County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Amish Cook-Cheesy Chicken Stew


My kitchen is torn to pieces; everything is a huge mess.

Before you get worried, though, I’m having an amazing day! Thanks to the kindness and generosity of those who had never met us, I am getting brand-new kitchen cabinets. Yes, it’s true, and it’s today. 

When I was a little girl, my maternal grandpa made and installed cupboards for the house my dad built for us.

Twenty-four years later the children helped me empty them and used the empty spots for hiding places. When my cousin Josh and his family came one evening, our children were nowhere to be seen. When I wouldn’t tell them where they were, they started looking for them. Soon three-year-old Joshua’s muffled voice could be heard, “Josh, up here!” Door after door was opened, as pleased faces peered out at their guests.

As of last night, those cupboards were all removed, floors have been scrubbed where the cupboards had been, and today, a new leaf has been turned.

Last fall, when I received a phone call from a cabinet shop in Indiana about them making cabinets for us, they asked whether I could come the following day to pick out what I wanted. What? Could this be real? I called the driver and planned to take the three little boys with me.

It was a day to remember, thinking, talking, and debating, but today is even better. Early this morning, little ones in pajamas peered out the windows and watched in wonder as two boys carried piece after piece from the trailer to the house. The children’s handprints and my note to Daniel on the wall would be covered by the cabinets, but that’s okay; we know it’s there. I told the children that perhaps one day they can show their children the handprints should they ever need to replace the cupboards.

I am down to counting the hours until I can fill the cupboards with kitchen supplies. There should be ample space since I hadn’t had an island before. I constantly try to cut back on the number of dishes stored in my cabinets. There are some specific dishes that I like, but then if I hardly use them, what value do they have? Collecting dust is only natural and will occur to anything stored. Who likes cleaning extra stuff?

A few years ago, Daniel and I had chosen rustic gray flooring that looked like slabs of wood pieced together. Now I had debated on the color of cabinets to go with it. I enjoy dark, woodsy shades, but I didn’t want anything that showed too many fingerprints and water stains; after all, our kitchen gets used heavily daily. I finally settled with a medium gray/ brown in knotty hickory wood.

This morning as those first pieces were towed to the house, I was amazed how well the color and style blended well with the flooring and pink-rose walls (somehow, I never outgrew my liking for pink, so Daniel had cheered me on to color the kitchen in the color I liked). Today, I smiled; I knew Daniel would be pleased with his wife enjoying a new kitchen. Isn’t that something? On our wait to heaven, there are many things along the way, some brutal, many complicated, and yes, also joys to thank God for.

 When the Lehmans and both set parents came to help remove the old cabinets, Mom had prepared a soothing stew for all of us. Here’s a recipe for you to try tonight!


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