Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Highlight - A Ladies' Conference

A few weeks ago a group of our church ladies attended an incredible Ladies Conference hosted by my sister-in-law's church about an hour from my home.

The theme was "Treasures of Time" which was designed to help ladies deal with the stresses of the "instant, pre-packaged and over-processed" age we live in. We focused on going back to the simple byegone days when the Bible was not only read and heard, but respected and heeded. Our guest speakers were Dr. Ron and Mrs. Jean Ostten of Little Rock, Arkansas and together they have done just that - without wavering, compromising or quitting for over 40 years!

Mrs. Jean is an excellent Bible teacher and along with all her practical life experiences she imparted a treasure box full of wisdom and admonitions.

And Dr. Ostten preached an awesome message on Mary and Martha - and their attitudes in Luke 10:38,39.

And as always at this Ladies' Conference, there's always time for fun! This year, in keeping with the theme of getting back to the basics, we had to work for our supper.

We divided into two groups. One group had the privilege of making butter with fresh cream from the cow and the other homemade bread!

This was just plain fun......

Once the "butter group" got into a rhythm, they began singing and clapping as they took their turn at the churn. In about 30-40 minutes the cream was ready to be processed.

They had to use wooden paddles to press out the buttermilk. And then it was pressed into the molds to be chilled for supper. Doesn't it look delicious? (Check out those aprons... aren't they cute?)

I was in the breadmaking group. The recipe we used was from my husband's great-grandmother and instead of kneading the bread it was thrown and beaten for about 15 minutes. Since there were four groups making the bread, the flour was flying!!

After beating the bread, we smoothed the dough into a ball and placed it in a greased bowl to rise. (I had my doubts if ours would stand the test but even after a few mis-steps, I realized that this recipe was fool-proof).

Here it is, all puffed up! This was a good sign. We punched it down again and divided it up into our bread pans to rise again.

Here is our bread table!

Altogether we baked over 16 loaves of bread for our group. I normally do bake my own special brown bread (made with molasses and oatmeal) at home, but for everyday bread I find it at the store. And the same is true for our butter.

We all agreed that in days gone by there wasn't much idle time because so much effort was put into feeding and clothing our families. And when we sat down to supper that evening, we all had a greater appreciation for our meal knowing the effort we had all put into it.

But I for one am glad for the time we live in now....I like having it easy.

Thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this conference a success... I know I'm already looking forward to next year.



Kelli said...

What a fun event, Jessica! The bread and butter looks delicious!

Julie Fink said...

What a wonderful event!

Starr said...

Even though that was a lot of work, it still looks like it was a lot of fun! I would love to try churning my own butter some time, just to say I've done it.

Muum said...

THere are few things I enjoy as much as a women's gathering. looks like you had a great time! thanks for your visit and comments.