THE AMISH COOK
BY LOVINA EICHER
Thirty-one years ago today my older sister Leah and Paul were married. I was only in the third grade when they were joined in marriage. So happy anniversary wishes to Paul and Leah if they happen to be reading this column. Paul and Leah will hold a late 2011 Christmas gathering for my family on Memorial Day. Each of us siblings take a turn to host a family gathering around Christmas or later the following year. We take turns from oldest to youngest are now starting over and so it is Leah’s turn again since she is the oldest of us eight siblings.
My husband Joe ordered 50 chicks that will come in the middle of May. With 50 chickens that should give us quite a few eggs. Also he ordered a dozen broiler chicks to raise for meat. We will order more this fall. I didn’t want to order too many this spring because they would be ready to butcher right around the time we will be preparing to have church services here. I also wasn’t sure if we would have enough freezer space.
Our potatoes Joe planted in the garden are up now. We have some more potatoes to plant as soon as the soil dries out a little. I want to start planting the rest of the garden also. After that cold weather last week I am glad I waited. On Tuesday we had a few flurries of snow off and on. It is really windy outside so we will put off doing laundry until tomorrow. It is hard to keep the clothes on the lines when it is this windy.
Elizabeth wants to finish the dress for the wedding she has a part in on Thursday. She has it almost done so it won’t take her too much longer. Our whole family will probably attend. I cut a dress out a dress for me that I would like to sew sometime. I could use a few more dresses.
We were helping Elizabeth’s friend Timothy get his house cleaned so he could move to the property he bought last year. We still need to do some cleaning over there but the main part of the house is now in good shape. It needed a thorough cleaning because it looked like it had been neglected. Timothy put in new doors, new floors and remodeled some bathrooms. He still wants to change some windows and do some painting. He moved the rest of his things in on Saturday so it will be different for him to be on his own. He has done a lot of work in the barn also, including building stalls for his horses and also fencing in the pasture field.
Yesterday we spent the day at home relaxing. For dinner we had meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, pork and beans, cake, brownies, and peaches. In the afternoon we played some games. Joseph, 9, didn’t want to play, though, as he is reading the Little House on the Prairie books we got him for Christmas. He is on the second book, Little Town on the Prairie, and is enjoying them so much. We give each of the children sets of Little House books around that age for Christmas. I remember reading them when I was in second grade and then re-reading them when I was older. I am surprised how much I had remembered from reading them in second grade.
We had our first meal of asparagus. Some people in the community had some in March with the early warmth. I will share an asparagus casserole with you.
2 cans of asparagus (or use fresh-cooked asparagus)
4 eggs, boiled and peeled and chopped
1 /4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
Bread crumbs, 3 or 4 slice
4 tablespoons butter
Place eggs in bottom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drain asparagus, reserving one cup of juice. Place drained asparagus on top of eggs. In a saucepan melt the butter and then mix in flour. Add 1 cup milk and 1 /2 cup asparagus juice. As mixture begins to thicken add the rest of the asparagus juice and continue to stir until mixture thickens. Pour the thick sauce over the eggs and asparagus. Sprinkle cheese on top. Add bread crumbs. Bake at 400 or until bread crumbs are toasted.
I always enjoyed the The Little House on the Prairie Books when I was young. Even enjoyed them when I was a lot older.
I am a new reader of the columns, and I am enjoying them so much. As a Yoder, I am somewhat obsessed with all things Amish. My husband's grandfather was raised Old Order Amish in Pennsylvania, but left the faith when he was in his early 20's. He would often tell my father-in-law stories of his upbringing and now that he has passed on, my father-in-law shares his stories with us and our children. It is so interesting to see how similar we all are, regardless of our daily lifestyles. People are people. I greatly appreciate Lovina and the girls sharing their family stories and lives with us readers. I will continue to enjoy the posts and the recipes. Thanks, and God bless.
Linda from KY
Asparagus is my favorite vegetable. I remember when my grandfather used to grow asparagus and send some home with us. It was the best!
I read the Little House books as a child. So far, my children haven't loved them as much as I did. I think it's great that your son enjoys reading them so much!
I have read the Little House books many times over. And then read them to my own little "half-pint", Laura.
I never would have thought to put chopped eggs in a casserole like this. I love eggs, and I love asparagus; I may have to try this.
Kevin, what happened to the "Amish Cook" in Wednesdays paper? I always read that colum but could not find it this week......Joe
Timothy moving into his own home, and Elizabeth and Timothy taking part in a wedding.....wonder how long it will be before Lovina has to start thinking about wedding bells in her own family's future!!!! She would surley be blessed to have someone like Timothy be a permanent part of the family...