THE AMISH COOK
BY LOVINA EICHER
Laundry is hanging on the lines drying really quickly with the sun and breeze blowing. It took longer than usual to do the washing as the motor on the washing machine kept shutting down. I will have to have my husband Joe look at it when he comes home from work. We usually wash clothes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays but had to wait until today because we were out of gas. It is not fun filling up the gas jugs in town when the gas is over $4 a gallon. It would be lots cheaper to do laundry the way we did when we were growing up. It was a lot harder work, though, and I remember how tiresome it was to push the handle on the washing machine back and forth. Mom would set the timer for a certain many minutes on each load. I remember that there were a few times when I would set the timer off before it was done. I am sure that Mom caught on that some loads were done faster than others. Another thing back then that did not have a motor was on our well pump. We had a windmill so on windy days the wind would pump the water to the water tank for the animals. Days when there was not enough wind to make the windmill go we had to pump the water by hand. It would seem to take forever to get those stop tanks. Cold water was also pumped over the milk cans to cool the milk off quickly. We would take turns pumping and that chore would get tiresome too. When we first moved to our own place after Joe and I were married we did not have a windmill. Joe would pump the water to the thank for horses and our cow and calf. Later on we did get a motor that Joe would hook on the pump and move to my washing machine on wash days. (Editor’s Note: Old Order Amish communities vary from place to place, some allow gasoline-powered motors, others do not. Lovina’s community permits them)
I would sometime decide to do laundry after Joe left for work so I soon figured out how to change the motor from the pump to the washing machine. This is the same motor that I use on my washing machine 16 years later. It is probably seeing the end of its days. We didn’t have a cistern pump right away. Joe would take 5 gallon buckets out of the cistern for me to do laundry. It always looked dangerous so we did get a cistern pump then. Now I am spoiled when I can just run hot water into my washing machine and not have to carry and heat the water first.
Last night we attended the open house at the school. The children could meet their new teachers. They had hot dog sandwiches, carrots, celery sticks, cauliflower, oranges and grapes for everyone to eat. We sure do appreciate the school moving all of Loretta’s classes to the first floor lower level. It will be so much easier for her to not have to climb the stairs School doors will open on Tuesdays, Septembr 4. Son Kevin will have his 7th birthday on Sunday, September 2. It is so hard to believe our youngest is that age.
Kevin said he wants cupcakes instead of a cake. Also a happy 40th birthday to my editor to Kevin Williams. We wish you God’s blessings on your birthday and always. My husband Joe is off work for the Labor day weekend so he will have a 4 day break. Daughter Elizabeth will be off on Monday as well.
I had enough tomatoes to can more tomato juice this week. Red beets are ready to be canned but we will leave that until next week. I will share a recipe that a reader sent to me.
1 /2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
One and one half cups flour
Half teaspoon baking soda
Half teaspoon salt
Cream shortening, add sugar eggs and vanilla. Mix well, sift together dry ingredients. Add to other ingredients. Shape into a log Place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Slice and bake 10 minutes at 375.