THE AMISH COOK
BY LOVINA EICHER
It is a nice, sunny Thursday forenoon. So far nights have been cool which make for some nice sleeping weather. It has been getting chilly enough at night that most of our windows were closed and it was still comfortable in the house. Sunday morning our thermometer showed 49 degrees. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had an early frost. With the drought we’ve had I can’t imagine that our canning jars will be filled like other years. I canned some more dill pickles and made 3 more gallons of freezer pickles. Since we hold church services at our house twice next spring I want to make sure we have plenty. We made some fresh pickles for sister Emma’s church services. I think my cucumbers have produced the most out of my garden. I have tomatoes but not like other years. I have canned 32 quarts of tomato juice so far and 1 batch of salsa. Today I have enough tomatoes to make more salsa. I canned 15 pints of Serrano peppers. Emma gave me the peppers because I was unable to get the Serrano plants this year. We do have banana and jalapeno peppers but I prefer Serrano for canning.
We use the banana peppers by taking the seeds out and stuffing them with cream cheese and shredded Colby cheese. Then we wrap bacon around them and use toothpicks to keep the bacon in place. Put them on the grill until the bacon is done. Those go fast around here. I have done the same with jalapenos but they are a lot hotter than the bananas.
Saturday Elizabeth’s friend Timothy and Susan’s friend Mose helped Joe and the boys butcher our 14 old laying hens. I cooked the meat off the bones which I then put into broth. It did not take then men long to do the butchering. I think this is the first time the girls and I got out of butchering chickens. We appreciated their help.
Joe and daughter Elizabeth are both working at the factories today. Susan, 16, and Verena, 14, are weeding in the garden. The weeds took over with all the rain we had but we won’t complain. It was a much-needed rain. Benjamin,13, Joseph, 10, and Kevin, 6 are doing some cleaning out in the barn that Joe wanted done.
Loretta, 12, and Lovina, 8, are washing the dishes and sweeping the floors. They are all trying to get their jobs before lunch-time so they can have free-time this afternoon.
Our local apple farms will not have apples or cider to sell this year due to the late frost. There is a shortage of fruit here in Michigan this year. Still haven’t heard if there will be many grapes. The boys dug up our storage potatoes and it is our smallest crop ever.
Loretta wanted me to teach her how to use the treadle sewing machine yesterday afternoon. She seems to be catching on fast. Pushing the treadle back and forth takes more effort for her but it almost seems like therapy. She is getting eager to learn how to sew. I told her if I get time today I will help her cut out a dress for herself and she can learn how to sew it. She will have surgery on Sept 10 to have her heel cords lengthened on both feet. I hope and pray it will be a success. She is so limited to what she can do. I bought new shoes for her this week. Finding a pair of shoes that work well for her can be a challenge. We did find out a shoe with a wide heel to it gives her more support where her heel cannot touch the floor. Some shoes work for awhile and then start hurting her feet. We will put everything into God’s hands and see what results the surgery brings.
May God bless all you readers for your support and encouragement it helps knowing others care.
This week I will share a tomato soup recipe.
HOMEMADE TOMATO SOUP
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons sugar
One teaspoon salt
One eight teaspoon pepper
2 cups tomato juice
2 cups cold milk
Sautee onion in butter. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook until smooth and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in tomato juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Stir hot tomato juice mixture gradually into the cold milk. Heat rapidly to serving temperate and serve immediately.