RSSAmish Cook - Lovina Eicher
Lovina Eicher offers a column about the Amish lifestyle, her daily schedule, her family and favorite recipes.
Our garden is beginning to fill up more and more. So far we have potatoes, onions, peas, lettuce, radishes, red beets, carrots and dill planted. Hope to get time to plant corn, green beans, and zucchini this week yet. I’ll wait until next week to put out any tomato and pepper plants. The seeds we planted last year, though, are up already.
My husband Joe planted potatoes in a different way this year. He laid them on top of the soil and covered them thickly with straw. From what we have heard from people that do this, the potatoes do very well. The straw when watered down will keep a lot of moisture in dry weather. It also helps keep the weeds down.
Friday evening we had to get the veterinarian out here to help our horse Itty Bit deliver twin foals but both were dead. We were disappointed but glad we could save Itty Bit. This is rare that we have two horses having full term twins 9 days apart. Itty Bit is Ginger’s mother so they both have the same genes. Can any of you readers give us information on horses having twins? What percentage of horses have twins and what percentage of them will live? Ginger was able to deliver hers without a problem. Itty Bit is also doing well since the delivery. Our miniature pony, little Prancer, is also doing real well.
It's 7 a.m. and the children just left for school. My husband, Joe, has been at work several hours already and daughter Elizabeth left for her job at 5:15 a.m.
Joe tilled part of the garden last night. Daughter Susan, 17, and I, want to get some garden planted today. Spring is such a lovely time of the year but there's a lot of work involved. Susan mowed our grass on Saturday for the first time this year. Last year we were mowing in March already due to the early spring we had.
Congratulations, go to nephew Noah and Ruby! They have set their wedding day for June 11. I have to help cook at their wedding. Looks like more sewing but that’s one way of getting more dresses sewn for me which I need anyway. Ruby’s mother Lydia is my cousin so it will be nice to visit and work with some cousins at this wedding. Noah is Joe’s oldest sister MaryAnn’s son.
We are having cold, rainy weather again. Monday was nice and sunny so we could get the laundry all dried. We are out of coal so hopefully it won’t get too cold yet.
It looks like it will be a late spring. So different from the early spring we had last year. The rivers are overflowing. There are even a few snow flurries mixed in with the light rain and the temperature is at 35.
Susan, Verena, and Benjamin filled out applications for corn de-tasseling. We aren’t sure if Benjamin will be able to go. If he does he would have to wait until his 14th birthday which is July 14. He is really hoping he can go. This is always disappointing to Loretta since she knows she won’t be able to go next year. It would be way too much walking for her. She just gets tired enough from the whole day in school.
It is windy and looks like rain. This whole week seems to have been rainy and stormy. Yesterday we managed to get half of our laundry dried before the rain came.
This morning I went to a few local Amish garage sales. I was able to find a few shirts for son Benjamin. He outgrew most of his shirts and needs some new ones very badly. I figure these shirts will help until I get a few more sewn for him. It saved me a few hours of sewing to go to the sales. Also found a few dresses for the girls that they should be able to wear. Usually one of the four older girls can wear one of the dresses when I guess on the size. Susan is the tallest of the four girls and Verena is the shortest so they are almost stair-steps in the length but not in the order of their ages.
Susan has finished her job with babysitting. She babysat for a tax accountant and now that tax rush is over she won’t need her as often. I am so glad for her help here at home.
The children went back to school after a week here at home for Spring break. My husband Joe went back to work on Tuesday. The house seems empty during the day. Daughter Susan is working 4 days this week but is home today.
I am glad for her help. She is going to bake chocolate chip and monster cookies as our cookie jar has been empty too long. Our friend Barb from Bristol, Ind. came for a visit recently and brought 2 big bags of M & Ms. The children asked if we could make monster cookies with some of the M & Ms.
A lot was accomplished last week while everyone was home. Joe managed to get the 100 pounds of summer sausage smoked. It turned out very good and everyone seems to like it. We were relieved that it turned out okay. This is a rainy and cold week. I am so glad last week was nicer and warmer when everyone was home. Those warm sunny days made it nice to hang the laundry outside to dry. It could be brought in folded and put away all on the same day.
5 a.m. The alarm goes off. I get up because daughter Elizabeth will leave for her job at the factory soon. She has been working a lot of 10-hour days at the factory.
5:15 a.m. Elizabeth’s ride is here and she leaves. The children are on spring break and my husband Joe is off work this week. Everyone has been taking advantage of their break and sleeping later than usual. I stay up and read and enjoy the peace and quiet. There are not many quiet moments around here this week once everyone is awake.
6:30 a.m. Joe gets up and I make a pot of coffee for us. Joe goes down to the basement to add coal to the stove. I get sausage out of the freezer to make gravy for breakfast. Daughter Lovina, 8, wants to mix up two batches of mystery biscuits so I help her.
This is a very nice and sunny Thursday with the mercury going over the 50-degree mark on our thermometer. Susan and I did laundry including some curtains.
Susan hung a lot of the clothes outside taking advantage of this spring-like day. Earlier this week we had snow flurries. My husband Joe was off work today and won’t go back until April 9. He is also taking advantage of the weather and is hauling manure out of the barn. Next week the children will be home all week for spring break.
Tomorrow is Good Friday so they will be home as well. I am thawing a 12-pound turkey for tomorrow’s dinner. We will have a nice, restful family day. Daughter Elizabeth will go with Timothy to his parents house for dinner. Mose will be here for dinner and then Susan will go with him to his sister’s house for supper.
Rhubarb finds its way into so many baked goods. It just adds a nice, tart taste to everything. Mom baked with her homegrown rhubarb often, and she never had trouble growing rhubarb.
If you want to start your own rhubarb patch, plant the rhubarb one year and then use it the second year. I have always done this and always had good luck. You don’t use the rhubarb for a year so that you can give the plants time to develop strong roots. I got my starts from a lady in church and just planted a whole row of them, and every year they get fuller and spread out more.
I plant my rhubarb in full sun, because I don’t think the plants do as well in the shade. A lot of times people will plant them right at the edge of their garden. We do this and also put horse manure around the plants in the spring, which seems to help them grow. The rhubarb is one of the first goodies ready to be harvested in the spring, and this recipe is a great way to starting using it.
It's a nice sunny day in March although the thermometer shows 25 degrees this a.m. We have all the meat from our beef either in cans or in the freezer.
My husband Joe was home several days last week. On Thursday night and Friday he made over 400 hamburger patties to put in the freezer. We put freezer paper between each hamburger so they will pull apart easier. Now they can go from the freezer to the grill without needing time to thaw first. I cooked the meat off from the beef bones and made 28 quarts of vegetable soup. That will be an easy meal on a busy day. I made this soup thick enough with vegetables and meat so I can add tomato juice and it will make twice the amount when I open a quart.
Kevin, age 7, told me he really loves that soup. One day when he came home from school he asked me if he could heat up some of that really good soup in jars. A year ago we put up solar panels to run a freezer from the sunlight with back-up batteries. We are still glad we invested in that. Since then we have not paid anything for running the freezer.
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