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THE AMISH COOK
BY LOVINA EICHER
This is Friday, July 15th around 4:30 p.m. Today is our 18th anniversary. It is also brother Albert’s birthday. Daughters Elizabeth, 17, and Susan, 15, are still not home from detasseling corn. They leave at 6 a.m. every morning and work 6 days a week. It makes for some tired girls at night. Verena, 13, and Loretta, 11, have been helping me with my work. Today we did the laundry and the weekly cleaning.
The clothes are dry and folded and put away.
Joe and the three boys left to take two of our horses, Ginger and Diamond, to be reshod. He had one horse pulling the buggy and the other hitched behind. The ride was probably about 4 miles.
It seems pretty quiet around here now. I thought I’d take this time now to write the column while I try to decide what to fix for supper. We have sweet corn that is ready so I think that might be on the menu. We are having cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, and red potatoes as our garden goodies now. Also we are still having peas, onions, and lettuce. My green peppers and hot peppers are ready to use. Our tomatoes are coming along and are a little slow in getting ready. It seems that first tomato takes forever to get ripe enough to pick.
Yesterday was son Benjamin’s 12th birthday. We still need to celebrate his birtthday as I was gone from 6 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Daughter Verena had several appointments at Mott’s Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. The doctors decided to do an MRI on her foot. In order to do this in the same day we just waited in between the appointments, it was a long day. We also took Verena to Ann Arbor on Tuesday where she saw the neurologist. Her effects from the brain concussion seems to have healed and the effects of her post-concussion have been gone for six weeks now. She did lose the past year of her memory, though. She has problems with her right foot now. She has no feeling from her knee on down in her foot and leg. The MRI results will let the doctors know what the next step to do is. She has been going to physical therapy twice a week for the last month.
Joe and the boys have been doing some fishing since Joe has not been working at the factory this week. Every time they come home with around 25- 30 bluegill. I fix them for supper. I’ve made a couple of meals for us.
We received the news of Aunt Catherine’s death, age 75. She was my Dad’s sister. There are now 3 of Dad’s 13 siblings that have passed away. God has a plan for each one of us. May we put our trust in him and accept the plan he has. Our sympathy goes to the family. We will attend the funeral tomorrow which is around 60 miles from here.
We are unpacked from our recent Florida trip but not caught up with the garden. The weeds have taken over and I need to can green beans next week. And right behind that pickles should be next on the list. The dill I planted is growing very well which will be nice for making the dill pickles. We still talk about the ocean and how we enjoyed it all. It was something we will remember all of our lives.
The girls just came home from detasseling so I should get supper started. Zucchinis are starting to become abundant in the garden, this is sort of my own made up recipe for zucchini casserole, but everyone seemed to like it. I hope you do too!
ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE
1 pound hamburger, browned
1 medium onion, diced (add to hamburger)
1 package of taco seasoning (add to hamburger)
1 green pepper, diced
6 cups shredded zucchini
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Shredded cheese of your choice (16 ounces)

Layer everything in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Posted with permission from Oasis Newsfeatures for Amish Stories. Richard from Amish Stories.



New post on Friday of the Intercourse Heritage festival part 2, along with a history of the town.





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THE AMISH COOK

BY LOVINA EICHER

It is a hot, humid Memorial Day afternoon as I write this. The younger children have tubs of water warming in the sun so they can have a water battle to cool off later on. Meanwhile, sons Benjamin and Joseph are taking turns mowing the grass. The girls are getting in the laundry, folding it and putting it away. My husband Joe is tilling the garden so I can put out plants later today. I have 80 tomato plants, 38 green peppers, 10 cabbage plants, and 64 hot pepper plants put out. It has been so wet and rainy this past week that only just now has the garden dried out for me to get the plants in.

I am sitting outside at my new patio table writing this column. The table is at the southeast corner of our L-shaped porch. It is a very breezy spot and feels good when the weather is so hot. Verena has her hummingbird feeder hung on the porch which really attracts the hummingbirds. I like to watch them flutter about. The feeder was a gift to Verena and watching it and caring for it has become a pastime to her since she has been getting around with the aid of crutches these days. Several weeks ago her right foot started swelling up and was very painful. We had x-rays taken and it doesn’t show a fracture. We have also had quite a few blood tests taken and they show that her CPK level is very high. She has an appointment next week at a rheumatologist and hour away from here. We are hoping they will find out what is causing her foot to swell up and be painful like this.

Thursday, June 2 it will be a year since her brain concussion. She still has post-concussions but she is able to attend school during them now. Another step to recovery that we are very thankful for. We also appreciate all the information readers have sent about this condition. We would also be glad to hear more information of any kind from readers. Doctors say Verena is a very rare case and it would be helpful to hear from others who have gone through the same ordeal.

Tuesday evening we took supper in to Jacob and Emma’s with it being a year since the passing of dear, sweet Marilyn. We thought we might cheer them and make their evening go faster. Our neighbor, Glen, then came with a flower for Jacob’s while we were there. His wife had also passed away that same spring. We invited him to stay and eat with us. The children enjoyed the balloons he made into animals for them. The children kept him busy all night. We took a potato casserole, mixed vegetables, broccoli-cauliflower salad, watermelon, and ice cream to Emma and Jacob‘s. We also took two rose bushes for them to plant in honor of Marilyn.

Saturday sister Liz, Levi and family came from Berne, Indiana to visit Emma and Jacob. They told Jacob and Emma that they would bring supper in with them. My sisters Susan, and Verena, and our family decided to go also and help with supper. Jacob and Emma were surprised to see brother Albert, Sarah Irene, and 7 children arrive also, driving in with horse and buggy from a nearby community. Albert’s live around 25 miles from here. On the menu Saturday night was grilled pork steak and hot dogs, French fries, potato-asparagus casserole, lettuce salad, watermelon, cake, chocolate chip bars, ice cream, and so forth. Alberrt’s and Levi’s all stayed at Susan and Verena’s house for the night. Although some of the children stayed at our house and at Jacob’s. In the forenoon Sunday we all enjoyed a brunch at Susan and Verena’s house. They made a big breakfast casserole for everyone Also on the menu was watermelon, muskmelon, biscuits, cheese, and cake. It was rainy evening at Jacob’s on Saturday but Sunday turned out to be nice and sunny. In the afternoon Verena and Susan grilled hamburgers for everyone before heading for home. And also on the menu were French fries, ice cream, cake, watermelon, muskmelon, and chips. The children enjoyed making s’mores over the fire pit.

Albert’s had a two hour drive back home with their buggy and horses and Levi’s had a 2-hour drive also but with a hired driver and van. The children were all tired and ready for a good night’s sleep.

This morning we slept in later than usual since no one had to leave for work or school. God’s blessings to all. Try this broccoli-cauliflower salad that I brought over to Emma and Jacob’s.

BROCCOLI-CAULFLOWER SALAD

For the salad:

1 fresh bunch broccoli, chopped

1 bunch cauliflower, chopped

1/2 cup bacon bits

2 cups grated cheese

1 small onion, diced

For the sauce:

1 cup sour cream

1 cup salad dressing

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the salad: Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well until everything is tossed together evenly. For the sauce: In a separate bowl, mix sauce ingredients together and pour over salad. Toss so that sauce is distributed evenly.

Note: This is a cold salad and requires no heating.
The Amish Cook is Published on Amish Stories with permission from Oasis Newsfeatures. Richard from Amish Stories.

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BY LOVINA EICHER

The mercury on our thermometer dipped down to 39 degrees this morning. After having had warm weather last week it makes it feel even colder. The sun is shining and it looks like it might warm up. I am hoping it will as we have an extra big laundry. With all the rainy days last week we couldn’t do any laundry the latter part of the week. The rains did help the gardens, though, and we do have corn, potatoes, green beans peeping through. We had our first taste of radishes and are also enjoying our winter onions. A reader asked about the winter onions. I didn’t start mine from seeds. I had a friend bring us starts and now every spring they come up in the same place.

The rain has also kept the rhubarb growing really well. We put 16 pounds of rhubarb into juice last week which made 25 quarts. We all like it so much that I hope to have enough rhubarb to do quite a few more batches. I would also like to make rhubarb jam to supply us for another year. Every year I am adding a little less sugar to my rhubarb juice. I think the pineapple, orange juice, and gelatin in the recipe already have a lot of sugar so there‘s no need to add additional. We now have our gas refrigerator and freezer repaired and working again in the basement. It helps to have extra refrigerator space to put eggs and also more room to put food when preparing for company or church. After not having it in use for a couple of years we are glad to have it back.

Daughter Lovina is making sure to remind us that her birthday is this week. She will be 7 on Wednesday, May 18th. We have been living here in Michigan for over 7 years now. Lovina decided to be born three weeks earlier than expected and I had to have an emergency c-section. I still had all of my baby clothes packed from the move. We had moved here around 8 weeks earlier. Due to complications Lovina and I ended up being in the hospital a week.

I remember it was June before I planted any garden but I still had a lot of good produce that year. Ladies from the community also shared with us. When Lovina was 7 weeks old I had surgery again to remove my gall bladder. My sisters pitched in and helped me a lot while I recovered. Every time Lovina’s birthday comes around I think about the way it was the year she was born. She has brought us a lot of sunshine. She is a kindergartener and is reading one book after another. In her free time she likes to read and write which I think she must have inherited from me. I will have my 40th birthday on Sunday. Where have all of these years went to so fast? Lovina wants cupcakes for her birthday and also wants treat classmates with cupcakes, so we’ll be busy baking.

Daughter Susan has completed her eighth grade year which she is happy about. She now spends all her free time training our miniature pony, Tiger. He has calmed down a lot and Susan is now going down the road line driving him. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by cars and trucks passing him. I’m not sure how he will do once he passes big tractors.

This is a great recipe for using up your rhubarb. There are three parts to the recipe and the instructions are correct, the dessert needs to be baked 3 separate times!

HOMEMADE RHUBARB TORTE

CRUST

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 cup margarine

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix the ingredients well and then pess into a 9 X 13 pan and bake for about 12 minutes at 350.

FILLING:

5 cups rhubarb, chopped

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons flour

6 egg yolks

1 6 ounce can evaporated milk

Combine chopped rhubarb, sugar, flour, egg yolks, and milk until creamy in consistency. Pour over crust and bake for 45 minutes at 350.

TOPPING

6 egg whites

3 /4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 /4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Beat egg whites till stiff and add sugar, vanilla, and cream of tartar. Spread over top of baked

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THE AMISH COOK

BY LOVINA EICHER

It is a very nice sunny day in May. Looks like a promising day to do laundry. Gardens are being put out later than usual this spring because of all the rainy, wet weather recently. We finally managed to get more of ours planted on Friday evening and Saturday. The whole family pitched in and helped. With eight children helping to plant it did not take long. We put out four different varieties of corn. This is the first time I am trying the “Northern Extra Sweet” so we will see how we like it. This is an early corn. Each year I like to put out some Seneca Arrowhead which is also an early season corn. We also put out Bodacious and Incredible corn which will be ready later in the season.

Other vegetables we planted include red potatoes, lettuce, radishes, green beans, peas, red beets, cucumbers, and eight pounds of onions. I still want to plant carrots, zucchini, pumpkins, and watermelon. Then I want to go get my tomatoes, peppers and cabbage plants from the local greenhouse. On our menu now is asparagus and winter onions. Rhubarb is also still in full swing so I hope to get some rhubarb juice canned this week. It will be a busy spring and a lot of cleaning to do preparing for church services which will be held at our home in six weeks. The children have 18 days of school left which excites them.

We attended daughter Lovina’s kindergarten class play on Thursday evening. They all did a wonderful job! Such a cute age to see them sing and act out plays. Meanwhile, I had a Pampered Chef party here on Wednesday and it was a good turn-out for the person giving the presentation. I am receiving a lot of free dishes from Pampered Chef. The item I am most excited about is the 12 inch covered skillet. It will be put to use a lot around here.

Friday evening we had visitors after supper. They were Joe’s sister Loretta, Henry, and family and Joe’s sister Susan and sons. They brought snacks, visited, and just wanted to see how daughter Verena was doing. This past Sunday we attended Communion services which is usually an all day church service. Before we mothers left for home we had to take a wooden cutting board home with us for a Mother’s Day gift. These were all hand made by our bishop. I had another surprise from my children although I think my husband Joe had a helping hand in it. On our porch was a seven piece patio and dining room set with swivel chairs. They all also made cards for me. The words these cards have written on them make me proud to be the mother of these eight precious children. Having a patio set on my front porch was something I had always dreamed about. I remember telling daughter Elizabeth while we were shopping in town how someday I would like something like that on my front porch. When they told me to come on the porch I suspected maybe a potted flower but was really surprised to see this patio set.

My 40th birthday will be on May 22 so my children decided to get my Mother’s Day gift and birthday gift together. I must get busy as tomorrow daughters Susan, Elizabeth, and I am going to help clean a neighbor’s house. We will leave soon after the children head for school so we must get busy with today’s work. We will be giving the house a thorough cleaning, washing walls, cleaning furniture. Joe will not have any work the week of Memorial Day so jobs like this help out.

Try this asparagus brunch casserole. Many people enjoy it either for brunch or breakfast.

PICTURED: LOVINA’S HOMEMADE “ASPARAGUS BRUNCH CASSEROLE.”

ASPARAGUS BRUNCH CASSEROLE

4 cups firm white bread cubed

1 to 2 cups of fresh asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces

1 1 /2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup crumbled bacon or cubed ham

6 large eggs

1 1 /2 cups milk

1 /4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces of sour cream

In a large bowl toss together bread cubes, asparagus, and 1 cup of cheese. In a small bowl beat together eggs, milk, sour cream and salt. Add to bread mixture and stir to combine. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until golden.

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THE AMISH COOK

BY LOVINA EICHER

6:30 a.m. Time to get up and start another day. It is Saturday so we hope to get some work caught up. After all the rain we had, a lot of the stuff in the yard was left unattended.

8 a.m. Breakfast is ready which consists of eggs, fried potatoes, bacon, toast, cheese, milk, and homemade grape juice. I had to buy our potatoes for the first time in quite awhile. All winter we have used potatoes out of our garden., so this was something different to put on my grocery list. As soon as the garden dries out we want to plant onions, potatoes, and more early things.

9 a.m. Daughter Elizabeth, 16, and I do the laundry. It has been so rainy that we decided to take advantage of the nice, sunny day. Susan, 15, and Verena, 13, are washing dishes and sweeping floors . Loretta, 10, was cleaning the boys bedroom upstairs which was topsy-turvy again. For some reason you can always tell which is the boys bedroom.

My husband Joe is getting the lawn mower ready so someone can mow the grass for the first time this spring. We needed the blade sharpened to so we sent Benjamin, 10, and Joseph, 8, with Stormy the pony a few miles down the road to get it sharpened. Lovina, 6, and Kevin, 5, went along for the ride.

The children are excited about our new miniature pony which they named Tiger. He is two years old and is not trained yet. He is a little rowdy and needs to be calmed down. Susan and Benjamin want the job to train him. They are looking forward to their first experience at training a colt.

11 a.m. A van drove in with some of Joe’s uncles and aunts from Indiana. They came for a short visit and to see where we lived. Sam and Mary Jane Hilty, Roman and Flossie Hilty, Elmer and Sylvia Eicher, and Barbara Schwartz were our visitors.. Mary Jane, Flossie, and Barbara are all Joe’s Dad’s sisters and Elmer is a brother. We were surprised to see them stop in and enjoyed visiting with them again. Sylvia was my midwife in Berne and delivered our six oldest children

12:30 p.m. We eat a light lunch or bologna and ham sandwiches.

1:15 p.m. Susan and Verena are outside raking and mowing. Elizabeth and I are bringing in the laundry that is dry and folding it. Joe is trimming our pine trees. He is cutting them back so it will be easier to mow and easier to see when we pull out of our drive. The rest of the children are helping him and using Stormy to haul away the branches,

I am glad for my big kitchen and dining room area as we have an 8 foot table set up with noodles drying. Last night Joe made hot wings on the grill and I made chicken noodle soup with the fresh noodles. Homemade noodles are a lot better tasting than store bought noodles and they expand more in the broth when they are cooking than store bought, so you get more quantity. Mom used to know just how many handfuls of the homemade noodles to put in each kettle.

4:30 p.m. The floors are mopped and they are all finishing up with the work outside. I have hamburgers in the oven cooking for supper. I use my bar pan stone a lot that I ordered at a Pampered Chef party. We do all of our bacon on it too now. I also like to use it for chicken and hamburgers. I am going to have a party here on Wednesday to try to earn some more kitchen items for myself. My stainless steel kettles that Joe gave to me over 20 years ago have some handles missing and I also need larger ones for our size family.

5:30 p.m. Supper is over and the girls are washing dishes. Boys are getting cleaned up. Elizabeth has left with her friend Timothy. They will spend the weekend with friends in northern Indiana. Meanwhile, I am baking a few rhubarb custard pies to take along to Jacob and Emma’s tomorrow. They told us to come for dinner and we plan to.

9 p.m. Bedtime and everyone is glad to call it a day. We took advantage of the nice day and accomplished a lot. God’s blessings to all.

RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE

1 1 /2 cups rhubarb, fresh diced

2 tablespoons flour

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3 /4 cup cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except rhubarb. Put rhubarb in unbaked 9” pie shell and pour mixture over the rhubarb. Ake at 350 for 45 to an hour or until set.

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