Amish Cook: March 19, 2012

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I apologize for the broken link to these books contained in the email blast,I know these damaged sets are popular and they go fast.  So having a damaged link isn’t fun!  Anyway, slightly damaged sets of Amish Cook cookbooks available on a first-come, first-serve basis through 9 p.m. eastern, March 19th.  For information or to order, click here.



The sun is shining and the temperature is over 60 degrees this morning. It looks like it will be another gorgeous day and spring only officially begins tomorrow. All signs of spring are here, first among them: the rhubarb is peeping through and winter onions are up. Also the horseradish and tea plants are starting to grow. Trees are budding and the grass is extra green for this time of the year. We had our first meal of dandelion greens last night. Last year it was about a month later before we found enough for a meal. I steamed some potatoes and boiled some eggs to mix with the dandelion greens and sour cream. Sour cream I make with Miracle Whip salad dressing, vinegar, milk, and salt. Joe grilled T-bone steaks to go along with the meal. We also had sliced Colby cheese which is a favorite around here. I buy the Colby cheese by the horn which is usually 15 to 16 pounds. It is so much cheaper to do it that way than to buy a few pounds at a time. A horn of cheese does not last long around here with our size family. We eat cheese in sandwiches, casseroles, soups, or just with crackers for a snack. I think the cheese doesn’t taste dried-out as much as the small packages in grocery stores. If we need shredded cheese we shred just the Colby cheese which tastes so much better than the pre-packaged kind you buy in stores. Years ago when we had cows and sold milk we would always order our horn of cheese off the milkman.

We took advantage of the nice weather this week and washed all our curtains, cleaned the windows and put in the screens. Looks so much more refreshing to see the white, crisp curtains on the clean windows. A few weeks ago one of the big oak trees in our yard uprooted knocking down one half of two smaller pine trees. Joe and some of the children worked on cutting the wood and burning the branches on Saturday. The bigger logs we might be able to sell to the local sawmill. The rest we will keep for firewood. Our neighbor, Steve, brought his larger chain-saw to help Joe cut the bigger area by the stump. Joe’s chain-saws were not long enough to cut all the way through.

On Saturday we also carried the patio table, chairs, and rockers out of the basement to put on the front porch again. Last night we already enjoyed eating supper on the porch. We let our coal stove go out a week ago. We hope the nice weather is here to stay.

Joe wants to till the garden this week so we can plant some of the early things like peas, potatoes,radishes, and so forth. On our list to do this week is raking the yard. The grass is really growing fast and I don’t think it will be long before we have to mow it. Our solar-powered freezer is staying charged well with all the sunshine. It even charges some on cloudy days.

With spring weather here it is time to start thinking about rhubarb. Mom would make rhubarb pie and rhubarb shortcake. We’d eat the shortcake warm and pour milk over it. My children like to eat it with ice cream. We didn’t have ice cream around the house when I was growing up since we didn’t have freezers. Rhubarb-custard pie is another favorite around here. Our children also love rhubarb juice, we just finished our last quart this week so we’ll be eager to make more this spring. This is another delicious way to use the early rhubarb. Give it a try!

1 1 /3 cup brown sugar

2 /3 cup vegetable oil

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sour milk

2 1 /2 cups flour

3 /4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 /2 cup nuts (optional)

Mix everything together and pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.

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The Discussion

  1. Sounds like the Eichers are enjoying the weather and very busy. Kevin, Lovina mention a tea plant. I don’t know what they are, can you tell me what it is?

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    • Barb, she is really (don’t mean this disrespectfully) misusing the’s not tea per se…she is growing spearmint or comfrey which is then steeped in hot water with tea….so she is growing the herbs to make herbal tea…

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      • Shirley Willoughby says:

        Wooo I love Spearmint of course I buy spearmint and peppermint tea from the its better with this…I’m always buying sour cream for something think I’ll try Louvina’s recipe for it….a horn of cheese would not last long around me that would be all I would eat…lol great reading Louvina’s story today.

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  2. The rhubarb bread sounds delicious – it makes me wish we had space for a garden. Rhubarb in the store (when you can get it) is so expensive!

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  3. many years ago my grandmother and great aunt would grow spearmint in their veggie gardens. this was back in the 50′s and before.
    we would grow parsley in our window boxes in the back porch during
    spring and summer.
    I had a veggie garden for many years. I no longer have it, since we get
    lots of voles & rabbits.

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  4. pat rizzi says:

    The weather has been so nice it is tempting to start gardening. But I have seen snow and ice in April. Cool weather crops might be OK to plant though. I am interested in how the solar freezer works. Did they buy a special solar unit made for the freezer or did they do a DIY project? It would be nice to know how hooking a freezer to a solar unit was done.

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  5. Karen Ruppel says:

    Dandelion salad, wow that is how my mother made it. It brings back many fond memory’s.

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  6. Kathy Harger says:

    I tried to find the recipe for Lovina’s Sour Cream that she mentioned in her recent column. The ones I found online all called for different ingredients. Does anyone have her recipe that calls for Miracle Whip, vinegar, milk and salt? I need to know how much of each ingredient in order to make it. Thanks!

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