THE AMISH COOK
.BY LOVINA EICHER
I decided to write this column while my red beets are cooking. I cook them long enough so that the skin peels off easily. I want to make pickled red beets to put in cans. We will serve those for lunch when we have church services next spring. I also have several more buckets of tomatoes ready to put into juice. With these tomatoes I’ll have well over 100 quarts of juice canned already along with 80 pints of salsa so far. I’ll keep putting tomatoes into jars until it frosts which I am expecting early this year.
Daughter Loretta’s surgery went well on Monday. She has hard casts on both legs up to her knees.
She isn’t allowed to put weight onto her feet for four weeks until the casts are removed. She will then have walking casts for 2 to 4 weeks and will need therapy. During that time we want to go her AFO (ankle-foot orthotic) braces ordered. That way they will be ready when the walking casts are off. Loretta is in a wheelchair so she needs help to get to bed and to the bathroom. Time is already going slow for her but plans are to go back to school next Tuesday. There isn’t any school on Monday so she’ll have an extra day home. The school will send a handicapped bus so it will be easier to get her wheelchair off.
Our fourth cutting of hay was put in last night. Hay prices are still very high. Jacob, Emma, and family and Elizabeth’s friend Timothy and Susan’s friend Mose assisted us with the hay. For supper we had barbecued hamburger and ribs, potatoes, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, and ice cream cake. The ice cream cake was brought by Jacob’s in honor of their oldest daughter Elizabeth’s 16th birthday. It is something different for Emma and Jacob to have a child old enough to be with the youth. (Editor’s Note: at age 16, Amish children are able to attend the young person’s gatherings)
Joe doesn’t have work tomorrow so he plans to till up the garden parts that are done for the year. Tonight he will go fishing with Timothy. That is always relaxing to him and especially with the hay being in the barn.
Sunday we attended church in a neighboring community that brother Albert’s lives in. We attended the baptismal services for Albert’s daughter Irene. We hired a driver to take us as it was 22 miles from our house.
We have three wedding invitations on our refrigerator. Congratulations go to Delmar and Polly who will be united in marriage on September 19. Also to Clyde and Dora who will unite their lives as one on September 27. Both the grooms work at the same factory as Joe does. And we were surprised to receive an invitation to the wedding of Menno and Maggie on October 6. Menno’s father, Leander, would be a cousin to Joe. They grew up together and made many memories. We wish God’s blessings to all the couples and wish them many happy health years together. It seems short years ago that our own wedding day was and it has already been 19 years.
On a sadder note our thoughts travel to dear Mother’s death 10 years ago on September 17. I often wish my younger children would have been able to meet their grandmother. She was a wonderful person and will always be greatly missed. I will say the words she often said “God makes no mistakes.”
With us being in the middle of salsa season, I thought I’d share my recipe. After making the salsa, I can mine so it keeps longer. But you can freeze this and you can also cut the recipe way down to family size and serve immediately, this doesn’t have to be stored.
14 pounds of tomatoes, scalded, peeled and cut up
10 green peppers, chopped
5 cups onions, chopped
1 cup vinegar
2 ounces of hot peppers, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons oregano flakes
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
10 tablespoons Clear Jel (mixed with 3 cups water)
In a saucepan, mix all of the above ingredients, except for the Clear Jel. Cook contents of saucepan on low heat on the stove top for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate bowl, mix Clear-Jel and water and stir until dissolved. Add the Clear-Jel mixture and cook for 5 more minutes. If you are canning the salsa, cold-pack it for 20 minutes. Or freeze it for use later. If you are making a smaller batch, cool to room temperature and serve.
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