Thursday, January 12, 2017

_The Hancock News_ Column-- January 11, 2017

I’m a crybaby. While I don’t cry as easily or as often as I used to, every once in a while, those tears just have to fall.

For Christmas we received the Stottlemyer calendar that Aunt Patty makes. The yearly gift has the birthdays, anniversaries, and current pictures of everybody in my husband’s large family. As I eagerly flipped through the months, I noticed that our wedding anniversary looked awfully lonely by itself on that square in August. You see, we were married on Grandpa Bill’s birthday. I was overwhelmed by sudden grief, remembering Grandpa’s passing, and I cried.

Then on Saturday I fought back the tears again, but for an entirely different reason. Our large van isn’t the easiest of our vehicles for me to drive, and let’s just say it prefers dry, paved roads to icy and muddy dirt driveways. For the second year in a row, I managed to get the van hung up in our friends’ driveway for butchering day.

There I was, trying to rock the van back and forth just enough to gain some traction, and all the while I had an audience. I was stressed out, to say the least, and I soon admitted defeat, leaving the van mess for my husband to deal with while I, with my tail between my legs, retreated inside so I wouldn’t have to watch. If my audience hadn’t been kind friends, I’m pretty sure the tears that threatened would have spilled over, and it’s possible I might have died from embarrassment.

And sometimes I cry because of the beauty of it all. That happened this morning at church. I watched as my husband baptized a precious baby. I watched that baby and her family, I held my own squirming and Cheez-It-covered little ones, and I simply couldn’t hold all the happy inside. All the beauty and promise in life spilled right out as tears.

And that’s the kind of crying I like to do. In this new year, may all your tears, or at least most of them, be those joyful tears born of delight and wonder and pure happiness.


At the hog-butchering this year, as usual, pies took center stage (that is, after the contents of the puddin’ pot). I would say my favorite was the raisin pie; this year my friend didn’t realize until too late that she had golden raisins instead of the regular kind, but that pie did not suffer. If anything, it was even better!

I stayed up the night before baking cherry pie, pumpkin pie, and because I had some extra crust and no fruit thawed out, this Bob Andy pie. I think I got the recipe online a few years ago, but I have no idea what’s behind the name. It’s a simple pie filling that’s easy to make, and the best part is that you’ll most likely have all the ingredients on hand.

Bob Andy Pie

3 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (9 or 10- inch) unbaked pie shell

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325℉. Crack eggs in a medium bowl and whisk. Whisk in milk. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt and whisk into milk mixture.

Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake until custard has set and crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and serve at room temperature or chilled.


  1. I read this post and thought I remembered having the recipe for Bob Andy in an amish cookbook I have and that it mentioned where the name had come from. So, I dug it out and was disappointed to see that the only thing it said was, "no one has been able to explain the name". The mystery continues, I guess.

    And if it's any consolation, I'm a crybaby, too. I cried reading this and thinking how happy I am that you're my friend and how proud I am of your writing.

    1. Awww. . . thanks :) Now you made me tear up!

      And about the pie, sometimes the fun names are the ones that can't be explained.