The Amish Cook, Week of July 16, 2012

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Daughters Susan and Verena worked six long days last week de-tasseling corn.  By Saturday night they were tired girls.  Verena’s brace rubbed her foot open in two places. I wanted her to stay home today but she wanted to go detasseling again. (Editor’s Note: De-tasseling corn is a method of cross-pollinating various varieties of corn by removing the tassels) Benjamin is now a teenager since the 14th. And  Joe and I had our 19th anniversary yesterday, July 15th.  Time has gone too fast. Daughter Loretta sat down one day last week to write the column. She said she wanted to do something to help me out. I am glad she did because it was good for her to put her thoughts into writing.  She has a journal that she writes in, which is a good way for her to vent through this difficult trial which she is facing at this young age in her life.   Here is what she wrote:

I hope you are all doing great.  I had a wonderful day today.  For breakfast, we had grilled cheese sandwiches and cereal.  I love grilled cheese.  Sister Lovina dries the dishes for me while I wash them.  Then I swept and mopped the floors.  With all of us home from school the floors get tracked up fast.  Mom, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Joseph, and Kevin are all out weeding in the garden.  They like to go out early in the morning when it is still not so hot. Elizabeth might start her new job this week.  She will work for a lady who will train her to do professional cleaning.

Susan and Verena are detasseling corn.  I am not going to get to go detassel corn like my older sisters did.  It would be too hard for me to pull the tassles when my hands feel weak.  Verena is trying detasseling but she is tired at night.  She doesn’t want to give up.  Sometimes I think it is unfair that other people can do fun stuff like running and biking.  There are times when I am walking and my knee will give up and then I will fall.  It happens a lot when I am coming down the stairs.  It is really hard to know that I can’t do all the stuff that I used to.  I want to keep my faith in God.  I know God will help me if I have faith in him.  I get discouraged a lot, but I am so happy my family is there to help make things easier for me.  I have to try to keep looking on the bright side.

We went camping the week of July 4 when Dad was on vacation.  My birthday was July 1.  I turned 12, so next year I will be a teenager. If anyone has muscular dystrophy I would like for them to write to me.  It helps me to talk to someone with muscular dystrophy because they can fully understand what it means.  When we were at the lake I went in the water a lot.  At first I needed help getting out because I fell sometimes.  My nice, kind sisters Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena would help me get out.  One time, Verena was helping me out and we were almost out of the water and my knee gave up.  I grabbed Verena and she wasn’t wearing her brace to support her and we both fell back into the lake.  We laughed about it and thought it was funny.  One time Susan was helping me and my knee starting give out but Susan just pulled me back up.  I don’t know what I would do without their help.  One night when Susan’s friend Mose was there we took Dad’s boat to go fishing. Mose, Susan, Verena, and I fished even after it was dark.  It was fun even if we didn’t have much luck.  Susan had a fish on her hook and instead of taking it off she flipped it into the boat. It flipped right into Mose’s face and we all laughed about that.

Then I thought I had a big fish and pulled the line in, it was a bunch of weeds.  It was their turn to all laugh and we had a lot of fun.

July 4 sister Elizabeth and her friend Timothy asked me to go to the parade in town. Sister Lovina also went with us.  We got a lot of candy from the parade but we took it back and shared it with our brothers.  It was fun to watch the parade.  There were firetrucks, horses, and little ponies.  They look so cute.  Also some race cars.  My sister Susan has a new miniature pony that she is training for someone.  The pony’s name is Tiny Tim.  He is still a little rowdy.  Susan is line driving him.  Susan is a good trainer because she has a lot of patience.  Even if she comes home late from detasseling corn all day she wants to work with the pony.  I don’t know what else to write now.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement.  God bless you.

For the recipe I will share my coffee soup recipe. I love it for breakfast but Mom doesn’t let us have it often since it has caffeine. She doesn’t think it is a healthy breakfast. Most of us like it with crackers in it but Mom and Dad like it with toast.

We really like it with Pon Hoss when we have some in the winter.


1 cup water

2 teaspoons coffee

4 teaspoons white sugar

3 cups milk

Crackers, bread, or toast

Heat water in a 2 quart kettle Lift off and add coffee and sugar  Put back on the stove and add milk.  Take off when hot.  Crumble crackers, bread, or toast into it or eat without either one.  Some like it plain.


Verena and Loretta Eicher have a form of muscular dystrophy known as Limb-Girdle, Type 2-A.  For more information about it, click here.

Friends of the Eichers have set up a medical fund to care for the children, donations can be sent to:
Eicher Children Benefit Fund
c/o Farmers State Bank
PO BOX 1010
Shipshewana,Indiana 46565
Note the above address is a bank, so routine recipe requests, etc should not go to that address, donations ONLY.  Donations can also be made in person at any Farmers State Bank branch.
The above fund is not affiliated with The Amish Cook column, 100 percent of the funds go to the Eicher girls medical care.  You can support The Amish Cook column by joining The Amish Cook Friend Club by clicking here.

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The Discussion

  1. Julie Swisher says:

    You wrote a very interesting column for your mom. I’m sure she enjoyed your helping out, keep up the good work, you have lots of potential as a writer. Congratulations on turning 12, that is an important age to be. We will try the coffee soup recipe, I haven’t had that since I was little and at my grandparents farm. We will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers.
    A friend in Indiana.

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  2. Corine"Corky" Cunningham says:

    I was raised on a farm in upstate NY but I now reside in Washington state..I am not familiar with detasseling corn…how and why do it???? My husband was raised on a farm also and he doesn’t know why.

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    • It is a way to take 2 different kinds of corn and remove the tassels of one kind (detasseling) before it pollinates. Then the other kind pollinates the first, creating a hybrid corn. The “new” mature corn is then harvested, dried, and used for seed corn to plant in fields. Hybrids are created to combine good qualities from two different kinds of corn, creating a better crop. A good quality might be drought resistant, for instance. Can you tell I’m from Iowa, the Tall Corn Sate?

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  3. thelma stafford says:

    Hello from Ks. I would also like to know why corn has to be detasseled. also i would to know how to make pon hos. We used to make when i was a kid back in w.v. I make it some times, but not like i remember it . I read your colum in the Hutchenson news in hutchinson Ks. Thank you

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  4. Joy Hill says:

    Loretta. You did a good job with your writing! Mom may have to relinquish that job. =) I’m so sorry about you and your sister having MS. I have no idea how frustrating it must be, but you both sound like real “troopers”. My prayer is for continued strength and comfort. Blessings! BTW belated birthday greetings!

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  5. Hi Loretta, I certainly enjoyed your column this week. I laughed when you said you fell down getting out of the water because my husband and I had the same problrm when we were at the beach during the winter.The only difference is, we are in our early 70s and our knees are not so good either.I hope this makes you feel a little better visualizing two old people trying to get beck up on the beach,
    If you can’t go detasseling with your sisters. maybe you can do some babysitting or something less strenuous. Have a great summer and please write again soon.

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  6. Nice article, Loretta. You and your sisters are in my prayers each night to help you cope with your MD. I also remember your whole family as you all are putting your lives back together after the fire. So glad your family was able to enjoy some vacation time at the lake.

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  7. Dawn Kirk says:

    How does one write to the family? In care of the newspaper Oasis?
    I thought your column was very interesting,Loretta.
    My twin boys both have a mild form of autism,they are not identical twins & the way their autism shows is also very different .Don’t know if you know exactly what that is,it’s sort of a thinking disorder.
    It’s good to laugh about things ,esp.when life is frustrating!
    I also have a daughter & another 12 year old boy.
    Hope you’ll write another column again! It is neat how several members of your family sometimes write in place of your mom.Also hope you’ll find some pen pals with muscular dystrophy who’ll help you out sharing your feelings:)

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  8. Theresa says:

    Loretta, Happy Bleated Birthday to you, you are a very good writer. I do hope you get many letters from those with Muscular Dystrophy. It will help you & them to talk about it. Sounds like you had lots of fun camping! I haven’t fished in quite some time, wouldn’t mind getting a license & going again.
    Prayers to you & your family Theresa

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  9. Angie Yoder says:

    Loretta, you did a wonderful job writing the article for your mom this week. I bet she is so proud of you! My daughter Allison is about to turn 12 as well and she read your article and said “Wow! She is a good writer for being a kid like me!” I think you are very brave in facing what you are with such a good spirit and so much faith in God. It’s easy to have faith when everything is good in our lives, but it’s keeping that faith when things are hard that makes us stronger and closer to the image of God that He wants us to be. You and your sister (and your whole family!) are in my family’s prayers every night. Hang in there and, as Allison said, “I don’t have MD but if Loretta wants just a pen pal who is her age and likes to write too, I would love to write her!” :)

    Angie and Allison Yoder

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  10. Linda Clark says:

    Wow Loretta what talent you have! You also show a lot of good sense and bravery. I am sorry that you have this problem with your “knee giving out” and weakness in your hands. As adults, we wish these things didn’t happen to one turning 12. Happy late Birthday wishes also! It does seem that you are really smart and that will go a long way for you even when the knee is not doing as you would like. We will keep you and your whole family in our prayers, thank you for sharing this with us. Keep having fun and laughing also, sometimes our best times are the “tough” times.

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  11. Loretta,

    Great job writing your mother’s column. You are a very talented writer and only 12 years old! I am so impressed how much faith you have and want you to know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Faith like yours comes from a very faith-filled, loving family like yours. God bless you all!

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  12. Loretta,

    Very good job on the article. You are a natural writer just like your mother and grandmother.My prayers are with you. You and your sis are an inspiration. Lord be with you.

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  13. what an interesting and mature column. Since you have a builtin publisher, i think it would be a wonderful idea if you and your sister kept journals about this new journey you are embarking on with the muscular dystrophy and let Kevin get it published for you. There have been other successful books written by folks detailing and inspiring others. You seem to have the writers gene from your grandmother, mother as do some of your sisters. God bless you and keep up the mature and wonderful attitude and most importantly your faith i God.

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  14. hi not to undermine what momma says about the coffee soup but my grandfather who lived to be 90 yo had his coffee soup with leftovers and biscuits, bread etc. (I do mean leftovers and even saw him add some peas one evening) my grandmother never needed to think about what to do with leftovers..

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  15. Jennifer says:

    Loretta, you are a wonderful writer and a courageous young woman. Keep your spirits high and keep your eyes on the Lord. Someone who I love very much has epilepsy, but I have learned over the years that it’s kind of a blessing because it forces us daily to lean on Jesus instead of ourselves. I hope your journey with muscular dystrophy brings you ever closer to your precious Lord and Savior, who loves you so very much. God’s blessings, sweet girl. Jennifer from FL

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