Embracing the sun after the storm


Gloria’s mother, Dorcas Raber, has been taking over her weekly column while she works hard maintaining her family and prepping for the holiday season. Please enjoy this week’s column about prepping for an Amish wedding and a recipe for raspberry-white chocolate cupcakes.

Last week I wrote about our daughter Anna Faith’s wedding, I wanted to write more about it. Gloria will return next week!

Thinking about Anna Faith’s wedding makes my mind go back to 35 years ago, when it was our very own wedding day. How we worked to get the homeplace spick and span. I so remember the storm that unlashed its fury the evening before. Yet I also remember sunshine on our wedding day. Isn’t that how real life is? We face storms in life, storms that are devastating, yet alongside flow the blessings. And somehow the storms enrich our lives and are treasures of darkness. David and I have faced many storms the past 35 years in our own lives or our children’s or circumstances around us. But one thing remains etched eternally, God is always good. He grieves with us, cares deeply, and if we allow Him he always brings beauty out of ashes. I believe in Him with all my heart.

Coming back to our wedding day, my Dad owned and operated “Woodland Woodcrafts” where he made kitchen cabinets, bedroom suites, etc. Before our wedding we shined up that shop and that’s where the wedding guests gathered and observed my Dad, who is an Amish bishop, unite David and I in marriage.

We were young, rather naïve in some ways, but eager to start this new chapter in our lives. Our wedding reception was in Dad and Mom’s ranch house. We had set up the bridal table and other tables in the basement. On our bridal table were two treasured Hurricane Lamps. My mom had used them on her bridal table 26 years earlier. And now all three of us sisters have used them on our bridal tables. Many memories of our wedding day are forgotten or only a blur but one thing I do know and remember, I was awed to be married to my best friend and a I am still blessed.

Back to Anna Faith’s wedding… several days before the wedding, I went through some “trauma” with the wedding cupcakes. (I really believe that God uses adverse circumstances to teach us lessons!) I had asked two young girls of our church, along with our daughter Keturah, to help me with the cupcakes. We went to a nearby bakery that I had asked permission to use, and plunged into the project. The cupcakes were to be baked that day, then filled and frosted on a later day. Alas! – the first batch, and the next, and the next, and on… did not turn out right. Never in all my 56 years had I seen such cupcakes! Odd shaped, and simply anything except elegant wedding cupcakes. I started feeling stressed out, very, very stressed. Daniel, Gloria, and their children stopped by to see how things were going. Daniel, being a practical man, said it appears that the ovens are too hot. A phone call to the bakery owner’s wife confirmed that yes indeed we had not set the temperature (and maybe not the blower?) to the right setting on these confectionary ovens! Dozens of odd-shaped cupcakes stared at me, and I got a brainstorm. I sent the three girls, the remaining cake mixes, and the cupcakes pans out the door, and over to our community building, that has two “plain Jane” gas ovens. Daughter Anna Faith was in town, and bought more cake mixes. My traumatized brain needed to be alone, so I cleaned up the mess in the bakery after the girls left, as well as pulling out some very nice cupcakes out of the one plain gas stove that was there! Several hours later, those three dear girls had baked dozens of lovely wedding cupcakes!

What a blessing!! The odd shaped ones will be convenient to use at Church frolics, etc.

Anna Faith leaving home means we only have one child left at home (we are so thankful for 15 year old Keturah!) We now have six married children and 16 grandchildren. Quite a tribe!

Tomorrow, I am planning to paint the walls of what used to be Anna Faith’s bedroom. One of my girls will help, so it shouldn’t take long. We want to paint it with a medium raspberry shade. Then I have a project lined up, to do in that room this winter… my mom has pieced many, many, quilts. In fact, she has given me four quilts. One is an embroidered one, that I helped embroider when I was a teenager at home. The loveliest one actually hangs on our bedroom wall – yes, on the wall. It has shades of blues, rose, and pink. Recently, I spent several days with my parents, who live in Ohio. Mom showed me four finished quilts that she had made, as well as three that were pieced, but not quilted. She wanted to give one to Lucas and Faith as a wedding gift from her and Dad. She doesn’t quilt anymore, but she has passed down her love for quilting to me, even though I don’t do a lot. I got this inspiration that I would like to take a quilt home that isn’t quilted, and have that as a winter project. I chose a beautiful quilt top with colors of pink & gray. It will be a keepsake wedding gift for Anna Faith, pieced by grandma. And I am eager to spend hours – hours of stitching with love.

And now for a recipe – well yes, why wouldn’t it be a cupcake recipe? We just followed the directions on the cake mix box for our cupcakes, but here’s a deluxe recipe that my sister Rhoda used for her daughter’s wedding. We filled our white cupcakes with black raspberry pie filling, then frosted them with whipped whip ‘n ice that was swirled with a little of black raspberry filling.

Festive Raspberry-White Chocolate Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix

3 egg whites

1/2 cup oil

1 1/4 cups water

1/3 cup white chocolate instant pudding

3 ounces white chocolate candy wafers

2 tablespoons butter

one can of black raspberry pie filling, store-bought or homemade

Mix first 5 ingredients.

Melt wafers and butter together.

Add to batter.

Fill muffin tins with batter.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

When baked and cooled, use a cupcake or cake decorating bag ang tip, and fill with black raspberry pie filling.

Frost with your favorite icing. The photos above were frosted with a blend of Whip N Ice swirled with raspberry pie filling


By Dorcas Raber

The Amish Cook

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