THE AMISH COOK
BY LOVINA EICHER
It is Thursday morning and the children are all sleeping in a little longer. It’s their first day of not having to go to school for the summer.
Yesterday, daughter Susan and I attended the school picnic. After the awards were presented to the children everyone moved outside to do the various activities planned for the last day of school. A picnic lunch was served to everyone and then the children enjoyed the “Slip and Slide” on the hill. It was chilly in the morning but by lunchtime it was warmer and the water on the slide cooled everyone off.
It was nice to take a break since the last few weeks have been busy cleaning and preparing for church services. Verena has now completed the 8th grade and is finished with her school years. We attended her graduation on Monday evening. This fall Benjamin, 13, will be an eighth grader. Loretta, 12, will be in 7th grade, Joseph, 10, will be in middle school as a 5th grader, Lovina will be in third and Kevin, 7, will be in second grade.
Meanwhile, we put a lot of rhubarbs into juice this week. That will make a lot of good drinking during the summer months. It seems to quench your thirst on those hot summer days.
Today I want to cut out my suit for nephew Noah’s wedding which is next Tuesday already. Daughter Elizabeth has hers cut out so might need to help her with hers since she’s working at the factory. Elizabeth and Timothy will be tablewaiters at the wedding. I have to help cook on Saturday and I will also go help bake pies for the wedding.
On Sunday morning it was nice and sunny for our church services. By 9 a.m., when the services started, our basement was filled with people from our church district as well as the many guests from other church districts. I don’t remember our basement ever being this filled with people for church services. There were even a few families missing from our own district. We appreciated the many friends and relatives coming in honor of our daughters Elizabeth and Susan, and Susan’s friend Mose, starting instructions for baptism. What an encouragement to them to see so much support. Lord willing they will be baptized this fall after following instruction every two weeks until then.
CAPTION: The bench wagon goes from place to place, wherever church is being held. This is the bench wagon in Lovina's district. The benches are stored in the wagon along with a lost n found box and a few other items to help hold services smoothly.
Our church lunch menu consisted of homemade wheat and white bread (which are the women from our church baked 50 loaves for me), butter, strawberry jam, freezer pickles, dill pickles, red beets, hot peppers, peanut butter spread, cheese, summer sausage, egg salad, coffee and tea, along with a variety of cookies of which quite a few hundred were also brought in.
Sister Emma made the many gallons of iced tea from the spearmint and peppermint tea leaves out of her garden. It was delicious and took a lot of work off my hands to have this all prepared.
We had a good-sized crowd back for supper and our menu was potluck potato casserole, grilled hot dog sandwiches, lettuce salad, homemade bread, egg salad, pickles, hot peppers, jello cake, chocolate cake and chocolate pie, coffee, and iced tea. Church services will be held here again on June 16. God’s blessings to all.
I’ll share my potluck potato recipe
POTLUCK POTATO CASSEROLE
2 pounds potatoes, peeled (4 cups)
1 /2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 /4 teaspoon pepper
1 /2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pint sour cream
2 cups diced Velveeta Cheese
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1 /4 cup melted butter
Cut up potatoes and cook until almost tender. Add 1 /2 cup butter, salt, pepper, onion, soup, sour cream and cheese. Blend thoroughly. Pour into greased 5 quart casserole dish. Top with corn flakes mixed with 1 /4 cup butter. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Thank you, Lovina, for sharing a bit of your life with us. Those years when your children are growing up are so busy, but so sweet. It would be a blessing to be part of such a church and family oriented life as the Amish have. It would fill an empty place in my heart.
Dear Lovina, My 84 year old mother enjoys your column so much. She has been following it since your mom first started writing it. Reading how your children are doing and growing up and all the activities they do makes you seem like family to us. We laugh and celebrate with you and cry with you also. Thank you for providing us with a glimpse into your lives. God bless you and your family.