mixture, cake, and ice cream. Helping at a wedding is always an honor, yet this time, since I’m an older sister, I do not even need a job. We have the honor of sitting with family at round tables next to the eck.
Julia and Austin are all excited about being sundae servers. They will help serve sundaes to the bridal party. Julia will also help give pens to the guests as they enter the ceremony.
As you can hear, we are busy getting ready for the big day. I had best be on the move and get available for our overnight guests. We will be hosting a family of 10 in our cabin in the woods just beyond the house. Next week, I’ll fill you in more on the events of the long-awaited day.
For now, I’ll pass on the toffee coffee dessert recipe that we will be serving for supper at the wedding. This dessert is a fantastic hit but is entirely too rich and sweet for our family. I omit the sweetened condensed milk for us and use some natural sweetener instead like maple syrup. I also prefer using heaving whipping cream instead of the whipped topping. Oreo cookies and Heath bits are very rare treats at our house that are saved for guests or when taking a dish to a friend’s house. This recipe can easily be adjusted to strike your fancy.
Toffee Coffee Dessert
12 Oreo cookies
1 1/4 cup milk, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1 rounded tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 cups whipped topping
12 ounces heath bits (opt)
Crush cookies and spread in a 10-inch pie plate or container of your choice. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat 1 cup milk until almost boiling. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and coffee. Next, whisk in 1/4 cup milk. Now stir mixture into hot milk and continue heating. Boil one minute or until thickened. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Cool completely and add sweetened condensed milk. Fold in whipped topping and last add heath bits.
Next spread over crushed cookies. Drizzle with caramel and chocolate syrup, if desired swirl with a knife. Freeze overnight or longer. This is a great make-ahead dessert.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427