THE AMISH COOK
BY LOVINA EICHER
The second month of 2012 is almost over already. A few days ago it was blowing snow and we received quite a few inches. Now this morning the sun is shining bright and the mercury on our thermometer is almost 40 degrees. I will probably take advantage of the weather and wash some coats while we do laundry. I like to hang the laundry outside to dry when it is nice like this. Another job that needs to be done again is washing the windows. With the sun shining on the windows I can really see the dirt. The rain and blowing snow tend to leave their mark on the windows. We will see how far we get, though, as Elizabeth has to go to her job today. She enjoys the little children she cares for during the week.
Yesterday we attended church services in our district. There were a lot of women and children missing due to sickness. The benches were still filled, though, with visitors from other church districts and communities. Some of my Dad’s cousins were there so it was nice to get to visit with them.
Daughter Susan would like to thank you for the encouraging comments on her column last week. A friend printed the comments from the website so she could read them. She is still taking Minnie on her daily rides.
Last week daughter Elizabeth and I accomplished a lot of sewing. I sewed sons Benjamin and Joseph each a new navy jacket and pants to wear to church. They were pretty excited yesterday morning to wear their new outfits. I sewed the outfits on my old black-colored head Singer sewing machine. My mother had one just like it and it did not often need repair. My other sewing machine is almost 10 years old. It usually works pretty well but it has been giving me some problems this last while. I oiled it and cleaned it but so far cannot figure out what the problem is. I probably will end up giving our friend Terry a call to take a look at it. Elizabeth sews on her own sewing machine which was a Christmas gift from her friend Timothy. I would like to trade mine in sometime for one like she has. Hers is a free armed and those are very nice to do hemming and mending. We also were sewing pillows. Elizabeth cuts out the pieces and sews the pieces together. Then I sew the ruffles on the edges and the front and back together. Elizabeth also sews the inside pillow and stuffs it with pillow stuffing.
It is also the last week to get dog licenses renewed. We are planning to take the dogs to the vet for shots and renew their license tomorrow. Buddy, our border collie, is getting pretty big to get into our buggy. Our two rat terriers Rover and Frisco are smaller and easier to handle
We are in the process of installing a solar-powered freezer. The freezer is set up now and the solar-panels are here. A few of our neighbors are coming over tonight to help put the panels up. We are hoping this will work well. I think in the long-run we will save money rather than buying propane for a freezer. We are hoping to butcher a beef once the freezer is running. (Editor’s note: solar power is becoming more popular among the Amish, it’s a way to power some appliances without being connected to “the grid.”)
You readers try this recipe for a creamy vegetable soup!
EDITOR’S DISCUSSION POINTS: This vegetable soup will be prepared on “The Almost Amish Kitchen” online show which will be posted this week, so stay tuned! Delicious soup! Also, solar power is becoming increasingly popular in Amish communities. It allows the Amish to sort of “cherry pick” which technologies to embrace and which ones to reject. Solar energy keeps them off the grid and self-sufficient. And how about those beautiful threads Lovina made for her boys? Very labor intensive, especially when the boys keep growing and she has to do it all over again next year! The shirts are store-bought.
Creamy Vegetable Soup
1 T. vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions (chopped)
3 cloves garlic
5 c. homemade chicken broth
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
4 T. flour
1 medium head cauliflower (chopped)
1 medium bunch broccoli (chopped)
3 medium potatoes (diced)
2 c. heavy cream
2 c. grated extra sharp cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onions and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and vegetables and simmer gently for approximately 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir flour with a little soup broth and add mixture along with the cream to the broth, stirring through. Add cheese a little at a time, stirring until completely melted. Enjoy with thick sliced bread.